Here’s an excerpt from another nomination.
Financial education is one of Unitus’ top priorities. Thanks to Money Quest, a six-week financial challenge, Unitus gave members clear financial goals, as well as the encouragement and support to achieve each one. Challenges included taking concrete steps to save money, pay down debt, establish a budget, strengthen credit scores, take part in financial education, and secure the right insurance coverage. Participants were assigned a Unitus counselor, who tailored each challenge to the individual and served as a financial coach. Unitus also incentivized participation by increasing the odds of winning an iPad Mini or $1,000 in cash for each challenge completed. Each week an email was sent out with the challenge for the week. Members could opt-in at any time during the six-week program and participate in as many challenges as they wanted.
The nominations are really rolling in! Nominate someone or an organization today! Just THREE days left!
(As a reminder, posting an excerpt here is to get you inspired about the kinds of people and programs that might make good nominations. Full contest rules are here.)
This nomination was short and sweet:
Ellen is a hero to me because she helped me understand budgeting through a class at the local YWCA. With Ellen’s help, my family has been able to eliminate two outstanding loans and we no longer regularly rely on payday advances. We are well on our way to our savings goal!
Nominate someone or an organization who has helped people in financial distress, and you can win HERO Counseling for the entire organization!
Nominations for our HERO Contest closes in just 8 day, so don’t forget to nominate an individual, or a whole organization, for their HEROIC work in the community. We’re looking for stories about people and organization who help consumers in financial distress and lead them to a brighter future.
We wanted to share some of the nominations we’ve received.* Hopefully these inspire you to nominate someone. Here’s one that will make your day a little brighter:
Express Credit Union is a hero to its community, because it is focused on helping working class families build assets and achieve financial security. Express does this through innovative programs, one of which is its community teller program, which stations community tellers at regular hours at local community based organizations (such as the YWCA, Hopelink and even the Pike Place Market), bringing the credit union to its members, rather than requiring the members to come to the credit union. The credit union also provides services to members in a variety of languages. Interested in opening an account at a financial institution where someone can explain loan terms to you in Swahili? Express Credit Union can do that for you! Express makes itself available to the poorest of the poor and is one of the only financial institutions that will allow the homeless to keep their meager funds in a safe, insured environment.
If you have a story of your organization or a co-worker to nominate, please share it! It takes just a couple of minutes. Only 8 days remain!
Full contest rules here.
Are you a HERO or do you know one? We are searching for the best of the best in the credit union world, a person or organization that is changing lives and helping people to help themselves. And we will honor them with great prizes–and recognition in the CU Journal! Sound like your credit union or a friend? Submit an entry.
Nominate a HERO to honor a:
- Credit union
- Non-Profit, or
Is there a person–or your credit union–with a compelling story about helping people? Or perhaps your credit union has helped an entire community in financial distress—leading it to a brighter future? If so, we want to hear it in 200 words or less. Submit your entries to: www.herocounseling.org.
We’ll be combing the country for HEROES until August 24, 2013, and announcing the winners in early September 2013.
The Grand Prize winner will receive: The NCBA’s certified HERO counseling training and software for the entire staff, and recognition as a HERO in the CU Journal. Two runners up will receive the HERO counseling training, certification and software for an entire branch or department.
HERO Counseling: Twenty credit unions across the nation realized they had something in common after their employees became Community Development Certified Financial Counselors. Staff openly shared that they felt like “heroes.” They were helping more consumers. Their stories inspired the HERO contest. The Community Development Certified Financial Counseling staff training program and software certified by theNational Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is commonly called HERO Counseling. Follow HERO Counseling on Facebook, where we’ll post stories of HEROES to help inspire you–along with announcing the winner.
Your great HERO story
Since it’s technically a contest, details and qualifications for participation in this promotion may apply and you should read the full contest rules. (Hint: Don’t be related to anyone on our staff.) Essentially–just tell us a great HERO story, and you could win certification for your entire credit union staff.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “ability to repay” changes to Regulation Z issued this past January probably left a lot of credit unions scratching their heads.
Reg. Z now generally prohibits a creditor from making a mortgage loan unless the creditor determines that the consumer will have the ability to repay the loan. A borrower’s ability to repay, after all, is a pretty important part of the underwriting process. However, credit unions have to keep in mind that ability to repay requirements were instituted by the CFPB as a reaction to no-doc loans and some of the scanty underwriting practices in place before the recession.
In an even newer update, the CFPB has clarified that ability to repay requirements are not applicable to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
The new rule recognizes that CDFIs may operate on a nonprofit basis in order to promote community development. The rule also recognizes that CDFIs may determine that compensating characteristics outweigh traditional underwriting factors, such as a negative credit history or irregular income, and that holding CDFIs to the CFPB’s ability to repay standards could hamper their effectiveness.
The clarifying rule providing an exemption for CDFIs becomes effective January 10, 2014.
Renee Gillard started just last year with CU Strategic Planning as a Lead Product Specialist, but it’s already hard to remember a time before she was on the team.
Renee has a background in software solutions, and in the past few years she has advised the EPA, USDA, Census Bureau, Federal Reserve, and US Department of Labor. We’re so glad she has brought that experience to CU Strategic Planning and our HERO program for Community Development Certified Financial Counseling.
The NCBA-certified program helps train staffs of credit unions and small banks that serve working class populations. Renee helps support those institutions going through the process. Fellow Miracle Maker Kathleen Falotico says that Renee has already made an impact on the company, and we couldn’t agree more.
Finding Renee involved a bit of serendipity. The CU Strategic Planning management team was at a meeting at Metronome Coffee in Tacoma, Washington, when one of us mentioned that we wanted a software expert to provide a loving touch to help with our new CDCFC program. Renee was at the next table over, and introduced herself and asked to learn more. So serendipity … and courage! Thank you, Renee, for taking the risk and introducing yourself!
Renee is passionate about nature, the outdoors, hiking, and organic produce.
Thanks Renee for all you do, and for helping show the world what our HERO counseling program can do for them!
This month the US Treasury released some interesting information about just how competitive CDFI applications have become.
The “ask” amount in the grant applications totaled more than three times the available funding to credit unions. That is the highest demand the program has ever seen, with the most regional diversity as well.
If we look at the nitty-gritty details, we can see that of the grant categories, CU Strategic Planning helped shape a lot of these grants (in the CORE FA category alone, we wrote nearly half of the 56 total applications).
It’s a good reminder how important it is for a credit union to have an experienced partner like CU Strategic Planning to help them navigate through these high-stakes funding decisions.
Reading the tea-leaves, CU Strategic Planning expects an announcement of the awards in September.
The award deadline for this year was February 28, 2013, but if you’d like to talk to CU Strategic Planning for the next round of grant funding, we’d love to talk to your credit union about the opportunities available!