WASHINGTON – A Callahan & Associates online survey found that more than 70% of credit union online members are using online information sources to research purchasing and financing automobiles. Only half of them selected the credit union Web site as the first source. Forty-two percent more said they didn't think of the credit union at all while doing their research.The data was collected from 16 credit unions nationwide in April. The credit unions, ranging in size from $181 million to $2.8 billion in assets, are part of Callahan's Survey Consortium, a shared cost survey group. Data revealed that the credit union Web site is most frequently consulted for checking interest rates (29%) and/or loan calculators (28%). Online members said they turn to other sites for auto pricing information (30%), auto listings (21%) or consumer/safety information (21%). Over 70% of respondents said they were "very interested" in seeing pricing/Blue Book information added to the credit union Web site.The next most wanted additions are auto purchasing tips and ratings/safety information, both desired by half the group. "These responses are like opportunity knocking on the door because the data in our survey show that credit unions who have actively promoted their site as a `one-stop' resource for auto or auto loan information experience greater levels of auto loan penetration than the sites that did not have much information online," said Callahan E-Commerce Manager Scott Patterson.

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