TEMPE, Ariz. – Adopting what it says is a more traditional lending “concept,” TruWest Credit Union is altering its “one-rate” policy on auto loans for new and used vehicles and also increasing limits and loan-to-value ratios on its home equity portfolio. “At one time we were particularly aggressive on used cars, but now we see opportunity in both new and used which is why we have adopted two separate rates,” explained Douglas Lake, executive vice president and chief lending officer of the $630 million CU. On home equity, TruWest, which has branch operations in metropolitan Phoenix and Austin, Tex., said it is raising its maximum limit to $250,000 from $150,000 and upped the loan-to-value ratio from 80% to both 90% and 100%, said Lake. On auto loans, TruWest previously maintained rates in the 4.75% range though rates had varied over the last year or so depending on conditions and terms. But under its new policy, TruWest has separated the rates, offering 4.25% on new cars and 5.25% on used. The 5.25%, he said, is below the prevailing 5.50-5.75% in the Phoenix market, where its prime membership is located. Over the last 12 months, TruWest’s used auto loan portfolio has grown from $54 million to $63 million and the home equity portfolio has performed “extremely well” with delinquencies non-existent, said Lake. “I think we’ve had a maximum of two loan foreclosures over the last 10 years,” said Lake.

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