Your credit union is in the business of providing financial products and services to its members — so why should your team worry about financial education? 

At Zogo, we believe financial education should be a critical part of every credit union’s mission. Here’s why:

1. Because it helps build your next generation of members. 

Think of when you were younger, and starting to build your own financial independence. 

Where did you learn how to budget, or how to save? How did you learn how to start investing? Who taught you what a Roth IRA or a money market account was? 

If you’re like most Americans, you learned a little bit from your parents, a little bit from experience and maybe a little bit from the internet. But what if that information had been provided to you in an accessible and authentic way by your financial institution, from the moment that you opened your first account? 

According to a survey from the Lincoln Financial Group, 64% of Gen Zers have already begun researching or discussing financial planning. But this group still doesn’t have many educational resources when it’s time to start forging their own financial futures. Your credit union can play a crucial role in their lives by offering guidance during these early years of independence. 

Last fall, the Zogo team walked around a college campus to conduct an informal survey. Of the students we talked to, 76 percent couldn’t tell us what a credit union was, or how a credit union differed from a bank.

Your credit union could help bridge that gap in knowledge — and recruit a new generation of members in the process. 

2. Because it builds trust.

Economic free fall, wavering markets, an uncertain future — 2020 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone. Now more than ever, Americans want to put their money somewhere they can trust. One way to become that trusted institution for your members? Education, an implicit trust builder that deepens your credit union’s lifelong bond with existing members. 

By offering financial education, credit unions become more than just the place where members store their money. They transform into a trusted guide and a partner in a member’s lifelong financial journey.

After all, credit unions are more than just another financial institution, they’re communities — and communities function best when members know, trust and understand one another. 

3. Because few others are doing it — and someone needs to. 

Most students don’t learn much about personal finance in school. In fact, the majority of today’s young adults wished they’d learned more about money before going off on their own. 

That lack of knowledge can be extremely damaging. At Zogo, we regularly hear these financial horror stories: thousands of dollars in debt, ruined credit scores, emergency expenses without the emergency fund to pay for it. Always, these stories include some version of the phrase “I just didn’t know any better.”

It’s time that Americans stop learning financial lessons the hard way — and your credit union could make all the difference in helping your own members avoid disaster. 

How is your credit union investing in financial education?