I noticed a very interesting CU Times story today — Sound Credit Union in Tacoma, WA just became the first credit union to sign on with LendingTree.com, offering Home Equity Loans to people in the credit union’s home area.
It’s hard to tell whether Lending Tree had actively excluded CUs until now or had just ignored them, but with fewer banks strong enough to offer competitive home equity loans, they needed to bring more lenders on board, and credit unions were the answer.
You’ve probably heard Lending Tree’s commercials and tag line for years — “When banks compete, you win.” They’ve been around for a while and they’ve staked out an interesting value proposition and brand.
To me, this is also a beautiful example of how tough times really bring out the strength and capabilities of credit unions, enabling credit unions to enter new markets and form new types of partnerships. I’m sure many more credit unions will follow suit with Lending Tree, assuming their fees and conditions aren’t too outrageous.
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