Credit unions' REAL Solutions® help consumers
Credit unions focus on service to members and their communities, and remain committed to the REAL Solutions® initiative throughout Wisconsin. Through REAL Solutions®, credit unions are:
- Making small loans – a low-cost alternative to
payday loans. Credit unions' small loans cost less,
limit rollovers and transition
borrowers to lower rates. Credit union members saved $2.4 million on payday loans in 2011.
- Working one-on-one with members facing hard
times. For example, credit unions are consolidating
debt, refinancing mortgages, modifying loan terms
and more to help people stay in their homes,
manage a job loss or weather an illness while
- Making critical loans to businesses that
for-profit lenders deem "too small." It's a little known fact that more than half of credit union member business loans are to households with incomes less than $50,000.
- Holding free financial workshops and offering
free management tools on their member websites. In 2011, 5,460 presentations were held, benefiting 34,104 individuals.
- Making low-cost loans that help single parents obtain used cars or child care so they can stay on the
- Providing free ATM transactions, saving
members who use ATMs often hundreds of dollars annually.
- Offering secured credit cards, debit cards and
loans to build or re-build members' creditworthiness.
- Supervising 97 in-school, youth-run credit union branches that teach the habit of saving and responsible financial management. These branches they have helped young people save $3 million.
- Providing free to all of Wisconsin's public high
schools the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM, a
lifestyle money magazine and online resources for teachers and students that support state teaching standards. 49,700 brass magazines were distributed to 405 teachers in 350 schools in 2011.
- Partnering with schools to offer students financial "reality" simulations that teach responsible budgeting and sponsoring teachers to attend financial literacy workshops to improve their personal finance lessons. Reality fairs and the online game Money Mission™ engaged 14,476 students in real-world financial decision-making.
- Offering free tax preparation assistance and
opening deposit accounts for tax filers to receive fast, free tax refunds, saving low-income tax filers $14.4 million in 2011.
Find more information online!
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