Younger Borrowers Part Of 'Xtreme' Loan Promo

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In an effort to increase its visibility in this beach community and increase the number of younger members, nuVision Financial FCU is staging a high-profile "Xtreme Loans" promotion.

The credit union, which changed its name from McDonnell Douglas West FCU on February 25, hosted a two-day event at its corporate offices that included eye-catching items such as monster trucks, a 30-foot inflatable slide and a climbing mountain.

"They were things you can't drive by without seeing them," said Kerry Lewis, VP-marketing. "The monster trucks were big, loud and brightly painted. We also had a red, white and blue Hummer on display."

According to Lewis, nuVision Financial's loan rates were already competitive with the market and the credit union did not reduce its rates for the promotion. He said publicity and awareness were the keys.

With an older field of membership, the credit union is very deposit heavy, he explained. "We changed our name in February, and now we want to introduce ourselves to the community. We also want to appeal to a younger market-25- to 35-year olds-so we developed the extreme theme."

The credit union also wanted to be thought of as not just another bank or CU, Lewis said.

"We want to be fun-as much fun as a financial institution can be," he said. "Still professional and responsible, but fun. It is not fair the retail sector has all the fun and financial institutions are boring."

Keeping with the extreme theme, the event also featured an appearance by the Playboy "Xtreme Team." Lewis said the group was founded by Playboy Playmates to combat the destructive cycle of constant dieting by young women.

"Members of the Xtreme Team compete in extreme events around the world such as snowboarding. They encourage women's physical fitness," he said. "When we were thinking of ways to promote the extreme theme, the Xtreme Team was an obvious tie in."

NuVision Financial, which serves 65,000 members and has $500 million in assets, estimated it needed to bring in 132 auto loans to pay for the promotion. Lewis said it already has exceeded that number, and the promotion is scheduled to run through the end of September.

In addition, the CU generated eight real estate loan applications from attendees at the live event, he added.

"We have another event planned for the end of September, which will be even bigger," said Lewis. "This is taking us as a credit union and putting us in the center of being a partner with the city and the community."

Lewis said nuVision Financial operates under a federal association charter. In addition to serving employees of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas following the mergers of those companies, he said the CU offers its services to people who join the California Consumer Counsel.

He described the Counsel as an organization that educates California consumers about the state's products, with an emphasis on the environment and corporate responsibility.

NuVision Financial is donating $5 to the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) for every loan it books during the promotion, up to $5,000.

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