Lending Keeps Declining At Nation’s CUs

Register now

MADISON, Wis. – Credit union lending fell again in March for the ninth month in a row, as the nation’s credit unions continued to wait for the annual spring thaw on members’ checkbooks.


As a result lending was down almost 1.1% for the first quarter, after declining by 1.4% last year, according to CUNA.


Mike Schenk, senior economist for CUNA, attributed the continued weakness in the key credit union indicator to the ongoing efforts by consumers to pay off debt and the fact that the first part of every year is slow for lending as members generally try to pay of holiday loans. The CUNA economist said he expects lending to accelerate over the next few months, as it typically does around this time of the year. “We do expect it to pick up and be a positive number this year,” Schenk told the Credit Union Journal this afternoon.


For March, there was negative growth for all loan categories except fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, member business and used cars.


Deposit (share) growth was strong again in March, 1.3%, and came in at a healthy 3% for the first quarter. Almost all of the share growth is occurring in share drafts (checking) and regular shares, as members stay liquid amid uncertainty on rates, according to Schenk.


CUNA’s monthly data is based on a survey of more than 425 credit unions.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.