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Article Archive

Living without a bank: Fees and confusion galore

The nickel-and-diming never stopped.

The fees were constant: $28 to cash a paycheck. $1.50 for a money order. A dollar or more every time I swiped the prepaid cash card I bought at the drug store.

In all, I racked up $93 in fees in a month-long experiment of living without a bank and making a go of it on the economic fringe. That works out to $1,100 a year just to spend my own money.... More

Boosting Financial Literacy in America: A Role for State Colleges and Universities

Financial illiteracy is a growing economic and social concern garnering greater attention from consumer advocates, scholars, governmental agencies and policymakers. Despite the rapidly changing, increasingly sophisticated array of financial decisions confronting Americans today, there still exists widespread levels of financial illiteracy—especially among low-income and minority populations. This divergence between more complex consumer decisions and financial illiteracy has led to a rising trend of suboptimal, often unsustainable consumer behaviors, resulting in record-high levels of debt and record low-levels of economic security for individuals, families and communities throughout the nation.... More

Free Workshop for Trainers through MoneyWi$e - October 12th, 2010

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System presents a free MoneyWi$e workshop with Linda Williams of Consumer Action focusing on:

  • Rebuilding Credit
  • Successful Home Ownership
  • Saving and Building Wealth
  • Teaching Adults
  • ... More

In the Credit Union vs. Bank Battle, Straight Talk Can Help You Win

Only two financial institutions are left on the planet: one bank and your credit union. You are surrounded by nothing but Gen Yers, aged 14-34. The law requires every person to start a lifelong financial relationship today with either your credit union or the bank. And–get this–whichever institution a person joins, that person is required to use the products, programs and services of that institution for the rest of their lives.

You, being a wise manager, have been planning for this day. You’ve beefed up your marketing staff. Your credit union has become wired when it comes to social networking. Your website has been redesigned, and features the requisite youth emphasis. You offer smart phone banking apps, text alerts if a person is about to overdraw an account, Twitter alerts on loan specials and more. For once, your credit union is ready and staffed for the biggest day in its history. Good for you.... More

Money Mission through CUNA to attract youth before borrowing years

Money Mission is an interactive, web-based simulation game designed to educate and stimulate 15-19 year olds in the fundamentals of financial literacy. This is an exciting development for credit unions because Money Mission addresses a critical issue for credit unions as identified in the 2010-2011 E-Scan Report—serving, attracting, and establishing a relationship with the youth demographic. Money Mission helps establish lifetime memberships with youth as they enter their borrowing years.... More

NCUA and FDIC Chairs Announce Partnership to Promote Financial Education and Savings Programs

FDIC and NCUA Chairs Join Education Secretary to Announce Partnership to Promote Financial Education and Savings Programs
Officials challenge financial institutions, schools, federal grantees, and stakeholders to work together to help students and families save for college, develop smart money habits

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Sheila C. Bair, and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz joined together today in signing a new agreement that aims to help millions of students get on the path to financial success. The agencies will work together to facilitate partnerships among schools, financial institutions, federal grantees and other stakeholders to provide effective financial education; increase access to safe, affordable and appropriate accounts at federally insured banks and credit unions, and encourage saving. The potential for impact is great. For example, the agreement allows the FDIC and NCUA to support the US Department of Education's 1,700 college access grantees, which engage over one million low-income K-12 students striving for higher education. ... More

Unbanked Customers Embrace Alternatives

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, some low-end customers are being pushed out of the traditional banking landscape and into the world of alternative financial services.

Alternative financial services -- or AFS as some industry insiders call it -- has been around for years signified by check cashing stores that charge customers exorbitant fees, payday lenders and even retail layaway programs. Those who are considered underbanked, or even unbanked, include immigrants, low income, teenagers and, of course, those consumers that have been deemed risks by banks. ... More

Young & Free Alabama raise $200,000 for local schools

Throughout this year, you may recall seeing "High 5 From the Hill" or "Pick 5" on billboards, TV commercials, or radio ads. Beginning last April, each time a member signed up for the Pick 5 or The Hill account, Listerhill donated $50 to the local school the member chose. On top of this, the school that raised the most donations was given thousands of dollars in grants from Listerhill. By the end of the promotion on October 30, we had raised over $200,000 for more than 150 local schools!

This is awesome. It's more than awesome. It's so more than awesome, I must come up with a word to define it - fantabulonderfulsome. There. Here are words local principals used shared to describe the donations:... More

Small Savings Add Up!

Cutting back is a sign of the times. Note: cutting back is not the same as cutting it out all together! In the same way a diet works, reduction is the key. If we tell ourselves we have to cut something out all together, our first inclination is to sneak ‘just one’. If we allow ourselves ‘just one’, or a reduced amount, we are more inclined to stick to our plan. Consider cutting back on your guilty pleasures as a compromise.... More

NCUF Grant Helping Teens Become Financially Savvy in New York

The Money & Me financial education workshop from the New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) is helping teenagers across New York learn how to manage money. Initially piloted in 2009, a National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Innovation Grant last year helped expand Money & Me to reach more high school students. NYCUF is looking to extend the Money & Me program’s reach further in 2011 with additional NCUF grant support.... More