GoodMoney is Prospera Credit Union's innovative collaboration with Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin and Financial Information Service Center which placed credit union services in a Goodwill retail store.
This is the video shown at the 2007 Herb Wegner Memorial Awards, where Prospera Credit Union was honored with the Outstanding Program award by the National Credit Union Foundation.
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GoodMoney is the first partnership to place credit union services in a Goodwill store. A collaboration between Prospera Credit Union of Appleton, Wisconsin, and Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, GoodMoney offers:
•Short-term loans at less than half the rates of for-profit payday lenders;
•Check-cashing with substantially lower fees than for-profit check-cashers;
•Money orders and bill payments;
•International wire transfers serving a sizable Latino population;
•Referrals to Goodwill's Financial Information and Service Center (FISC) in Menasha, Wisconsin.
Prospera Credit Union now offers GoodMoney in all five of its branches. The National Credit Union Foundation supported GoodMoney with a $75,000 grant.
In its first 15 months, GoodMoney made 2,700 loans totaling more than $1 million and saved consumers more than $150,000 in fees. Borrowers who return for a third loan are offered individual credit counseling at FISC. If they participate and still need a payday-type loan, the credit union grants the next loan fee-free.
"GoodMoney is a unique, collaborative and competitive approach to fulfilling the short-term loan needs of people in our community," explains Prospera Credit Union CEO Kenneth Eiden, Jr. "GoodMoney has captured the attention of the local marketplace, state and national consumer researchers, consumer advocacy groups, legislators, and Goodwill Industries nationwide. We hope that the program is a seed of innovation that continues to spread throughout the credit union industry and will benefit innumerable members."
Eiden received so many requests from credit unions to learn about GoodMoney, he created a password-protected website for credit unions considering similar partnerships in their communities: www.goodmoneystore.com. The website includes planning session documents, legal documents, and examples of how to promote the program.
"Credit unions nationwide have the opportunity to take the GoodMoney model and customize it to their local needs," Eiden observes.
"Prospera has emerged as one of the leaders of more than 40 Wisconsin credit unions that are pioneering an initiative called REAL Solutions," notes Wisconsin Credit Union League President Brett Thompson. "Prospera's work in developing this program has encouraged more Wisconsin credit unions to participate in REAL Solutions by showing what can be accomplished by fully using resources within credit unions and the community to solve lingering social problems."
Piloted by the Filene Research Institute and three leagues, REAL Solutions helps credit unions offer less costly alternatives to predatory financial services, meet the needs of low-wealth people, and transition them to saving and wealth-building.
In January 2007, the National Credit Union Foundation took on REAL Solutions as its signature program. NCUF's three-year goal is to provide a wide array of REAL Solutions business models to more than 2,000 credit unions in 33 states.
Eiden believes reaching the next generation of low-wealth members represents the evolution of credit unions. "GoodMoney is just one example of how we challenge ourselves to continually evolve the role of credit unions in an ever-changing financial services industry. We take our status as a not-for-profit, member-owned credit union and responsible member of the community to heart. We attempt to live our mission in innovative ways every day."
Video production done by:
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC