In this economy, credit unions are justifiably conservative in their lending practices. From declining performance of credit cards and loans over the past few years to sweeping government regulations, the pressure felt by these institutions and their stakeholders has caused constriction across the board.

Although the market shows some signs of stabilization, a number of recent studies point to the fact that we are still operating in a high-risk environment. FICO recently conducted a study of a bank card lender, taking a proxy of the U.S. population that found significant score movement over time. The study showed that 27% of consumers scores change plus or minus 20 points over a three-month period; almost 40% of consumers see a score shift of plus or minus 20 points over a six-month time period. For credit unions, this means that even your best customers may not be risk-averse, warranting stricter account management processes to help identify early delinquency issues before they become unrecoverable.

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Peter Westerman


Credit Union Times

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