Ready to Participate?

Help Us Tell the Story of the Credit Union Difference!


How can my credit union participate? Participation is simple.

  1. Sign the Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement

    pdf download (22kb)
  2. Continue to make small loans as usual or enhance your micro-loan program;
  3. Collect your results and report quarterly to your League.

    Information on reporting

Why should my credit union participate?

  1. Your credit union is already making small-dollar, unsecured loans;
  2. Your participation will help the Virginia League capture the social value of your small loans;
  3. The collection of data from participating credit unions will be used to define the Credit Union Difference for advocacy and public relations purposes;
  4. Your credit union can add to the impact and Virginia credit unions are having within their communities;
  5. The success and effectiveness of this project hinges on your engagement!

What data has to be collected and reported, and how often?

Data to be collected and reported quarterly to the Virginia League include:

  1. # of micro-loans ($3,000 or less) made to members by loan type;
  2. $ amount of these loans advanced to members by loan type;
  3. Loan purpose (we encourage tracking!);
  4. Borrower income;
  5. Credit score (if obtained).

A template of the loan survey is available here.

pdf download

Will these loan products be 'profitable' for my credit union?

Most credit unions report that small loans do not necessarily provide profitable return in and of themselves. But credit unions make these loans because it is part of their mission to meet the small-credit needs of their members. As credit unions improve the lives and well-being of their members through these small loans, the real sustainable value comes through member loyalty and usage of additional products and services.

Is there a cost to my credit union to participate?

There are no out-of-pocket costs to participate in Reality Check. Your credit union will be asked to name a contact person for the project and to track and report data regarding your small loans on a quarterly basis. A template of the loan survey and collectable data is included as part of the toolkit materials. Most credit unions report they are already collecting this data or that it will not be difficult to collect and report.

Who stands to benefit from Reality Check?

  1. Virginia consumers who are living paycheck to paycheck and have little in the way of cash assets to cover any financial emergencies will have more access to affordable credit;
  2. Virginia communities will benefit from healthier and wealthier consumers using their credit unions rather than paying exorbitant fees to predatory lenders;
  3. Virginia credit unions can demonstrate their not-for-profit uniqueness to help consumers with small credit needs, while growing membership and loan volume;
  4. The Virginia Credit Union movement: Your League can report the difference credit unions are making in the lives of Virginians.

Learn more

Share the Reality Check Frequently Asked Questions document with your Board and credit union staff.

PDF Download (pdf, 246kb)


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