SAN DIEGO (10/17/08)--Many credit unions have the capacity to lend when it comes to auto loans, according to the chairman-elect of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). “It’s important for consumers to know that credit is available,” said John McEleney, NADA chairman. “It may be a tough time for business, but it’s a great time for consumers who have a stable job and solid credit scores.” “The fact is local dealers have access to multiple sources of financing, including many credit unions and community banks that have plenty of money to lend,” he added. Gesa CU, Richland, Wash., has made $51 million in auto loans this year, which is an increase of $7 million compared with last year, Sandi Blakely, Gesa vice president of marketing, told the Tri-City Herald (Oct. 10). HAPO Community CU, Richland, Wash., told the Tri-City Herald that although the number of auto loans from credit unions and banks in the area declined by 300 in August compared with the year before, HAPO’s share of dealer-generated auto loans increased from 300 to 360 during the same period. The average loan size is $15,000, said Scott Mitchell, HAPO director of consumer lending. General Motors plans to launch a campaign, “Financing that Fits,” to show car buyers that there are credit unions and other lenders willing to do auto loans and leases, spokesman John McDonald, told Dow Jones (Oct. 15).