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LIVONIA, Mich. – Co-op Service Credit Union is counting on a new “suite” of services will help young people build a solid financial foundation. The “Student Banking Suite” program includes a free checking account with no minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees, access to more than 19,000 CO-OP Network ATMs, a free Co-op Services VISA debit card, free Co-op Services telephone and Internet banking, and for added peace of mind, free AAA Michigan membership for one year. In addition, optional services subject to credit approval include the ability to apply for a Co-op Services VISA Classic credit card and overdraft protection. “After we launched a kids club last year we found out there wasn’t anything out there to help benefit those 17 to 23 year olds who would be leaving home soon and we wanted this program to fill the gaps,” said Co-op Services CU Marketing Vice President Russ Kotila. “It’s not just for the young people, this program is designed to help parents, too, so they don’t get a call for help in the middle of the night from a child saying `Help, I’m overdrawn.’” Kotila credits input from members and staffers to ensure the program anticipates many of the younger members’ needs. For now the credit union is doing a soft program launch in newsletters, on the Web site and via direct mailings. “This was originally planned to be launched in 2006, but recognizing the need we felt it was better to start as soon as possible, and as the fall semester kicks off we’re encouraging high school seniors to sign up for the program and become familiar with these services before they graduate,” said Kotila. “It’s been about two weeks and so far we’ve opened some 12 accounts. Our kids club account now has over 800 accounts so we hope the Student Banking Suite will take off too as we work on rolling out its own look, brochure line and membership card next year.”

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