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...because 2.2 million members in Wisconsin count on credit unions


The sixth in a series about the value of League membership


Credit unions serve members in ways that for-profit institutions won’t extend themselves. Your credit union’s membership in The Wisconsin Credit Union League really matters because – as a single united League – all credit unions can tap a wealth of resources, knowledge, support and advocacy to grow and extend their outreach. By uniting together, we accomplish more than any credit union could individually.


And that matters deeply to the 2.2 million Wisconsin citizens who own credit unions.


"Consumers have discovered that pooling their funds as part of a financial cooperative – so they can save and borrow at better rates – really matters," said League President & CEO Brett Thompson. "Likewise, credit unions leverage their unity through The League to better serve the millions of Wisconsin citizens who rely on them for help."


He says the strength of the credit union movement can be measured in part by the effectiveness of the help we collectively deliver to Wisconsin citizens. In recent years credit unions have gone where other financial institutions wouldn’t go to help families preserve or improve creditworthiness, make ends meet despite a job loss, prevent foreclosures, obtain affordable college loans, escape the trap of high-interest charges on payday loans, more affordably and wisely manage debt, create and improve budgets, and much more.


"Credit unions - unlike other financial institutions - collaborate to do more for consumers," Thompson said.


He explained that as a united League, credit unions have achieved significant attention from the press and policymakers for their loans that help small businesses start up, expand or preserve jobs, for their 97 in-school credit union branches that teach young people to save and the real-world financial lessons delivered to students taking part in reality fairs.


"We all stand stronger – and members benefit more – because of the knowledge, programs and outreach we’ve collaborated to achieve," Thompson said.


"The strength of our movement really is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s our shared commitment to doing what’s right for Wisconsin citizens that saved credit union member-owners more than $200 million last year in the form of better loan and savings rates, and lower and fewer fees," he added.

Thompson emphasizes that The League’s coordination of the REAL Solutions and Activist programs joins the voices of Wisconsin credit unions into one that compels lawmakers to protect credit unions so that they can continue working to improve members’ financial stability.


"It makes an unforgettable statement when credit union groups attending our state Government Affairs Conference are so large that they spill out of lawmakers’ offices into the hallways of the Capitol," he said. "Our unity demonstrates that credit union members matter, and are a significant constituency that policymakers need to care about. Together, we accomplish more than any of us could alone to ensure members needs are considered."


Thompson urges credit unions to turn out in force at our state GAC on Jan. 24 to share stories about how credit unions have helped members through these challenging economic times. Free and discounted registration deals are available, as well as a pre-conference workshop Jan. 23 for young professionals.


 The League's homepage links to all of the articles in our series.