Vehicle Loan Penetration at US Credit Unions Continues to Rise

The number of auto loans at U.S. credit unions grew 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 24.9 million, representing 21.2% of current members, up from 21.1% as of Sept. 30, 2018, and 20.5% at the end of 2017.

The number of credit union members grew to more than 117.5 million, a 0.7% increase from the previous quarter and a 4.4% rise year over year.

Among credit unions with at least $50 million in vehicle loans, 69.7% reported a year-over-year increase in auto loan penetration, or the number of vehicle loans as a percentage of total credit union members. Chicago-based United CU led the group with a 58.1 percentage-point increase in 2018, pushing its total vehicle loan penetration to 71.9%.

Graph of Vehicle Penetration Rates









Credit unions with at least $5 million in credit card loans saw a 47.0% increase in credit card loan penetration in 2018. Fremont, Ohio-based Fremont FCU increased its credit card loan penetration by 10.6 percentage points to 30.2% as of Dec. 31, 2018, the largest gain in the analysis.

The nation's largest credit union by assets, Navy FCU, saw vehicle loan penetration decline 0.3 percentage point to 11.3% as of Dec. 31, 2018. The company increased its credit card loan penetration by 0.7 percentage point to 32.1%