BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-Residents of this city's troubled west side finally have access to mainstream financial services, thanks to a unique partnership between a credit union and a church.

Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, a fixture in West Bloomington for more than three generations, is renting space to Mid-Illini Credit Union. The new, full-service branch of the CU, which opened in February, is seeking to help break the destructive grip payday lenders and check cashers have on this neighborhood.

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