Credit unions that want to really succeed at working with low-income members and communities need to embrace doing it, advocates suggested.

The number of credit unions that have considered working with these members has exploded over the last five years, according to Scott Butterfield, founder of Your Credit Union Partner, a Sumner, Wash.-based consultancy that works with small credit unions.

The NCUA's recognition of more low-income credit unions has driven this interest along with an economy coming out of the Great Recession that resulted in many stagnant incomes, Butterfield said in an email to CU Times. Furthermore, more cooperatives have become aware of how much of an asset lower income members are and how they need to compete for their business, he added.

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