Advocating for Our Financial Well-Being

  • May 1, 2024

Credit unions stand as strong advocates for the financial well-being of their members and communities. With a commitment to serving the needs of their members, credit unions actively engage in legislative advocacy efforts to promote policies that foster a fair and inclusive financial landscape.

Through outreach, grassroots campaigns and coalition building, credit unions advocate for initiatives that enhance access to affordable financial services, protect consumer rights and support economic prosperity. Whether it's advocating for regulatory reforms to ensure credit unions can better serve their members or championing measures to combat financial exploitation, credit unions are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of their members and communities.

Moreover, credit unions understand the importance of being the voice of their members in the legislative process. By advocating for policies that prioritize the needs of everyday members, credit unions play a vital role in shaping a financial system that works for everyone.

Ascentra teamed up with the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL) and other credit unions across the state to push an update to the Iowa Credit Union Act of 1925. As credit unions and their members grow and evolve, so should the laws and regulations that govern them. The new bill that passed on May 1 and takes effect July 1, 2024 will help credit unions improve protections of staff and members by strengthening the member expulsion process and assist in finding quality board members by allowing flexibility in required board meetings and compensation for their service – similar to other cooperatives.

With this victory, Iowa credit unions are looking to decide their next legislative priorities, one of which being access for affordable childcare. Under current law, families between 160 percent and 225 percent of the federal poverty level are ineligible to enroll for the program unless their income drops below 160 percent. Greater access to childcare assistance will increase our workforce and positively impact our economy. As a financial cooperative, we know the importance of saving for a “rainy day”. A recent study showed that only 23 percent of lower income households have enough savings to cover three months of expenses. Prize-linked savings programs are a tested, successful concept currently allowed by 34 other states to incentivize the habit of saving with a chance of winning a cash prize by saving at insured financial institutions.

Although these are just a few efforts Iowa credit unions and the ICUL are advocating for, there are many more. These types of credit union advocacy efforts are a testament to the unwavering commitment credit unions have to empower members and strengthen communities through financial education, access and opportunity. Learn more about ICUL and other advocacy efforts at