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September 2011Vol 2, Issue 9
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We can make a difference
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$2,853.88 per second...this is the rate total student loan debt is increasing, reports


WOW, talk about a scary figure! Numerous reports in the past couple of weeks have focused on this issue as student loan debt is expected to top $1 trillion this year. Stats like this really motivate me to help our Montana students attain an education without having to borrow as much. Check out MCUCD's Consumer Topic of the Month for tools and resources to help plan for school.


In addition to the excitement of going back to school, fall is when our VITA team at MCUCD begins to ramp up volunteer recruitment and plans for the 2012 tax season are in full swing - yes, it's that time again!


With the change of the seasons comes an exciting new opportunity through MCUCD. Starting in October, we're launching our first Financial Coaching Training. After learning more about the training (see information below), I hope you consider becoming a financial coach!


Karen Smith 
MCUCD's Director of Outreach Services

In This Issue
Making a Difference
Financial Coaching
Seeking VITA Volunteers
Rural Montana Magazine
September Consumer Topic
Quick Links  

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Making A Difference


MCUCD's Newly Appointed Advisory Council

Last month the MCUCD Board of Directors appointed an eight-person Advisory Council to bring collective knowledge, influence, and enthusiasm to expand MCUCD's empowering and award-winning programs. The Council will be a "think tank" to address issues and design strategies to help MCUCD better accomplish its mission. 


The Advisory Council members, serving a one-year term, are:

  • Holly Lane - Rocky Mountain Credit Union, Helena and Bozeman
  • Jessica Emeterio - Rimrock Credit Union, Billings
  • Kristy Sokolich - Mile High Federal Credit Union, Butte
  • Laurie Pearson - Richland Federal Credit Union, Sidney and Culbertson
  • Marjie Fosjord - Billings Federal Credit Union
  • Maureen Bryan - Park Side Federal Credit Union, Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls
  • Mickey Kunnary - CUsource, Helena and Great Falls
  • Ranel Smith - Montana Credit Union Network, Helena and Great Falls

The members of MCUCD's first-ever Advisory Council stand ready to further MCUCD's mission of improving the social and economic well-being of Montanans through credit unions. To contact any member of MCUCD's Advisory Council or staff, click here

Financial Coaching Training
Piggy BankRegister today for a training opportunity that offers a unique approach to help members/clients manage the changes they need to achieve a healthy financial future. A team of trainers from Central New Mexico Community College will be leading the Financial Coach Training in Billings. In addition, staff from MCUCD and three of our partner organizations will be trained as Financial Coach Trainers -- allowing us to offer several Financial Coach Trainings across Montana in 2012 and beyond.


MCUCD is very excited to be moving forward with its Financial Coaching project as a result of grants from the National Credit Union Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Consider attending this first training and let others who may be interested know as well. Contact Karen Smith to learn more about this training and the Financial Coaching program.

Volunteer Opportunities
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Do you have some time to volunteer during this upcoming winter to help those in your community? Are you interested in learning how to prepare basic tax returns?


Consider serving your community as a volunteer tax preparer!


Tax volunteers make a REAL difference for Montanans: last year, volunteers prepared over 2,000 tax returns at credit union-sponsored sites across the state, returning $1.9 million to hard working Montanans. No professional experience required! All volunteers receive FREE and flexible training to become IRS certified, with support provided before, during, and after tax season. 


If you have been looking for a meaningful way to give back to your community - look no further!

To learn more about how to volunteer for free tax services in your community, please visit or contact Rachael at 1-800-745-5546 ext 142.

Rural Montana Magazine
Rural Montana Magazine Sept Cover 
Check out the September 2011 issue of the Montana Electric Cooperatives' Association magazine Rural Montana. The matched savings programs offered through MCUCD are highlighted in the article 'Do the College Math'.


If you don't already receive the publication and are interested, consider a subscription.
Consumer Topic of the Month
CRC GraphicBack to School


According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, on average, the higher the level of education someone has, the higher their salary will be. Yet school can be expensive. A 2009 study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation exploring the main reason why students do not finish college found that the most cited reason for dropping out was financial difficulties.


Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month to learn more about what you can do to prepare for and manage back to school costs.