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Congresswoman Foxx Praises Allegacy Federal Credit Union’s Student-Run Branch on US House Floor

As you may know, Allegacy FCU recently opened a student-run branch of the credit union at Reagan High School. One of the guest speakers at the dedication of the branch last month was Fifth District Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

The branch, and the enthusiasm of the faculty & students at Reagan, impressed Foxx so much that she delivered a speech about it on the floor of the US House of Representatives on September 22nd.

With young people likely to encounter more-and-more financial challenges as the credit crisis moves into the economy, it’s great that credit unions such as Allegacy are providing young people with some great and practical learning.

Allegacy opened their branch in late August, shortly before American Partners FCU opened a branch of the credit union at Reidsville High School. And Winston-Salem City Employees’ Credit Union has a branch located at Union Cross Traditional Academy (Elementary) that is now entering its third year. Kudos to all of these credit unions for your work in the lives of young people!

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Duke Federal Credit Union’s Financial Education Center: Helping Members Realize Their Dreams

I had the good fortune to spend a few hours at Duke Federal Credit Union in Durham this week. For a few years now, Duke has operated a Financial Education Center for its members. It’s a comprehensive center, complete with videos, written materials and other financial education resources. Most importantly, two staff at Duke are dedicated to counseling members who have questions about credit and their finances. These staffers also go into the Durham community frequently to conduct financial education seminars.

According to Ed Agnoli, who is NCCUL’s director of education and financial literacy, Duke’s approach really stands out – the credit union can deliver financial education using the above channels, and setting aside space in the building where members can go to get financial education shows Duke’s dedication and commitment.

This commitment shines through in the thoughts and reflections of the Duke staff I had the opportunity to speak with this week. We’ll focus on this “big picture” commitment and the results next week. For now, check out the story of Duke FCU Member Shawn Service, who is learning how to make sense of his finances and credit thanks to the help of Duke FCU Financial Guidance Counselor Cassandra Taylor.

Summit Credit Union Starts Webinar Program for Members

summit-cu-logo.jpgSome credit unions are investing in their members by offering free financial seminars, which is of course a smart move in a society that lacks many basic budgeting skills. A common problem with these seminars is getting people to show up – people see the value, they just have so many other commitments and time constraints.

Summit Credit Union in Greensboro is trying an interesting way to get around this problem – starting January 17th, they’ll be hosting financial education sessions by Webinar. Summit CEO Sam Whitehurst will present a one-hour session starting at 6:30 pm that will help members understand how to raise their credit scores and lower their costs of borrowing.

Glenn Kirk, who is Summit’s VP of marketing and business development, told me the credit union has been offering financial education seminars for more than a year, but it’s been a struggle to get people to participate. Summit’s SEG-based membership is scattered throughout the Triad and other parts of the State, and getting an audience to come to Summit’s headquarters location on Market Street has been difficult.

The Webinar allows members with a broadband connection to see and receive the presentation, plus ask questions. It’s also easier for the Summit staff – no set-up and clean-up of the meeting room … all they have to do is turn the camera on and off!

A typical in-person presentation would have fewer than five people in attendance, and Kirk said that twelve people registered to participate in the Webinar in the first couple of days after the announcement went out to members. The early success and interest in this first Webinar has convinced Kirk and Whitehurst that they’re on to something, and they are already planning more of these Webinars a little later in the year.

In addition to this high tech approach to reaching members, Summit is also doing SEG visits specifically to offer financial education to members and prospects.

Kudos to Summit for figuring out a much more convenient way of delivering vital information to its members! With the subprime mortgage mess unfolding and many folks struggling with credit card debt, it’s clear that this type of education is needed.