'World's Only Independent CU For Kids' Opens Doors

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STAR Credit Union, which bills itself as the "world's only independent credit union just for kids," opened its doors inside the Boys & Girls Club here last week.

The credit union is being jointly operated by Summit Credit Union and CUNA Credit Union. Summit CU EVP Diane Halvorson is chair of STAR (which stands for Save to Achieve Results) Credit Union. Approximately 20 students have already opened accounts at STAR, which has set a goal of 100 children opening savings accounts by year-end.

Jessica Wilson, who has worked in financial institutions for eight years, has been hired as STAR president and manager. She will teach members the benefits of saving money and encourage children to open accounts.

The kids' CU is the brainchild of Kim Sponem, CEO of CUNA Credit Union, who collaborated with Andy Faust, CEO of Summit Credit Union. Sponem is a also a director of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County board of directors.

CUNA Credit Union and Summit Credit Union will cover all operating costs, which are anticipated to be about $40,000 annually. CUNA Mutual Group Foundation and the Wisconsin Credit Union League Community Investment Fund are both contributing $5,000 in start-up capital. Harland is providing software. The Boys & Girls Club is donating the space.

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