The Importance Of Financial Education

Five can't-miss data points this week on

This week, sets its sites on financial education at credit unions. We profile one credit union’s financial coaching program, show how another adds an educational component to its annual member meeting, and find a third that has partnered with a trusted local counselor to help members eradicate debt.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


Wright-Patt Credit Union has undertaken an aggressive, comprehensive initiative to boost the financial wellness of its members and people who the big Ohio credit union would like to make members. Called Financial Flexibility and Freedom, the effort includes products and services the credit union has long provided as well as something entirely new, the MoneyMagnifier coaching program. Under that program, the 32-branch financial cooperative is training and deploying what it calls member center financial coaches to instruct members on their current finances, how to modify their course, and how to plan for the future.

Read: A Strategy To Help Members Magnify Their Money



In 2016, BECU changed the format of its traditional annual meeting and launched its first-ever Member Summit. Beyond simply reporting on the business of the credit union, BECU designed a meaningful event that provided useful financial education. BECU draws up to 700 members on average to its annual meeting. Thousands more live stream or watch a recording of the State of the Credit Union online.

Read: Make It A Meeting Members Can’t Refuse

$3 Million

A decade ago, Firefly Federal Credit Union struggled with what to say when it fielded applications from prospective members with poor credit. The Minnesota credit union didn’t offer financial education. It didn’t have financial literacy experts, and asking staff to answer potentially life-altering questions to people in need of assistance was a tall order. But rather than continue to turn away potential members, Firefly instead turned to a trusted partner. Since partnering with Lutheran Social Service in 2007, Firefly has referred nearly 200 members to the program’s qualified financial counselors and, in total, these members have collectively paid off more than $3 million in debt.

Read: 10 Years. 200 Members. $3 Million In Debt Reduction.


How did credit unions affect the lives of their members in 2018? Let us count the ways. By tabulating the industry’s lending, savings, member service, and community impact totals, paints a full picture of a busy year in credit union land. Of note: credit unions restructured more than 128,000 loans in 2018.

Read: 2018 Credit Union Impact Report


CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference is right around the corner. The four-day extravaganza includes hill hiking, challenge solving, and industry networking. To make the most of downtime, meal time, or nighttime, the staff at DC-based Callahan & Associates has 15 suggestions. Make those dinner reservations, reload those metro cards, and fire up those Instagram accounts. We’ll see you at the GAC.

Read: 15 Things To Eat, Drink, And See In Washington, DC, During The GAC

Happy Reading!

March 4, 2019

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