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Written by Cyndie Martini
on March 01, 2022

According to data from CUNA, credit union loans grew by 7% to $1,283.8 billion year-over-year for December 2021. This compares to December 2020s $1,193.90 billion. December month-over-month growth 1.0%, compared to November at 0.6%.

Unsecured loans grew the largest:

  • Unsecured personal loans: +2.6%
  • Credit card loans: +2.3%
  • Fixed-rate mortgage loans: +2.0%
  • Home equity loans: +1.2%),
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages: +1.0%
  • Used auto loans: +0.7%
  • New auto loans: +0.3%

On the opposite end of the spectrum, other loans (-1.8%) and other mortgage loans (-0.6%) declined during December.

Turning to savings, credit unions had a good month. Savings balances increased by 1.4%, above the 0.1% increase in November 2021 but below the 1.9% increase in December 2020.

60+ day delinquencies held steady at 0.5%, unchanged from November. The loan-to-savings ratio declined by 0.3%:

  • December: 70.4%
  • November: 70.7%

Credit unions also saw total membership grow by 0.2% in December to 131.8 million. 

Third quarter performance data for federally insured credit unions also saw growth:

  • Total assets: $2.02 trillion (+$231 billion or 12.9 %)
  • Shares and deposits: $1.75 trillion (+$219.9 billion or 14.4%)
  • Regular shares: $640.0 billion (+$95.8 billion or 17.6%)

While credit union growth looks strong now, NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper had a few words of advice for credit unions:

“There is, however, wisdom in the age-old advice: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” Harper added. “While the third quarter data appear strong, federally insured credit unions should brace for potential challenges ahead like inflation and interest rate risk. They should also prepare for increases in credit risks now that many pandemic-relief programs have ended.”

Sure enough, inflation data reported for February 10th came in at +7.5% year-over-year, and rates reacted by jumping higher. Inflation is no longer mostly isolated to shelter and used cars, which moderated in January. It has broadened out, which means there is now momentum behind its increase.


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