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    Michigan CU League Helping CUs with Financial Counseling

    Knowing the consumer need for trustworthy financial guidance while tight credit union budgets often restrict the number of staff able to attend a live training school, the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) offered a unique guided self-study financial counseling training program last year that resulted in 72 new Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors from 33 Michigan credit unions. Since then, MCUL has reached an estimated 170 credit union staff and more than1,850 consumers.

    Combining the lower cost and convenience of CUNA’s self-study Credit Union Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) enhanced with webinars and local in-person training and networking, the training enables credit union staff to become more confident in helping members build stronger financial futures. Read more about the enhanced FiCEP program here.

    With the help of a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation’s REAL Solutions program, MCUL extended their FiCEP efforts in 2011, with an additional 101 credit union staff from 26 credit unions enrolled. The guided self-study portion provides bi-weekly interactive webinars on each of the eight FiCEP modules and two live training and testing sessions over a six-month period resulting in participants earning their designation of Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. A major component of the enhanced training is working with counselors to develop a strategic plan to be implemented at their credit unions to obtain maximum impact for the credit union and the community.

    “Using this information, I have been able to guide members through difficult decisions,” said Andrea Hacker, Northville Branch Manager at Community Financial Members Credit Union in Plymouth, Mich. “Before, I could tell members what they should be doing, but now I can work with them. It leaves both of us feeling empowered.”

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