Closing a loan is more than just a transaction; it represents the beginning of what should be a mutually beneficial relationship between credit unions and their members. However, all too often credit unions fail to take advantage of the countless opportunities that currently exist. Credit unions need a set of practical strategies to help expand those opportunities into situations that feature a much wider set of financial interactions.

Historically credit unions have performed well in the auto lending arena. This has always generated a significant amount of interest income for the institution. However, over the past few years the business model has changed. Credit unions are now focused on developing additional member-friendly sources of income. At the end of the first quarter of 2006, credit unions less than $100 million produced a quarterly ROA of 0.21%. Without non-interest income, ROA would have been -0.09%, meaning that non-interest income accounted for 143% of net income. Credit unions generated $712 million more in non-interest income in the first quarter of 2006 than in the first quarter of 2002 so clearly the efforts are paying off.

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