people are waiting for credit unions to do what credit unions do best

Huge credit union opportunities in the news

Here’s a recap of a few recent news stories that also set off that little light in my brain labeled “You know, credit unions have opportunities to really think big here”.

Closing the Black homeownership gap

Ponder a statistic from this article from SWBC: “In 2021, Black homeownership rates were at 44%, while 74% of white individuals owned a home.” That is a LOT of people still being kept out of one of the more important avenues to long-term financial well-being.

Of course, there’s been a lot of work and regulation around reducing embedded racism in the application and approval process. Confronting the legacy of racism embedded in the appraisal process is another important way to keep chipping away at the problem. This article outlines the problems (yes, it’s a problem in every city, even yours) and potential solutions. Important stuff!

But here’s the thing: that 30% gap also represents opportunity: millions of hard-working people just waiting for credit unions to do what credit unions do best.

Yes, Rivian really is building real electric trucks in real numbers.

My not-so-inner engineer loved this video from electric truck maker Rivian showing their sprawling factory in Normal Illinois cranking out trucks in volume. Finally.

By all accounts, the trucks are amazing; Rivian really knocked it out of the park with their products. And at last they’re starting to trickle out to the thousands of customers who put down deposits. If you’re an EV fan, let’s just say it’s been a long saga

It’s also very interesting to see Amazon’s delivery trucks being made, although they don’t show a complete one. They’re obviously intended to start making a dent in Amazon’s first order of 100,000 electric delivery trucks.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again; the financial equations and opportunities around electric vehicles are fundamentally different than for ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles. Obviously, the owner will spend less on energy than on gasoline, but they may also need a charging station at home. And odds are that people who are interested in EVs will also be interested in things like solar or in-home power storage.

And if you offer business lending, switching fleets to EVs ASAP will be critical to success for a lot of local businesses.

As manufacturing catches up, the trickle of EVs from all manufacturers will quickly become a flood of opportunity over the next five years. Got your surfboard ready?

Sick and struggling: how can CUs help fix medical debt in the USA?

Did you know that over 100 million people in the US have medical debt? It’s the biggest driver of bankruptcy. It’s harming all your members, and, quite literally, killing some of them.

The other side of the coin is that healthcare costs and medical debt are a huge opportunity for credit unions to step in and step up in small and large ways. Yes, the elephant in the room is that the politics are toxic and the problem is enormous, so CUs are timid. But if your mission really is to help your members achieve financial well-being, this is something you are required to confront head-on. The sooner you start chewing, the better.

Millions of hard-working people are waiting for credit unions to do what credit unions do best.

These opportunities are here. What are you waiting for?

Brian Wringer

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