MADISON, Wis. (1/13/16)--New-auto loan balances at credit unions recently topped $100 billion for the first time ever, according to numbers from the Credit Union National Association.
For the year ending October 2015, new-auto loan balances jumped 16.9%, pushing the total over the historic mark, CUNA Mutual Group noted in its trends report this week.
Strong consumer fundamentals, such as an improving labor market and low oil prices, helped fuel the acceleration--a trend that also has buoyed mortgage lending, the report said. In the first nine months of 2015, mortgage loans rose 39% higher than the first nine months of the previous year.
“2015 was a very strong year for credit unions, both from the perspective of auto loan and mortgage growth as well as credit union membership, which rose faster in 2015 than in any time in credit union history,” said Steven Rick, CUNA Mutual Group chief economist. “Heading into 2016, with the economic picture continuing to improve and the Fed adding its own vote of confidence with its recent interest rate hike, the outlook is quite strong for credit unions and the hardworking families they serve.”
The report also found that credit union memberships rose to 105.3 million in October--a 4.3% increase year-over-year, marking the fastest pace of growth seen in more than two decades.
Over the first nine months of 2015, credit unions added 3.9 million members, up from 2.6 million through the first nine months of 2014.
The full CUNA Mutual trends report can be found here.