Thornapple Credit Union is committed to teaching financial literacy to as many people as possible. Financial literacy empowers people with the information they need by helping them to understand how to live on a budget and manage their finances.

Financial literacy’s importance to daily life cannot be stressed enough. If you understand how to balance your budget, set aside savings for the future, and develop a strong financial vocabulary, you will be a more successful consumer.

Below are just some of the programs TCU offers for Financial Education

TCU Making Cents for Students


PreSchool/GSRP - What is Money?
Young Kindergarten - Characteristics & Functions of Money
Kindergarten - Wants & Needs: Space Explorers
1st – Wants and Needs Bingo
2nd – Income vs. Expense
3rd – Budgeting with Skittles
4th – Financial Jeopardy: A Penny for Your Thoughts
5th – Boss Kids: Entrepreneurship Project
6th – The Price is Right: Knowing Value
7th – Real World Jr.: Reality Launch
8th – Visualizing Your Financial Future
9th – Achieving Your Financial Vision
10th – Real World: Reality Check
11th – Community Resource Fair
12th – Adulting 101

Custom lesson plans are available upon request. Please feel free to reach out with any collaborations you may have in mind.

TCU Real World Series

The TCU Real World Series for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults shows the reality of money in a way that is completely personalized to our community and the group participating in the simulations for the most realistic experience possible.

TCU Reality Check

Teaching kids the reality of money to create financially responsible young adults.

College Education provided by TCU:

The Art of Budgeting: A personal budget is a financial plan that allocates future income toward expenses, savings, and debt repayment. “Where does the money go?” is a common dilemma faced by many individuals and households when it comes to budgeting and money management.  Effective money management starts with a goal and a step-by-step plan for saving and spending. Financial goals should be realistic, be specific, have a timeframe, and imply an action to be taken. This lesson will encourage students to take the time and effort to develop their own personal financial goals and budget.

Living on Your Own: As young people grow up, a common goal is to live on their own. However, the challenges of independent living are often quite different from their expectations. This lesson provides a reality check for students as they investigate the costs associated with moving, obtaining furniture and appliances, and renting an apartment.

Buying a Home: For many, buying a home is the single most important financial decision they will make in their lifetime.  However, the process of becoming a first-time homebuyer can be overwhelming and requires a foundation for basic home-buying knowledge.  This lesson will provide students with information on buying a home and where and how to begin the process. After comparing the differences between renting and buying, students will be introduced to a five-step process for home buying. This framework provides an overview for the activities involved with selecting and purchasing a home.

Credit: In today’s world, credit is integrated into everyday life. From renting a car to reserving an airline ticket or hotel room, credit cards have become a necessary convenience. However, using credit wisely is critical to building a solid credit history and maintaining fiscal fitness. While most students have a general idea about the advantages and disadvantages of credit, this lesson provides an opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail.

Credit Cards: What is APR? What is a grace period? What are transaction fees?  These and other questions will be answered in this lesson as students learn about credit cards, and the different types of cards available and features of each, such as bank cards, store cards, and travel and entertainment cards.  As students start to shop for their first (or next) credit card, this lesson will make them aware of various costs and features. Included in this section is a discussion of the methods for calculating finance charges.

Cars and Loans: “Should I buy a new car or a used car?”  “Where is the best place to finance my automobile purchase?”  “Is it better to take the rebate or the low-rate financing plan?”  These are typical questions asked by people buying vehicles. In this lesson, students are asked to identify costs associated with owning and operating a motor vehicle. Since these costs are commonly underestimated, guidelines are provided on how much to spend when buying vehicles.

Consumer Awareness: Decisions, decisions. With so many choices available to us, how can we be sure we’re making the right decision?  Wise consumer buying starts with a plan. Using a systematic purchasing strategy will provide students with an ability to make more effective purchases. Comparative shopping techniques will be discussed to encourage students to carefully consider price, product attributes, warranties, and store policies. Next, this lesson covers a variety of buying methods, such as buying clubs, shopping by phone, catalogs, online, and door-to-door selling.

Saving and Investing: Saving just 35 cents a day will result in more than $125 in a year. Small amounts saved and invested can easily grow into larger sums. However, a person must start to save.  This lesson provides students with a basic knowledge of saving and investing. The process starts with setting financial goals. Next, a commitment to saving is discussed.

Trouble: The material in this lesson will help students become aware of the warning signs of financial difficulties.

Consumer Privacy: In today’s information age, keeping your personal financial information private can be challenging. What you put on an application for a loan, your payment history, where you make purchases, and your account balances are but a few of the financial records that can be sold to third parties and other organizations.  This lesson will discuss how public and private records are accessed and used by various organizations, as well as review privacy laws to protect your information.


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202 E. Woodlawn, Hastings, MI 49058
Text or Call (269) 948 8369
Email: contact@thornapplecu.com


108 S. Grove, Delton, MI 49046
Text or Call (269) 948 8369
Email: contact@thornapplecu.com


410 S. Broadway, Middleville, MI. 49333
Text or Call (269) 948 8369
Email: contact@thornapplecu.com


Lobby, Drive Thru and Electronic Hours
Monday-Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm
Friday 8:30am-5pm
Extended Drive Thru Hours available at Hastings and Delton locations
Friday 5:00pm-6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm
Extended Electronic Hours
Saturday 12:00pm-2:00pm
24 Hour ATM

Federally Insured by NCUA