LATHRUP VILLAGE, Mich., July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Financial institutions have long provided retirement planning, long-term savings and other products and services geared towards financially established consumers. However, according to an August 2010 study from Javelin Strategy and Research, only 11 percent of Generation Y (ages 18-25) has a primary financial relationship with a credit union, versus 15 percent of all other age groups.
Recognizing that younger consumers require the same level of support to succeed financially, Michigan First Credit Union (http://www.MichiganFirst.com) continues to grow its roster of youth- and young-adult oriented products and services with the launch of its new private student lending program, Student Choice, and the momentum of its Young & Free Michigan program.
Bringing Students Convenient Access to Competitive Loans for Education
Partnering with Credit Union Student Choice, Michigan First's new student lending program will help students fill the funding gaps that often remain after lower-cost sources of financial aid, such as scholarships, grands, and Federal Stafford loans have been exhausted. Unlike other alternative loan products, Michigan First's Student Choice private education line of credit loan solution offers students significantly lower rates, zero origination fees and more flexible repayment terms.
"It's critical to build a strong financial foundation at a young age," said Michael Poulos, president and CEO of Michigan First. "Michigan First is pleased to offer this new Student Choice student lending program because it will help students and families achieve their dreams of a higher education, without the higher price tag often associated with private student loans."
The program will be available to undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time in a four year degree-granting program at a public or private non-profit school and will help pay for tuition, books, room and board. For more information on Michigan First's Student Choice, visit www.MichiganFirst.com/College.
Youth- and Young-Adult Focused Initiatives Build Momentum
The student lending program is just one of several youth- and young-adult oriented initiatives that Michigan First has launched in recent months, including Young & Free Michigan (www.YoungFreeMichigan.com), a program designed to create relationships with members of Gen Y by providing useful information to manage their finances independently.
Since its launch in February 2011, the Young & Free Michigan program has achieved several major milestones, including the grand reopening of the first Young & Free Michigan branded branch in the Wayne State University Student Center; the announcement of its first Spokester, Janelle O'Hara; and a growing presence at metro Detroit events like the Downtown Hoedown.
Young & Free Michigan's flagship product offering, the First Gear Account, is the ultimate toolkit for Gen Y, offering special tools to help young adults gain momentum in the real world, including MoneyNow overdraft protection plus "Oops Forgiveness" – giving accountholders the ability to refund one overdraft protection or NSF fee every six months after a waiting period. The account also provides three free foreign (non-Michigan First or credit union CO-OP) ATM withdrawals monthly, and a 1 percent discount on a new auto loan. Since Young & Free Michigan's launch, more than 1200 First Gear accounts have been opened and Michigan First is on pace to open 3000 First Gear accounts within the first year.
Michigan First Brings Gen Y the Hi-Tech Services They Demand
Recognizing the technology demands of younger generations, Michigan First also recently added Michigan First Mobile to its suite of convenient banking services. The mobile banking service is available via mobile browser or downloadable applications and allows Michigan First members to check balances, view their transaction history, transfer funds and pay bills, anywhere, anytime, from their mobile device.
"By spearheading these new youth- and young-adult focused efforts, it is Michigan First's goal to continue to establish itself as a leader among metro Detroit financial institutions," Poulos said. "Younger generations need tools and services designed to fit their needs, and we will continue to focus on helping them establish sound financial habits."
About Michigan First Credit Union
Based in Lathrup Village, Mich., Michigan First Credit Union is one of the leading technology-focused credit unions in metro Detroit. The rapidly growing, full-service financial institution serves more than 86,000 members and has more than $590 million in assets. Founded in 1926 as the Detroit Teachers Credit Union, Michigan First has since expanded to serve those who live, work or worship in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, as well as local businesses. Michigan First is committed to continuously investing in its members, the community, youth and financial literacy initiatives and providing members with the latest in banking technology and services. For more information, visit http://www.MichiganFirst.com.
To stay updated on news, events and more, follow Michigan First on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/MichiganFirstCU or "Like" Michigan First on Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/MichiganFirstCreditUnion.
About Young & Free Michigan
The Young & Free Michigan program is geared towards 17-25 year olds throughout Michigan and is part of a broader Young & Free Initiative that is designed to help define financial freedom for young people throughout North America and provide fun and educational resources. Michigan First Credit Union is the only credit union in Michigan to offer this program. Young & Free Michigan creates engagement and ongoing relationships with members of Generation Y by providing useful information to manage their finances independently; a voice for this generation through a paid Spokester (spokesperson); a dedicated website (www.YoungFreeMichigan.com), where the Spokester provides entertaining content, helpful advice and financial literacy through blogs and video blogs and travels to community events in a branded Chevy Cruze; and a head start through Michigan First's First Gear account.
SOURCE Michigan First Credit Union