Housing Market Gains Expand Gateway to Credit Unions: Print Preview
- Mortgages are driving membership growth.
- Low interest rates, credit union reputation behind the surge.
- Mortgages serving as an anchor product for other products and services.
Thanks to the real estate bubble and its aftermath in the Great Recession, housing finance has become an increasingly important driver for credit union membership, according to credit union executives around the country.
In addition, the credit union was in the midst of a membership expansion brought on by its merger with the smaller Target Corporation Credit Union in 2011. The merger brought Baxter an additional potential 365,000 members nationwide. Many of them were of modest means who were likely interested in finding a source for reliable, secure and affordable financial services.
Like other executives noting the mortgage phenomenon, Valentine reported that consumers who became Baxter members through the housing finance program, usually did so through word of mouth.