MADISON, Wis. (4/13/10)--Debt in Focus, a Web-based debt management tool, is newly expanded and available for credit unions that want to help members anonymously make smart decisions about their family finances, said Filene Research Institute. The tool, the result of a partnership between the Filene’s i3 group and Ent FCU, Colorado Springs, Colo., was beta-tested by 288 credit unions and 150,000 consumers in 10 months. Feedback led to program enhancements, which were completed April 1. In a small, private launch, the new version already has garnered 126 credit union clients in two weeks. “Americans have amassed about $2.5 trillion in consumer debt, and many of them are looking for what to do about it,” says George Hofheimer, Filene chief research officer. “Debt in Focus is a simple, jargon-free roadmap that helps those consumers who are drowning in their financial situations.” With the tool, members can check up on their financial health anonymously through the Internet, removing the most common barrier that prevents consumers from seeking financial help while eliminating most of the costs associated with providing such assistance. The tool offers:
* Custom branding and keyword mapping to direct users to specific product offerings of the host credit union; * White-label marketing campaigns, collateral, peer-to-peer support, and video content; * The ability for users to opt-in to being contacted by the host credit union, making way for deeper financial counseling and cross promotion; and * Full 256-bit SSL encryption and secure, SAS70 compliant hosting.
Users spent an average of 16 minutes with the tool during testing. The average reported credit score of users is 682, average revolving debt is $18,822 and overall debt load is $150,558, indicating that those who tune in to the tool have real challenges with their finances, Filene said. For more information, use the link.