Riverdale Credit Union ($48.8M, Selma, AL) welcomed an influx of new members in 2011 as the area’s community banks merged with larger corporations. Membership rose 13.9 % as its shares grew 11.8% over the year, according to Callahan & Associates’ FirstLook data.
Like many credit unions reporting year-end data, Riverdale Credit Union noted strong loan growth – reporting 6.4% 12-month loan growth, and 17.3% growth in loans granted year-to-date.
CEO Linda Walker says the Riverdale has scored financial stability simply by offering consumers what they want – low rates and personal loan reviews. The credit union does not advertise its low rates “whatsoever,” Walker says, but instead lets its competitive services and products “speak for themselves.”
“Our growth is such that it just seems like people come,” Walker says. “Thank the good Lord for that.”
The Alabama credit union joins the 3,104 FirstLook credit unions that have already reported their fourth quarter financials and are noting stellar loan growth. Filings show credit unions originating $120.5 billion in loans throughout 2011, a 5.1% increase over 2010 levels for the same 3,104 credit unions, according to Callahan & Associates’ FirstLook data
Consumer and member business loans were the strongest growth areas of loan originations. Robust growth in these categories, as well as steady first mortgage originations, fueled positive outstanding loan balance growth of 1.59% for 2011, despite selling $17.6 billion in first mortgages during the year. Member business loan originations saw the biggest percentage growth over 2010 numbers, with 13.0% growth during the year.
Riverdale’s strong loan portfolio growth, which is heavy in used auto loans but also includes real estate loans based on record-low rates, has the credit union positioned to fare even better when the economies improve and rates rise, Walker says.
“The members have enjoyed the fact that their interest rates haven’t gone up but I’m hoping that the economy will turn around and there will be an opportunity to be able to buy more and build more,” Walker says. “Of course that will affect our real estate portfolio, but until that time, everything is sort of smooth sailing.”
Used autos are the largest section of Riverdale Credit Union’s loan portfolio, which Walker attributes to the ability of the credit union to work closely with members who may not have stellar credit scores, but who have proved they are financially reliable through their membership with the credit union.
“If you’re credit score is lower, it’s hard to get some of those rates that are advertised at dealership or on televisions,” Walker says. “But if you’ve had an established relationship with our credit union and we’ve never had a problem with you, we might be a little more willing to help. So we constantly have loan growth in our auto loans.”