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Credit unions saved Wisconsin consumers close to $1 billion since start of recession


Pewaukee, Wis. - Wisconsin credit union members saved close to $1 billion since the start of the Great Recession in 2007 through competitive rates on savings and loans and lower and fewer fees for financial services according to the Credit Union League’s 2012-13 Scorecard. The Scorecard is an annual report prepared by the Wisconsin Credit Union League detailing credit unions’ economic impact and commitment to social responsibility.


The League’s Scorecard highlights the fact that credit unions lead the state in financial education by operating 100 in-school branches that have helped students save $3 million and get hands-on business experience. Credit unions delivered 5,500 presentations to 34,000 consumers to improve their financial savvy, purchased 41,330 copies of a personal finance magazine to help 382 teachers at 309 high schools teach money management. Credit unions engaged close to 15,000 students in financial decision making through reality fairs and the online game Money Mission®.


Other Scorecard highlights include the fact that credit unions operate 40% of all the financial institution branches in low-income areas, providing $44 million in savings for lower-income consumers. The report also notes that most credit unions still offer free checking.


Since the start of the recession, credit unions have also increased their lending to small businesses by 55% to compensate for a lack of business credit from banks.


"Credit unions are united for good," said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League. "The Scorecard provides a clear picture of how credit unions build financially strong, self-sufficient families, business and communities in Wisconsin."


The vast majority of credit unions offered loans to members of $500 or less as an alternative to costly payday loans. Credit unions also outperformed non-credit union lenders by approving 67.7% of home loans for low-income borrowers and 70.4% of home loans for minority borrowers, compared to a 57.1% and 56.5% approval rate by others, respectively. The report cites credit unions’ 30,000 hours of free financial counseling to 20,000 individuals that have prevented home foreclosures and improved borrowers’ creditworthiness.


Credit unions have received seven awards in seven years for their social responsibility.


Read the PDF version of the Scorecard online.


Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned by their members and do not have stockholders. Because they are not-for-profit, they return earnings to members via more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. Around 2.3 million Wisconsin residents belong to credit unions, of which nearly half are open to the local community. Find a credit union to join by visiting

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