Credit Unions Flourish as Interest Rates Rise, Auto Count Data Shows | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Credit Unions Flourish as Interest Rates Rise, Auto Count Data Shows

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Credit unions are taking advantage of the rising interest rate environment as some have grown loan volumes in their state by more than 50% year over year, according to Auto Finance News’ analysis of Experian’s July AutoCount data.

Namely, Security Service Federal Credit Union grew its Texas loan originations by 69% year over year to break into the top 10 lenders of one of the largest volume states in the country. Likewise, Lake Michigan Credit Union grew its statewide originations by 71% to 1,303 contracts signed.

Other credit unions have had strong — even if slightly more muted — growth in the past year. Navy Federal Credit Union grew originations by 21% year over year during the month of July to 2,578 contracts in the month as the second largest lender in Virginia behind Toyota Financial Services.

Meanwhile, in California, Golden 1 CU cultivated volume growth of 16.4% year over year and San Diego County CU raised originations by 21% year over year.

Dealers and startups have taken notice as well and are altering their strategies to accommodate credit unions. For example, the online car retailer JoyDrive targeted Seattle as an early market because its dealer partners were looking for a platform that could enable car buying online but still integrated with local credit unions.

“Early on we decided not to exclusively align with just one lender,” Hunter Gorham, chief executive and founder of JoyDrive told AFN. “The other aspect is the regional nature of it because we started in Seattle, where they have a massive credit union presence where you may not have that in Texas. Because we have dealers involved, they have a full network suite of dealers that they can offer to offer those financing offers within the JoyDrive website.”

Six of the top 10 lenders in Washington are credit unions including the No. 1 lender Boeing Employees’ Credit Union, according to AutoCount data.

“Boeing is so strong out here,” and as one of the areas largest employers, “it has been really healthy out here,” Shannon Harnish, president of Harnish Auto Family told AFN. “It’s a very good avenue for us Northwest dealers.”  

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