LIVE OAK, Texas (8/10/11)--In midst of a slow economy, $4.3 billion asset Randolph-Brooks FCU (RBFCU) has surpassed $1 billion in auto loans for the first time in its history. The Live Oak, Texas-based credit union’s leaders credit the current low rate and consistent across-the-board lending policies for both financing and refinancing as reasons for its lending success. “We’ve seen an increase in members who have taken advantage of our low-rate loans for an auto loan or to refinance a vehicle,” said Mark Sekula, Randolph-Brooks FCU chief lending officer. “At the same time, we’ve also seen many new members join RBFCU because of our low rates, then transfer their other accounts to us because they receive a superior value on overall products and services.” Much of the loan volume has come from vehicle refinancing, Sekula said. “Refinancing is one of the most profitable decisions a purchaser can make; by refinancing a vehicle, you essentially pay less interest for the same product, and put more money back into your pocket,” he said. The credit union dropped its auto loan rate to a 1.9% annual percentage rate at the beginning of June and has seen an increase in loan applications and approvals. However, the growth the credit union is experiencing began before the rate drop. Randolph-Brooks FCU was one of the first financial institutions in South Central Texas to significantly drop lending rates. Since the first significant loan rate drop in April 2009, the credit union has seen growth in several categories, specifically:
* Membership rose 23%--by almost 70,000 members; * Assets increased 40%--about $1 billion; and * Loans increased 34%--roughly $750 million.
During the past five years, it has also seen a 75% growth in overall assets.