I wrote this piece about financial education and the new REAL Solutions report for CUinsight recently. Hope you enjoy it.
Want to make a big impact not only in the lives of your members but your community? One of the many things that set credit unions apart from the competition is their community outreach efforts, particularly with regards to financial education. Whether it be classroom seminars, financial counseling, experiential learning events such as Reality Fairs, and so on, credit unions exist to serve their members and diverse financial education is a key component for membership success.
Not only is financial education part of the credit union philosophy, but it’s part of the seven cooperative principles that are the foundation of every credit union. It also helps build relationships for life. As an active contributor to Washington’s financial literacy efforts, Horizon Credit Union’s Josh Allison states, “Financial literacy doesn’t just build awareness for the credit union brand, it builds trust as well.”
And the education is sorely needed. According to a financial literacy survey of adults last year from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc., about 3 in 4 U.S. adults (76%) agree that they could benefit from some advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.
This is where credit unions come in. The National Credit Union Foundation (where I work) just published the first comprehensive report on the impact of credit unions’ financial education programs. “Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation” is the result of almost a year-long data collection by the Foundation with the help of state credit union leagues.
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