Nonprime auto chartCredit unions are finding more ways to make car loans for people with dings and dents in their credit scores. Some of the tools include trended data showing consumer payment behavior over 30 months, alternative data such as rent or utility payments, and credit- builder programs.

All of them require dedication to lending beyond the safety zone of A and A+ paper, and to building analytical muscles. Sometimes small loans for weak credit require a heavy lift to gauge the risk and price for it.

In the Los Angeles area, Financial Partners Credit Union ($1.8 billion in assets, 85,125 members) is trying to build its profile as a lender to subprime borrowers who are willing to rebuild their credit.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.

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