LAS VEGAS — Golden 1 Credit Union is looking to expand its underwriting focus in anticipation of slowing vehicle sales in 2020, said Chief Lending Officer Greg Brown.
The Sacramento, Calif.-based lender’s average credit score is 739, Brown said. “We haven’t had that conversation internally yet, but dropping the credit average by 10 points would be the first step,” he said. “That’s difficult to do, though, because that’s a pretty big drop when most of your business is prime.”
“[For a credit union, an average score of 739] is oddly high,” Brown said. “I’m not serving all my members by being that high. Even though my losses may go up, I’m serving members — I’m touching more lives. I am generating a higher rate of return because my interest rates will be higher on those products.”
Golden 1 will look more to the used-car market, too, Brown added. “Used auto lending is becoming more popular than new auto lending [due to customer demand]. There’s a lot of business to be had,” he said.
As of yearend 2018, Golden 1 had $4.8 billion in total auto loan outstandings, according to Big Wheels Auto Finance Data.