CUNA in the News

May 2014

Most People Have No Idea How Much Debt They’ll Need to Afford College05/23/2014Here's the perception of college debt: In a survey of 717 parents that is going to be released next week, the association polled people on their understanding of what it takes to pay for college. About 22 percent guessed that they would borrow between $10,000 and $25,000 and another 22 percent estimated they would need to borrow more than $25,000 but less than $50,000. About 6 percent guessed they would need to borrow less than $10,000 and on the high end, 13 percent guess they would need to borrow between $50,000 and $75,000 and roughly 6.5 percent estimated their debt loads would top $100,000.

4 Housing Bills That Could Make Mortgage Lending Much Easier05/22/2014“These bills are small but important steps towards addressing the crisis of creeping complexity with respect to regulatory burden,” said senior vice president of legislative affairs Ryan Donovan for the Credit Union National Association. “Credit unions appreciate the work of the sponsors and we look forward to seeing these bills come up for a vote on the House floor as soon as possible.”

Johnson-Crapo Reform Bill Voted to Senate Floor05/15/2014Credit Union National Association President and CEO Bill Cheney likewise endorsed the committee's actions. "It's critical that government-sponsored enterprise reform ensures equal and competitive access for credit unions and other small lenders to the housing finance market - and avoids further concentration of the primary and secondary mortgage markets to Wall Street and the largest of lenders. This legislation takes significant steps toward accomplishing both. Our thanks to Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo for their leadership."

Getting Teens to Understand the Money behind Credit Cards05/13/2014But when and how to do it? There's no hard and fast rule. Michelle Dosher, a spokeswoman for the Credit Union National Association, signed her eighth-grade son up for a debit card "We saw this as an age that our son would be starting to do more things with friends and that we wouldn't always be with him to pay for things," she says.

How to Know When It's Ok to Co-Sign a Loan05/11/2014"It's important to recognize that you're making a high-risk decision, not just doing a good deed if you co-sign a loan," says Susan Tiffany, director, personal finance for adults at the Credit Union National Association. "The idea is that you're helping out your kids or your parents, but it has implications for you, too. You need to consider the fact that if someone needs a co-signer, it's because they've already been denied credit on their own and are considered a high risk." In fact, Tiffany warns, in some states, debt collectors can go after a co-signer before pursuing the primary borrower for a debt.

CFPB Warns Banks: 'Fair Lending' Or Else05/09/2014Their Credit Union National Association worries the new disparate impact focus will take lending decisions out of the hands of loan officers and underwriters. "(The CFPB) examiner and DOJ could argue disparate impact has occurred, even though there was no intention to discriminate," CUNA's Bill Klewin recently told a trade organ. Yet "the government (could) say, 'You need to do lending the following way instead.' He suggested political factors could outplay risk factors in loan underwriting, a dangerous trend that fed the housing bubble.

5 Things to Know About a Reverse Mortgage05/09/2014"They do make sense for people who have no other alternatives," says Susan Tiffany, director, consumer periodicals at the Credit Union National Association. "What happens over time is people build equity in their home and until recent years, the equity was illiquid. They couldn't tap it without selling the house or getting a home equity loan. A reverse mortgage lets you get at that equity."

Trio of Credit Union Reg. Relief Bills Passes House05/07/2014It was a big day for credit unions on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as three bills that aim to give CUs some long-sought regulatory relief passed the House of Representatives. The three pieces of legislation will: 1. Allow privately insured CUs to join the Federal Home Loan Bank system. 2. Give parity for credit unions on certain trust accounts, including Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTAs), allowing them to protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund as these accounts in banks are backed by the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund. 3. Establish a process to appeal if the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has not recognized an area as "rural."

House Passes Measures to Expand Credit Unions05/06/2014The House on Tuesday passed legislation to expand credit unions' ability to provide loans.Passed 395-0, one measure, H.R. 3584, would permit privately insured credit unions to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The Federal Home Loan Bank System is comprised of 12 government-sponsored banks that provide funding to financial institutions for home mortgage and small business loans. Members of both parties agreed it would help boost Americans' access to lending opportunities.

Timeline of Target's Data Breach and Aftermath: How Cybertheft Snowballed for the Giant Retailer05/05/2014Feb. 18, 2014: Costs associated with the data breach topped $200 million, a report from the Consumer Bankers Association and Credit Union National Association finds.

Everyday Cheapskate: The High Price of Sitting Down05/05/2014How much money are we talking about? A recent study by the Credit Union National Association reveals that medical expenses are the leading contributor to credit-card debt, with low- to moderate-income households averaging $1,678 in credit-card debt annually, because of out-of-pocket medical expenses. Imagine how this number may grow as health care costs rise.

Getting Teens to See Plastic Cards Aren't 'Invisible Money'05/02/2014But when and how to do it? There's no hard and fast rule. Michelle Dosher, a spokeswoman for the Credit Union National Association, signed her eighth-grade son up for a debit card "We saw this as an age that our son would be starting to do more things with friends and that we wouldn't always be with him to pay for things," she says.

Bank, Credit Union Regulators Split Over Payday Loan Products05/01/2014"In more case than not, credit unions are not really making money on these," said Mary Dunn, the deputy general counsel of the Credit Union National Association. Still, Dunn is hoping that some of the industry pullback on deposit-advance products will ease once the CFPB issues rules for the entire sector. "Even among credit unions, there may be some uncertainty as to what the CFPB is planning in the payday regulatory space," Dunn said. "That is why some credit unions and banks won't initiate or expand if in this space if they don't know what's going to happen" so "everybody may be keeping their powder dry."