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Five Ways Financial Counseling Benefits Your Credit Union

April marks two major credit union celebrations dedicated to making members more financially knowledgeable: National Financial Literacy Month and National Credit Union Youth Month™. Financial counseling is a benefit many credit unions offer their members, and adding a certified financial counselor on staff is a serious investment. Why should a credit union invest in financial counseling? And what can they get in return? 

In a recent article for CUinsight.com, Courtney Cantwell, Instructional Design Manager at CUNA, spoke to two industry experts, including Chris Wolgamott from HCUA member credit union Meritrust Credit Union (Wichita, KS), and Ken King, retired executive director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service and Family Service Association of Sheboygan. 

Wolgamott and King touched on five areas where having a financial counselor on staff can benefit your credit union.

Build trust.
King and Wolgamott assert that the foremost benefit of financial counseling is its power to grow a member’s confidence in their credit union.

Credit union growth.
Wolgamott and King agree that financial counseling is a good place to do indirect sales.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished a counseling session and the member says, ‘I’m bringing my checking account here,’” Wolgamott said. “Counseling encourages people to take a chance on you.”

Reaching Millennials.
Financial conseling seems to be populary with Millenials, both King and Wolgamott said. Millenials reach out to credit unions for financial literacy training and positive relationships. They want to take control of their own finances. 

Staff Collaboration.
Even if financial counseling is not the employees job, training in this area can help you connect with members and resources, as well as creates a positive culture of financial literacy. 

Fulfillment.
Teaching others is a very rewarding experience, said both Wolgamott and King. 

“I’m a teacher at heart, and I love being able to teach people ways to live more efficiently,” says Wolgamott. “There’s also a fun puzzle-solving aspect to the job that always keeps it interesting.”

King, who teaches for the FiCEP program says, “Financial counseling allows you to work members through problems that they weren’t even aware of. That’s exciting.”

Read the full article on CUinsight.com: Five Ways Financial Counseling Benefits Your Credit Union