Discovery: Student Loans Represent GrowthOpportunity for CUs

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LAS VEGAS - (06/26/06) – The demand for student loans isgrowing as college costs soar and federal assistance fails to keepup. According to a trio of speakers at CUNA Mutual Group’sDiscovery conference here Thursday, credit unions can use studentloans not only as a way of building membership and loan growth, butalso to reach the critical “Gen Y” segment of youngpeople. Mike Long, vice president of lending for UW CU in Madison,Wis., said his credit union’s average membership age is 36,thanks to a host of student- and Gen Y-oriented products, includingalternative student loans, a student Visa card, and a no down, noPMI mortgage. Gary Perez, CEO of USC CU in Los Angeles, said creditunions are “dream makers, but we haven’t done much forthe 18-to-24 segment.” Mark Meyer, director of innovation forthe Filene Research Institute and founder of i3, said serving Gen Yis not going to be the answer for all problems in the movement, butit is a key. “To reach Gen Y, we need creativity andcommitment.”

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