Wisconsin credit union members spent almost $1 billion less than non-members as they weathered the impact of the Great Recession, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
The savings came in more competitive rates for savings and loans as well as lower fees for different financial services, the league reported in its 2012-13 Scorecard report, which tracked the savings from 2007.
The report detailed Wisconsin credit union's efforts at financial education through 100 branches in schools that the league said saved students $3 million and provided practical business and personal financial management experience.
Credit unions also operate 40% of the state's branches in lower-income areas where it said they provided $44 million in savings for lower income consumers, noting for example that most of the state's credit unions still offer free checking.
Credit unions have also increased their lending to Wisconsin small business owners by 55% since 2007, helping to fill the gap left when other financial institutions retreated from that market.
"Credit unions are united for good," said Brett Thompson, CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. "The Scorecard provides a clear picture of how credit unions build financially strong, self-sufficient families, business and communities in Wisconsin.”