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Missouri CUs targeting REAL Solutions to youth
ST. LOUIS (8/17/09)--Missouri credit unions heard from college students on how to better reach and retain youth members during a REAL Solutions workshop in Jefferson City Aug. 11, according to the Missouri Credit Union Association.
REAL Solutions participants discussed ways to gain and retain young members, with the help of Columbia, Mo.-based Tigers CU volunteers and staff, during a workshop Aug. 11 in Missouri. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
Volunteers and staff from Tigers CU, a student-run credit union on the University of Missouri Columbia campus, shared their perspectives (The Missouri difference Aug. 14). "People our age like to get involved in a cause," said Jesse Bunse, a Tigers CU intern. "If credit unions could make that connection with young people on how credit unions are different and how they help people, students would be more likely to become a credit union member." Other Tigers representatives included Kelley Winfrey, Mandi Moutray, Kent Higginbotham and Program Director Laura Royse. According to a survey of potential credit union members conducted by the Credit Union National Association, the highest percentage of potential members is in the 18- to 34-year-old range. Much of the borrowing done by young adults starts before they are 21 years old. By age 25, young members are unlikely to change their existing financial institution. "As soon as I got a job at 16, I was opening a checking account," said Winfrey. "You need to catch students before they get to that point, and make sure they think of the credit union as an option." Workshop participants also learned about youth target programs taking place across the nation from Nancy Pierce of Tipton Research Group, who works on REAL Solutions projects nationwide. REAL stands for Relevant, Effective, Asset-building, and Loyalty-producing. REAL Solutions is a program of the National Credit Union Foundation. "While I am still at a loss at the best media to reach them [youth], because I don't think there is one great answer, I now feel like I am more equipped to know what products interest them and what drives their expectations," said Heather DeMint, marketing manager for United CU, Mexico, Mo. In addition to United CU, other credit unions attending were Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, Electro Savings CU and Neighbors CU, all of St. Louis, and United Consumers CU, Independence.
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