Loans for the month of November grew 7.5% over November 2007. Savings during the same time period grew 6.7%.
"For a recession, that's unusual. Typically people retrench and pay down their debt. This is an aberration likely caused by banks' tightened lending strategy," said Steve Rick CUNA senior economist.
New auto loans saw the biggest decline in more than 20 years, but new auto loans at credit unions saw growth due to the drop-out of other lenders. Home equity loans were another area that expanded due to the fact that some homeowners are using home equity loans to finance spending.
For savings, money markets saw the fastest growth, which were up 14%. Rick said this is due to the fact that people don't want to have their money locked down in certificates of deposit.