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Not too long ago a credit union could easily compete in the auto indirect lending market with a consumer credit report and a fax machine. It was simple for a credit union to set up an indirect shop, dedicate a few staff members and enroll dealers within a close proximity to the credit union. Looking back, I can safely say that we were extremely limited by reach and technology. In my past 12 indirect lending years, I have seen extraordinary changes with this type of lending program; some developed from demand and some derived by necessity.

Today’s credit union indirect lending offers numerous loan processing systems with robust decision engines and nationwide networks for receiving loan applications. Credit unions also have many choices when it comes to integrating indirect lending into their loan acquisition strategy; an in-house program, contract with a third party noncredit union owned vendor or even consider forming or joining a credit union service organization. Clear advantages exist with some of the available options and great disadvantages with others.

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