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Credit union loan balances showed little spring from March to April, but it was enough to break an unusual three-month streak of declining portfolio balances, according to a report from America’s Credit Unions.

The trade group’s Monthly Credit Union Estimates report released Friday showed the nation’s 4,719 credit unions held $1.64 trillion in loans on April 30, up 4.5% from a year earlier. The 0.4% gain from March was only half of the average 0.8% March-to-April gain over the previous seven years. Nonetheless it broke a streak of three consecutive declines that lowered loan balances by $2.2 billion, or 0.1%, from December to March.

However, from March to April, liquidity tightened and delinquencies rose.

The 60-day-plus delinquency rate was 0.88% as of April, compared with 0.59% a year earlier and 0.80% a month earlier. The March-to-April drop of 8 basis points is on par with the seven-year average, while the average April delinquency rate was 0.55% from 2017 through 2023.

The loans-to-savings ratio was 83.7% as of April 30, up from 82.2% a year earlier and 82.9% a month earlier, compared with an average March-to-April gain of 0.5 percentage points. Savings were $1.95 trillion on April 30, up 2.6% from a year earlier, and fell 0.6% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.3%.

Car lending was flat, and credit cards and other consumer term loans rose 0.4%. Total real estate rose 0.6% with continued growth from home equity lines of credit and other second liens.

The Fed’s G-19 Consumer Credit Report, also released Friday, showed credit unions had larger March-to-April gains on consumer term loans and credit cards than banks. However, credit unions have fallen behind banks in their 12-month gains on credit card balances.

Credit unions held $80.8 billion in credit card debt on April 30, up 7% from a year earlier and up 0.4% from March, compared with the 10-year average March-to-April drop of 0.3%.

Credit unions’ share was 6.3% in April, unchanged from either a year earlier or a month earlier.

Chart showing credit union credit card growth is lagging behind banks

Banks held $1.2 trillion in credit card debt on April 30, up 7.6% from a year earlier and up 1.3% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.4%. Banks’ share was 90.7% in April, up from 90.3% a year earlier and unchanged from March.

Credit unions did slightly better than banks with auto and other consumer term loans.

Credit unions held $574.9 billion in auto and other consumer term loans on April 30, up 0.3% from a year earlier and up 0.3% from March, compared with the 10-year average gain of 1%. Credit unions’ share of non-revolving loans was 15.5% in April, unchanged from a year earlier and up from 15.4% in March.

Banks held $895 billion in consumer term loans in April, down 4.3% from a year earlier and up 0.2% from March, compared with the 10-year average gain of 0.4%.

The trade group’s report also showed for April:

  • New car loans fell 3.8% to $171.7 billion from a year earlier, and fell 0.6% from March, compared with an average April gain of 1.1%.
  • Used car loans grew 1.4% to $327.1 billion from a year earlier, and rose 0.4% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.8%.
  • Unsecured consumer term loans grew 9.1% to $71.3 billion from a year earlier, and rose 0.4% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.7%.
  • First-lien mortgages grew 3.9% to $588.7 billion from a year earlier, and rose 0.1% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.5%.
  • Second-lien mortgages grew 23% to $143.9 billion from a year earlier, and rose 2.7% from March, compared with an average April gain of 1.4%.
  • Assets were $2.32 trillion, up 3% from a year earlier, and fell 1% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.6%.
  • Members were 142.6 million, up 2.2% from a year earlier, and rose 0.1% from March, compared with an average April gain of 0.3%.
  • The number of credit unions was 4,719, down 193 from a year earlier, and down 17 from March, compared with an average April loss of 10 credit unions.



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