Credit unions are smashing America’s debt

by. Gina Ragusa

The Kansas Credit Union Association recently posed a challenge to its market footprint credit unions–destroy members’ debt using a comprehensive, story-swapping-type of approach.

Through the Association’s Innovation and Implementation Lab, “Money Possible: Destroy Debt” was born. “This is the first project to come out of the Kansas Credit Union Association’s (KCUA) Innovation & Implementation Lab that launched earlier this year,” explains Melissa M. Baptista, research & development director for the Kansas Credit Union Association. “One of the issues identified was the need for member and consumer financial education. Credit Unions play an important role in our members financial lives and we wanted to find a creative way to showcase this value.”

In a press release, the Association cited that as of August 2013 Americans are approximately $11 trillion in debt. Broken down, the average household credit card debt equates to $15,112, the average household mortgage debt stands at $146,215 and the average household student loan debt rests at $31,240. Brutally honest statistics to hopefully wake up most consumers.

On the Association’s “Money Possible” blog-site, other statistics gleaned from The Wall Street Journal imply that Millennials may have already gotten the message on debt reduction. Compared to the national average, Millennials average $2,700 in debt whereas the national average stands at $4,500. However, the article contradicts these figures, saying that Millennials tend to have the worst credit habits and struggle to pay their bills.

Destroying Debt–One Member at a Time

Baptista says that from reading recent survey reviews, Americans are screaming for help. “By telling our members’ stories in a public venue, others can benefit from the financial tips, as well as learn from the members’ challenges and successes.”

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