SAGINAW, Mich. – The $255 million Team One Credit Union’s credit card portfolio had surpassed $20 million in receivables, the credit announced, an increase of almost 100% in two years. In December 2002, the credit union’s card portfolio had $11.8 million in receivables and has passed $20 million in December of 2004. Team One attributed the increase to the credit union offering balance transfers at 4.9% and leaving that rate in place over the life of the balance. As the CU noted, most similar offers only offer a reduced balance transfer rate for a small period of time. The increase means the card portfolio represents roughly 8% of the credit union’s total assets, a figure which is high but not unusually so, according to Frank Selker, president of Asset Exchange, a leading independent broker of credit union card portfolios. Selker pointed out that the real costs of such an offer can often be misunderstood and that a credit union would need to evaluate the program over time in order to really determine the financial performance of such an offer, even if it brought rapid portfolio growth.
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