COLUMBUS, Ohio (1/15/08)--Credit unions in Ohio are marketing more home lending products to their members and potential members, according to Rob Bachman, mortgage manager at Kemba FCU in West Chester. Mortgage lending was considered a “niche” product in the past. Most credit unions had been stereotyped as doing only car and note loans, Bachman said (Columbus Business First Jan. 11). Kemba offers prioritized adjustable-rate loans and traditional 15- to 30-year terms, plus the 10-year fixed-rate term. Anything with a fixed-rate term sells, with a seven-year adjustable-rate mortgage being the most popular, Bachman told the newspaper. Those who join the credit union for its mortgage programs often become active members, he added. BMI FCU, Columbus, also is actively engaging in mortgage lending. The credit union reported that the number of its mortgage products has tripled during the first four years, to $136 million, said Sharon Custer, president/CEO. The credit union made its first mortgages in the 1970s, and mortgages have always been a “core” business for the credit union. Like Bachman, Custer said credit unions were not always associated with mortgage lending, though it’s a primary service they should provide, she told Business First. Credit unions’ personal service also extends to mortgage lending. BMI has never entered “exotic” programs that have led some lenders into trouble, Custer told the newspaper. To prevent members from being hit with escalating interest rates, Kemba offers a refinancing program, Bachman told the newspaper. Kemba has $354 million in assets. BMI has $281 million in assets.