Jun 05 2009

Reaching Generation Debt: New Products and Strategies

Report  
Number  
188

In Filene’s final CU Tomorrow brief, Anya Kamenetz, a staff writer at Fast Company magazine and the author of Generation Debt, addresses the question: How can credit unions better serve young adults?

Anya Kamenetz
Staff Writer
Fast Company
Report Number 188

Executive Summary

Researchers and journalists know how easy—and dangerous—it is to get caught in an information bubble. By relying on the same data sources, talking to the same people, or maintaining old assumptions, it’s possible to publish information without actually advancing a conversation.

That’s why we invited credit union outsider Anya Kamenetz, a respected author, journalist, and commentator on young adult financial issues, to address one of CU Tomorrow’s essential questions: How can credit unions address young adults’ financial needs?

What is the research about?

What follows in this final business brief from Filene Research Institute’s CU Tomorrow project is Kamenetz’s take on the core financial issues facing young adults in America and how credit unions, as innovative member-owned cooperatives, can address those issues and ease young adults into the financial mainstream while acting in their best interests.

What are the credit union implications?

With their unique position as nonprofit, cooperatively owned community institutions, credit unions can play the role of trusted intermediaries for people beginning their financial lives. And they can connect to this generation’s skills and affinities by taking advantage of the latest technology in order to meet all these goals while also cutting costs and improving service. Like any business seeking to serve any demographic group, credit unions must avoid easy stereotypes, yet simultaneously take advantage of intelligent, research-based generalizations while seeking to meet the specific needs of young people.

This report is sponsored by PSCU Financial Services, the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), Fiserv, and the Corporate Credit Union Network.