Ask your staff what they need and what stresses them out from a financial perspective. What do they think about when they leave work—or while they’re at work?
It may be childcare expenses. That issue happens a lot, particularly among people with multiple children.
Then, try to identify relatively inexpensive measures or programs that offer the biggest bang for the buck to help alleviate that stress.
It’s ironic that we as financial institutions suffer from the same issues affecting other industries. It comes down to a lack of financial education.
But we’re uniquely positioned as an organization—and credit unions are, too—to be able to walk the talk because it’s what we’re also trying to convey to credit union members.
We need to look inward at our own staff to make sure we address their issues and challenges.
One credit union that always amazes me is KCT Credit Union. Their CEO, Mike Lee, believes Americans have too much debt and the wrong kind of debt.
The problem isn’t usually that people don’t make enough money, but how much money they spend.
KCT developed a program called “Debt Checkup,” where members come in and review all of their debt. The credit union works with them to restructure their debt. They’ll often save members $300 to $400 per month.
If rates go down on certain loans, they’ll refinance them at the lower rate. They’re willing to cannibalize their own programs to do what’s right by the members.
Listen to a podcast interview with KCT CEO Mike Lee.
If you do that, you’ll have a member for life because members will see that you really have their best interests in mind.
The challenge is getting people to come in and do that. They’re often embarrassed by their debt, how little they know, or how they got into a particular situation.
But KCT has figured out it can almost always save members money and turn bad debt into good debt. But the ultimate goal is to eliminate as much debt as possible and turn members into savers instead of borrowers.
They’ve become a lending machine, too, because it does right by its members. People recognize and appreciate that.
Many of our credit unions also conduct financial education presentations for members. So far this year they’ve reached more than 31,000 youths with nearly 1,100 presentations.
They’ve also conducted 657 presentations for adults, reaching nearly 15,000 people.
It has a huge impact on members’ lives.