CUs Take Different Paths to Loan Growth

Innovations in mortgage refinancing, credit cards, and auto loans.

October 1, 2012
Many happy returns. Neighborhood Credit Union in Dallas has introduced the Neighborhood MPOWER auto loan, which comes with several free benefits.

Among them is a vehicle return program that allows members to walk away from their loan obligations—for any vehicle—if uncontrollable circumstances cause them to lose their source of income within six months of purchase.

The program also provides, with certain restrictions, free “paintless dent protection,” limited powertrain coverage, as well as “tire and wheel” coverage.

Have a HARP. Tower Federal Credit Union, Laurel, Md., has amassed more than $70 million in Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) mortgage refinance applications.

On average, Tower Federal members participating in HARP save $425 per month—more than $5,000 annually

HARP is designed for people who are current on their mortgage payments but don’t qualify for traditional refinancing due to a lack of equity.

Tower Federal spreads the word about HARP through a series of mailings to members identified as good candidates for the program.

Big Ticket Visa. Coastal Federal Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C., introduced a new Visa credit card that offers six months of interest-free financing on all individual purchases or balance transfer of $600 or more.

The “Big Ticket Visa” has no limit on the number of times users can take advantage of the interest-free financing period. In addition, the card accumulates no interest during the six-month grace period.

Interest is charged only on the remaining unpaid balance after the interest-free financing period ends—unlike most store credit cards. There’s also no balance-transfer fee.