NAFCU Services Blog

Feb 05, 2021

Student Lending: A Case Study in Bringing in Younger Borrowers

By Amanda Bardonner, Account Manager, LendKey


Attracting and retaining millennial members is a challenge that credit unions have been trying to tackle for the last decade. This challenge only becomes more complex as Gen Z begins to enter adulthood with a unique perspective on financial management. Credit unions who have had the most success in converting these consumers to active members have often prioritized technology and product alignment.

Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union has a long history of championing education and financial literacy. As they reviewed their product mix, they saw an opportunity to expand their options to meet the needs of their members and potential members.

“As a management team, we continually assess our product and service offerings to ensure we’re providing solutions that our members not only want, but need,” said Allan Stevens, SVP and Chief Credit Officer at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union. “It took time to find the right partner and solution, but we found an excellent vendor match to offer the right products to members and prospects.” In 2018, the credit union partnered with LendKey to offer Private Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing.

Equipped with a competitive product and with help from LendKey, FMFCU’s marketing team develop a comprehensive promotion for their student loan products. “Our success is a direct result of the plan; to reach as many members and prospects as possible. We treated this campaign like any other, using digital and physical channels to create the biggest impact,” said Tom Kane, Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union.

Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union ran its student loan marketing campaign in July and August before the beginning of the fall semester. Alongside student loans, the credit union simultaneously marketed its student loan refinancing services to reach a larger audience of prospective members.

FMFCU fired up a diverse array of marketing channels for this campaign, including:

  1. Direct mail
  2. Digital billboard
  3. Social media
  4. Email
  5. Video
  6. In-branch signage
  7. Online banking ads
  8. Homepage banner

The marketing messaging on these various platforms was consistent and simple. These tactics, coupled with strategic timing, allowed the credit union to reach an optimum number of members and prospects.

Student loans are often the first step in a borrower’s financial lifecycle. Credit unions who offer education lending have the opportunity to expand and deepen their relationship with student loan borrowers as they graduate, begin their career, start families, and save to purchase their first home. Student loans can be the vehicle that helps credit unions attract and retain members.

To learn more about how FMFCU successfully launched their student lending program, you can view our research report here.  

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