LANSING, Mich. (12/9/08)--Michigan’s 350 credit unions expanded membership and increased loan growth during the third quarter, according to statistics released by the National Credit Union Administration and the Michigan Credit Union League. Total membership grew by 17,000--the most since 2003. Total loans grew rose by 2% to $22 billion--an annualized growth rate of 8% and highest since 2006. “This data show credit unions’ resilience and the benefits of prudent lending,” said David Adams, league president/CEO. “The strong loan growth suggests that credit unions are well-positioned to help consumers and small businesses weather a struggling economy in Michigan.” Michigan Credit unions saw the strongest growth in auto loans with a 4% increase in used-vehicle loans--a 16% annualized growth rate--and a 3.1% rise in new-vehicle loans--a 12.4% annualized growth rate. Credit union member business loans grew by 3.1% to $651 million. While some large banks and financial institutions are experiencing trouble in the current economy, Michigan credit unions are holding steady, and some are even posting healthy gains, said the Grand Rapids Press (Dec. 7). Credit unions have been successful by adhering to a traditional formula of making conservative but well-priced loans for homes, cars and small businesses with the money credit unions take in as deposits, the newspaper said. “Because they are not-for-profit, [credit unions] are not swinging for the fences, so to speak,” Adams told the paper. “Rather, they’re playing the game conservatively even in a tough economy.” Nationally, deposits at credit unions are predicted to grow by 10% in 2009, according to a report by the Credit Union National Association, the newspaper said.