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Credit cards ease costs for New York Police Department recruits

Summary

Police Academy rookies are being offered low interest Visa credit cards to help pay for equipment.

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Rookie cops at the Police Academy in New York City are being offered Visa credit cards by the Municipal Credit Union, which serves city employees, to help them make ends meet during training, based on a report in the New York Daily News.

Since NYPD recruits have to pay for nearly all the necessities tied to their job, with the exception of a gun, badge and bulletproof vest, the Visa credit card is being offered for the first time to give them some breathing room.

Recruits earn $25,100 during their first six months in the academy, or about $600 every two weeks, but rack up expenses such as $700 for academy uniforms, books and an equipment bag, as well as around $85 for a night for their weapon midway through training.

According to the credit union marketing officer, it has earned over $3 million in 36-month loans to low-earning rookies, at 10.45 percent interest. The $500-limit low interest credit card is a first time option in 2007, and comes in response to cadet complaints about their financial woes.

The Municipal Credit Union did not specify the annual interest rate on the credit card other than to indicate it is low.

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