LATHRUP VILLAGE — Michigan First Credit Union received top honors from the Credit Union National Association for its efforts to engage 17-25 year-olds to better manage checking accounts. The credit union won the first-place Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award at the national level for the First Gear checking account, part of the Young & Free Michigan consumer outreach program. Michigan First also received state-level honors through the Michigan Credit Union League for its youth and adult financial education efforts.
Launched in January 2011, the Young & Free Michigan program connects high school and college students with useful, engaging and fun financial content and insights through its blog, social media channels and regular community events. The First Gear checking account is a centerpiece of the program and offers participants financial training wheels, including “Oops Forgiveness” on overdrafts and two free non-network ATM withdrawals each month.
“We’re thrilled to be recognized for this innovative approach: using our accounts to teach financial skills at this critical age,” says the credit union’s President/CEO Michael Poulos. “It’s all part of Michigan First’s effort to focus on serving our younger members—finding unique ways to support them and help them on the path to making smarter financial choices.”
Michigan First was also recognized with a state-level first place award for adult financial education for its free, public community financial education seminar series and an honorable mention for youth financial education for its MoneyKids and MoneyTeens programs.
The Herring Award winners, selected to embody the cooperative credit union philosophy, are chosen annually from among the more than 300 credit unions in Michigan and the more than 7,500 nationwide.