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Madison, Wis. – Credit unions are making a difference through financial education. For example in 2010, 200 credit unions reached 182,000 students through classroom presentations and over a million people were provided financial counseling or advice. This is from preliminary data collected by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), which has been collecting data for its 2011 Credit Union Member Education Inventory.
Sponsored by state credit union leagues and NCUF’s REAL Solutions program, the data and information gathered from credit unions will enable the credit union movement to demonstrate the power of financial education and counseling on the lives of members and communities across the country.
The following is a sampling of preliminary results as of May 5, 2011 based on the first 200 CU survey submissions representing 37 different states. In 2010, these credit unions:
- provided formal financial counseling to 225,00 people through199 certified in-house professional counselors,
- referred an additional 37,000 members to counseling agencies,
- provided informal financial counseling to788,000 members,
- developed debt management plans for 19,000 members,
- established mortgage loan workout options for 7,000 members,
- provided 7,300 classroom presentations to 182,000 students,
- conducted 3,000 seminars for 64,000 adults resulting in 3,600 new accounts,
- produced 358 experiential learning programs (i.e. Reality Fairs) for 29,000 students resulting in 800 new members,
- operated 161 in-school branches with 14,000 student members, $5.9 million on deposit, and 850 student workers.
The complete information compiled from the survey will provide state credit union leagues/associations and the broader credit union movement with fuel for state and national public awareness, advocacy, and related outreach efforts. Survey responses will create a rich, vibrant and sustainable source of data and statistics about the lives touched by credit unions.
Each league/association will have a section in the resulting report that contains state-specific data and comparisons to national figures. Designed for maximum impact and exposure, the report will be used for communications, advocacy and outreach efforts, and will be accessible to participating credit unions at no charge through the REAL Solutions® Impact Center. In addition, a companion tool detailing member financial education/counseling products and credit union best practices will be published in conjunction with the report.
NCUF has been using an online survey tool to gather this data since March. Credit union leagues in 29 states have been actively working with Lois Kitsch, NCUF REAL Solutions National Program Director to collect the data. All U.S. credit unions are invited to participate in the project.
Credit unions may use the following URL to access the survey: https://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/f49dg49018. Or, credit unions can simply visit the REAL Solutions Impact Center at www.realsolutions.coop to access the survey.
“No one has quantified in-depth information for the entire credit union movement around financial education,” said Bucky Sebastian, NCUF Executive Director in an earlier statement.
About REAL Solutions®
REAL Solutions® is the signature program of the National Credit Union Foundation. REAL — ― “Relevant, Effective, Asset-building, Loyalty-producing” — Solutions works to help credit unions offer a wide range of products and services that have proven successful in serving working families with low wealth and modest means. Using product/business models created and tested by credit unions, REAL Solutions disseminates information to credit unions through special meetings, an online impact center at www.realsolutions.coop, and state and national conferences. As NCUF’s signature program over the past four years, REAL Solutions has been adopted in 40 states and is saving members tens of millions of dollars. It has now become a documented business strategy for credit unions to grow their memberships by serving the underserved. Real people with real needs are finding REAL Solutions at credit unions.
About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.
NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Corporate Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual. All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make a real impact in the credit union community.
The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.