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Filtered Research Reports

Confidence in Borrowing Survey: Spring 2017

Every six months Filene conducts a national survey to assess confidence in borrowing. Since our previous survey, there has been little change in consumer confidence, and overall confidence in borrowing remains low. However, having a baseline for consumer intention allows us to dive deeper and explore possible motivations and subtleties...

Digital Lending Playbook

Opportunities abound for credit unions to carve out a presence in the digital lending space. This can be in the form of protecting the $351 billion in current credit union consumer loans or capturing some of the estimated $1 trillion in loans positioned for digital lenders. Before attempting that long-shot...

Domestic Violence Recovery Loan Program

The Domestic Violence Recovery (DVR) Loan Program was designed to provide survivors of abuse with an affordable option for removing financial barriers to safety and/or rebuilding after an abusive relationship. This report details the development and initial findings from the implementation of the DVR Loan program from May 2014 through...

Consumer Borrowing Preferences and Confidence

Consumer borrowing is an important macroeconomic measure because it parallels consumer spending and serves as important measure of consumer confidence and health.  Loan growth is also of the most important drivers of sustainability for credit unions who depend principally on consumer lending and mortgage lending for the majority of their...

Are Credit Unions Doing Enough to Help Young Entrepreneurs?

For years credit unions have pursued the goal of “getting younger”—and for good reason. With the average credit union member’s age hovering in the late 40s, Gen Y (18–35-year-olds) represents a prime opportunity for credit unions to continue the legacy of cooperative finance among newer generations. However, focused initiatives are...

Peer-to-Peer Lending and the Future of Cooperation

An entrepreneur born in 1990 has grown up in quite a different world than one born in 1960. Imagine a person born in 1960 opening a restau- rant in 1985. She would have relied on traditional outlets such as banks, credit unions, and investors for business capital—unless the venture was...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Used Car Loans

Login to download the full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Used Car Loans. Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they do not...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to New Car Loans

Login to download full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to New Car Loans  Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they do not rank...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Personal Loans

Login to download full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Personal Loans  Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they do not rank first...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)

Login to download full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Second Mortgages

Login to download full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Second Mortgages Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they do not rank first...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Refinanced Mortgages

Login to download full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to Refinanced Mortgages Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they do not rank first...

A Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to First Mortgages

Login to download full report and click on the button above for a slide deck on the Wallet Allocation Rule Approach to First Mortgages Unlike fast food chains, hotels, or even deposits, loans typically reflect a winner-take-all equation: There are no financial rewards for credit unions when they do not rank first...

Room to Grow: Credit Union Business Lending

Credit unions today are restrained by statute and regulation from lending more than 12.25% of their assets to business, unless they qualify for one of several prescribed exceptions. This restriction continues while the commercial banking industry becomes more concentrated and the composition of its largest assets—loans—shifts away from commercial and industrial lending and toward various...

Blue Ocean Lending for Credit Unions: Point of Sale Financing

This study presents research on the U.S. point of sale financing (POSF) marketplace. POSF is defined as providing financing at the point of sale for large consumer purchases. We estimate the annual potential market size of this market at $391 billion, or approximately 3.5% of annual consumer spending with health...

The Impact of Two-Tiered Banking: How Credit Unions Can Bridge The Divide

For many consumers, payday lending is a dangerous cycle of indebtedness.  Yet, payday-lending services are in high demand. As a result, policymakers and the public watch the steady rise of payday lending with concern. This study traces the emergence and expansion of payday lending outlets in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba...

Lower Interest for Timeliness (LIFT) Pilot: Final Report

Lenders have always relied on financial punishment and penalties to ensure borrowers repay their loans on time. Rarely do we ever see borrowers being rewarded for responsible and timely repayment. In 2011 an i³ group sought to explore this issue. The result was LIFT: a product concept designed to lower...

Mortgages and Credit Union Performance: 1980–2011

Today, credit unions hold a quarter of their assets in residential mortgages, and this report charts mortgage trends from the past three decades, revealing that these loans have persistent positive effects on credit union performance. Among the findings: Credit unions’ direct holdings of mortgages grew rapidly over the past three decades, from...

Predicting Members’ Choice of Auto Lender: Borrowing from Credit Unions or Elsewhere?

In 2013, auto sales are creeping back toward pre-recession levels (2012 ended with 14.8 million units sold), which is helping credit unions bolster lending. The expanding market also opens up opportunities for growing market share. By unit volume, auto loans are still the largest piece of US credit unions’ lending portfolio. This research was designed...

Commercial Lending During the Crisis: Credit Unions Vs. Banks

At a time when the economy needs kindling from any corner, credit unions’ stable commercial lending history shows they may be a helpful source. This report, from David Smith, an economist at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, seeks to quantify the performance of credit union commercial lending...

Superior Consumer Lenders During the Great Recession

What do ponderous wheels and successful lending credit unions have in common? In his business bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins introduces a telling metaphor for business success: the old-fashioned flywheel. Flywheels turn, not from one big push, but from the input of deliberate regular force. Consumer lending is similar....

Finding Sustainable Profits: Green Lending in Credit Unions

Credit unions that ask how they can join the green revolution often make a quick leap to green lending for cars, home improvements, energy savings, and more. Lending is, after all, credit unions’ core business. But, to date, there has been little data on green lending. This report shows that...

The Florida Financial Hurricane: A Credit Union Risk Management Case Study

Do you know your credit union’s risks? Are you sure? This latest publication from Filene takes a deep dive into the always confounding world of credit union risk management with real-world examples. This case follows the plight of Sunbeam Credit Union in Florida, a real credit union whose name has...

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Implications for Credit Unions

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Implications for Credit Unions engages the work of legal expert David Reiss to break down the benefits, purported and real, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bring to the mortgage market and the credit union system. This research is critically important for credit unions, because:...

Consumer Credit Delinquencies: Why Do Some Choose Credit Cards over Mortgages?

The stigma formerly associated with foreclosure is disappearing or, in locales hardest hit by the housing bust, completely gone. In this brief, Professor Ethan Cohen-Cole shows that the disappearing stigma is coupled with a rational consideration on the part of consumers to maintain liquidity in times of financial hardship. Several...

The Credit C.A.R.D. Act: Opportunities and Challenges for Credit Unions

How will the 2009 C.A.R.D. Act affect credit unions? The industry-wide return on assets of credit cards plunged from 3.3% in 2006 to 1.4% in 2008 and huge issuers will need to recoup those profits in the new environment. Author Adam Levitin calls the act “the most significant piece of...

Using Shared-Equity Agreements to Reduce Foreclosures: Policy and Analysis

In March 2009, Filene teamed with the Michigan Credit Union League and Consumer Researcher Bob Manning, to explore the problem of foreclosures in the state of Michigan. The resulting report highlighted 10 ideas to decrease the number of foreclosures. One of these ideas, Shared-Equity Agreements, struck a chord among league...

Mortgage Borrower Risk Profiles, Delinquencies, and Interest Rates in 2005–2008

Mortgage risk, delinquency, and interest rates have become a critical issue for both lenders and borrowers. To help assess these metrics, we released the brief, Mortgage Borrower Risk Profiles, Delinquencies, and Interest Rates in 2005–2008. This brief contains a high level marketplace analysis of mortgage pricing strategies, a review of...

Building High Loan/Share Ratios: Challenges and Strategies

This monograph presents an historical perspective on credit unions’ lending and uses a survey of credit union CEOs to isolate those factors leading to a successful lending program. Burger and Kelly show that loan/share ratios have slipped from pre-1980 norms of 80 percent or more to below 60 percent in...