Maine Mortgage, Business Lending CUSOs Link Up to Reach Underserved
Primary Mortgage Corp., a CUSO owned by four Maine credit unions, has partnered with Northeast CUSO to underwrite, document and service small-business loans. Primary also serves a non-owned credit union. Northeast will act as the intermediary between Primary and its credit union clients, said Hunter King, president of Primary.
Northeast's offers business lines, term loans and commercial real estate loans for member-owned businesses. The Keene, N.H.-based CUSO serves more than 70 branches between its 12 partners. Since its launch in June 2005, it has processed in excess of $325 million of small-business loans, according to Northeast. Total assets of all participating credit unions exceed $5 billion.
Primary Mortgage is owned by University Credit Union, TruChoice FCU, cPort Credit Union and Cumberland County FCU. King said University, the CUSO's largest shareholder, is the first to offer business loans through the Northeast alliance. On average, Primary Mortgage has processed an average of $40 million in mortgages since the CUSO opened for business in 2000, King said.
Scott Anderson, president of Northeast, said because business lending has become a significant lending segment for many credit unions, the alliance aims to set both CUSOs apart.
Some of those niches include serving smaller credit unions that may lack the resources to roll out mortgage and business lending programs, Anderson said. Other segments include credit unions that are geographically limited.
"In a state like Maine, geographically, it's fairly large, but there aren't a lot of people. We realized it would be cost prohibitive [for Northeast] to market to all credit unions. By working with Primary, with its relationships, we felt this would be a strong way to offer our services [through the CUSO] to their credit unions," Anderson said.