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Wisconsin CUs provide relief to flood victims
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (6/25/08)--Wisconsin credit unions are stepping up to help members affected by recent flooding in the state, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League. Health Care CU, Oshkosh, is offering low-interest loans to help members. “We’re working with members on a case-by-case basis,” Pat Blades, Health Care CU president said. “We’re trying to find out what people’s needs are and how we can help them.” Oshkosh Community CU is offering several low-interest loans to help members, said Cathie Steiner, Oshkosh Community loan officer and marketing director. “Our members are waiting for help from their insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but they need the help now,” she said. “Most of these members had to throw everything out of their basements because of bacteria that could be in the water. So it’s been mostly members in need of washers and dryers and hot water heaters.” County-City CU, Jefferson, offered its members free debit cards. Fond du Lac CU is offering loans up to $5,000 per household with no payment or interest for 120 days. After 120 days, the members will get a discounted interest rate depending on their credit history. The credit union also is offering payment extensions on loans for up to three months. One Fond du Lac CU board member who volunteers with the American Red Cross overheard a woman saying she was grateful her credit union helped her get a loan, Fond du Lac CU President Chris Rockweit reported. Southshore CU, Cudahy, is accepting contributions for a relief fund for its former board chairman, Tom Pekar, who lost his home located on land between Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River when the lake drained. Westby Co-op CU suspended overdraft charges for two days for all members after the flooding, said Kevin Hauser, Westby Co-op president. “We realize that when people are trying to save their homes and belongings, they may not be thinking about getting a deposit to the credit union,” he said. The credit union suspended charges for a week in harder-hit areas and authorized loan payment extensions for up to three months. Staff at the credit union also help sandbag the area and volunteered at local shelters. The Reedsburg branch donated $200 to a local relief fund from their Causal for a Cause program, where employees contribute $1 each Friday to wear jeans to work.
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