Lending increased year-over-year in the first quarter for credit unions as loans grew in every major category including total first-mortgage loans outstanding and other real estate loans, according to the National Credit Union Administration.
During the first quarter, first-mortgage loans outstanding increased annually by 10.4% to $327.9 billion, and other real estate loans increased 3.9% annually to $74.3 billion, according to the NCUA.
Although the delinquency rate at federally insured credit unions went up overall, the rate for fixed real estate decreased during the last four consecutive quarters.
Overall membership also increased at credit unions to nearly 104 million, an increase of 3.8%. Credit unions added 1 million new memberships within the last year, and 13 million during the last five years, all while consolidating.
The number of credit unions fell to 5,954 at the end of 2015, a decrease of 252 less than a year ago.
The lack of new digital technology could be causing some credit unions to close. Credit unions are no exception to the growing demand for financial institutions to go digital.
While known for their more personal relationship with borrowers, credit unions are still subject to the pitfalls of not going digital.
That being said, there could still be benefits to being a smaller. At-home credit unions are not bundled into coming regulation limiting the timeframe for compensation and restriction on office locations.