RICHMOND, Va. (1/25/10)--Virginia CU, one of the largest credit unions in the state, has seen a 6% membership boost from state workers joining the credit union to access a new state loan program. The $1.841 billion asset, Richmond, Va.-based credit union operates the Virginia State Employees Loan Program, which provides state employees access to short-term aid if they are members of the credit union (The Washington Examiner Jan. 22). The initiative, promoted as an alternative to payday lending, has provided more than $1.3 million in loans at a 25% interest rate to nearly 2,800 state employees, the newspaper said. The program is a means to meet the financial needs of state employees, not to bolster membership, the credit union told the paper. “The program is not a moneymaker at all,” credit union spokesman Glenn Birch told the paper. Most people who received the loans already are part of the credit union’s membership of 190,000, which is growing--part of an industrywide trend, Birch said.