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how to capitalize on auto sales and lendingAs digital connectivity becomes increasingly prevalent in the auto lending sector, a credit union’s online ability to service after-hours loans can make the difference between having a great lending year and a good one – or missing the loan boat altogether. The New Year promises to be another strong year for auto sales and lending – it’s just a not-so-simple matter of capitalizing.

A total of 17.5 million autos were sold in 2015, making it the best auto buying year for lenders in history. In addition, U.S. auto loan and lease balances surpassed $1 trillion for the first time during the course of 2015, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report. At least one credit union we know of made so many auto loans last year that it was “loaned out” and started a participation program to syndicate some of its loans.

With the current strong lending market, we don’t see many credit unions hiking their auto lending rates in response to the recent Fed interest rate increase. Although some of the larger credit unions increased rates in response to the Fed’s minimal boost, most will probably maintain their current low rates to stay competitive through 2016. In fact, client credit unions of CO-OP Member Center have maintained very low rates for the last couple of years.

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