Members of credit unions that participate in the National Credit Union Foundation's Real Solutions program save $200 million per year nationwide, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
More than 1,100 credit unions in 37 states participate in the program, which brings 90 million credit union members into contact with a Real Solution product or service, the league said.
"REAL Solutions isn't about any particular service. It's credit unions' continued commitment to doing the right thing," said Brett Thompson, Wisconsin Credit Union League CEO. "Not every financial institution will go as far as credit unions to accomplish good. So preserving credit unions offers consumers a route to help themselves and their communities."
Brewery Credit Union in Milwaukee, for example, was the first to join REAL Solutions in 2004. It has used research by the Filene Research Institute to save members $800,000 by providing less-costly alternatives to payday loans. This year Brewery-which serves the predominantly low-income community in the near-downtown area-will use some newly acquired funding, in part, to help 40 new families become homeowners, the league said.