MADISON, Wis. (1/7/09)--Credit unions have to offer an attractive, competitive credit card product to deepen relationships with young adults. If they don’t, they will miss the chance to capture an active borrowing relationship that lasts about 15 years, according to a report by the Filene Research Institute. “A responsible, attractive credit card for young adults is one of the clearest paths to a relationship with young adults,” wrote Ben Rogers, driver of Filene’s CU Tomorrow in the report, “The First Credit Card.” The cards reach young adults “at a time when their financial needs are mostly transactional, and it can be a gateway to other loans and deposit accounts,” he added. Filene found no evidence that members of Generation Y are irresponsible borrowers. Instead, 88% of undergraduates paid their balances on time, compared with 91% of adults. Students also carry an average of $552 on their cards, which is one-third of the size of the balance of a non-student cardholder. Credit unions offering card programs should avoid charging expensive late fees and high interest rates like some card companies. Currently, student cards average 15.26% interest. A credit union can generate revenue from cards while charging lower rates, Filene said. Credit unions also can offer savings components--such as depositing a percentage of the purchases into a savings account--with the cards. For more information, use the link.