The Mortgage Bankers Association forecast for mortgage lending in 2016 is about $1.4 trillion in loans, which consists of about $900 billion in purchase originations and $500 billion in refinance originations. Of this total, credit unions have about 5% market share of new first mortgage originations, according to the MBA. Credit unions have many opportunities to increase their mortgage lending and take share away from banks.

The business of mortgage banking has changed in many significant ways as banks have shied away from loans that they perceive as risky. Credit unions have a fundamental advantage over banks in that they can weigh a member’s overall situation carefully and assist members that are good credit risks. The geographic focus of a credit union means the credit union has a very good understanding of its unique market area and customer needs.

Credit union lending personnel should visit Realtors and builders to promote the benefits of credit union membership and how it helps member borrowers. They should bring case studies of how the credit union helped a variety of members buy a home when banks turned them down. Good examples include a self-employed borrower, a potential buyer that wants to buy a non-warrantable condo, a buyer who needs a “jumbo” loan to 80%, or a new physician just starting to practice medicine who needs “common sense” underwriting.

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