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CFSI: CUs Have Opportunities to Support Member Financial Stability
Friday, November 14, 2014 6:30 AM

A new study from the Center for Financial Services Information indicates that credit unions have an opportunity to help their members achieve financial stability. Although only 30 percent of Americans say they are highly satisfied with their present financial condition, and 45 percent say they are confident they can meet their long-term goals for becoming financially secure, almost half expect their financial situation to be better in five years.

CFSI commissioned GfK, an online consumer research company, to deploy a national survey to collect data for its Consumer Financial Health Study. The survey was fielded from June through August, and more than 7,000 individuals over age 18 responded to the survey.

More than one quarter of Americans said the most important time frame for saving money for the future is the next few weeks or months, and another 27 percent say the next year or the next few years. Only 19 percent indicate that their most important time frame for saving for the future is longer than 10 years.

"Consumers need their financial providers to partner with them, providing new tools and resources to make their optimism a reality," CFSI said in its report. "Innovative transactional and credit products could come equipped with features that enable consumers to make real-time decisions about what spending they can afford or that facilitate making trade-offs among bills more seamlessly."

A significant percentage of consumers are still ill-prepared to weather financial setbacks, according to the survey. While 35 percent of Americans said their household could make ends meet for more than six months, another 30 percent said they would only be able to make ends meet for three months or less. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) said they do not know how long they could make ends meet if faced with an emergency.