March is National Credit Education Month! This is a great time to help educate your credit union members about credit health, establishing credit, and much more.
Younger generations of credit union and banking members are more inclined to use debit solutions. But credit is an important facet of financial health, and this is the month to highlight your CU solutions.
Here are some of our favorite tips for celebrating National Credit Education Month.
Focus on Providing Credit Education
One thing that credit unions do better than any other financial institution is educating members. The secrets to credit health aren’t hoarded within the vaults of your CU; you are here to help your members create the best version of their financial lives.
Focus on providing resources to your member base. This could include helping them determine the best online sites for free credit scores and monitoring or enrolling them in specific classes or webinars to help boost their credit confidence.
Many Gen Z members and younger Millennials are hoping to buy their first homes in the next several years. And many of them don’t have enough established lines of credit to qualify for home loans. Now is the perfect time to help educate them on how to create and manage these lines of credit responsibly.
Offer classes or online resources (blog articles, infographics) about:
- different types of installment loans
- revolving credit
- home equity
- hard versus soft inquiries
- how to deal with errors in your credit
- and more
And don’t forget to include any educational assets that are unique to or created by your credit union itself.
Help Members Make Plans to Improve Their Credit Score This Year
After educating your audience, you can help them incorporate these newfound concepts into real-life practices.
It’s been another tough year for your members. More COVID-implemented protections are being rolled back, including the resumption of federal student loan payments expected to begin on May 1, 2022.
There are many steps you can advise your members to take that will create good credit momentum, including:
- Setting up automatic payments
- Paying down balances
- Addressing, negotiating, or disputing debt that is in collections
- Getting a small 6 to 24-month “credit builder” loan
- Opting for secure credit cards
- Keeping old credit accounts open even if you’re not using them
Practical tips and “life hack” style advice are not just trendy clickbait. They’re also impactful for those struggling to get back on their feet after the economic disasters of the last few years. Offer your members some hope this year and use National Credit Education Month to help them spring forward into a better year!
Those Credit Karma commercials were right – many people still don’t know what constitutes a hard or soft check on your credit. National Credit Education Month is a great time to feature helpful tools for checking credit that don’t impact a member’s credit score.
You can create blog or social media content comparing the different free websites and tools that are available. You can also offer consultations and educational sessions to help members navigate their credit score tracking journeys.
Offer Budgeting Courses
Your credit union likely already has staff members who are well-versed in helping your members learn how to budget. Or maybe you have budget templates available for those who are interested. Either way, a successful budget education and implementation can change a credit union member’s life. And you are already likely putting in the work to help educate your members on how to budget, so why not highlight those services this month?
Tailor E-Statements to Include More Credit Insights
Another quick way to help celebrate National Credit Education Month is to include more credit-related insights, tips, and tricks on your members’ e-statements. This gives them personalized information about their credit health and adds value to your membership offerings.
This can be done in conjunction with social media posts, email campaigns, and more quick reference materials that encourage your audience to connect with professionals at your credit union.
Educate Your Staff
Speaking of credit union professionals, your staff is another great resource for this month. Offer them some additional education on providing insights to your members about credit checks, resources, and more.
If your staff is encouraged to learn or re-learn this information, your members will benefit from that education too.
Credit Union Solutions: Data Discovery & Storage
We are in a data crisis. There is so much data being generated and stored via various channels that intersect with your credit union. It’s impossible for your staff to keep up without help. That’s why IMS offers targeted technology, tailored specifically to credit union operations.
The IMS DataArchiver saves up to 80% of primary storage costs, and significantly reduces backup times. Our solution is scalable to manage unlimited file servers in a distributed environment with zero disruption to end-users.