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REAL Solutions® Program

REAL Solutions Program

Initiated in 2003 by The Wisconsin Credit Union League and the Filene Research Institute, Wisconsin’s present-day REAL Solutions® program has not only made a remarkable impact on public and policymaker perception of Wisconsin credit unions, but has also inspired credit unions across the state to maximize their structural potential and develop additional services to meet the needs of their members and communities.

Program Goals:

  • Identify, encourage, and promote programs, products, partnerships, and services provided by credit unions that improve the financial and economic well-being of Wisconsin families

  • Develop and facilitate programs, products, partnerships, and services for Wisconsin’s credit unions to better serve their members and retain talent

  • Champion and broadcast the value of The Credit Union Difference by emphasizing the real ways credit unions respond to and solve real member (and community at-large) problems

REAL Solutions Scorecard

Our annual scorecard illustrates the positive impact that Wisconsin's credit unions have on Wisconsin families, businesses, local organizations, and the economy as a whole--entirely because of their unique structure as member-owned cooperatives driven by a people-focused mission. It is published on an annual basis to share with legislators, policymakers, and the public. 


REAL Solutions Stories

Instead of relying solely on statistics, the REAL Solutions program collects and widely shares personal impact stories from Wisconsin's credit unions with policymakers and the public. From accounts of above and beyond member service to meeting community needs and more—these stories educate the public about their banking options and are vital in the fight to preserve The Credit Union Difference.


Share Your Stories

Please help us continue to collect new and exciting examples of The Credit Union Difference by regularly submitting stories from your credit union! We print and display these stories at League events throughout the year, use them to inform our annual scorecard, and share them through social media. Lawmakers often request these stories to illustrate our value to their colleagues and constituents!


The Impact of REAL Solutions

Over the past 15 years, the REAL Solutions program has proven itself time and again to play a critical role in the success enjoyed by credit unions and their members. Some metrics of that success include:

  • In 2018, a statewide consumer survey revealed that 79% of Wisconsinites approved of credit unions' corporate tax exemption, up from 45% in 2005 at the dawn of the program

  • Since 2005, statewide credit union membership has grown from 2 million to nearly 3.3 million

  • In a recent survey, 100% of credit union survey respondents indicated that they had provided service to a member who was rejected by a bank for the same service

  • The League's Saver's Sweepstakes® prize-linked savings program--launched in 2018--has already saved members over $2 million, with the majority being first-time savers 

"We can get 10 times more results if we let the world know what the credit union has and is accomplishing." 
- Edward Filene