Since the beginning of time, older generations have been claiming that “kids these days” are somehow in worse shape than their elders ever were — don’t let your credit union fall into that same dismissive mindset!

If you haven’t thought much about bringing young people into your credit union or incorporating younger generations into your financial institution’s marketing strategy, it’s time to reconsider. First things first, let’s clear up some popular misconceptions about young people and finance: 

Myth #1: Young adults aren’t a very valuable market for credit unions. 

It’s true that teenagers and twenty-somethings haven’t yet reached their prime borrowing years — but it’s also true that much of the current credit union market has passed that stage of their financial lives! Finance experts will tell you that prime borrowing years fall between the ages of 30 and 50. The average credit union member is nearly 50 years old. 

By beginning to build relationships and recruit young members now, you can set your credit union up for success in the future. If you bring Gen Zers or young millennials into your organization now, your credit union can expect to thrive for years to come. 

Myth #2: There’s no use in marketing to young people — they just end up banking where their parents have opened accounts. 

Okay, it’s true that parents’ choice of bank has a heavy influence on where their children end up opening their first bank account. When Zogo spoke with dozens of college students, we realized this was the driving force behind where students had first started banking.

But get this — when we explained what a credit union was and how it was different from the institutions they were currently banking with, nearly every single student said they would prefer to bank with a credit union instead of their current institution. The interest is there — your credit union just needs to persuade young adults to make the switch! 

And another tip? You can use this trend to your advantage! Ensure that older members of your credit union can involve their whole family, including their children, in banking with your branch. Think youth savings accounts, or similar products.

Myth #3: Young people aren’t interested in personal finance.

Sure, if you sit a bunch of high school students in a dark classroom and give a monotonous lecture on the principles of compound interest, you’re likely going to see some eyes glaze over. But if you talk about finance in an engaging way, with practical connections to real-life situations, in a format they’re already familiar with, young people are more than interested in finance. They’re enthusiastic! 

At Zogo, we’ve seen this firsthand as tens of thousands of users complete financial literacy lessons on our gamified app. Parents, educators and credit union leaders are usually shocked to see younger generations so engaged in the world of finance. But as Gen Zers ourselves, we know that people our age have burning questions about their financial lives — it’s just that nobody has tried to answer them in our own language before!

What could your credit union do to involve young people more actively in your organization?