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In-Depth Report – Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation

The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) through its REAL Solutions™ program have made available this free online report entitled “Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation,” which is the result of an almost yearlong data collection effort by NCUF with the help of state credit union leagues.

In an effort to help the credit union community understand the depth and breadth of existing programs, NCUF and REAL Solutions™ conducted a comprehensive national study of credit-union provided member and consumer financial education and counseling. The data derived from this study will be useful to state leagues/associations and the broader credit union industry because it quantifies the extent to which credit unions are providing opportunities for members/consumers to advance their financial knowledge and decision-making skills.

Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation” describes ten financial education/counseling interventions offered to members/consumers by credit unions. It provides cumulative data about member use of and access to credit-union provided financial education/counseling products, tools, and courses, and it reveals probable keys to program success. National data is supplemented by case studies of credit unions and state leagues/associations that illustrate each type of educational intervention. Finally, an overview of financial education/counseling programs at credit unions within each state provides a comprehensive look at the varied and numerous educational outreach efforts geared toward credit union members and consumers in general.

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Resource Guide

The resource guide for “Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation” is designed to assist credit unions and others to access resources, information and curriculum already created to help them offer even more financial literacy programs. This resource guide is intended to broaden and extend the intervention techniques described in the original report. Each method of financial counseling/education gives examples, additional resources, and further information and tips to help credit unions expand their current education programs or introduce new ones.

State Supplement Pages

Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability Across the Nation” would not be complete without sharing the efforts of leagues/associations and credit unions in each state as they strive to provide high quality financial education and literacy services to members and consumers. In every state, access to information and participation in educational/counseling programs helps members and consumers make better financial decisions, thereby improving family security and overall financial capability.

Many of the statistics cited in the following state supplements were gleaned from the National Credit Union Foundation’s 2011 Credit Union Member Financial Education Inventory. Other statistics were derived from surveys conducted by individual credit union leagues/associations. For state advocacy efforts, each double-sided page below contains state information on one side and national statistics on the other. To view/download the state pages individually (they are also included in the full report), please click on the links below:

Data & Survey Information
The data on which this report is based was collected through an online survey of U.S. credit unions. Data collection began in March 2011 and continued through year-end 2011. This report is based on information submitted by 576 credit unions of all asset sizes. They represent 8% of all U.S. credit unions, and 27% of all U.S. credit union memberships as of December 2010.

This report is one of several ongoing projects to assist credit unions with educational program development, measurement, and implementation. In the coming years, NCUF and REAL Solutions will continue to gather and publish data about credit union provision of financial education/counseling.