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BOX ELDER, S.D. — Shirley Stover’s initial idea was for Sentinel FCU to just buy its own car dealership so it could offer more car choices and better deals to the soldiers at Ellsworth Air Force Base here. But Sentinel FCU, a $48 million-in-assets CU, couldn’t afford that, CEO Nancy Ellwein told Stover, so she started thinking again and came up with the idea of renting a car dealership. Or at least space in one.

Stover, Sentinel FCU’s (www.sentinelfcu.org) senior vice president of lending, wanted something that would counteract the downsides of indirect lending. Sentinel FCU paid dealers $80,000 in indirect fees in 2006, she said, and lost a lot of add-on business. And after spending 10 years of her career in a car dealer’s finance and insurance office she knew every trick of the trade, she told Credit Union Times.

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