Picture of Clara Hori Written by Clara Hori
on May 16, 2024

Much like a skilled mechanic simplifies auto repair details for their customers, financial marketers work to clarify daunting financial concepts like APR, dividends, compound interest, and collateral. To support these efforts, we’ve identified six best practices that could refine and perhaps even enhance your current communication strategies. Let’s explore these methods to ensure you’re utilizing every tool available to make financial language as clear and empowering as possible.

Break It Down

The first step to demystifying financial language is simplifying complex terms into more relatable language. For instance, instead of using “annual percentage rate,” explain that APR is essentially the total cost of borrowing money, represented as a percentage that includes both interest and fees. Then, explain why this is important — in this case, understanding what APR includes allows members to make more informed decisions, compare loans more accurately, and ultimately save money. Close with an example: "A member not familiar with APR, might choose a loan with a lower nominal interest rate but a higher APR, not realizing that the overall cost of the loan is greater due to hidden fees". This approach helps members understand the practical implications of these terms on their finances.

Provide Context

Context is crucial for understanding. For instance, explain dividends as a share of the credit union’s profits returned to members, akin to how shareholders receive dividends in corporations. For secured loans, use real-life scenarios: John used his car as collateral to secure a lower interest rate, which he then used to consolidate higher-interest credit card debt.

Use Analogies

Analogies are powerful tools for simplifying complex concepts, and using a variety of them is recommended. Describe compound interest as similar to a snowball rolling downhill — growing as it picks up more snow — to illustrate how savings can increase over time. Liquidity could be likened to water in different containers: cash in a checking account (like water in a glass) is more accessible than money in a retirement account (like water in a sealed bottle). These analogies help make abstract financial concepts tangible.

Visual Aids

Cater visual aids to diverse learning styles. For younger or tech-savvy members, interactive digital formats like animated infographics or video tutorials are effective. For instance, an animated graph showing how different savings rates affect retirement fund growth can help members visualize the benefits of consistent savings.

Interactive Learning Tools

Engage members with tools like financial calculators and quizzes. A loan repayment calculator lets members see how variables like interest rate and term length affect their payments and total costs. Highlight real-life tool applications through member testimonials: Lisa, for example, used an online budgeting tool to adjust her spending and save for a down payment on a house, which helped her better manage her finances.

Personalized Guidance

Each member’s financial journey is unique, making personalized guidance invaluable. Credit unions can offer one-on-one consultations or create customized educational materials tailored to individual member needs and goals. This personalized approach helps tackle specific challenges and builds confidence in financial management.


Financial jargon need not be a barrier. By breaking down terms, providing context, utilizing analogies, incorporating visual aids, employing interactive tools, and offering personalized guidance, credit unions can help members become fluent in what once felt like a foreign language.

Prisma Campaigns recognizes the importance of clear communication. Our marketing automation solutions help credit unions standardize language and personalize communications to match members’ unique needs. Enhance clarity and engagement in your financial communications today; contact us to learn how we can help empower your members for financial success.



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