Credit union membership rolls grow by a record-high 100,000 during three quarters of 2014

LANSING, MI (January 5, 2015) — Michigan credit unions reported record setting growth through the third quarter with a combined 97,175 new members, bringing the total number of Michigan credit union members to over 4.73 million.

Consumer and small business borrowing also rose by record-high rates in almost all categories from new/used auto loans to credit cards while small business loans grew by over 17 percent from the same time last year.

“Consumers and small businesses in Michigan continue to discover the great service and tremendous value at credit unions in record numbers,” Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates CEO Dave Adams said, “We haven’t seen growth numbers like these in decades.”

According to financial analysts at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the state’s 2.5 percent 12-month growth in memberships is the fastest annual increase recorded since 1998. The growth is particularly noteworthy because the state’s population has remained stagnant over the last few years.

When it comes to lending, Michigan credit unions saw the largest increases in member business loans with a 17.3 percent year-over-year increase.

In the past ten years, and even through the financial crisis in 2008, credit unions have continued to lend to small businesses. Business loans have soared from $192.7 million in 2004 to $587 million in 2009 to $1.4 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2014.

The steady increase in new members could correlate with the steep rise in new and used auto loans, which are up 12.3 percent and 14.8 percent from the same time last year, respectively. The popular GM Credit Union Member Discount could account for a segment of the solid auto lending increases. The program helped General Motors grow its national market share when more than 160,000 credit union members used the discount to buy a new car or truck in 2014. CU Solutions Group, a subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League, manages this national program, encouraging thousands of credit unions across the country to promote GM product discounts to their 100 million members.

Here’s how Michigan’s lending performance breaks down.

  • Quarterly increase in new auto loans: 5.6 percent
  • Year-over-year increase in new auto loans: 12.3 percent
  • Year-over-year increase in used auto loans: 14.8 percent
  • Year-over-year increase in first time mortgages: 7.5 percent
  • Year-over-year increase in unsecured loans: 11.1 percent
  • Year-over-year increase in member business loans: 17.3 percent

CUNA analysts say an upturn in the national economy seen through strong personal consumption, federal government spending, softer energy prices and a decline in the Michigan jobless rate by 1.5 percentage points are all helping to fuel the credit union loan growth nationally. In Michigan, likewise, as the economy improves and households gain confidence, more and more credit union members are making home improvements, refinancing loans to lower rates and buying big ticket items such as cars, appliances and furniture, often financed by the very low loan rates offered at credit unions.

About the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates
Organized in 1934, the Michigan Credit Union League is a trade association representing Michigan’s Credit Unions. Based in Lansing, the MCUL works to build awareness of these locally owned, cooperative institutions and their mission to support members, communities and local businesses. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook at and connect with us on Twitter at

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