At 22 years, Ashleigh Kent is among the youngest of the millennial generation. She’s single and enjoying her first job out of university as a web developer. 

Earning a good salary, Ashleigh loves to shop and isn’t afraid of using credit to fund her weakness for shoes and clothes. When shopping, she focuses on discounts but also shows concern for brand reputation. Following her favourite brands online, she cares that they act ethically and expects them to pay attention to her needs.

While paying off a personal loan that she took out to purchase a car, Ashleigh is about to apply for a second credit card. She’s considering using a credit union because she thinks they might have the lowest fees. Convenience will be a significant consideration when tossing up which credit provider to use. If quick and seamless online access isn’t available, Ashleigh will look elsewhere. She’s comfortable with switching credit products and has done so before. 

It’s evening, and Ashleigh has worked a long day. Friends are meeting for drinks, and she decides to join them. Her Uber is two minutes away…

 

Ashleigh is a typical credit-active, low-risk millennial. Loosely defined as the generation born between 1981 to 1996, this segment of potential borrowers presents significant opportunities for credit providers. Understanding the common characteristics of millennials is critical if lenders want to engage with, and successfully target products at this prime customer group. 

Of course, this is no easy feat considering the sheer size of this generation. The fictional character Ashleigh, for example, represents just one possible consumer type. Equifax Landscape profiles show there are at least two millennial population segments that provide opportunities for lenders. And within each, different groupings have been identified that display unique demographic and socioeconomic features. 

Despite these individual groupings, a common characteristic of this generation is their appetite for credit. According to the Equifax Australian Consumer Credit Pulse 2019 report, millennials have been the most active consumer segment to apply for credit over the past three years. Since 2016, 18 to 24-year-olds have demonstrated the highest levels of demand for personal loans (21 per cent) and auto loans (16 per cent). The most interest for credit cards comes from 25 to 34-year-olds (34 per cent), and for mortgages, it’s the 30 to 34-year-olds (17 per cent).

The report compiles consumer research, exclusive Equifax demand trends, and segment profiles, to uncover insights into Australia’s credit-active consumers. Marketers looking to leverage millennial lending opportunities will be interested in these discoveriesi about their needs and behaviours:

Millennials are keen users of credit

The intention to apply for credit is noticeable among 18 to 34-year-olds. Millennials were the most prominent group to indicate their intent to apply for credit between June to August 2019ii. Of these, 55% were in the market for a home loan. A large portion (52 per cent) were looking to buy their first home, and 38 per cent were wanting to refinance. The second most popular credit product is the credit card. The majority of millennials (80 per cent) are keen to use this to consolidate their credit card debt.

Millennials are more likely to switch lenders

Of consumers who had switched credit providers in the 12 months to June 2019, the biggest group were the millennials (43 per cent). From this age bracket, 49% switched only one service – credit cards were the most commonly changed, followed by home loans.

Millennials prefer building societies and credit unions

For switchers of home loans and personal loans, 18 to 34-year-olds prefer to use a building society or credit union. These banking institutions were the top choice for 42 per cent of millennial home loans and 41 per cent of personal loans. For switchers of auto loans, the preference for this age group was smaller banks.

Millennials want to do business with trustworthy brands

Brand reputation is a driver, across all product types, for millennials to change credit providers. For 38 per cent of personal loans and 32 per cent of home loan switchers, ‘no longer trusting the brand’ was the reason for moving away from their provider. Interestingly, loyalty reward programs are the primary loan feature that caused this age group to switch credit cards.

Millennials like quick and easy services

Online services are rated an important lender feature by 39 per cent of millennials. The national average is 30 per cent, so millennials give this a higher rating than any other age group. Quick approvals are considered especially important for auto loans, with 52 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds switching lenders for this reason. Across all loan products, the two most important lender features were interest rates and loan fees, but at a slightly lower proportion than the national average.

 

Interested in more of the above, but this time tailored to your current and potential customer base? Contact Equifax Marketing Services to find out how you can use data and analytics to help navigate the complexities of appealing to millennial consumers.

 

iEquifax information is drawn from exclusive Equifax demand trends, generated for the purpose of conducting research in relation to credit (using aggregated results), January 2016 – April 2019.

Projections based on data up to and including June 2019. Forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, Equifax’s current views with respect to future events, future economic performance and projections of various financial items. Readers are cautioned not to unduly rely on these forward-looking statements. Past performance cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance. Except as required by applicable regulations or by law, Equifax does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information or future events.
iiReachTEL poll commissioned by Equifax was undertaken in May 2019. ReachTEL conducted a survey of 4,922 respondents nationally. The survey was conducted during the week of Monday 27 May to Friday 31 May 2019. Credit intentions were polled in relation to June to August 2019.

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