Becca: I asked. You answered.

So as a top 3 finalist for Young&FreeME, I was asked to put together a video answering the question: What do young people want from their financial institution? 

Well, I interviewed several people, and put together my own little twisted Candy Land game. Feast your eyes upon …da da da DAAAAA! CREDIT LAND! (No really. Go watch it!)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use all the great responses I got, due to the 3 minute limit. So I thought I’d write a little blog with what everyone had to say. 

JADE WELLS SAYS: One of the biggest financial issues is probably college. There’s such a heavy expectation to go, and yet it involves essentially selling your soul to loan officers in order to get through four measly years of it. It’s tough for people these days. And it’s impossible to start a career for 18-25 year olds unless you have a college degree, and the struggle that is presented to people of this age group between paying for college with a minimum wage job and not going to college in order to support yourself in this plunging economy. I’d have to say, to tie it all together, that probably one thing banks can do is be more understanding and work with people when it comes to getting/paying back loans.

I still don’t know what goes into everything when it comes to my financial future, and I’m absolutely terrified of what life will be like for me once I am out of school and have to start paying off all my loans. And honestly, if I had recieved assistance from a professional in the field of finance before I made decisions about loans, I would feel much more secure and sure of my future than I do now. So I agree whole heartedly in that suggestion. Not to mention, I am far more likely to become a member of a bank that is willing to properly educate me without the intentions of winning me over than I would one that focuses only on gaining patronage

SHANE BEAM SAYS: Going to College is a huge decision- and, more pertinent to your blog, it’s a huge financial decision. I don’t think many 17-18 year olds grasp exactly how costly College is, and what it means to their future. Many students see Loans as something they have to worry about in the future, thinking the next 4ish years will be worth it. Well, sometimes that future of debt isn’t worth it: I know some individuals with $100,000+ in College loan debt…and they aren’t working in their field of study. So, I would say Blog about the fact that College is almost a necessity for a career- but, students need to REALLY think about how it will impact their financial future. Theoretically, a degree = more $$ in the long run…but being in an insane amount of debt as a 22-24 year old, because of your lack of knowledge and research as a 17-18 year old, can hurt you just as much as that degree can help you!

College, for sure, is a huge financial issue facing this particular age group. Mainly, it’s not getting any cheaper/more affordable. It’s insanely expensive, and the amount of money can be astronomical. However, College is something we can control- ultimately, affordable or not, an individual can make a choice to go to College. Unfortunately, if the pundits are right, Social Security and Pensions plans could be out the window by the time we’re ready to retire- meaning, unless you’ve saved up an insane amount of money and invested wisely…well, who knows when we could comfortably retire? 70? 80? If there are no Pensions, and no Social Security…uh oh, we’re screwed. So, College is a huge Financial Issue facing this age group, yes- but, Pensions and Social Security…and the uncertainty facing both is absolutely scary, in my opinion. 

 I’d like to see banks- and maybe they already do this?- work with the youth to educate them more. Meaning, try to help them understand Financial things (retirement plans, Pensions, etc.) that impact their future…but do it because they want to see the individual educated (knowledge is supposed to be empowering, right?)- NOT because they want that person to become a member at their bank. So, banks very well could share their knowledge and experience with some 18-24 year olds and not get the benefit of them being a customer of that bank…but, they could get the satisfaction of knowing at least 1 more person is educated and has a better knowledge of how to secure their financial future.

(^Sounds like the job for Maine’s first Young&Free spokesperson!!!!)

SEAN STROTHMAN SAYS: Having ATM fees paid is pretty awesome. I think that’s probably the biggest thing for me. My bank pays them and I like that (lol)

Right now my biggest financial struggle is probably rent. Everything outside actual tuition because I pay for all that myself and obviously I have to work to afford that. So I work and go to school. I think an account without any overdraft fees or minimum balances would be pretty ballin.

MIRA JORDAN SAYS: I technically do have online banking but I never use it. I’m not that smart. The bank should just give it all to my dad so he can take care of it. Like honestly, moneys not my thing. I plan on getting a husband who knows all that so I dont have to do it (lol) But ok. Maybe one thing they could do is maybe text me to, like, be like ‘Hey! This is how much money you have left in your account! Hey! You just spent this much!

I got charged alot in high school for overdraft fees, but not so much now. I still think they have fees though. Its like 25 bucks, I think, everytime I overdraw. I dunno. Its ridiculous. My banks not amazing, its not horrible, it just has my money.

CAMERON WRIGHT SAYS: I dont’t care what they do as long as they don’t lose my money. I want to keep all the money I have. I don’t want them to mess it up somehow. That’s about it. I couldn’t ask for anymore than that.

I’ve never had a credit card or anything so I have no idea what any of this stuff means. But it’d be cool if accounts were free. I’m gunna get a debit card at some point so I’m pretty sure the bank I have already has online banking and has free accounts and free withdrawals and foreign ATMs. That’s pretty much the only thing I care about, I guess. I just want to spend as little money as possible through my bank. I don’t want to be paying into my bank. Know what I mean? You’re talking about these fees, like having to pay 3 dollars every month to be a part of a bank. Why should I have to do that? I want a bank that’s free for me to use.

… So, Bex wants to know, what do YOU want from your financial institution????