While there has been a buzz over the last 3-4 years about innovative lending practices by credit unions it is generally the larger ones that have implemented programs such as indirect lending. In addition, over the last eighteen months a mortgage and refinancing boom has shaped many credit unions' loan portfolios.
Smaller credit unions, however, have maintained more "traditional" credit union lending practices driven by direct auto loans to members. This activity continues to be the lending foundation for these credit unions. As such, the composition of smaller credit unions' loan portfolios is, on average, much more highly concentrated in new and used auto loans.
The table below identifies how different sized credit unions concentrate their loan volume - on the balance sheet as well as originations. The smaller the credit union the higher their concentration is in auto loans with less emphasis on indirect lending programs.