Inside the Foundation  
Financial Fitness Focus: Financial Counseling, Helping People Prepare for Their Future
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:35 PM

From the National Credit Union Foundation Blog

“I think the financial counseling program is exactly what credit unions need to be doing,” said Charles Elliot, president/CEO of the Mississippi Credit Union League. “I don’t think there is anything that a credit union could do that would bring more value and benefit to credit union members. There are members that need this, and we could absolutely change their lives.”

As we gear up for Financial Fitness Day with its focus on financial education, one of the most impactful ways to educate members is to counsel them directly. The Foundation’s Enhanced FiCEP program is a unique partnership between the Foundation’s REAL Solutions program, CUNA’s Center for Professional Development (CUNA CPD), credit union leagues, and credit unions to train staff who are then able to give professional financial counseling and education to help members better prepare for their future and to assist when they are faced with financial difficulties.

Enjoy this short video that delves into the program and its success:

Since starting the program five years ago, we’ve already worked with 448 credit unions in 25 states and graduated 1,655 students. The Enhanced FiCEP program concluded the past year with 275 new credit union staff (from 95 credit unions in nine states) becoming Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC).

The demand from credit unions for more trained counselors is continuing to grow as they see the value the training has for credit union members. This year is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for FiCEP, with at least four state leagues planning to conduct programs for the first time ever. There are also four leagues that have worked with FiCEP in the past and are planning to rejoin the program next year to continue to strengthen their staff’s ability to serve their member’s needs.

“By getting your staff certified as financial counselors you have the opportunity to make a real difference in member’s lives,” said Courtney Cantwell, instructional design manager at CUNA.

Just another reason to participate and hold a casual day on April 6 and show your support for your National Credit Union Foundation and for state foundations: the funds will support critical, life-changing programs such as Enhanced FiCEP on both the state and national level. We have many resources for you to use for Financial Fitness Day at to help you promote and hold a Financial Fitness Day at your credit union organization. Together, we can continue improving people’s financial lives.