Financial Education is Key!
Financial Education is a critical factor in the communities Meriwest serves. It is a basic life skill and is part of several non-profit organizations' missions. If families had a better grasp of finance, perhaps there would be fewer families facing life with no savings, high credit card debt or home foreclosure.
We support a number of Businesses and local non-profit agencies' clientele through our Financial Education for All program.
Learn more about our informative, organized, structured and formal financial education programs that Meriwest Credit Union presents to the community.
- ABCs of Credit
- Auto Finance 101
- Building Your Budget – Blueprint for Success
- Debt Management
- Debt Management (Handout)
- Establishing Credit for Students
- How to Write a Check
- Improving Your Credit Score
- Intro to Budgeting Preventing Identity Theft
- Tips for Interviewing Success including Resume Writing
- Reality Based Budgeting (for students)
Youth Financial Education – We want to partner with your school!
Meriwest is a proud partner of many school districts providing financial and life skills workshops to help our students become prepared for the financial realities of today's world? Do they understand what credit means? Can they balance a checkbook and live within their means? These are the questions all parents should be asking and preparing their children for as they develop their independence. The Meriwest Teen Financial Education classes give young people insight into what life can be like when they are independent and living on their own. Our budget simulation gives the students a post college job and a savings account. The students then have to rent an apartment, furnish the apartment, buy a car, and then develop a budget that will allow them to live comfortably and replenish their savings with their after tax income. It is an exciting and thought provoking class that gives young people a taste of the real world.
Meriwest Credit Union also provides credit classes for teens and young adults. Establishing Credit teaches teenagers how to get started in credit and what financial issues to avoid on the way to building an excellent credit rating. The Credit Myths and Repair workshop provides a more in-depth view of credit and credit scoring as well as information on accessing and reviewing one's credit report. Finally, Auto Finance 101 provides valuable insights into purchasing and financing a young person's first vehicle. In the Auto Finance 101 class we teach teens and young adults how to negotiate their deal and show them the best options for financing their auto purchases.
Call our Community Relations Team at (408) 365-6328 to inquire and book a time for us to visit your school.
Meriwest's Annual Essay Competition
Each year, high school age members have the opportunity to win a cash prize for their continued education by participating in Meriwest's High School Essay Competition. To participate in the contest, High School students must submit a 1,000 word essay based upon the specific topic suggested by the team at Meriwest Credit Union.
The competition is open to high school students between the ages of 13 and 18 and members of Meriwest, with a GPA of 2.0 or higher who live or work in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties or Tucson, Arizona.
Students who do not live or work in these counties, but are existing Meriwest members or relatives, are also eligible to enter.
The annual program will usually accept student essays in January. Date and details will be announced prior. Please visit the Meriwest.com for a link to the Essay Competition page for more information when this contest starts.
Learn more about our informative, organized, structured and formal financial education programs that Meriwest Credit Union presents to the community. Some of our partners include:
- Sharks Foundation - The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of underserved youth and families in the community with an emphasis in the areas of education, health and safety, and character development. The Foundation supplies emergency aid when appropriate, executes unique and relevant programming, supports the advancement of youth hockey, and provides financial support and resources to organizations that enrich the lives of those in need. Since its inception, the Sharks Foundation has given more than $15 million back to Bay Area organizations through its annual Community Assist Grant program and season-long Giving Campaign
- Santa Clara County Youth and Family Services - The mission of Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services is to keep children safe and families strong. With respect and cultural humility, we partner with our diverse community to ensure that any child or youth who is at risk or has suffered abuse or neglect is safe, cared for and grows up in a stable, loving family.
- Second Harvest Food Bank - Sole Mission is to “Lead our community to ensure that anyone who needs a healthy meal can get one.” Meriwest volunteer team received a gold medal award for our support. Second Harvest Food Bank provides free meals, volunteer opportunities and jobs.
- Fremont Unified High School Foundation - Fremont Union High Schools Foundation is an independent non-profit organization promoting educational excellence across our five high schools: Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista.
- Bill Wilson Center - Bill Wilson Center is committed to working with the community to ensure that every youth has access to the range of services needed to grow to be healthy and self-sufficient adults. Bill Wilson Center has been providing services to runaway and homeless youth since 1973.
- Good Karma Bikes- Good Karma Bikes is a nonprofit social enterprise full-service bike shop. We reinvest our earned revenue into programs targeting at-risk and emancipated foster youth as well as those whose bicycle is their primary means of transportation.
