Thursday, March 31, 2016

Four Things Credit Unions Should Know About Millennials

As millennials continue to dominate the workforce and control more than $200B in direct purchasing power, it’s imperative that credit unions understand this generation in order to attract and retain them as members, and communicate and engage with them effectively.

Millennials are often described in generalizations, when in reality, they have a variety of needs. They’re single, married, parents, students, entrepreneurs, and so much more.

On March 22, we released our What Matters Now: Insights from Millennials research, which focused on millennial motivations, worries and hopes, and how they define success.

Here are some key insights from the research to help you better understand and serve Millennials:

  1. Millennials under 30 are more apprehensive about debt and credit than millennials over 30. Younger millennials are more worried about paying off student loans and less likely to have a current car loan than their over 30 counterparts.

    How can credit unions use this information? Millennials both WANT and NEED financial education, so aim to be a financial ally to guide on money management. Start early by teaching high school and college students basic financial literacy through seminars, workshops or serving as a guest speaker.

  2. The needs of millennial parents are quite different from those of non-parent millennials. With nearly half of millennials now parents, many are looking to make big purchases, such as a new home or car.

    How can credit unions use this information? Partner with then on their home and car buying experience, and all of the long term planning that millennials – especially parents – need help with, like retirement, investing, life insurance and kids’ college savings plans.

  3. Millennial definitions of success vary by geographical region. Millennials in the West and Northeast define success differently than their peers in the South and Central regions.

    How can credit unions use this information? Understand how millennials in your geographic region are most likely to define success, and consider weaving in marketing messaging that aligns with it.

  4. Most importantly, there’s a huge opportunity to attract millennials to your credit union. Only 14% of millennials use a credit union for their primary account. In fact, when asked why they don’t use credit unions, the number one reason millennials reported was that they don’t know much about them.

    How can credit unions use this information? Promote the credit union difference! Credit unions have a strong association and alignment with the values that are important to millennials, so use this to your advantage.
Millennials are much more complex than common generalizations lead us to believe. To learn more, visit