MainStreet's 7 reasons millennials are choosing CUs

March 31, 2015
NEW YORK (4/1/15)--Between 2013 and 2014, nearly 2 million millennials became credit union members, according to numbers from CUNA, further signaling that young people are ditching banks for their local, cooperatively owned financial institutions.

Personal finance website recently investigated why this generation appears to be making the switch, with an article called the "7 Reasons Millennials Are Turning to Credit Unions Instead of Banks."

The top reason--that credit unions provide customer-friendly service--shouldn't come as a surprise to credit union advocates. But that reputation is beginning to spread, it appears.

Millennials prefer the "simple, straightforward solutions" that credit unions provide, Neil Hartman, director of the business consulting firm West Monroe Partners, told

Next, millennials also are beginning to learn that credit unions will work with them to secure loans, even if their credit isn't in great shape. Banks tend to turn away millennials with lower credit scores, Hartman said.

The third reason? Questions at credit unions are answered quickly and by real people.  

"They want to know that they can pick up the phone and talk to somebody," said Shawn Gilfedder, president/CEO, McGraw Hill FCU, East Windsor, N.J. "Millennials are really the no-fluff group, and they want it when they want it, and how they want it."

The final four reasons:
  • Mobile banking is the new norm. Millennials are drawn to mobile technology, and the younger generation is learning that credit unions offer these types of services at the same level as banks;
  • Millennials more frequently shop for deals, including for car loans and mortgages. "Millennials are smart consumers and they can quickly identify where the opportunities are," Gilfedder said;
  • Credit union membership is more accessible than in the past; and
  • Millennials prefer the lower and fewer fees credit unions offer, especially when on a tight budget.