We’re More MobileAnother thing on the List of Things Millennials Killed: the 9-to-5 workday. And COVID only sped things up.
We’re More AwareWe also pay more attention to where our money goes, especially if it’s making the rich, richer.
We’re More DigitialThe result? Millennials need financial institutions that are more flexible AND more ethical.
If you’d surveyed Millennials at the tailend of 2019, the majority probably would’ve agreed that the 9-to-5 workweek was on its way out. And studies proved it — one study from Bentley University found that the 9-to-5 workday would be largely eliminated by 2030.
But that was then. Because of COVID-19, when so many people have to work remotely, this timeline has been accelerated.
It’s likely that telecommunication and remote work will become standard practice in many industries sooner than expected. There’s already discussions happening around how monumental this shift will be for those who are disabled or neurodivergent. Remote work makes work quite literally more accessible and gives us the flexibility we need to find a work schedule that works for us rather than fitting ourselves into a standard corporate mold of productivity.
And it’s a bonus for employers, too — around 70% of employers report an increase in productivity after shifting to a flexible work schedule. Not to mention the increased employee retention.
So employers who were traditionally resistant to remote work? After months of having no other choice, they don’t really have much of an excuse to return to a 9-to-5, do they?
The shift away from a traditional 40-hour, 9-to-5 work week quickly gathered steam when Millennials entered the workforce. We’re much more concerned with work-life balance; we work to live, not the other way around.
Whether it’s living in an RV, working as a digital nomad or just renting for life, Millennials are much less tied down than previous generations. And we want careers that accommodate this lifestyle — and financial institutions.
Banking On the Go
Everything is digital these days, including banking. But if any online bank were enough, you wouldn’t be here reading this, would you?
In addition to wanting more freedom to roam, Millennials face another set of unique financial challenges, mainly:
- We have a ridiculous amount of student debt
- We’ve faced two major economic collapses since entering adulthood (in 2008 and 2020 aka the Year From Hell, and it’s only halfway over)
- The wage gap has only gotten worse (major side eye @ billionaires)
- Most of us are wildly underpaid (see above point)
- Many of us have lousy credit scores (see all above points)
And while most banks have online banking functionality, they also have an outrageous number of fees and lousy interest rates. And all those fees do is line the pockets of the already-rich bankers, making banks a pretty unappealing choice for most Millennials who are more inclined to pay attention to who is getting their money.
Enter: Online Credit Unions
Not only do Millennials need financial institutions that allow them to be mobile — we also need financial institutions that address the above problems. Online credit unions do both.
But many Millennials are sorely uninformed about what a credit union is, tbh. Over 30% think it’s a small bank with limited offerings, and another nearly 25% admitted they have no idea how to describe a credit union at all.
And those who do know what a credit union is often have the misconception that credit unions aren’t techno-savvy.
While there are a few credit unions who are playing catch-up on the digital front, most have caught on and offer some semblance of online banking. And many now have apps, too!
Essentially, online credit unions solve all the aforementioned Millennial problems.
- They offer better interest on student loans, they create scholarships and they can help you consolidate your debt.
- They offer affordable (or free!) financial education resources to help you get back on your feet after economic collapse.
- Because online credit unions are not-for-profit institutions, they fight wealth inequality by ensuring any money earned goes right back to their members (you!) in the form of fewer fees and better interest rates.
- That means you get to keep more of your hard-earned money instead of handing it over to bankers.
- They often have more lenient regulations when it comes to determining creditworthiness or approving loan applications.
All this on top of being nomad-friendly makes online credit unions a huge win.
How to Find an Online Credit Union
There are tons of online credit unions out there. The trick is finding out which one is right for you and your needs.
Need high-interest checking? Connexus might be a good fit! Their Xtraordinary checking account earns 1.25% APY on balances up to $25,000. They also waive up to $25 a month of ATM fees. To become a member, all you have to do is join Connexus Association (which provides college scholarships and financial education) for a one-time $5 fee.
Need high-interest checking and savings? You could try Alliant, which has a high-rate checking account that earns a 0.25% APY with no minimum balances or monthly fees. And their high-rate savings account earns 1.20% APY. All you have to do to join is donate $5 to Foster Care to Success and you can set up your account and get access to their 80,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.
Are you a student or parent of students? Golden 1 Credit Union has checking accounts for teens and college students. Some, like their New Generation Checking and Youth Savings accounts require a co-owner, which can be great for parents looking to help their kids get started on solid financial footing.
Joining an online credit union will give you the mobility you crave without making the rich, richer.