Credit unions need to continue to attract more consumers in their peak borrowing years—age 25 to 44—and attract even younger ones— age 18 to 24. That’s where “millennials” come in, according to CUNA’s 2010-2011 Environmental Scan Report (E-Scan).
The millennial generation (a.k.a., generation Y), is roughly defined as those born between 1980 and 2000. Credit unions should expect these 95 million people to affect American culture as significantly as the 76 million baby boomers did.
The opportunity for credit unions: This generation carries unprecedented levels of student and consumer debt with little knowledge of financial management, reports the Filene Research Institute.
And against the backdrop of the slow economic recovery and a tight credit market, millennials will see a sharp decline in the amount of unsecured debt available. As providers of lower-cost financial services, credit unions are an attractive option for this group.
The oldest millennials are nearly 30 years old and in their prime borrowing years. Attracting and serving these members will help credit unions reach their lending goals and fill the void created by retiring boomers who are becoming net savers.
To attract millennials, the E-Scan advises credit unions to:
* CUNA’s 2010-2011 Environmental Scan Report