Wheel Borrow

If people can take out loans on houses and cars, why not take them out on bikes?

By Laura Klairmont August 18, 2009 Published in the September 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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Getting a car, home, or business loan these days might be a bit of a fantasy, but in Portland, the banking gods have deigned to allow you to get a loan for your … bike. After all, that 1987 Roadmaster won’t cut it in a town where more than 8 percent of the residents consider their bike their primary mode of transportation (and, even more critically, an expression of their ego). In July, Northwest Resource Federal Credit Union joined Unitus Community Credit Union and Forest Park Credit Union in offering cyclists up to $2,500 for new rides. The loans work like car loans: approval and interest rates (typically about 8 percent) are based on an applicant’s credit history and proof of employment. Once approved, cyclists can pick out a new bike at any shop in town—from front loaders at Clever Cycles to handmade track bikes from master frame-builder Vanilla Bicycles. Either bring an invoice for the bike or a receipt for the purchase to the credit union. Then you’ve got up to a year to repay the loan. Hopefully enough time for our flat economy to patch itself up.

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