June 5, 2011

Predatory lending in any form is wrong [“More credit unions offering payday loans,” Economy & Business, May 31]. I am committed to protecting consumers and preventing predatory lending by credit unions and their affiliates. But the picture the story painted was misleading. More credit unions are offering payday loan alternatives.

We recently authorized federal credit unions to develop loans designed to offer members much more affordable short-term cash. Yes, at 28 percent, these loans have a higher annual percentage rate than conventional loans, which are capped at 18 percent. But compared to the triple-digit costs of payday loans, these alternatives are very attractive.

As the credit union regulator, we strive to ensure the safety and soundness of credit unions while protecting consumers. We remain ever vigilant.

Debbie Matz, Alexandria

The writer is chairman of the National Credit Union Administration.