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NCUFICUF grant finances Iowa fin ed projects
DES MOINES, Iowa (4/11/12)--Through grants from National Credit Union Foundation and the Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF), 43 Iowa credit unions have received training and technical assistance to provide financial education to members living below the poverty level.

Click to view larger image Pictured are Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) board members and credit union CEOs who received a 2011 financial education grant from ICUF through a Financial Education Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation. From left, Paul Lensmeyer, Ascentra CU, Bettendorf; Pat Drennen, 1st Gateway CU, Camanche; Debbie Whittie, Village CU, Des Moines; Becky DeVries, Midland CU, Urbandale; Dale Owen, ICUF president of the ICUF; Helen Pearce, ICUF vice president; and Marybeth Foster, ICUF executive director. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Foundation)
"Financial education is key to building the financial assets of low-income populations," said Marybeth Foster, ICUF executive director. "Our goal is to strengthen the capacity and build leadership in credit unions to deploy financial education."

The financial education training was delivered by Adam Carroll, president/CEO of National Financial Educators.

Highlights of financial education project included:

  • Eleven webinars were developed for credit unions on financial education topics;
  • Fifty credit unions were provided with a financial education toolkit, which included a binder of flyers, handouts, worksheets, and materials on all webinars produced by ICUF for use with credit union members and the general public; and
  • Sixteen credit unions received financial education grants from ICUF to fund financial education programs.
The project is closely tied to the ICUF's Credit Union Family Partnership Individual Development Account program (CUFPP), which empowers building assets for individual development account (IDA) savers wanting to buy a first home, pursue education or a small business.

The project's focus is on financial education to families at or below 300% of the federal poverty level, who typically qualify for the federally funded Children's Health Insurance program. ICUF chose this target market because these families can be served by CUFPP under legislation passed in Iowa. Families have a household net worth of less than $10,000 at the time of application to the IDA program.

Financial education is a core component of the IDA program because savers must complete financial education to receive matching funds. Before the program began, participating credit unions did not have the resources to offer financial education programs.
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