No Time For Cruise Control

Aging cars, consumer confidence, low unemployment, and near record-low interest rates have prompted more buyers to enter the auto market. So how can credit unions benefit in 2016?

The U.S. auto industry was hit hard by the recession, with the effects resonating well beyond major manufacturers and suppliers, evidenced by stagnant loan portfolio growth and depressing earnings at financial institutions throughout the country. The industry is roaring back to life, however, and the market for new and used vehicle financing has re-emerged as a welcomed source of income for financial institutions. That’s why this week, CreditUnions.com is highlighting data and strategies to help credit unions benefit from the return of this important business line.

In 7 Things To Know About The Auto Market, Callahan analyst Sam Taft reviews how American consumers have regained their taste for cars and looks at how credit unions are doing their part to become the lender of choice. Read more today.

For decades, WSECU in Olympia, WA, has been a go-to source for the financing of over-the-road recreational vehicles including motor homes, trailers, fifth wheels, and campers. On average, these direct RV loans generate a steady flow of $10 million to nearly $14 million every year, says Julie Lind, the credit union’s vice president of consumer lending; however, according to Lind, that is only a small slice of the pent-up demand that inundates the credit union’s market.

In 2012, WSECU augmented its strategy by adding an indirect RV lending program. In Deals On Wheels Callahan writer and editor Aaron Pugh digs into how WSECU did this and the secrets behind its success. Learn more this week.

Also in the Evergreen State, School Employees Credit Union of Washington has found a way to support public education through its auto lending. In An A+ For An Auto Rebate, writer Erik Payne shows how the newly renamed Inspirus Credit Union piloted a rebate program and donated more than $14,000 to area schools. Can other credit unions learn from Inspirus’ success? Find out today.

Not all auto dealerships are the same. Some are easier to work with and provide a better consumer experience. To make the most of these resources, credit unions have developed preferred auto dealership programs that strengthen professional relationships and benefit the member though lower rates and expedited funding.

We wanted to deepen the relationship as opposed to our credit union being another financial institution in a drop down box to send a loan to, says Dave Heffner, vice president of lending Community Financial Credit Union.

Learn about best practices from Community Financial, Ent Federal Credit Union, and Catholic Vantage Financial Credit Union in 3 Strategies To Improve Partnerships With Preferred Auto Dealers.

Finally, in the Graphic Of The Week, analyst Stephanie Clark breaks down what credit unions should know to keep up with the changing auto lending landscape. Check out 5 Facts Every Credit Union Should Know About Auto Lending In 2015, today.

Happy Reading.

August 3, 2015

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