From setting up an emergency fund, to paying down debt, to planning for a family vacation and everything in between, financial decisions can be daunting. Members who get guidance on how to manage their budget can pass knowledge on to family and friends, which could attract referrals for your credit union.
Three reasons helping members gain financial independence is important:
Attract new members
According to a 2019 J.D. Power retail banking study, the majority of Americans want practical financial advice and major financial institutions have been working on capitalizing on this new growth opportunity. Staying competitive and attracting and retaining members will increasingly rely on showing your community that your staff is trained to help them overcome financial obstacles and meet goals for every life stage.
Reduce collection efforts
If your members are dealing with financial hardship, then chances are they could start missing their loan payments. Proactively offering financial counseling that could prevent escalated collection efforts and can help create a stronger long-term relationship with members.
Cross-sell products and services
Guiding members to financial independence is an opportunity to build member-trust. You’re actively engaged in one-on-one conversations with members to help them develop healthy lifelong money habits and make wiser investments. In the 2019 study, J.D. Power reports that 86% of Americans who are highly satisfied with the financial advice they received will return to use another product. By showing members that you’re concerned about their financial well-being, you’ll be in a stronger position to offer products and services that meet their needs in the future.
Setting a plan into motion for offering financial counseling at your credit union starts with preparing your staff on topics including:
Uncover new possibilities for your career and your credit union through CUNA Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP), your staff can earn their Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor (CCUFC) designation.