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ARLINGTON, Va. – Thirteen percent of the 130 NAFCU member credit unions surveyed in February 2004 offer credit cards, compared to 10% which said they did in 2001, according to NAFCU’s April Flash Report. That number appears to be low. According to Asset Exchange, the card portfolio brokerage headquartered in Portland, NCUA data indicates that 4,700 credit unions showed a positive credit card balance in their call reports as of December 31, 2004. That would mean that the roughly half the nation’s credit unions offered some sort of card program. “It may be that our surveyed credit unions weren’t representative for this question,” said John Zimmerman, spokesman for NAFCU. “We never claimed that this survey was scientific.” For what it’s worth, the survey also indicated that only 11% of the credit unions which said they offered a card charged an annual fee, up 1% from the percentage in 2001. The average fee was $12, one dollar more than in 2001. The survey also found that the 18% of the cardholders at surveyed credit unions carried a balance month to month, down from 43% in 2001. The Flash Report attributed this drop to cardholders drawing down their card balances as a financial discipline. But among the cardholders that continued to carry a balance, the average balance climbed from $1,850 in 2001 to $2,100 in 2004. Annual percentage rates have dropped as well, moving from 12.7% among credit unions surveyed in 2001 to 11.4% in 2004. Sixty percent of the surveyed credit unions said that they were not considering repricing their credit card products. The 27% which said they were considering new pricing formulas said they were looking at a cut in their APR. [email protected]

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