Financial Life Lessons, Gig Workers, And More

Five can’t-miss data points this week on

This week, as the calendar turns to May, profiles one credit union looking to improve the lives of members through financial education, shows how credit unions can help gig economy workers, analyzes the performance of credit unions in the NCUA’s Western Region, and more.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


In 1997, state lawmakers in Oregon removed financial education as a requirement for high school graduation. The move created what Oregon State Credit Union identified as an opportunity, and mandate, to step up its financial education efforts. The credit union has had a full-time community education director since 2003, and its offerings have changed with the times. Likewise, its responsibility has spread to K-12 classrooms, adult education, and prison work as its FOM has expanded to now include 24 of the Beaver State’s 36 counties. See how the credit union works to improve the lives of Oregon’s consumers.

Read: Life Lessons From Financial Education.



A gig economy is an environment in which people work on-demand for single projects and tasks, often through a digital marketplace. The U.S. workforce is shifting toward a gig economy. By 2020, 40% of American workers are predicted to be independent contractors. What does this mean for credit unions and how can they help?

Read: Trends In Technology (Part 4: The Gig Life).


Credit unions in the NCUA’s Western Region outperformed credit unions nationwide in all major measures. For example, the industry reported 12-month loan growth of 10.5% at year-end 2017. By comparison, western credit unions reported 13.5%. What’s more, these credit unions reported the lowest total delinquency and net charge-offs of all the NCUA regions 0.50% and 0.40%, respectively. Learn more about these credit unions.

Read: Regional Performance Report: Western Credit Unions.


Every credit union has something it calls a strategy, but is yours really strategic? Is it based on a vision of what your credit union can become over the next 10 or 20 years? Does it inspire BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals) and serve as a guide when you assess a threat, evaluate an opportunity, or consider a major investment? In the fall, strategic focus is about looking backward to think ahead. But what about in the spring?

Read: Spring Is Strategy Season.


Callahan analyst Samantha Cristobal recently volunteered with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, a financial literacy organization that works to bridge what students learn in the classroom with what they learn in their lives. Specifically, she spent time with the JA Finance Park, a program that uses a classroom-style 14-lesson curriculum to teach financial literacy to middle school students. What did she learn? What can credit unions?

Read: What I Learned From Volunteering With A Financial Literacy Organization.

Happy Reading!

April 30, 2018

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