- Peninsula Family Services - Peninsula Family Service strengthens the community by providing children, families, and older adults the support and tools to realize their full potential and lead healthy, stable lives. Visit their website to learn more about Financial Empowerment Programs.
- African American Community Services Agency - It is the mission of the African American Community Service Agency to preserve the dignity and culture of a diverse African American Community and to provide services that promote full participation of all of Santa Clara County and the general society.
- Neurodiversity Pathways at Goodwill - Neurodiversity Pathways at Goodwill of Silicon Valley seeks to expand the acceptance and inclusion of neurodivergent individuals in the modern workplace. The primary impact for the neurodivergent individuals we hope to achieve is meaningful, rewarding, and sustained employment that is commensurate with their education, interests, and skills.
- YWCA - At YWCA Silicon Valley - one of the first multiservice agencies in the Bay Area, we are committed to eliminating racism and empowering women by not only a depth of direct service to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, but also towards bold systems change. YWCA is on a mission to empower by working to end racism and violence, to achieve solutions for survivors of violence facing homelessness and to inspire by closing the education and prosperity gap
For Personal Finance
Meriwest Credit Union believes everyone should have access to personal financial education. It does not matter whether you are a youth or a senior citizen; the need for financial education spans all age groups.
Young people need to learn about budgeting and how to best handle a checking account. Later in life, we need to learn how to purchase a home or how to protect our identities in public and on the internet. As we grow even older, we need to know how to protect our retirement nest eggs and prepare our estates to help our children and grandchildren.
Improve your financial future by gaining a better understanding of a broad range of personal finance topics. The tools & tips we are providing will help you build strong money management skills that will serve you today and for years to come.
Meriwest Credit Union is here to help empower educators by providing free access to a diverse range of financial literacy resources. Our resources include free financial literacy presentations for classroom use and online video tutorials. It is our hope these resources will provide students the tools necessary for financial success.
Incorporating money lessons into your classroom is an important addition to a student’s educational experience. Whether you’re introducing this topic to your students for the first time or you want to reinforce what you’re currently doing, our resources offer a wide array of topics.
Free EverFi Online Education Program for Schools
Meriwest is now partnering with EverFi™ Opens a New Window. to bring financial literacy education to local elementary and high school students by providing them with no-cost access to the EverFi™ Financial Literacy/ Vault™ – Understanding Money learning platform.
This web-based program uses the latest in new media technology – simulations, avatars, gaming and adaptive-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. Through this platform, students will become certified in hundreds of topics in personal finance, allowing them to become more informed, responsible citizens. Meriwest has partnered with EverFi, Inc. to bring the interactive financial management program to these elementary and high school students at no cost to the school(s).
Access licenses are limited. For more information, contact Helen Grays-Jones, Community Relations Manager, by Email or call (408) 365-6328.
College Savings Plans
Every parent wants to see their child enter and graduate from college. The 529 College Savings Plans were created to help families save for college without having to pay taxes on the earnings. If 100% of the funds deposited in a 529 College Savings are used for any type of post-secondary school education (colleges and trade schools) the earnings are tax free.
- College 529 Plans - This is a U.S. Government sponsored website featuring general information on College 529 Savings Plans. Will you have the money ready when your child is ready for college? Learn how a 529 Plan can benefit your child's future education.
- Estate Planning - In a way, estate planning is like fishing in the backwoods. You would not go into the backwoods without a professional guide to lead you to the best streams where you find the best fishing. In the case of your estate, your investment advisor is your guide to protecting your family and the nest egg you have grown over the years. A professional investment advisor will be able to direct you to the best products that meet your investment objectives and estate planning needs.
- Meriwest Wealth Advisors - Estate planning is not simple or planned for overnight. Good estate planning can save your family time and money when you pass. With a good estate plan, you can save money on your taxes and pass along more of your estate to the ones you love. You can even establish charitable giving with your plan or a charitable trust or foundation. MW Wealth Advisors can help you.
Meriwest Wealth Advisors is also the investment company serving the members of Meriwest Credit Union. You need someone who can distill your financial information and investment goals into an investment portfolio customized to your lifestyle and needs. You can discover your options by meeting with one of the registered representatives by calling (408) 363-3300. A simple call can make a big difference for you and your family.
Unlock the benefits of banking with Meriwest Credit Union
You can also call us at 877-MERIWEST (877) 637-4937