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Credit unions continue to adapt to rising interest rates and other economic shifts, CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk told Equifax's Market Pulse podcast this week. Schenk said credit unions need to continue to demonstrate the credit union difference, especially during economic uncertainty.
He noted that over the crises he's witnessed since the 1980s, credit union membership grows as the crisis fades because members appreciate how they are treated in hard times.
He also added that credit cards can serve as a "canary in the coal mine" for economic challenges.
"The first place I look is the credit card portfolio. I'm looking for the volume and how are those portfolios growing, and whether the growth is completely new growth. For example, have balances gone from zero to some other significant number or are they revolvers who are adding to that pile of debt they already have? How are the transactors behaving? Are they still transactors or are they becoming revolvers?" he said. "And I want to look at that across the credit spectrum. I'm especially concerned with those on the bottom rungs of the credit spectrum."