MINNEAPOLIS (AP)-- Sky-high interest payday loans are getting some more affordable competition in the Twin Cities area from community-based organizations.

Exodus Lending is one nonprofit offering residents interest-free loans to help pay off debts. Exodus Executive Director Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer says the organization has helped about 200 borrowers since April 2015.

Village Financial Cooperative plans to open a credit union next year. Village
Financial development director Me'Lea Connelly says the credit union's goal is
to increase access to banking services, including low-cost, short-term, small

There are at least five credit unions in Minnesota that already make
small-dollar or auto loans to people wouldn't normally qualify for a loan.

Payday lenders argue that high-interest rates are necessary to make small loans