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  1. // League Highlights

    REAL Solutions Illinois Closes Out 2010

    Innovations from the Filene Research Institute were discussed and representatives from the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office presented small-dollar loan programs at the final in-person meeting of REAL Solutions Partner credit unions in Illinois for this year.

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  2. // Credit Unions

    New Implementation Guide Available on VITA Sites

    How is it that Christmas rolls around faster and faster every year – followed closely by tax time? Tax time for many of us is a dreaded event of gathering receipts, traveling to tax accountants and of course the dreaded tax bill. However, for many low income working families, tax time is actually a good time. For many, tax returns and EITC credits provide families with resources not available at other times of the year. Yet finding the right tax preparer is not always easy.

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  3. // Foreclosures

    League’s Foreclosure Prevention Video & Website Wins AFCPE Award

    The “Right At Home” DVD and website from the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) & Affiliates recently received the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE)’s Outstanding Consumer Information Award. The video and website connects struggling homeowners with the resources to avoid foreclosure. It was produced by CU Village, a web design and multimedia subsidiary of MCUL & Affiliates (www.mcul.org), and made possible in part by funding from a National Credit Union Foundation Innovation Grant.

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  4. // Youth & Young Adults

    New Jersey CUs Host First Reality Fair at Pompton Lakes High School

    Here is another state using the very popular and successful reality fair concept. From the New Jersey Credit Union League – On Friday, November 12, New Jersey credit unions brought the first-ever Financial Reality Fair to Pompton Lakes High School as part of the REAL Solutions initiative. Eighteen volunteers from throughout New Jersey spent the day at the high school manning booths and interacting with over 80 students, providing them a hands-on experience completing a monthly budget.

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  5. // Youth & Young Adults

    Oregon CUs Share Results of Young Adult Outreach

    11 credit unions recently met at a REAL Solutions workshop sponsored by the Credit Union Association of Oregon (CUAO) to share their resourceful approaches to young adult outreach. I particularly find the iPad project interesting! The meeting was highlighted in CUNA News Now

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  6. // Development Education

    Registration Open for April 2011 Development Education Training

    Registration is now open for the only Credit Union Development Education (DE) training class in 2011, taking place April 6-13 in Madison, Wis. Attendees of the six-day total immersion experience will learn about credit unions’ social responsibility and domestic and international development through interactive education and professional networking.

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  7. // Prepaid Cards

    Can You Explain Prepaid Reloadable General Spending Cards to Members?

    If not, it’s high time to learn! From Walmart to Walgreens, and Western Union to H&R Block, your members are exposed to many types of prepaid cards as they go about their everyday business. Yet members and credit union executives alike are generally unable to distinguish between gift cards, travel cards and prepaid reloadable general spending cards. Part of the confusion is due to the familiar network brand (e.g., MasterCard® and Visa®) that can appear on each of them. Another confusing aspect is that they can all be used to pay for purchases. In fact, the primary distinction between these types of prepaid cards is the number of times that they can be reloaded with money. Prepaid reloadable general spending cards can be loaded over and over again, and are designed for repetitive use as an entrée to (or replacement for) a traditional checking account.

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  8. // League Highlights

    REAL Solutions Illinois Talks Savings, Immigrant Outreach

    Illinois REAL Solutions’ credit unions met at the end of September to discuss savings challenges, immigrant outreach and other topics. The meeting was covered in CUNA News Now recently:

    “REAL Solutions field coach Mark Lynch presented information about The Savings Revolution, an idea from the Filene Research Institute through its i3 teams to allow people to overhaul their financial lifestyles to save money and reduce debit. Savings Revolution has two components: a savings challenge and a savings revolution…”

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  9. // League Highlights

    REAL Solutions is Saving $200 Million Annually for 2.2 Million Consumers in Wisconsin

    The Wisconsin Credit Union League, the league where REAL Solutions originally started, sent out a press release yesterday with some amazing statistics on the impact that REAL Solutions has made in Wisconsin and nationwide:

    “A credit union initiative that started in Wisconsin called REAL Solutions is saving $200 million annually on a full range of financial services for 2.2 million consumers across the state. Nationwide, REAL Solutions now involves more than 1,100 credit unions from 37 states and is returning $7 billion in annual benefits to 90 million Americans who are their members…”

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  10. // Payday Lending

    NCUA’s Final Rule for Short-Term, Small Amount Loans

    After a 60-day comment period, NCUA issued its final rule regarding short-term, small amount loans on September 24, 2010. This amendment to the general lending rule enables Federal credit unions (FCUs) to offer short-term, small amount loans (STS loans) as a viable alternative to predatory payday loans by charging a higher interest rate than is permitted under the general lending rule. However, it also imposes limitations on the permissible term, amount, and fees for these types of loans.

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  11. // Payday Lending

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  12. // Youth & Young Adults

    N.Y. CUs Meet in Young Adult Outreach Workshop

    More young adult news this week, this time from a NY program made possible by a REAL Solutions grant. Representatives from 11 New York credit unions participated in the Credit Union Association of New York’s Young Adult Outreach Initiative last week. During the one-day workshop, the group explored the Gen Y market and experimented with design thinking, a unique approach to product and service innovation. The workshop was funded by a REAL Solutions grant and offered free of charge by the Association and the Filene Research Institute.

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  13. // Youth & Young Adults

    CU League of Connecticut Wins Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award

    Connecticut credit unions’ Financial Reality Fair program won the national Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award for Leagues for the 2009-2010 school year. The fair is for high school students, who research their career choice and starting salary prior to the fair date. They are provided with a budget worksheet identifying their career choice, and during the fair, must budget according to their salary.

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  14. // From Good to Growth

    From Good to Growth – VITA Sites

    Vicki Joyal discusses VITA sites and how they can help credit union members. Between 20% and 25% of eligible filers don't claim their earned income tax credit for those families making less than %49,000 per year, commonly caused by the lack of knowledge around the tax credit and the inability to pay for tax preparation by a professional.

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  15. // Credit Unions

    NCUA Ruling on Corporates – Sample Resources

    Understanding the recent announcements made by NCUA is important for every credit union employee to understand and be able to articulate. The message below clearly articulates the recent actions taken by NCUA in a manner that is easily understood and can be shared with your members via your website, newsletter or across the teller counter. The piece can easily be adapted to meet your needs. A special thanks to League Liaison Becky Hart for sharing this piece and to Paul Mercer for allowing it to be added to the Impact Center…

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