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Virginia-Based Credit Unions Reach 45,000 Individuals With Personal Finance Lessons


Virginia-based credit unions reported reaching 28,144 students and 17,568 adults with lessons on personal finance during the year ended June 30, 2023. To reach those numbers, Virginia’s credit unions collectively conducted 570 presentations to students and 428 presentations to adults.

"Virginia's credit unions have a long history of educating consumers about money management and personal finance," says Virginia Credit Union League President/CEO Carrie Hunt. "We're proud of the many credit unions in Virginia, and nationwide, that are working to ensure our young people grow up to be financially savvy adults and that adults understand how best to position themselves for financial success.”

Educating individuals about budgeting, the importance of saving for the future, and the wise use of credit has been a priority of Virginia's member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions for decades.

The efforts of the commonwealth's credit unions this past year were recognized recently by the Credit Union Financial Education Network, an organization that provides resources and training for credit unions looking to advance their financial education programs.

The commonwealth's credit unions finished 5th nationally in the total number of students and adults reached and 2nd nationally for total adults reached. Richmond-based Virginia Credit Union was among the credit unions capturing individual honors for their work, having placed 2nd nationally among all reporting credit unions for the most adults reached and 3rd nationally among all credit unions for most presentations to adults.

CUFEN collects financial education data from the nation's credit unions, asking credit union employees and volunteers to report the number of personal finance presentations made to students and adults, the specific topics covered, and the number of individuals reached during each presentation.

Financial education has taken on new importance in recent years. Economic factors following the pandemic are weighing heavily on Americans, according to a recent survey from Bankrate (https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/financial-wellness-survey/). The survey found money is often a significant cause of stress for most Americans, with 52 percent of participants saying money has a negative impact on their mental health.

“The growing sophistication of the financial marketplace means today’s consumer faces increasingly complex options in deciding how to save for retirement, finance major purchases or save for a child’s education,” said Topside Federal Credit Union Financial Educator Lauren Polen, Virginia-based credit unions’ liaison to CUFEN. “Credit unions’ financial education initiatives are helping individuals set realistic money goals, manage spending, consider the impact of debt, better understand financial products, and make confident financial decisions.”

The Credit Union Financial Education Network’s mission is to equip the credit union industry to provide financial education opportunities for all ages. It serves as a one-stop shop to discover financial education resources, showcase credit unions’ accomplishments, and foster collaboration between credit unions on financial education initiatives. Learn more at cufen.org

Virginia is home to 104 credit unions whose combined assets total $250 billion. These not-for-profit financial cooperatives serve almost 19 million members all across the globe, including an estimated 4 million Virginia residents.

The Virginia Credit Union League is the state trade association representing the 104 member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions headquartered in the Commonwealth. The League’s many services include legislative and regulatory advocacy; professional development; operational resources; and products and services that help credit unions serve their members. Organized in 1934, the League is the voice of Virginia’s credit unions and works to protect, promote and strengthen credit unions. Learn more at vacul.org

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