The Wisconsin Credit Union League is touting a report from National Credit Union Foundation's Real Solutions program about the amount of money the state's credit unions saved their members in 2010.
Citing Real Solutions 2010 Scorecard for Wisconsin Credit Unions, the league reported that Wisconsin CU members saved $112 million in loans in 2010, as well as more than $56 million on savings products and $33 million in fees by being credit union members.
The league also touted the reports' citation of credit union work at so called "intangible" services like free financial counseling that prevented home foreclosures, free tax preparation for lower income households and financial education.
During 2010, the report says, credit unions increased their lending to small businesses 8.3% to compensate for an almost equal decrease in available business credit from banks. A whopping $44 million of the savings on financial product usage accrued to lower-income consumers; credit unions, in fact, operated 40% of all the financial institution branches in low-income areas. Nearly all credit unions offered loans of $500 or less at modest interest rates – an alternative to costly payday loans. And credit unions also outperformed non-credit union lenders by approving 71.3% of home loans for low-income borrowers and 77% of home loans for minority borrowers, compared to a 66.2% and 56.7% approval rate by others, respectively.
The league also reported that credit unions also supervised 109 branches inside schools to teach young people the regular habit of saving and that students statewide have stashed a whopping $2.1 million in their in-school accounts. Credit unions also delivered 1,221 presentations to 31,027 consumers to improve their financial savvy, paid for 47 Wisconsin teachers to attend summer workshops that help them improve financial lessons offered in classrooms, purchased 75,000 copies of a personal finance magazine to help every public high school achieve state teaching standards related to money management.