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Youth Credit Unions

What is meant by youth credit unions?

Youth credit union branches mean bringing the credit union to area schools or local youth organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs. Often these branches are run by the students themselves, giving them financial and leadership skills. Successful youth credit union branches require long-term commitment to the program by both the credit union and the school or youth organization.

Why should credit unions care?

Serving young members can provide credit unions with a long-term growth strategy. Student branches help credit unions better understand and influence the financial behaviors of youth and teens. Helping members learn the habit of saving at a young age gives them a boost to asset-building that will benefit them during their lifetime.

What can credit unions do?

Credit unions can partner with a local school or youth organization to bring credit union services on-site. Credit unions will need to find a champion within the school system to help carry the program forward to garner support and approvals from school districts, teachers, parents and students. Those credit unions with youth branches state they aren’t in it for the money, but rather to be a part of the community effort to foster financial literacy among youth and teens.

Prairie Trail

Joliet, IL

Student Credit Union » View details

Prairie Trail Credit Union (PTCU) partnered with Joliet Township High School District to facilitate two student-run credit union branches in the district’s two high schools. The student branches are called JT Credit Union and are open to students and staff. The student branches are operated by seniors in the school’s Coop Work Program that enables seniors to work jobs in the afternoons.


Ithaca, NY

Student Credit Union » View details

Alternatives FCU started the program for middle and high schoolers, but found the elementary schools to be the most successful. One school uses teachers and 5th graders who volunteer to take deposits in the morning before school starts. Then Credit Union staff picks up the deposits, and tellers do the transactions.

Marion And Polk Schools Credit Union (aka MaPS CU)

Salem, OR

Student Credit Union » View details

MaPs CU has three student-run branches located in area high schools. Any student or teacher at these schools can use the branch, but the branch itself is staffed by students in the high schools’ Business and Management classes. Running the credit union is part of the class curriculum, and students receive credit for their work.
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