Maine credit unions wrapped up 2017 with increased membership, assets and lending at every one of the state’s 56 CUs.

Specifically, membership at the state’s credit unions grew by an average of nearly 3 percent, the average member relationship increased by almost 5 percent over the past year, while the penetration of Maine’s credit unions in real estate lending grew to 18.3 percent, the highest such rate in the nation, according to the Maine Credit Union League.

Total credit union membership in Maine stood at 686,267 at the end of 2017 (roughly half of the state’s estimated population of 1.34 million).

Todd Mason, Maine Credit Union League
Todd Mason, president of Maine Credit Union League

Among other highlights:

• The combined assets at Maine’s credit unions grew by more than $265 million to $7.55 billion
• Lending grew by nearly 7 percent ($355 million) to a total of $5.5 billion
• Savings balances increased by almost $190 million to $6.4 billion
• Membership among 18- to 25-year-olds is up by more than 10 percent over the last three years.

“The year-end statistics are indicative of what we are hearing from our credit unions across Maine – strong lending and robust membership growth,” Maine CU League President Todd Mason said in a statement. “We are pleased that existing credit union members continue to increase their relationship with their local credit union, including strong growth in mortgages, auto lending and other loan products, and that more Maine consumers continue to become credit union members.”

Strong economic conditions may also have played a role in those growth figures. According to Maine’s Department of Labor, the state’s unemployment rate was at 2.9 percent in February 2018, down from 3.3 percent in February 2017. The jobless rate reached a recent high of almost 10 percent in March 2010.

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