Maine CUs Fill Void with Fuel Assistance

Five state CUs offer interest-free loans to help consumers heat their homes.

February 15, 2011

Five credit unions with branches in Maine’s Midcoast region joined Governor Paul LePage and state Sen. Stan Gerzofsky at the State House in Augusta to announce a new credit union program to help consumers affected by the recent closure of Thibeault Energy in Brunswick.

At a press conference to announce the program, Governor LePage congratulated Maine's credit unions “for taking action to help others. I commend the Maine Credit Union League for helping to coordinate a quick response and to the credit unions for being willing to help.”

The new program will offer affected consumers 0% interest, no-fee loans to purchase home-heating fuel. Other loan program details outlined during the press conference:

  • $2,000 loan limit;
  • 12-month term;
  • No credit check;
  • Consumers must provide proof of loss;
  • Disbursements will be made via check directly to the oil company; and
  • Loans are available at the five credit unions on a first-come, first-served basis through April 1, 2011.

Notes John Murphy, Maine Credit Union League president, “Maine credit unions have once again shown a willingness to assist consumers and communities. This is an example of the cooperative spirit of credit unions coming together to demonstrate leadership during a crisis that has impacted a number of consumers in the Midcoast region.”

Participating credit unions include Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union in Brunswick; Down East Credit Union in Baileyville; Five County Credit Union in Bath; Lisbon Community Federal Credit Union; and Midcoast Federal Credit Union in Bath.

“The recent and sudden closure of Thibeault Energy has impacted a number of area residents,” says Roger Sirois, president/CEO of Atlantic Regional Federal. “This action has caused financial hardship for many residents and, with a good three months of the heating season remaining, left wondering how they are going to come up with the funds to heat their homes.

“Indeed, this is one of those times when credit unions can make a difference in our communities,” he continues. “In the spirit of cooperation, the five Midcoast-area credit unions are offering these special loans not only because there is an immediate need, but because it is the right thing to do.”

Energy loans

From left: Maine State Sen. Stan Gerzofsky and Maine Governor Paul LePage listen as Roger Sirois, president/CEO of Atlantic Regional FCU, announces a program created by credit unions to help consumers affected by the closing of a local utility company.