Credit unions are a trusted source for financial information and advice. With only three states in the country that require a high school course in personal finance, countless organizations are working to fill in the gaps with after school programs, "learn at work” sessions, and a myriad of curriculum targeted at all age ranges, from pre-kindergarten to seniors.
Personal finance is a top priority for credit unions because improving financial literacy, increasing personal savings, decreasing debt and living within a budget is a formula for success. While the offerings and activities of no two credit unions are the same, all credit unions operate with the belief that educated consumers – both young and old – make better members. The sections below contain a variety of information, resources and links related to financial literacy.
Financial Literacy Month
April is considered Financial Literacy Month and is celebrated across the country by credit unions, businesses and government agencies. Credit unions have a foundational belief in financial education, and the spotlight of April provides an opportunity for credit unions to highlight their financial literacy efforts.
Gov. Mark Dayton: "Financial empowerment includes ongoing education for Minnesotans in all stages of life, from budgeting and understanding credit, to responsible borrowing, planning for retirement, and consumer protection.”
President Barack Obama: "We recommit to empowering individuals and families with the knowledge and tools they need to get ahead in today's economy."
Minnesota Credit Union Foundation
The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is an organization dedicated to providing the resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive. Established in 1969, the Foundation has helped many credit unions with limited resources to grow and prosper and reach underserved communities. Part of the Foundation’s mission is to support financial literacy. Not only does the Foundation have a committee dedicated to financial education, but it also provides grants to support various local initiatives.
National Credit Union Foundation
As the philanthropic and social responsibility leader of America's credit union movement, the National Credit Union Foundation raises funds, makes grants, manages programs, and provides education empowering consumers to achieve financial independence through credit unions. Through its efforts– programs like Real Solutions, Development Education and BizKid$, and the availability of financial education grants – the Foundation works to respond to a variety of needs in the credit union movement.
National Youth Involvement Board
The National Youth Involvement Board is a volunteer-run organization that contributes to the future of credit unions. NYIB serves as a resource of youth marketing materials and ideas for the credit union movement; and encourages excitement and commitment to youth financial literacy.
Credit Union National Association
CUNA's Personal Finance Initiative provides materials and expertise to teach smart money management and the credit union difference. In a variety of print and electronic formats, we give consumers the information they need to improve their skills in budgeting, saving, borrowing, buying, and investing. Discuss ways to empower staff, volunteers, and members through personal finance education.
NEFE High School Financial Planning Program
The NEFE High School Financial Planning Program is a seven-unit financial education curriculum designed and developed around performance-based learning. The HSFPP's carefully designed exercises and activities educate students in the basics of personal finance, teaching young people how to handle and manage their money. This curriculum is underwritten by America's Credit Unions.
The Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is a group that brings together individuals and organizations to improve the personal financial literacy of Minnesota’s youth. Similar in purpose to other Jump$tart Boards in nearly every other state, the Minnesota coalition includes individual participants and representatives from government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group
Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman convened a first of its kind Minnesota Financial Literacy Interagency Work Group in January 2012, bringing together 10 state agencies that have existing programs, outreach efforts, or policy interests in financial literacy. In nearly 40 outreach events across Minnesota during the month of April, this group will work to empower tens of thousands of Minnesota students, soldiers, families, and senior citizens to learn more about their finances and make informed decisions to secure a successful financial future.
Since the beginning of the Gov. Mark Dayton's term of office, his administration has renewed state government’s commitment to advancing the cause of financial literacy in Minnesota. Strengthening programs, outreach efforts, and key partnerships with stakeholders, state agencies have been working together across the administration to make Minnesota a nation-leading force for financial education and empowerment.
Ladder Out of Poverty Task Force
The Ladder Out of Poverty Task Force was established in 2010 to focus on asset development, financial education and community support. The Task Force was created to identify specific policies, strategies, and actions reduce poverty and increase opportunities for individuals to acquire assets and build wealth. The group began meeting in the fall of 2010 and must provide written recommendations and draft legislation by June 1, 2012.