Credit unions foster financial well-being in members, survey shows

May 9, 2022

Credit unions’ unique characteristics produce significant pro-consumer benefits, according to CUNA’s 2022 National Voter Poll. Conducted in January, the poll shows credit union characteristics unambiguously translate to greater financial resilience and higher levels of financial well-being for credit union members.

“These numbers paint a compelling picture that the credit union difference improves members’ financial well-being and advancing the communities they serve,” said CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk. “Most importantly, this data comes directly from consumers and shows the stark difference between credit union members and non-members. It demonstrates that credit unions continue to do right by their members. Modernizing fields of membership would allow credit unions to do even more to continue to advance financial well-being.”

Credit union members fare better across the board on the four key components of financial health: spending, saving, borrowing, and planning, according to the Financial Health Network.

  • Spending: 90% of all credit union members say their institution makes it easy for them to manage their finances. Credit union members are 1.2 times more to respond “very positively” to the idea that their financial institution makes it easy to manage their finances. 
  • Saving: Credit union members are half as likely as their non-member counterparts to say they don’t have ready access to $500 for an emergency expense. 
  • Borrowing: 86% of credit union members say that their institution makes it easy for them to get loans.
  • Planning: 86% of credit union members have access to financial education/literacy programs at their credit union, while 79% of members have access to formal financial counseling services at their credit union.

The 2022 CUNA National Voter Poll also considers several factors indirectly connected to financial well-being, but increasingly indicate the kinds of organizations that consumers have obvious commitments to.

This includes organizations that have an obvious commitment to the broader community—as expressed in corporate mission, values, and in daily operations and personal interactions.