The lack of financial education, especially after COVID-19, has many people at a disadvantage. With 80% of people living paycheck to paycheck and under strong financial and employment insecurity, it is critical now more than ever before to increase overall financial knowledge. Imagine the advantages that can come with having a strong grasp of how financial solutions work. Increased financial education helps individuals make smarter financial decisions, such as paying off debt faster, and investing in assets that grow. The financial landscape is changing at light speed, and some of the shifts can be overwhelming. Members need information that is actionable and easy to understand so they can maintain control of their money and plan for their future goals. Meanwhile, employers want to know what they can do to help their employees navigate and alleviate their financial stresses. 

Credit unions have expressed a demand for financial education geared toward their employees and members alike. Increasing financial literacy is vital to credit union employers and the community at large; informed employees and members foster a more robust, well-connected community while making smart decisions for their future. Community outreach will help grow your credit union’s membership base and boost your ability to attract new members.  

But did you know that it can also help your credit union improve member retention rates? You can provide quality experiences and services from well-trained, knowledgeable staff to keep members coming back and feeling valued. 

Employees are better positioned to answer member questions and make referrals when they understand how financial products and services work. Over many years, data from several credit unions have shown a positive correlation between employee financial education and referrals. As an example, an employee who has studied mutual funds in a financial literacy course might suggest a mutual fund to a member who is seeking a higher return on his or her money. Another example could be an employee directing a member to an in-house financial planner who can help him or her achieve a specific financial goal. Members feel more confident when they sense that credit union staff can provide solutions with authority and expertise. These are key elements to strengthen customer relationships and boost business for your credit union.  

In sum, here are four reasons why financial education is a valuable asset for credit unions: 

  1. Financially literate credit union employees can empower members to address their economic challenges. 
  1. There is up to 70% improved aptitude, behavior, and employee confidence, which can translate into more referrals and even upsells.  
  1. Decreased debt, fewer late fees, and less financial stress from both employees and members. 
  1. It can also grow your credit union’s membership base, boost your ability to attract new members, improve brand reputation and even create employee job satisfaction.   

Ultimately, credit unions can’t afford to ignore financial literacy. Financial education isn’t just a responsibility—it’s an opportunity! It’s a crucial part of the value proposition you offer to your members, and it will strengthen your credit union in the long run.