Credit unions may never rank among the giants of home loan origination, but their market share has grown so dramatically they could be called the industry's mouse that roared.

Federal credit unions' combined share of first- and second-lien mortgage volume, including home equity lines of credit, nearly doubled last year, to 6.19% last year, from 3.62% in 2007, according to data compiled by SourceMedia Inc.'s MortgageStats.com and the National Credit Union Administration.

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