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cu direct hartleyIn 2015, we have continued to see positive loan growth in many areas. That said, we all know that loan growth can be heavily tied to, among other things, economic, regional and seasonal factors that aren’t always in our control. Because of this, many credit unions have identified the need to diversify their portfolios, seek out higher yielding loan opportunities where possible, and identify areas where they can provide new loan options to members and businesses in their local communities. Diversity is key to maintaining a healthy credit union lending ecosystem.

One way to diversify, reduce concentration risk and increase profitability is to expand your business to new frontiers with retail lending. The growing retail lending marketplace provides credit unions with a key new growth channel that focuses on unmet consumer needs. New opportunities exist for point of sale consumer lending in high-end retail and medical services that can help distinguish local credit unions from large banks.

Recent findings from the Filene Research Institute and CU Direct on point of sale financing – financing at the point of sale for large consumer purchases – revealed that the potential size of this market is estimated at $391 billion annually, or approximately 3.5% of annual consumer spending. Healthcare, electronics and home goods, such as major home appliances and furniture, lead a long list of spending categories.

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