ONTARIO, Calif.-Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL) expects credit union indirect lending programs will benefit in the long run from the recent trough times.

Tony Boutelle, president and CEO of CUDL, told Credit Union Journal that during the economic downturn credit unions improved their monitoring and management of their indirect relationships. "They had to," said Boutelle, who noted that in the past this was often a weakness of credit unions. "Many more are creating report cards on dealerships for their own records and to provide them back to dealers."

This sort of feedback, which Boutelle said creates great dialogue between dealers and CUs, allows CUs to get better quality paper and prompts dealers to understand what types of deals the credit union wants to take. "That has always been a challenge, but the dealers are now getting better at understanding that."

Overall, according to Boutelle, credit unions have learned to be better risk managers of their auto loan portfolios, leaning more on analytical tools, such as CUDL's Lending Insights, to spot positive trends and problems sooner, and follow up fast.

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