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It’s no secret that millennials are a dominating market force: Whether you are a marketer, manufacturer, retailer, or, yes, a credit union, your future success lies in the hands of these 18- to 34-year-olds. They are 75 million strong, digital natives and the most educated generation in America.

But they also came of age during the recession, and are saddled with massive student loan debt (to the tune of $1 trillion) and high unemployment (10%) – something that creates a dilemma for any financial institution, but especially for credit unions that endeavor to serve every member. This huge demographic (one quarter of the credit population) boasts a higher education rate that indicates their financial position will improve with age and are undoubtedly a foundational future market for credit unions; but, they also have the lowest average credit score – averaging 625, with 28% below 579 – the most delinquent payments and the shortest credit histories (one third have never applied for a credit card).

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