Jun 16 2014

Leveraging Personalized Interventions to Help Members Improve Their Financial Management Strategies


The pace of daily life makes it difficult for many individuals to keep up with their finances in order to make responsible, informed decisions. Sometimes all it takes is a little push to get members to save more and spend wisely. ideas42, a non-profit think tank organization that specializes in studying the economic behaviors of low-middle income households, piloted its Financial Health Check (FHC) initiative to help members at one Portland based credit union improve their personal financial management skills. The FHC pilot has had a profound impact on the financial lives of its participants. 

Those who participated in the FHC pilot had 21% more savings by the end of the study than the control group. The pilot has demonstrated that customized, one-on-one coaching sessions can help individuals remain accountable to their financial goals. For credit unions, the key is to remain invested in these individuals as they leave your branches. Periodic follow ups can be an effective mechanism to help change members' savings behaviors. 

The report offers credit unions several suggestions on how to develop an efficient financial management service or product: 

  • Help members set specific financial goals 
  • Help members follow through on their intentions 
  • Send out constant reminders
  • Monitor progress

While credit unions may not be able to help in every transaction, they can serve as go-to support structures for members as they look to eradicate financial issues before they become more severe or damaging. 

In 2014 the Filene Research Institute celebrates 25 years of research, innovation, and impact. We would like to thank the following Go Silver! benefactors for their continued support of Filene:

  • A+ Federal Credit Union 
  • American Airlines Credit Union 
  • BCU
  • Beth Page Federal Credit Union 
  • Coastal Federal Credit Union 
  • Digital Federal Credit Union 
  • Kinecta Federal Credit Union 
  • Redwood Credit Union 
  • Schools First Federal Credit Union 
  • State Department Federal Credit Union 
  • Suncoast Credit Union 
  • Virginia Credit Union 
  • xceed Financial Credit Union
Report Number 327