June numbers come in 40 percent higher over YTD 2015


GrooveCar’s CU Xpress Lease reports its credit union lease program is up 40 percent over year-to-date from 2015. In June CU Xpress Lease had its best month with the highest volume to date, as more credit unions joined and utilized the program. Also contributing to this growth is the popularity of leasing among younger demographics embracing lower monthly payments for vehicles normally out of reach, through traditional loan financing. “Our program works to help them compete in a market where leases can account for up to 60 percent of all loan activity. These newly reported numbers support how important it is to be able to compete through all auto loan products to meet market demand,” explains Robert O’Hara, Vice President of Strategic Services, GrooveCar.

Leasing provides credit unions with the ability to tap into an area of incremental growth with a program that manages the disposition of vehicles at lease maturity. CU Xpress Lease is 100 percent responsible for the vehicles’ residual value and collecting any excess wear and tear costs. “Because we eliminate the residual risks normally associated with lease programs, ours provides the credit union with an excellent opportunity to enter this highly profitable market. The credit unions get to manage what they do best; credit risk, although the average FICO within our lease portfolio is 757 so there is not much risk to contend with. With short terms and strong credit, our program’s popularity is on pace to fund close to $1 billion in 2016,” stated O’Hara. As a national auto lease program for credit unions since 2007, CU Xpress Lease features a portfolio close to $4 billion with more than 70,000 vehicles leased.

In addition, O’Hara commented further, “CU Xpress Lease’s executive team possesses decades of experience in the leasing industry, a primary reason why the program has been so successful. The goal is to operate from a position of being sound and safe for all parties involved. This becomes clear when any credit union interested in pursuing our lease program contacts one of our partners and receives tremendous, positive feedback. We let our performance speak for itself when a credit union asks, ‘Why should we enter the lease market and why CU Xpress Lease?’” This question was answered by Theresa Williams-Barrett, Vice President of Consumer Lending and Loan Administration, Affinity Federal Credit Union a New Jersey-based credit union serving 135,000 members with assets over 2.3 billion, “By providing car leasing options, credit unions are able to assist and advise members with options that they would not find at other financial institutions. Since initially offering CU Xpress Lease, Affinity has been able to help more members through greater loan options, helping us ensure our top priority of convenient and quality service for all members.”

This performance since inception has now allowed CU Xpress Lease to expand from a regional credit union product offering in the Northeast, to a national program with expansion into California, Florida and other regions where leasing is popular. Credit unions in these markets are looking forward to leasing because to concentrate solely on traditional auto loan financing can deprive them of up to 60 percent of the loan market. “In Southern California, 38,000 leases are funded each month. This equates to approximately 70 percent of all new cars sold are leased. Without a lease program, credit unions are competing for just 30 percent of the market,” explains O’Hara. 

It’s important for a credit union to do their homework to discover if adding a lease program is the right choice for them as there are some areas of the U.S. where leasing is the first choice verses taking out a traditional loan. Some areas are much more popular based on demographics, than other areas. The CU Xpress Lease program can help uncover suitable market opportunities for a credit union. The program also covers pre-owned leasing.

As cited in:

CU Insight

CU Today

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