Retention, Payday Lending, And First Quarter Data

Five can't-miss data points this week on

This week, finds three secrets to employee retention and development, identifies a savings solution that breaks the payday lending cycle, and breaks down first quarter industry data trends.

Here are five can’t-miss data points:


With the unemployment rate hitting a 50-year low of 3.6%, credit unions across the nation are competing like never before in a highly fluid job market. A 2018 Gallup poll found that 51% of U.S. workers were looking for or applying for a new job, and with several top-tier banks raising their minimum wages to $15 per hour, wage pressures are growing. The community-focused mission of credit unions does a lot to increase loyalty among employees, but these days, employee retention, training and development, and succession planning are front-burner issues for many HR executives.

Read: 3 Secrets To Employee Retention And Executive Development

18 Years

State Employees’ Credit Union has offered a salary advance loan program since 2001. During that 18 years, the credit union has automated processes to make it easier for members to access funds and added a savings component to help members break out of the payday loan cycle. The loan’s starting APR of 14.25% is higher than SECU’s other unsecured products. For example, its standard open-ended signature loan is currently priced at 10.75% APR. But the credit union doesn’t intend for members to use the program ad infinitum.

Read: A Savings Solution To Break The Cycle Of Payday Lending

$62.4 Billion

Credit card loan balances at credit unions nationwide grew 7.5% in 2018, ending the year at $62.4 billion. Credit card balance growth, however, slowed 1.6 basis points compared to 2017. This was the largest decline of any loan product. As the loan portfolio has expanded, the percentage of credit card loan balances to total loan balances has steadily decreased. Credit card loans accounted for 5.9% of the entire $1.1 trillion credit union loan portfolio at year-end 2018, down 8 basis points from Dec. 31, 2017.

Read: Credit Card Balances Expand Through 2018

11 Basis Points

Real estate loans comprised nearly half, 49.4%, of the total loan portfolio as of Dec. 31, 2018. This past year, real estate balances increased 8.8%, from $478.7 billion in 2017 to $520.9 billion in 2018. First mortgages increased 9.2% year-over-year, adding $36.3 billion to total loans. Aggregate balances reached $431.6 billion at year-end 2018. Although the real estate share of the total loan portfolio was down 11 basis points annually to 49.4%, first mortgages increased their portion of the portfolio 5 basis points to 40.9%.

Read: Real Estate Asset Quality Improves Year-Over-Year


Callahan & Associates hosted its quarterly Trendwatch webinar on Thursday, providing an overview of the industry’s performance trends over the past three months, highlighted credit union success stories, and identifying areas of opportunity. Here are three takeaways from this must-watch event, from share growth to delinquencies and yields.

Read: 3 Takeaways From Trendwatch 1Q 2019

Happy Reading!

May 20, 2019

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