Posted by MeridianLink | December 14, 2021

Banking with a Little Something “Xtra”: What GenX Wants from Lenders

This three-part, generational blog series features fictionalized characters and includes information from our eBook, How to Attract Younger Generations to Open New Accounts and Apply for Loans.

Like others of his generation born from 1965 to 1980, Xavier grew up with influences that included the end of the Cold War, the rise of the personal computer, MTV, and Nintendo.

Xavier is one of about 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S. today, sandwiched between the 71.6 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 and 72.1 million millennials born between 1980 and 1994, as defined by Statista.

As part of a smaller cohort than Boomers and Millennials—although not much smaller—Xavier often feels ignored. In fact, since he’s been in the workforce, he doesn’t remember any organization, let alone a bank or credit union, that has implemented a business strategy specifically targeting Generation X – it all has him feeling like feeling like Jan from the Brady Bunch, which he watched reruns of as a kid.

Generation X Juggling Loans & Family Responsibilities

Xavier can feel overlooked as organizations seem to market to the larger generations that surround him. For example, while Xavier’s local bank markets mortgages to people in his age range (Xavier is in his mid 40s), they cater to Millennials while ignoring Generation X.

Xavier thinks the opportunity is ripe for financial institutions to reach out to him and his under-serviced generation, especially if they truly understand what makes Gen Xers tick so they can craft relevant messages.

Many Gen Xers are still paying off student loans while raising families and caring for their Baby Boomer and Silent Generation parents. But the news isn’t all that bad as most Gen Xers are employed and will even be able to earn and save more as Boomers retire.

The average Gen Xer has about $32,878 in non-mortgage debt, including student loans, car loans, credit cards, and personal loans, while Gen Xers who own homes have average mortgage balances of $245,127, according to Experian’s 2020 State of Credit report.

Banking Services for an Overlooked Generation

It’s a picture that spans an array of lending products and shows a level of comfort with borrowing. Still, as Xavier and other Gen Xers enter their prime earning years, many are more intent on repaying debts than saving for retirement.

Feeling stressed for time, all the time, Xavier doesn’t want to have to come into his bank branch and may not have been for years now that he can deposit checks remotely. He’d rather conduct his banking and apply for loans online when he has a few spare moments at night, when the work is done and the kids are asleep.

However, Xavier remembers an earlier time when all banking was conducted in person and appreciates the option of coming into the branch if he can’t do something on the web, though he’d rather make an appointment online instead of just showing up at the branch hoping someone can see him. Consequently, as Xavier’s bank, you should make it easy for him to open accounts, apply for loans, and schedule appointments online.

And if you have any important information you need to convey to him, such as offering advice about how he can apply for a loan, email is his preferred way to communicate professionally, though he’s open to receiving texts if they are useful. But in either case, make your message brief and offer to provide more information at his request.

GenX Messaging Advice & eBook Download

Xavier points out that he loves supporting worthy causes, so you would do well to share your charitable endeavors with him and your other GenX customers as they’re more likely to opt for products and services that incorporate a philanthropic effort. Find ways to incorporate social good into Xavier’s customer experience to earn this generation’s loyalty.

Members of Generation X, like Xavier, often feel overlooked and want to know that you have their best interests at heart. While not expecting to be marketed to specifically, Xavier appreciates when more than just Millennials and Boomers are included in advertising and other messaging.

Download our eBook to learn more about how to attract multiple generations like Xavier to open new accounts and apply for loans.

In our next blog post, we’ll explain how to attract Miley the Millennial to open new accounts and apply for loans.

Digital Lending Enablement

MeridianLink enables lenders to give GenX what they want: an online account opening, and borrowing experience for mortgages and consumers loans, while streamlining the process for your loan officers and underwriters. Talk to one of our digital lending experts to assess your current loan origination process needs to see if MeridianLink is right for you.

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