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Press Releases
Wisconsin CU League News Release - 10/20/2010


Credit unions are making Wisconsin consumers more money savvy


Additional resources


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Media contacts


Chris Henzig
Director of Communications
(262)549-0200, Ext. 6019


Chad Helminak
Web Producer and Media Relations Manager
(262) 549-0200, Ext. 6012


Improving financial literacy is third fact to celebrate during
International Credit Union Week, Oct. 17-23

Pewaukee, Wis. - Unlike for-profit banks, which exist to make profits for shareholders, credit unions exist to serve members. That means credit unions look out for members’ long-term financial health by promoting thrift – the regular practice of saving and wise borrowing among the working people who own the cooperative. To that end, credit unions have offered:

  • Youth-run branches. Students from elementary grades through high school have saved $2 million in 109 youth-run credit union branches. The branches aim to instill in young people a lifelong habit of saving.
  • Classroom learning. Wisconsin credit unions provide free to all of Wisconsin’s public high schools the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM – including the lifestyle money magazine called brass. Online resources for students and teachers support state teaching standards. Credit unions also provide to schools the High School Financial Planning Program, a curriculum covering personal finance “basics.”
  • Free financial counseling. Credit unions help members sort out financial challenges and develop budgets so they can make ends meet and stay in their homes. Referrals to special classes help people gain or re-gain checking accounts.
  • Training financial educators. Credit unions sponsor teachers to attend the National Institute for Financial & Economic Literacy each year. The series improves money management lessons for tens of thousands of students statewide. 3,520 credit union employees have also learned basic investing concepts.
  • Presentations & Workshops. Credit unions offer free presentations on financial topics in classrooms and for civic organizations. Many offer free workshops to help members learn more about credit reports, home buying and more.
  • Educational Events. Credit unions host or participate in “reality” simulations for students that teach them the costs of daily living. Other credit unions support Money Conferences, one-day events that teach low-income families financial basics. During Money Smart Week Wisconsin in October, credit unions offer workshops on money management.
  • Savings programs. During National Credit Union Youth Week, held in April, credit unions urge young people to save. During April 2010, 3,800 young people in Wisconsin deposited $385,339 (about $101 per saver) and opened 280 new accounts. And several credit unions have involved members in savings challenges offering cash prizes.


Financial education undergirds credit unions’ REAL Solutions effort, which has received four Governor’s Financial Literacy Awards in five years for improving the financial health of Wisconsin citizens.

Editor: A table itemizing these successes and a REAL Solutions logo is on

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