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Filene Research Launches Pilot Program to Recruit the Young
Monday, October 6, 2014 6:45 AM

Filene Research reports that 1 in 5 American students do not exceed a baseline of proficiency in applying their financial knowledge to everyday situations. In other words, young Americans struggle to understand the most basic of financial concepts, documents, and transactions that are central to personal financial management. 

Filene's, Gen Y Personal Finances: A Crisis of Confidence and Capability report found that a majority of 25-35 year olds rated themselves as having high financial knowledge. But when tested on five exceedingly simple financial literacy questions, only 24% answered the first three questions correctly. Financial illiteracy has a ripple effect:  When we fail to address financial literacy with school age children we run the risk of having children carry these inadequacies in financial literacy into adulthood.

Filene says, on a global scale, the U.S. needs to outgrow the average outcomes related to youth financial literacy. The key to improvement begins with education, and Filene suggests a simple motto to help your credit union attack this issue:  Hit them early, and hit them often.

For credit unions, a financially literate member is one that saves for retirement, understands how a credit score impacts borrowing, and isn't fooled by shady or unbalanced mortgage terms. Filene suggests a number of ways to proactively address this issue:

  • If your credit union wants to engage younger students, work together with schools in your local areas to offer financial literacy education to kids as early as elementary school. Make it a priority to send a financial representative to speak with children 1-2 times a month. These programs should be customized for each age group so there is a clear ladder of progression available to these students.
  • If your credit union is interested in educating college aged students, develop financial seminars that can be taught at local universities. Filene's Delivering Financial Education to Graduating College Students report analyzes the Financial Independence Seminar, a unique program developed by researchers to deliver customized financial education to segmented college audiences.
  • Certain concepts such as risk diversification and inflation can be intimidating for many people. Remember to simplify these lessons so they are easy to digest. For example, you can try producing short video clips that address financial concepts in a fun, interactive manner.

"It's a Money Thing" Pilot Program

Filene just launched their latest Impact pilot: It’s a Money Thing, a collection of effective and affordable financial education content. You and your credit union can sign up to be part of the program to attract and retain the next generation of credit union members.

As part of the pilot, your credit union will receive a monthly financial education content pack that includes a video, infographic, supporting article, presentation, and handout branded with your credit union's logo. Click here to sign up.

The "It’s a Money Thing" pilot will last six months and aims to provide effective content to target and engage young adults. Pilot participants will:

  1. Receive monthly content packs. Each "It’s a Money Thing" content pack tackles an important financial topic and includes a video, infographic, supporting article, presentation, and handout branded with your credit union's logo.
  2. Have access to bi-monthly best-practice webinars, including research on how to effectively connect with Gen Y.
  3. Participate in the research study and learn what it takes to connect and engage with your next generation of members.  

Find out more about this pilot program.