Volusia County teachers average $43,000 in salary a year. When classes let out in May, they received four paychecks in advance to cover the summer period. Can you imagine your employer giving you three months worth of income AND three months off – at the same time. I know I’d have a hard time budgeting that. One trip to Home Depot and I’m toast.

Kudos to Space Coast Credit Union for getting that.

Responding to a special request for a teachers’ union, they have agreed to provide no-interest loans to thousands of Volusia school employees affected by the new ”Save Our Summer” law. The state law, which reserves most of August as a family vacation period to boost tourism, forbids school districts to start fall classes any earlier than two weeks before Labor Day. (I like to call it the Mickey Mouse law cuz it’s in Florida. Hmmm, curious).

But what I REALLY love about this story is the return to our roots. We should give thanks to the loan shark (then and now) for reminding us of our cause. People helping people. Today interest rates of 400 to 800 percent are the norm in that largely unregulated industry according to Consumers Union. The “credit union” was an alternative to help the “little guy” (read teacher in this case) borrow from their co-workers. In effect, the teachers who have budgeted money or amassed some savings are willing to loan money to co-workers to help them through the summer.

The “shame of borrowing” is hopefully back. And I mean that in a good way. If a co-worker loaned me a thousand bucks, you better believe I’m going to pay them back FIRST. That’s what made common bond credit unions so successful. And the word-of-mouth that comes with that level of trust was and still is the best marketing.

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