woman looking at paths ahead

Your Financial Health & Well-being Journey Starts Here

As the thought-leader and funder of financial well-being in credit unions, we are here to help you and take action.

Start Your Journey

What Does Financial Health & Well-being Actually Mean?

First things first. What is financial health and well-being? There are a lot of definitions out there. From the Foundation’s perspective, we use the term financial health & well-being to fully encompass both what folks do with their money and how they feel about their money.

Want to know more? There are two key definitions within the financial health and well-being space that you should consider. Take a look at the CFPB’s definition of financial well-being. And, take a look at the Financial Health Network’s definition of financial health.

The important thing to remember is financial health is deeply connected to every other aspect of a person’s life – their access to healthy food, health care, housing, etc. More on that in the “Development Issues” section below.


heart and a jar of money

Meet Your Members & Employees Where They Are

Now that you know what financial health and well-being is, do you really (and we mean really) understand where your members and employees are in their financial well-being journey? Meeting members where they are in life and understanding their challenges is the first step. Here are some things to consider:

  • pile of cash money with stethoscope on top

    40% of people struggle to cover a $400 unexpected expense.

  • jar full of american money

    More than 1 in 5 (21%) of workers don’t save any of their annual income and 78% of us live paycheck to paycheck.

  • close up of hands with open wallet and credit cards beneath on table

    Nearly 3 in 4 workers say they are in debt today – more than half think they will always be.

The Truth About Your Members & Employees

Many credit unions don’t think their members or employees are struggling financially. But they are. The Foundation did research with the Financial Health Network. Here is what we found:

  • 58%

    of credit union members are struggling financially.

  • 75%

    of credit union members are unsatisfied with their current financial situation.

  • 43%

    of credit union members ran out of money before the end of the month at least once last year.

3 Steps to Get Started

The hardest part of any journey is often knowing where to start. We’ve got your back. The Foundation curated the most effective tools and resources to help you get started.

  • a heart and coins on a scale

    1. Start at Home - Measure

    The journey starts with measuring where your employees and members are in their financial lives. We’ve used our expertise to bring you the two most effective tools. Either will give you insights on the financial health & well-being of your members and/or employees.

  • pad of paper and pen

    2. Make the Case - Align

    • Once you’ve measured, look at your products and services and align them with the measurement results. Learn more about financial health and your credit union’s culture.
    • Understand that you are in the financial health business and there is a solid business case that supports that. How do you make that case? The Foundation is a member of the Financial Health Network and it is a great resource to walk you through the steps of analyzing your business case for financial health & well-being. Take a look here.
    • Understand that every interaction with a member is an opportunity to advance that member’s financial health and well-being.
  • documenting

    3. Document Results - Adjust

    Rigorously evaluate whether you are making a difference in improving your members’ and employees’ financial well-being. The Foundation funds evaluation efforts by credit unions. Here are three resources you can review:

Continue Your Journey With Us

In an effort to help you integrate financial health & well-being into everything that you do at your organization, the Foundation has curated additional resources to help guide you along your journey.

More Ways the Foundation Advances Financial Health & Well-being

  • 5 smiling kids with awards in front of sign

    Biz Kid$: Financial Health for Kids

    Biz Kid$ helps you empower the next generation to care about their financial futures through the award-winning series that provides education on finances and entrepreneurship.

    Learn more

  • child dressed up as superhero measuring


    The Foundation annually funds innovations within the credit union system to advance financial well-being. Here are a few examples:

    • Financial Reality Fairs: Reality Fairs provide hands-on, experiential learning for teens to help them prepare for their financial life after high school. The Foundation funded a grant to the RMJ Foundation – one to build a financial reality fair app and more recently, a grant to insert key analytics into the app to measure the result of the experience on kids’ attitudes about money pre- and post-reality fair. Learn more.
    • Measuring financial well-being: We funded six credit unions to do financial check-ups with their members and employees leveraging the methodology of the Financial Health Network. We learned that credit union members and employees struggle with their finances just as all the national statistics indicate. Here are the results.
  • table of cu fin health participants

    Thought Leadership

    As part of our catalyst mission, we serve as a convener of credit unions, national partners, researchers and others to advance financial health & well-being. CU FinHealth™ is the premier credit union conference that examines how credit unions are measuring their members’ financial health, working to improve it and documenting the results. The conference also explores the connections between financial health, physical health, technology and advocacy.

    The Foundation held a convening in January 2020 of system partners, researchers and credit unions to examine the state of financial well-being in credit unions.

Ignite Financial Health & Well-Being

The Foundation puts members and their financial health at the center of everything we do.

You might also consider...

Get in touch

For more information on financial health

Contact Gigi Hyland, Executive Director

Gigi Hyland

Gigi Hyland, CUDE

Executive Director

Gigi serves as the Executive Director for the Foundation, inspiring credit union professionals to collaborate and incorporate financial health and cooperative principles into their business strategy.