Credit Unions Celebrate Financial Literacy Month

The #StopMoneyShaming campaign originating from Philadelphia is one example of the nationwide efforts the movement is leading.

 
 

April is Financial Literacy Month.

It’s also National Credit Union Youth Month.

And National Financial Capability Month.

The idea that credit unions can directly counsel and educate members on their personal finances has taken on organizational heft. According to NAFCU, approximately 36% of the 5,689 federally insured U.S. credit unions offered financial counseling and education to members in 2016, and more than 20% offered financial literacy workshops last year.

 

One notable approach to celebrating financial education this year comes from Philadelphia Federal Credit Union ($1.1B, Philadelphia, PA), whose #StopMoneyShaming campaign encourages locals, including students at Temple University, to use that hashtag to share a money confession and help ease the stigma around talking about financial problems.

“We wanted to start a widespread conversation in hopes that we can encourage people to face their financial realities, realize they aren’t alone, and provide them with the information they need to set and accomplish their goals,” says Erin Ellis, PFCU’s Accredited Financial Counselor.

The credit union also plans to give away $250 for the winning entry in a contest that requires contestants to post a photo with their money confession to at least one personal social media account — Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram — and use the #StopMoneyShaming hashtag. More details here.

Philadelphia FCU's #StopMoneyShaming campaign encourages people to share a money confession to ease the stigma around talking about financial problems.

Other credit unions have built on the success of years past. Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union ($1.3B, Lowell, MA) staged its eighth-annual reality fair for more than 350 high school seniors. Participants chose a profession and then moved from booth to booth making spending decisions on life’s essentials.

Financial Literacy Month is widely embraced by the leagues. This year, some members of the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates — Interstate Unlimited FCU ($149.6M, Jesup, GA) and Delta Community Credit Union ($5.6B, Atlanta, GA). celebrated CUNA’s National Credit Union Youth Month theme of “the Science of Saving” with coloring contests and prize giveaways. Five Star Credit Union ($383.4M, Dothan, AL) is sponsoring financial literacy classes in 18 schools this semester in its area.

The Cornerstone Credit Union League — representing Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma — touted its governors’ declarations and is supporting local collaborations like Money Smart Week in El Paso, TX.

Financial literacy and wellness is more than a one-day, -week, or -month affair. For example, consider the staying power of the collaboration between Lutheran Social Service and Firefly Credit Union ($1.2B, Burnsville, MN). Combining financial education and counseling — think budgeting help, credit report reviews, and checking account management skills just for starters — has resulted in nearly 200 credit union members paying off a total of $3,035,036 through Firefly’s debt management program since 2007.

Now that’s some real-world results.

What's happening at your credit union or in your area to celebrate Financial Literacy Month? Leave a comment below or post an announcement in the CreditUnions.com Press Center.

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April 17, 2018


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