A Vibrant Culture, Mortgages By The Numbers, And More

Five can’t-miss data points this week on CreditUnions.com.

This week, CreditUnions.com profiles one credit union building a vibrant culture, shows how behavioral economics and credit unions make a fine pair, takes a deep dive into the industry’s mortgage portfolio, and more.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


In 2015, Vibrant Credit Union changed its name and its fortune. The Prairie State credit union had been using the acronym from its previous name, Deere Harvesters Credit Union, since its licensing agreement with Deere & Company lapsed in the early 2000s but found its legacy branding to be at the root of stagnant member growth. Learn how a new name and new culture helped change the fortunes of the organization.

Read: How To Create A Vibrant Culture.


$478.7 Billion

Total real estate loan balances increased 47.3% over the past five years 9.5% in the past 12-months alone and reached $478.7 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017. First mortgage loans continued to dominate in both real estate lending as well as general lending. These loans comprised 82.5% and 40.8%, respectively, of those portfolios. Learn more about the mortgage portfolio.

Read: Mortgages By The Numbers.


Credit unions in the NCUA’s Mid-Atlantic Region bested the industry in a variety of performance metrics. These credit unions reported MBL growth of 18.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017 that’s 4.8 percentage points faster than credit unions headquartered outside of the Mid-Atlantic region. On a similar note, the region’s average credit card penetration was 19.5%, compared with 15.9% for credit unions outside of the Mid-Atlantic region. Learn more about the credit unions in this region.

Read: Regional Performance Report: Mid-Atlantic Credit Unions.


Credit unions live and die around the idea of putting members first. Now, there’s an emerging field of academic study that offers actionable insight on how credit unions can nudge their members into putting themselves first, too. Behavioral economics (BE) tries to understand behavior through multiple lenses such as psychology, judgment, decision-making, and, of course, economics. Learn more about how BE can help the credit union movement help its members address problems like: 60% of American families have less than $5,000 in savings and 25% have none at all.

Read: Behavioral Economics And Credit Unions Make A Fine Pair.


The idea that credit unions can directly counsel and educate members on their personal finances has taken on organizational heft. According to NAFCU, approximately 36% of the 5,689 federally insured U.S. credit unions offered financial counseling and education to members in 2016, and more than 20% offered financial literacy workshops last year. Learn more about one example of the nationwide efforts the movement is leading.

Read: Credit Unions Celebrate Financial Literacy Month.

Happy Reading!

April 23, 2018

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