Mich. CU membership soars to record high in 3Q

January 6, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (1/7/15)--Michigan credit unions reported record-setting membership growth in the third quarter with the total memberships in the state soaring to 4.73 million.

Michigan credit unions added 91,175 new members in the quarter. The state's 2.5% 12-month growth in memberships is the fastest annual increase recorded since 1998, according to the Credit Union National Association.  The growth is particularly noteworthy because the state's population has remained stagnant over the last few years.

In the lending sector, Michigan credit unions saw the largest increases in member business loans with a 17.3% year-over-year increase. Small business loans increased by more than 17% from the same time last year.

"Consumers and small businesses in Michigan continue to discover the great service and tremendous value at credit unions in record numbers," Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO Dave Adams said. "We haven't seen growth numbers like these in decades."

In the past 10 years, despite the financial crisis in 2008, credit unions have continued to lend to small businesses. Business loans have soared from $192.7 million in 2004, to $587 million in 2009 to $1.4 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2014.

The steady increase in new members could correlate with the steep rise in new-and used-auto loans, which are up 12.3% and 14.8% from the same time last year, respectively.

The popular GM Credit Union Member Discount could account for a segment of the solid auto lending increases. The program helped General Motors grow its national market share when more than 160,000 credit union members used the discount to buy a new car or truck in 2014.

CU Solutions Group, a subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League, manages the national program, encouraging thousands of credit unions across the country to promote GM product discounts to their 100 million members.

Here's how Michigan's lending performance breaks down.

  • Quarterly increase in new-auto loans: 5.6%;
  • Year-over-year increase in new-auto loans: 12.3%;
  • Year-over-year increase in used-auto loans: 14.8%;
  • Year-over-year increase in first-time mortgages: 7.5%;
  • Year-over-year increase in unsecured loans: 11.1%; and
  • Year-over-year increase in member business loans: 17.3%.