Helping credit unions reach more sub-prime borrowers

Redesigning Credit Union Services

Behavioral science can help members of Alliant Credit Union, the country’s seventh largest credit union, make better financial decisions. It can also help the Chicago-based financial cooperative minimize the risks it may face when it offers services to a new cross-section of customers: non-prime credit consumers.

ideas42 worked with Alliant to apply behavior and decision-making research to a variety of consumer financial products offered by the not-for-profit cooperative founded in 1935. The partnership generated insights that can help reshape the consumer finance industry and empower individuals to make sounder financial decisions.

The work is part of an effort to better serve Alliant’s members and expand its services to include a new demographic of non-prime credit consumers. It will focus on products such as vehicle loans, mobile deposits and online banking.

Alliant’s focus on customer-centric product design and membership expansion aligns well with ideas42’s behavioral design methodology. This work included a redesign of existing loan experiences and operations to meet the needs of non-prime credit consumers, while simultaneously reducing the risks Alliant and other financial institutions may face when offering such services.

Interested in learning more about this work applying behavioral science to a crucial social problem? Reach out to us at or tweet at @ideas42 to join the conversation.