National CU Financial Education Report from NCUF Released

Christopher Morris
608-231-4374 |

Madison, Wis. – For the first time, credit unions now have quantitative data to illustrate how the credit union movement is making a difference through financial education and counseling. The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) through its REAL Solutions™ program just released a 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 invest millions of dollars to provide financial education and counseling programs that touch millions of lives,” writes Bucky Sebastian, NCUF Executive Director, in the report. “Against a fragmented landscape where each credit provider is seeking maximum gain, not-for-profit credit unions continue to be true to their mission of serving as trusted advisors to their members and communities.”

To download the full report at no-cost, visit The full report is available as a single document and each state section is also available as a separate document (all are in .PDF format).

Report Highlights – 1.6 Million Consumers Reached

The report also reveals significant findings, such as (note that all figures correspond to calendar year 2010):

  • 1.6 million consumers received financial counseling and/or advice through a credit union;
  • Credit union representatives presented more than 24,000 educational sessions to over 600,000 students in classrooms across the nation using high quality resources designed in accordance with state and national curriculum standards;
  • 111,500 student members had $34 million on deposit at 1,400 in-school credit union branches that encourage savings and connect financial education with financial access; and
  • Credit unions invested $140 million during 2010 toward improving the financial capability of members and consumers in general.

Report Contents – Case Studies, State Profiles, Keys to Success & More

“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.

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.

Questions or Report Hard Copies…

For questions and additional information or to order hard copies of the report, please contact Lois Kitsch at  or (407) 616-2409.



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, 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 (

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.  


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