NAPERVILLE, Ill. (2/7/11)--The Illinois Credit Union Foundation (ICU Foundation) has partnered with the Filene Research Institute to provide Debt in Focus free to the state’s REAL Solutions credit unions. Debt in Focus, an online financial management tool, was created by the Filene Research Institute’s i3 program to break down barriers preventing many consumers from seeking traditional financial guidance. The anonymous financial assessment tool requires no self-identifying information, is available around the clock, and provides easy-to-follow action steps free from industry jargon and sales pitches via www.debtinfocus.com. “The ICU Foundation wants to help credit unions connect with members who are concerned about their finances so they can work together to find a mutually acceptable plan for the future,” said Vicki Ponzo, foundation executive director, ICU Foundation. “We think Debt in Focus is a great first step in the process.” Debt in Focus has already provided financial assessments for more than 250,000 consumers at more than 220 credit unions nationwide and Canada since its completion in April. The Illinois partnership waives the cost of the annual license and credit unions pay only a one-time set up fee of $150. March 11 is the deadline to sign up for free access. “Debt in Focus gives families a powerful head start toward managing their finances,” says Mark Meyer, CEO, Filene Research Institute. This is a great way to give value both to credit unions and ultimately to the members they serve.” Credit unions offering Debt in Focus also will have access to the following tools:
* Exclusive marketing/implementation support network; * Customizable marketing campaigns; * Usage analytics; * Lead generation tool through opt-in “Follow-Up” function; and * Statement on Auditing Standards 70 compliant hosting and secure sockets layer encryption.
To be eligible for the free Debit in Focus license, credit unions must be REAL Solutions partners, offering or actively considering offering at least one REAL Solutions program, product, or service, and complete a Memorandum of Understanding.