The National Credit Union Foundation documented the impact of Pelican State Credit Union’s Financial Wellness Program from 2019 to 2021.
An analysis of member accounts uncovered something startling: Members were relying on payday loans and other expensive alternative f inancial services for their lending needs. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Pelican had established its commitment to provide affordable financial services to low-income communities and people who lacked access to financing. The credit union’s mission statement also put its pledge to member financial wellbeing front and center: “To improve the lives of members through safe, competitive products and educational services.”
A redesign of their lending program. Pelican knew affordable loans were important, but that helping members achieve true financial well-being would require something more. With that in mind, Pelican created a financial wellness program that changed the collections process and made counseling and member commitments part of the loan experience. Recognizing not every member would be ready to completely change how they managed their finances, Pelican also offered a number of à la carte options for a member to explore.
For more information: Download the full research brief for more detail on the program, the process to implement it and its results.