Consumers use credit unions year-round to improve their financial skills

PEWAUKEE, WI (April 1, 2015) — April of 2015 is Financial Literacy Month, and the 2.5 million Wisconsin consumers with accounts at member-owned credit unions are leveraging that relationship to improve their money savvy. Credit unions teach money management skills not only in April, but year-round. For example, credit unions offer:

  • Youth-run, in-school credit unions. Young people actively operate more than 110 youth-run branches of credit unions inside schools and youth centers that teach young people the habit of saving. The branches are considered a “best practice” for youth financial education.
  • Savings programs. April 1-30 is National Credit Union Youth Month, which invites young members to save. Last year during Youth Month in Wisconsin, young people deposited $208,354 into credit union savings accounts.
  • Classroom learning. Credit unions provide a variety of financial education curricula, such as the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM, which includes the lifestyle money magazine brassfree to any Wisconsin high school that wants it. Resources for students and teachers online support state teaching standards. More than 381 teachers at 292 schools use it in their classrooms. Credit unions also sponsor teachers’ ongoing education to improve personal finance lessons.
  •  Free financial counseling. Credit unions provided tens of thousands of hours of this assistance in 2014 to prevent foreclosures and improve borrowers’ creditworthiness. Referrals to classes improve access to checking accounts.
  • Community Presentations. Credit unions deliver thousands of presentations annually on topics ranging from basic financial management to improving credit reports, home buying and more. Some credit unions support Money Conferences, events that teach low-income families financial basics. Other credit unions offer “savings challenges” involving cash prizes. Still others offer classes during Money Smart Week, set this year for April 18-25.
  • “Experiential” learning. Money Mission®, offered on credit union websites, is an online life simulation that challenges teens to balance their life along with their finances. So far, it is helping students in 48 states learn the fundamentals of personal finance and has awarded tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to college-bound students. This, and day-long “reality” simulations at local schools, has engaged tens of thousands of students in financial decision-making.

Wisconsin credit unions’ financial education efforts, and structure that has returned more than $1 billion to members in Wisconsin since 2007, are explained in a report called the Scorecard, at


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