An Arizona-based credit union plans to make planning for the future easier with its new, online financial education service. 

Whether you’re ready to retire or looking to pay for college, achieving financial stability is no easy feat. TruWest Credit Union hopes to change that with its latest financial learning tool.   

Earlier this month, TruWest Credit Union released Compass, a free financial learning tool that provides users with the information they need to achieve their financial goals. The system is for both TruWest members and non-members. 

According to Jeff Peabody, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer of TruWest, the credit union was beginning to see more and more people stop by who didn’t know how to balance a checkbook or the way credit cards work. Peabody believed that as a credit union, TruWest had a “responsibility to teach others about finances.” 

“People have a desire and a need to know more about finances, because money is so important in people’s lives,” he said. 

But they didn’t want to do it alone. TruWest teamed up with EVERFI, an education technology company that has developed software and worked with schools nationwide, thus launching a six-month long development project. 

The system is easy to use and is available in English and Spanish. Along with a financial basics playlist, Compass offers modules that tackle major financial events: planning for retirement, major life transactions and paying for college. 

“It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s broken down into sections where people can take advantage of what they want,” Peabody said, also adding that the lessons remove any extraneous information that does not benefit the user. 

The playlists have a number of smaller video lessons and online calculators ready to view. Most videos are an average of 5 minutes long, which makes it easier to block away time to go through each lesson, according to Peabody. Users will also receive an email congratulating them on their completion of a module. 

Though it has just recently made its debut, Compass has received positive feedback so far, according to Peabody. More specifically, users enjoy the interactive nature of the program, and how each lesson is itemized and pertains to a specific interest. 

TruWest Credit Union has always had an obligation to educate others. Its corporate philosophy, according to Peabody, is to inform the customer first, saying that if a person does not understand how the financial world works, then it is “very hard to fulfill our mission.” 

“How better can you serve people than by educating them?” he said. 

And with the internet becoming an increasingly vital part of today’s society, putting Compass online was the next logical step to reach and support a larger community. 

“We really wanted to keep it free,” Peabody said. “We want to keep it available to everybody, and we just believe it’s a very important [product] for people going forward.”