A credit union that seeks to grow its mortgage lending program will almost certainly need to reach out to real estate professionals, according to a credit union that has built up strong relationships with Realtors.

Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., the $1.3 billion Meriwest Credit Union has a portfolio of first-mortgage loans of about $486 million, according to NCUA data as of the end of June 2009. The credit union had decided to begin growing its mortgage portfolio by underwriting new-purchase loans when it realized it would need to do so in order to keep offering mortgages at all, according to Anita Domondon, vice president of loan administration for the credit union.

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