Click here for Debt in Focus Enrollment form
Click here for Debt in Focus Information
Click here to view a cool video about Debt in Focus
Click here to access the Debt in Focus webinar recording
REAL Solutions® Debt in Focus Information
Great news! The Illinois Credit Union Foundation will provide the Debt in Focus program to REAL Solutions® Partner Credit Unions during 2011.
Your credit union can become part of REAL Solutions and take advantage of this outstanding offer. There is no cost to become a REAL Solutions® Partner CU. To be designated as a REAL Solutions® Partner, CUs must currently offer or be actively considering offering at least one REAL Solutions® program, product or service and complete a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU). Questions? Contact Melanie Murphy at 800-942-7124.
What is Debt in Focus?
Debt in Focus was created by the Filene Research Institute's i3 program to break down barriers which prevent many consumers from seeking traditional financial guidance. The anonymous financial assessment tool requires no self-identifying information from the users, is available around the clock, and provides easy-to-follow actions steps that are free from industry jargon and sales pitches.
Debt in Focus provides anonymous debt management advice for credit union members and all visitors to your CU's website. It is often the first step people will take when they experience financial difficulties. Many credit unions use Debt in Focus in conjunction with financial counseling. See information on the Enhanced FiCEP program on the League's website in the REAL Solutions® section for details regarding a financial counseling educational and certification program.
Debt in Focus delivers an actionable plan to help improve members’ credit profiles and reduce debt with a web-based debt management tool that:
- Is completely anonymous.
- Is simple to use and extremely user friendly (non-financial jargon).
- Provides the end-user with a summary of their debt (totals, ratios, estimated budget).
- Offers users opportunity to request additional assistance from your CU.
What is it worth?
The ICU Foundation will pay the annual enrollment fee for all REAL Solutions® Partner CUs, a value of $1,199. CUs can opt for a customized version of Debt in Focus which will feature your name and logo as well as links back to the CU when users request additional assistance. There is a one-time $150 customization fee for this option.
If a CU does not want a customized version, they will automatically receive the generic "Illinois Credit Union League" version. When users request additional assistance, the emails will go to Melanie Murphy at the League and every attempt will be made to direct the people back to the originating credit union.
Where can we get more information?
An informational webinar was recorded and is available for people who are unable to attend the "live" session. Go to the League's website; click on "League Services" then click on "REAL Solutions" to find the recording. Also, you can view a short video about Debt in Focus on the League's website. The links for these items are located above this article.
Find out more by listening to our informational webinar. Specifically, we walk through the Debt in Focus product; navigate the report capabilities and the tools available through the online Debt in Focus Network site; and review credit union Debt in Focus success stories.
What do we do if we're ready to go?
If your credit union is ready to enroll in the Debt in Focus program, please complete and return the enrollment form and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Both documents are available on the League's website. The Filene Institute will contact you directly regarding the customization option.
Also, mark you calendar for March 15, 2011 when there will be a training session for credit unions who are participating in the Debt in Focus program. This training session will be held as part of the Spring REAL Solutions® Partners Meeting at the League office.
Is there a deadline?
Yes, the deadline is March 11, 2011. CUs will be added as REAL Solutions® Partners and enrolled in the Debt in Focus program on a first-come, first-served basis. Debt in Focus is available to the first 77 CUs who register for it, including current REAL Solutions® Partner CUs.