Leaders In Five-Year Loan Growth

Credit unions continue to grow their loan portfolios.


At the mid-way point in 2011, four segments of the credit union loan portfolio showed the most annual growth:

  • Member business loan balances increased 5.6%, reflecting credit unions’ commitment to Main Street.
  • First mortgages, the largest component of the loan portfolio, grew 3.3%.
  • Used auto loans rose 4.0%, showing credit union strength in recapture marketing.
  • Credit card loans increased 2.3%, driven by a boost in member spending.
12-Month Loan Growth By Category
For All U.S. Credit Unions | Data as of June 30, 2011
Callahan & Associates' 12-Month Loan Growth By Category
Source: Callahan & Associates' Peer-to-Peer Software.

While the industry is still struggling to grow their collective balance sheet, with many credit unions preferring to sell long-term mortgages to the secondary market to manage risk, some credit unions are growing at breakneck speed. The top 10% of credit union performers grew their loan portfolio by 11.75% for the year ending June 2011, according to Callahan’s Peer-to-Peer software. To make the Top 100 listing in this year’s 2012 Credit Union Directory, a credit union had to grow their loan portfolio more than 17%!

Sustained success is harder to achieve. So, this week we’re highlighting 20 credit unions that have proven they are in it for the long haul in our Top 20 Leaders in 5-Year Loan Growth, excerpted from Callahan & Associates' 2012 Credit Union Directory. One of them is ArmyNavy ($1.24B in Corpus Christi, TX), which ranks eighth on the list.

#8 NavyArmy Goes Beyond The Credit Score

NavyArmy has built a solid auto portfolio by fostering positive relationships with members who are struggling with their credit scores. Since approximately 25% of U.S. consumers have a FICO credit score of 599 or lower, this is a bigger market than you might expect. The credit union has a definitive understanding of its appetite for risk, and balances that against its market’s potential.

“Anybody can make ‘A’ paper loans,” says Wayne Vann, CEO. “When you get down to ‘C’ and ‘D,’ you have to go to work.”

Finding opportunities in today’s environment requires more resources for decisioning and underwriting. And credit unions must use every advantage at their disposal, especially the human touch. It’s not enough to understand a member’s situation. To ensure a member is an acceptable credit risk, the credit union must also understand the “why” behind it.

“We talk to our staff about how to really develop an application with weaker credits,” says Vann. “We do not have automatic decisioning. We do not have centralized approval. All loan officers have some autonomy and some authority.”

And they use that autonomy to make loans that are good for today as well as beneficial for tomorrow.

“We have a 67% Hispanic membership,” Vann says. “That’s a cohesive group. If we get into the family and do a good job for one person, then they throw the net out for us.”

Below are the Top 20 credit unions with the highest growth in loan portfolios over the past five years excerpted from the top 100 table on page 37 of Callahan & Associates' 2012 Credit Union Directory.

Top 20 Credit Unions in 5-Year Loan Growth
5-year CAGR June 2006 - June 2011 | Credit Unions over $20M in Assets | Excluding All Mergers
Credit Union
St Avg. Annual
Total Loans
1 CUSA LA 48.50% $15,645,079
2 ANTELOPE VALLEY CA 37.60% $66,833,255
3 PEF OH 29.14% $20,757,576
4 GRAND RAPIDS FAMILY MI 27.63% $27,392,355
5 NASCOGA TX 23.14% $41,581,424
6 SUNTIDE TX 23.13% $47,587,537
7 FIRST GENERAL MI 22.36% $42,947,916
8 NAVY ARMY TX 22.30% $1,008,602,892
9 KAUAI GOVERNMENT EMPL HI 21.35% $46,992,245
10 KANSAS TEACHERS COMMUNITY KS 21.19% $45,338,026
11 UNITED BUSINESS & INDUSTRY CT 20.73% $52,866,457
12 WV UNITED WV 20.71% $18,380,144
13 DILLARDS AR 20.36% $16,752,674
14 WAILUKU HI 19.98% $28,882,653
15 GREENVILLE HERITAGE SC 19.51% $39,782,469
16 NORTHERN SKIES AK 19.35% $45,899,993
17 EDDY NM 19.30% $33,575,127
18 WORKMENS CIRCLE GA 19.27% $35,392,877
19 MCGRAW HILL NJ 19.17% $152,851,787
20 LINCOLN TEACHERS NE 19.10% $12,136,880
3.38% $77,376,030

For the complete Top 100, see Callahan & Associates' 2012 Credit Union Directory

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