Hope for Gen Z comes in the shape of credit unions

Generation Z has the potential to be the greatest credit union generation, so why are so many credit unions struggling to get their attention?

Generation Z has the potential to be the greatest credit union generation, but we are struggling financially and we need credit unions to step up to help.

After I signed the lease for my first apartment last year, instead of the excitement you might expect I would feel, all I felt was hopelessness. I kept hearing the words of the leasing agent in my mind: “Rent is going to be X but that doesn’t include the security deposit or electric/gas utilities or pet fee or parking or Wi-Fi or furniture or laundry. Oh and it will go up next year.” All I could hear was fee after fee after fee, topped off with the guarantee of rising rent. It felt like there was going to be an extra fee just to breathe. This is the harsh reality for Gen Z after college. We feel like we are financially falling behind even before our journey begins.

A few months ago, I attended a webinar that was supposed to be a facilitated discussion on what my generation (Gen Z) wants from their financial institutions, and how credit unions can connect with them. I had anticipated that someone of my generation would be speaking. How else would you be able to accurately represent the Gen Z perspective? To my disappointment, it was given by two people well beyond Gen Z, and while some of their statements were true, others were entirely inaccurate. Not including a Gen Z person in the conversation was a total miss. It’s a theme I have noticed in webinars and articles about Gen Z: they are all from the outsider’s perspective, observing us from a distance and not accurately reflecting our voice. After attending that webinar I asked myself, “As a member of Gen Z, what DO we really want from our financial institutions?”


continue reading »