// League Highlights
This article is the second installment in a monthly series of interviews designed to provide REAL Solutions®League Liaisons and other league staff up-to-date strategies used by their peers to grow their REAL Solutions® efforts. This interview highlights the efforts of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) to fast-track program implementation with an aggressive goal of 100 participating credit unions in their first year of offering the program. As of May 7, 2009 (prior to the introductory meetings) the Association has already received commitments from 50 credit unions. Please learn more from this interview with PCUA’s REAL Solutions® team of Mike Wishnow, Joe Wambach, John Kebles and Vicki Joyal.
// REAL CU Voices
The CEO of Martin Federal Credit Union discusses his strategy for growth in a down economy: invest in the future.
Martin Federal Credit Union has responded to the current economic situation in several ways. We have cut expenses in operations and staff, increased our marketing in loans, cut dividends to slow deposit growth, added electronic services and moved forward to complete a new service center…
Earlier this week, I was struck by this article from the New York Times:
“Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners to Turn to Shelters
The first night after she surrendered her house to foreclosure, Sheri West endured the darkness in her Hyundai sedan. She parked in her old driveway, with her flower-print dresses and hats piled in boxes on the back seat, and three cherished houseplants on the floor. She used her backyard as a restroom.
Growing numbers of Americans who have lost houses to foreclosure are landing in homeless shelters, according to social service groups and a recent report by a coalition of housing advocates.“
Foreclosure is something that I see every day – it is right in front of me…
// Biz Kid$
I began International Credit Union Week by giving a one-hour Biz Kid$ presentation at our local library. Since this was the introductory session, we selected episode 101 “What is a Biz Kid?” The library wisely scheduled the event on a day off from school (Columbus Day) and did a great job promoting the event in their publications and in the local newspaper. There were 33 kids registered…
// REAL Solutions News
The following is a news release issued yesterday by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announcing Steve Bosack’s return to the agency as Chairman Debbie Matz’ chief of staff.
Steve served as my deputy here at NCUF for four years and was one of the most dedicated, responsible, and professionally astute people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. While this is clearly a loss for NCUF, it is a great opportunity for Steve and a gain for the broader credit union movement.
All our best to Steve and a thanks for a job well done, and a big job yet to do!
California has been hard hit by the current economic downturn. Credit unions and their members have been impacted. USA Federal Credit Union’s President and CEO Mary Cunningham used the recession as a learning experience for herself and team by learning through adversity. USAFCU has taken a proactive approach to protect institutional reserves but also expand and grow. With an average member age of 53, the credit union leadership recognized that, like many credit unions, they were not attracting younger members. Join us to hear from Mary how her credit union has aggressively pursued member growth by attracting and serving younger members.Click the play button to listen to this informative podcast. It may take a minute or two to load before playing.
We welcome your comments, too.
// Youth & Young Adults
If you happened to miss the first webinar for CU Tomorrow, all is not lost. The National Credit Union Foundation caught up with Ben Rogers, Filene Research Institute’s, former driver of the 30 Under 30 Group to share what CU Tomorrow is all about; why should credit unions reach out to young adults and provide insight into solutions for attracting youth and young adults, as well as younger professionals and volunteers.Click the play button to listen to this intriguing podcast. It may take a minute or two to load before playing.
// Biz Kid$
As a credit union person who uses Biz Kid$ in the classroom, and one who watches it with the young people in my life on PBS, it was a thrill to be invited to tour the studio while visiting Seattle, WA.
When I walked through the nondescript doors and into the nerve center of one of my favorite programs, I felt like a kid in a candy store! The energy in the studio was electric…
// League Highlights
This article is the fourth installment in a monthly series of interviews designed to provide REAL Solutions® League Liaisons and other league staff up-to-date strategies used by their peers to grow their REAL Solutions® efforts. This interview describes the efforts of the Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD)and REAL Solutions credit unions to develop a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for Montana consumers. Please learn more from this interview with Jeanne Saarinen, MCUCD Executive Director, and Robert Coble, MCUCD VITA Program Manager.
// Biz Kid$
334 PBS stations in all 50 states are broadcasting new episodes of the Emmy Award winning Biz Kid$ underwritten by America’s credit unions. Each episode of Biz Kid$ includes four stories from successful young entrepreneurs reinforcing the importance of saving, budgeting and giving back to their communities. Each episode comes with teaching materials, lesson plans and activities that meet national financial literacy standards. Credit union professionals and volunteers, as well as school teachers and after school programs are teaching the lessons from Biz Kids in Classrooms and community centers.
// Youth & Young Adults
What do credit unions and young adults have in common?
Far too little, unfortunately, for comfort.
What: Starting this Thursday at 3:00 PM Eastern, REAL Solutions will present the latest research on young adults’ financial habits and needs. This Thursday’s meeting will introduce the CU Tomorrow project from the Filene Research Institute and offer an introduction to how credit unions can capitalize on the changing financial marketplace to reach out to young adults with products and services, not just financial education.
// Credit Unions
The following is a guest post from American Airlines CU’s Kumar Muthukumar:
Dave Lieber, the Watchdog Columnist for the Fort Worth Star Telegram was the guest speaker at our recent Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions monthly meeting. The title of his key note address was: “Why Americans Hate Their Banks But Don’t Know Enough to Love Their Credit Unions”
Dave had a lot to say in praise of credit unions. He said he receives hundreds of customer service complaints mostly from utility companies and banks. So far, no one has approached him seeking his help to redress an issue or complaint related to a credit union! He jokingly said that that was bad for his business!
Dave also said he now understood why it was called BANKruptcy and not CREDITUNIONruptcy! That had the crowd roaring!
But on a serious note, Dave warned us to be on the lookout for scammers. He walked us through his five commandments for avoiding scams or if you ever become a victim of one, how to extricate yourself from it. His book, Watchdog Nation, teaches you tips, tools and strategies to bite back when businesses and scammers do you wrong.
// REAL CU Voices
Is now the time to hunker down or is now the time to aggressively pursue market share? CEO Jim Schrimpf of Brewery Credit Union in Milwaukee shares his opinion. We welcome your comments, too.
// Courtesy Pay
Mike Beall, President of the Maryland and DC Credit Union Association, recently had a letter published in USA Today regarding overdraft protection programs – often called “courtesy pay.” Courtesy pay is not a target product of REAL Solutions. However, many low-income families are using and have come to depend on this product.
While we do not promote or refute the use of this product, we want to know what do you think:
Do courtesy pay programs benefit and promote good money management strategies for low wage working families? If so how?
If not, why not?
Answer simply through our survey and click here to leave a comment.
// Check Cashing
Check cashers reportedly cash 180 million checks totaling $55 billion each year.
In 2006, the average cost to cash a payroll check was 4.11% of the face value. That means a worker would pay an average of $19.66 every week to cash a $478.41 payroll check at a check casher. That amounts to an annual cost of $1,022.32 to cash net earnings of $24,877.
Credit unions can offer check cashing services at far more affordable terms and favorable conditions. To encourage more credit unions to jump into check cashing, an open source Check Cashing Implementation Guide is now available.
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