Advancial Financial Literacy

Bree Sonnier, Advancial member service representative, and Julie Hardegree, Advancial business relations officer, get ready to welcome visitors Saturday.

KATY (Covering Katy News)—Students focus on many different subjects in school: Arithmetic, Reading, Writing, and so on. A Texas-based credit union with a presence in Katy is helping students, and some of their elders, learn about financial literacy.

Advancial is an employer-based credit union headquartered in Dallas with a Katy branch office at 23525 Katy Freeway. On Saturday, it set up a booth—with free Kona shaved ice, in deference to the heat—where it gave away school supplies and shared information about its services.

As an employer-based credit union, Advancial offers memberships to employees and families of its partner companies, homeowner associations, and schools. Julie Hardegree, Advancial business relations officer, said credit union representatives give financial literacy presentations at these schools and organizations, for students and families alike. Topics include budgeting, the importance of savings accounts, and preventing identity theft. Hardegree said Advancial representatives gave a presentation at the Houston Zoo on financial basics.

Good financial management consists of following solid practices. Hardegree said Advancial works with students to develop those practices, including setting up special student accounts that are co-owned with the students’ parents. Advancial representatives schedule monthly lunch visits at partner schools, where students with these accounts can make deposits and save their money.

“These are designed to teach financial literacy, and good financial habits early in life,” Hardegree said, adding that parents, students, and school staff are advised ahead of time when the representatives will be on campus and the deposits can be made.

Hardegree said many students bring their cash in plastic sandwich bags.

The credit union began by partnering with energy companies. The Katy branch office is one of several located in areas where energy companies are situated.

“A lot of our companies we partner with are in the Energy Corridor,” Hardegree said. “A lot of those employees live in the Katy market.”

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