February 2012

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 maintaining creditworthiness.

  • 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 job.

  • 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!

See videos on how credit unions make a difference for your constituents

Click here for more resources from The League

View our Scorecard, which details how credit unions deliver value to their members

Tom Liebe, Vice President of Government Affairs
(608) 514-0082 • tliebe@theleague.coopwww.theleague.coop
Credit Union House: 1 East Main St., Suite 101, Madison, WI 53703-5109