WASHINGTON (7/13/09)--Credit unions providing REAL Solutions, the signature program of the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), are offering up to 26 products to serve consumers with low wealth. NCUF’s new baseline survey shows that more than half of REAL Solutions credit unions are offering the 16 most popular products. Nine of the most popular products are lending solutions. The percentage breakdowns are:
* For REAL Solutions credit unions, 91% make used-car loans to borrowers with low credit scores (D and E paper); * About 89% make small loans of $500 or less; * Some 85% offer tiered pricing so that applicants with low credit scores can be approved at risk-based rates; * Small business loans to members with low wealth and low-to-moderate income are made by 67% of the credit unions; * For young adults in the 18-30 age range, 67% of these credit unions design credit cards; * Credit unions that provide or plan to offer payday loan alternatives total 67%; * Roughly 55% provide or plan to structure mortgage programs for low-wealth and first-time homebuyers; * First-time vehicle loans for young adults from ages 18 to 30 are provided by 54%; and * Credit-builder loans to help applicants with thin credit files or no credit history are made by 54%.
Five of the most popular products are transaction services. REAL Solutions credit unions provide:
* Check cashing for members (92%); * Free checking accounts for members (86%); * Money orders for members and non-members (79%); * Checking accounts with debit cards specifically designed for young adults from ages 18-30 (77%); and * International remittances for immigrants to wire money to their families (62% provide or plan to).
Two of the most popular products are savings programs for emerging low-wealth markets:
* REAL Solutions credit unions providing special savings accounts for youth from ages 11 to 17 total 81%; and * About 68% provide or plan to offer comprehensive savings programs, including financial education to help low-wealth members save and build wealth.
NCUF’s survey also measures key criteria for determining REAL Deal credit unions, as defined by the Credit Union National Association and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues. For example:
* A total of 96% of these credit unions collaborate with other organizations to provide outreach; * Some 89% donate money to charitable programs; and * Those that provide financial literacy programs for all types of consumers total 83%.
The full survey report is available on NCUF’s REAL Solutions Impact Center.