CHICAGO (4/2/14)--Nearly three-quarters of credit union executives polled in a recent TransUnion survey pegged loan growth as the most significant issue facing credit unions in 2014.
The survey polled 64 executives at February's CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington.
More than half of the credit union leaders surveyed also identified auto loans as the place where the most opportunity for loan growth lies, while deposit accounts came in as the next best opportunity--though it trailed auto loans by a wide margin.
"With delinquency rates at historic lows and consumers prioritizing loans above other credit instruments, credit union executives continue to view auto loans as a significant driver of near-term growth," said David Dodson, TransUnion vice president of financial services.
Studies have shown that consumers continue to pay their auto loans off before any other line of credit, including mortgages.
TransUnion reported in March that the number of 30-day delinquencies for auto loan payments in September 2013 sat at 0.89%, compared to both mortgage and credit card payments, which sat at 1.79% and 1.86% respectively (News Now March 24), illustrating the payback preference of consumers.
The national average auto debt-per-borrower climbed to $16,769 in Q4 2013 from $16,060 in Q4 2012, which marks 11 straight quarterly increases, according to TransUnion.
Credit union executives cited increased regulation and competition as the biggest challenges to loan growth, at 34% and 54% respectively.
Concerns over member expansion jumped 26% from 2013.