Happy (Financial) Holidays

Credit union insights can help members survive the holidays and start 2013 off right.


As the holiday season begins, credit unions are focusing on new ways to help their members. More than just giving individuals good deals on financial products and services, cooperatives are also reaching out with tips and techniques that can help shoppers stick to their budgets and keep their financial information secure.

As members dip into dwindling bank accounts to afford the gifts, parties, and festive trimmings that the holidays require, now is the perfect time to remind them how to prevent any such anxiety next year. Truliant Federal Credit Union ($1.6B, Winston-Salem, NC) addresses this issue by sharing employee testimonials about its “Christmas Club” accounts, a frequently used option by both members and employees that helps pad future holiday budgets with an extra chunk of savings.

Langley Federal Credit Union ($1.7B, Newport News, VA) was highlighted on the CU Solutions Group blog this week for encouraging members to participate in their local marketplace via online hub Shop Langley. According to CU Solutions Group, "Shop Langley lists discounts from local companies as well as from national Invest in America partners.” By promoting these partnerships and boosting awareness of more local business options, Langley is giving members budget-conscious shopping options as well as a chance to boost their local economy.

Hopewell Federal Credit Union ($7.4M,Heath, OH) is concentrating on protecting members from being blinded by the promise of “too good to be true” discounts and expensive retailer financing options.

“Interest rates on retail cards average about ten percentage points higher than credit union credit cards,” says Hopewell. Highlighting how that 10% retailer discount up front can cost borrowers 10% or more in interest later is a great way to highlight your own affordable alternatives.

With the torrent of money many members find themselves spending during the holidays, Dupaco Community Credit Union ($1B, Dubuque, IA) suggests that members use variety of tools — including the good old-fashioned check register — to stay on top of this activity and avoid a financial hangover in the months that follow.

“When you don’t have a handle on the money that’s coming in and going out of your account, it makes it easier to bounce checks — hello, unnecessary overdraft fees,” the credit union says.

How are you supporting your members this holiday spending season?


Nov. 30, 2012

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