There are a lot of firsts that come with being a millennial. These firsts may include securing the first job in your career, or taking your first big job risk; the first move out of your college town and into the city, or maybe traveling across an ocean to explore what another country can offer you; or your first major house purchase, whether it be an apartment or a bungalow. Whatever you’ll be experiencing for the first time in your twenties, this new landscape comes with a new set of financial responsibilities and decisions to make.
Navigating these responsibilities as a young twenty-something can be overwhelming, especially when many financial institutions are still catering to an older generation. While some companies have embraced the ease of online services, many have still not made the jump, and this isn’t necessarily the most effective way to help millennials achieve their financial goals.
My partner and I recently started the process of purchasing our first home. We researched neighbourhoods, created a budget, and narrowed down our preferences to figure out what we liked and how much our new home would cost. We chose to apply for a mortgage pre-approval so we could further refine our budget and start making some offers. A mortgage pre-approval is generally good for three to four months, and we wanted to give ourselves some time to shop.
We decided to get pre-approved at a bank we were familiar with, and had an initial meeting with an advisor to go over what we needed to provide. From the start, the process was typical of a traditional bank - and I found this to be frustrating. The amount of time it took to get all the paperwork in order was too lengthy, and the amount of visits we made to the branch seemed excessive. By the end of the process, I was left wondering why the banks have not yet transitioned to the convenience of online services, and wondered what other options could have been available to us had we decided to look outside of a traditional institution.
There were three parts of the pre-approval process that made me question my decision to work with a bank.
1. Too much paper
I anticipated that a lot of paperwork would come with the mortgage pre-approval, but what I didn't anticipate was the amount of, well, paper. This included papers that we needed to sign and papers that we needed to provide in their physical, original copies. When we were told we couldn't submit or sign anything online, and were then asked to bring original copies of our pay statements, I was a little surprised. Doesn't everyone get their pay statements online?
With so many online file sharing tools, and so many companies (financial or otherwise) adapting to this new way of signing and sending documents, providing physical copies seemed time consuming, inefficient, and unnecessary.
2. Not being able to deal with a decision-maker
Every time we went to the bank, our advisor would pass on a message from the adjudicators who would ask for something new, different, more specific, original...you get the picture. While it was frustrating for us to go back and forth to provide the necessary documentation, I can imagine it was just as frustrating for our advisor.
Not dealing directly with a decision-maker made the process much longer. I didn't expect two weeks of bank visits leading up to the submission of our mortgage pre-approval, but there I was, visiting the branch every time the adjudicators had asked for something new. If we had an online dashboard we could have visited to see what was still required, or a way to contact the adjudicators directly, the process could have been made much quicker.
3. Catering to an older generation
My experience with the bank made me feel older than I am. I felt like I was being treated like a millennial, but expected to respond like my parents. A survey by Bankrate says millennials save more from their paychecks than other age groups, yet banks are still not adapting their practices to a generation that has money saved and is eager to do something with it. If there are companies willing to help me invest, purchase insurance, or apply for a mortgage solely online, why should I walk into a bank that won't provide me with the same type of service?
While some people may be satisfied enough with the traditional banking experience, millennials like me, who have grown up in an age where virtually everything exists online, are looking for more online solutions. We’re used to communicating in an online space. We do our research to find out who we can trust online, and then we trust them to deliver the quick, convenient services we’re looking for. We’ve mastered the online signature. We’re willing to bank, shop, pay our bills and, yes, trust a financial professional to help us secure a mortgage online.
If you're like me, I want to tell you that these solutions exist, and this is why we do what we do at Invisor. You don't have to deal with paperwork, juggle face-to-face meetings with your schedule, and navigate multiple levels of decision-making to get the service you want. At Invisor, we want to help you save money and time, find the best insurance quote, and monitor your investments at any time, from anywhere. We want to use our technology to make investing easier for you, because you're busy, and being able to check your portfolio on the train ride home is much easier than finding the time to sit in a bank.
If you're looking for an online investment solution that's quick and convenient and doesn't require hours of paperwork or meetings, let us show you how our platform works. All you have to do is Get Started to see your personalized portfolio, on the spot.