Lots of financial institutions use social media as a marketing and customer service tool, but few have figured out how to actually make money from it. Now some credit unions think they may have found an answer.

A Berkeley, Calif., startup called Shastic has created a simple financial calculator application that several credit unions have installed on their Facebook pages to help customers quickly calculate the cost of mortgage or car loan. The Facebook calculator also works as a lead generator, immediately directing consumers to a financial institution's online loan applications.

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