West End’s alternative lending program goes statewide Gov. Markell and partnering organizations to unveil “Loans Plus”

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Governor Markell will sign Senate Bill 108 during a press conference to unveil West End’s alternative payday lending program, Loans Plus, on July 16 in West End Neighborhood House at 10:30 am.

Sponsored by Barclays Bank, ING, TD Bank, United Way of Delaware and Wilmington Trust, Loans Plus is a statewide initiative that offers low and moderate income working individuals a viable option to the predatory practice of payday lending. In conjunction with Catholic Charities and the YWCA, West End expanded its Loans Plus services to Kent and Sussex Counties in early July.

Senate Bill 108 will impose tougher standards on the payday lending industry while raising revenue for financial literacy programs, such as Loans Plus.

Loans Plus offers small, same day cash loans averaging from $300 to $500, minimal interest rates (never to exceed 15 percent), a realistic repayment plan, financial literacy education and the opportunity to establish or re-establish positive “name brand” credit.

Originally created in 2007, Loans Plus, formerly called the Worker’s Loan Program, has helped nearly 400 people with $160,000 worth of loans in the past 18 months. To date, an averages of 93 percent of customers have successfully re-paid their loans, saving them hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest rates. Loans Plus is currently the only loan program of its kind in the state of Delaware and is being used as a model for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) National Small Dollar Loan program.