Navy Federal Credit Union 'Bullish' on 2019 Despite Expected Origination Slowdown | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Navy Federal Credit Union ‘Bullish’ on 2019 Despite Expected Origination Slowdown

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Navy Federal Credit Union is “bullish on 2019,” as it plans to build membership, invest in infrastructure, and boost originations, Vice President of Consumer Lending Joe Pendergast told Auto Finance News.

NFCU is on track to originate $8.2 billion of auto loans by yearend, Pendergast said, up 14% year over year. But growth in 2019 will likely slow to a 7% pace, putting the credit union on track to hit $8.8 billion of volume. Along with the rising originations, NFCU expects to grow its 8-million-member base by 10% next year.

Pendergast noted that the credit union has been adding about a million members each year since 2016. “That bodes well for us, because the members that joined this year — in addition to the members that join next year — need loan products, and that’s what we’re here for,” he said.

The credit union services all branches of the armed forces, the Department of Defense, veterans, and their families. To accommodate the anticipated membership growth, Navy Federal Credit Union plans to add to its 327 branches worldwide, opening an average of 20 branches per year.

“We concentrate our branch strategies around the military installations in the U.S., and we get as close to those as possible,” Pendergast said without specifying any new locations for 2019. Navy Federal Credit Union’s operation center in Pensacola, Fla., is also slated for expansion next year, as the lender plans to bulk up the number of member service representatives and contact call centers employees.

Navy Federal was the nation’s 22nd-largest auto lender last year, with $12.6 billion of loans outstanding at yearend, according to Big Wheels Auto Finance Data.

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