Lending Hits Of 2014

Which loan strategies resonated with CreditUnions.com readers this year? Find out in this top 10 countdown.

 
 

Credit union membership surpassed 100 million members in 2014. That's a number worth celebrating. But even better, the 10.3% year-over-year loan growth the industry posted as of September 30 more than doubled the pace of deposit growth. The boost in loan income in turn pushed total revenue to top 2.5% annually. This is the first annual increase as of the third quarter since 2008.

With so many lending success stories to choose from, it was difficult to narrow my Lending Hits of 2014 to 10 representative pieces. But I tried all the same. Click on the name of the title to read the full piece.

10. One Loan Leads To Another

When Alaska’s Credit Union 1 faced the dilemma of how to increase its credit card business, it realized it had to overcome the allure of Bank of America, whose popular credit card product allowed users to earn miles redeemable on Alaska Airlines. Admittedly, the $887.6 million cooperative was down, but it wasn’t out. Its strategy to use auto-lending success to boost credit card market share has lessons for many credit unions facing similar growth plans in 2015.

9. A NoteWorthy Mission For Musicians And Artists

Think small credit unions can’t make a difference? Think again. This $2.3 million Midwest credit union tailors financial services to the career patterns and business practices of its artistic community. Closed-charter credit unions, multi-SEG credit unions, community credit unions … everyone can learn from this Q&A with then-CEO Henry Peyrebrune.

8. Kick The Tires And Light The Fires

Establishing a strong brand can be difficult in any market. But in San Francisco — the “Paris of the West,” the technology capital of the world — one federal credit union is showing how a little ingenuity and a new partnership with the San Francisco International Auto Show can go a long way in increasing exposure and teaching consumers about the availability of credit union financing while in the dealership.

7. Niche Loans That Meet Members' Needs

Members 1st Federal Credit Union consistently posts strong loan growth, even in uncertain environments. Part of the reason it is able to perform so admirably quarter after quarter is because it takes a different approach than many financial institutions. Its efforts to embrace a diversified portfolio reflect its philosophy to offer great rates and consistent service while developing solutions that fit the needs of today’s members — even when that means getting into business and merchant lending.

6. Risk And Rewards In Credit Card Affinity Programs

Credit unions are implementing a variety of tactics to promote credit cards and reach members, including partnering with organizations, such as colleges or alumni organizations, to offer cobranded products. Affinity programs are not new in and of themselves, but the opportunity for credit unions to make progress in this area has never been better. Like any credit card program, though, credit unions should take care to avoid these missteps that lead to poor results, partnership difficulties, and unhappy members.

5. A Mortgage Suite That’s Fast On Its Feet

Workers’ Credit Union posted double-digit growth in fixed and adjustable rate first mortgages at midyear. How did the Massachusetts credit union lay the groundwork for such success? It invested in key employees and forward-looking products, and you can, too.

4. The Alternative To Dealer Partners

Credit unions tend to have a love-hate relationship with auto dealers. But the auto market is changing, and now there is more than one answer to the age-old dilemma of whether to offer indirect lending. For today’s credit union, the car buying services outlined in this article can help support targeted strategies.

3. 6 Ways To Become A Realtor’s Go-To Lender

When it comes to closing deals, real estate agents are a risk-averse bunch. They would rather steer a homebuyer who is ambivalent about the choice of lender to an institution they’ve worked with before that can deliver a smooth settlement. This insight straight from the mouths of real estate agents will show you how to foster closer ties with realtors.

2. Vetted And Verified

Being certified as a female-friendly business helped Great Lakes Credit Union reach untapped portions of its membership. Can a similar strategy help you?

1. The Switch From Rate Markup To Flat Fee

This article about how Member One leveraged its growing market share to change auto dealer compensation generated thousands of views and five comments, including one that pondered: Anyone should know and must also accept the fact that in order to get business from dealers there must be an attractive incentive … how can a credit union even justify allowing dealers to have the a rate markup capability?

THANK YOU to myCUmortgage, who sponsored CreditUnions.com’s Lending Hits Of 2014.

Why And When To Outsource Mortgage Lending

With the ever-changing compliance environment, credit unions need to ask themselves if it’s time to outsource the back-office operations of mortgage lending to a CUSO?

And A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to all the credit unions — those listed above and otherwise — that shared your strategies and insights with CreditUnions.com this year. It is support like this from one another that truly sets this cooperative industry apart from its competitors.