Your member has cancer. What do you do?

We need your help! Take our anonymous two-question survey on how you’re serving members/employees with cancer:

Credit unions have been incredible this year – the philosophy of “people helping people” has been taken to new heights as employees serve as financial first responders. This pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of credit unions as valuable partners and allies in the community. 

Credit unions have implemented benefits to members such as skip-a-pay, loan deferments, small dollar loans etc. The pandemic has also shed light on the intertwining of physical/mental health and financial well-being, including conversations about medical debt and the cost of care. 

To that end, the National Credit Union Foundation is providing grants and resources to credit unions to improve the overall financial well-being of credit union members and employees, and helping credit unions address the growing problem of medical debt in America:

  • About 530,000 bankruptcies filed annually are because of debt accrued due to a medical illness (American Journal of Public Health). 
  • One out of every six Americans has an unpaid medical bill on their credit report, amounting to $81 billion in debt nationwide (Health Affairs). 
  • Adults with cancer, the second-leading cause of death in the US, are nearly three times more likely to declare bankruptcy. And if they do, their risk of early mortality skyrockets by 79% ( 

40% of all Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. And, according to the National Cancer Institute, in 2020, the total cost for cancer care is projected to be $174 billion. 

A growing number of medical experts and professional organizations are fighting the financial crisis of cancer with better education and awareness for patients, money management advice, and direct financial assistance. They’re marshaling the resources of insurance companies, healthcare advocacy groups, caregiver networks, and financial planners. 

As well-intentioned as these efforts are, they’ve all overlooked one industry – ours. Virtually none of the research into the financial crisis of cancer has addressed the role that financial institutions like credit unions can and must play. 

In partnership with Andy Janning, the Foundation is exploring this financial crisis of cancer in America through a documentary project called Side Effects. Our ultimate goal is to help the credit union movement understand and learn how to better serve people facing cancer. 

But credit unions – we need your help. 

For our industry to be a force for good for members and their families in this battle, we need to learn how credit unions are currently serving them. We’d love for you to answer our two-question survey so we can help to paint that picture of our movement and what we can do to help. 

Take the anonymous survey here.

Thank you in advance for helping us tackle this crisis hiding in plain sight. 

Andy Janning

Andy Janning

Andy Janning is the author of the books Heroes, Villains, and Drunk Old Men and The Breast Cancer Portrait Project, an 8-time state and national award winner for overall excellence ... Web: Details