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Credit Union Groups Call Out CNN’s Misleading Report on Credit Union Mortgage Lending Data


December 18, 2023
Washington, D.C.

Today, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), and the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), released the below statement on CNN’s misleading report on credit unions’ lending practices to minority and underserved communities. 

“Credit unions recognize that owning a home is at the heart of many families’ financial dreams. As an industry, we have intentionally worked to address the challenges and inequities that working Americans, including minority and underserved communities, have in achieving this goal,” said CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, and AACUC President and CEO Renée Sattiewhite. 
 “Fair lending practices are foundational to the credit union mission; however, we acknowledge there is more work to be done to reduce disparities within our industry. It’s unfortunate that a recent CNN analysis misconstrued credit union mortgage lending data to paint an inaccurate picture and draw false conclusions about Navy Federal Credit Union, and the entire credit union industry.  The CNN numbers failed to calculate a large number of factors, leading to a flawed headline and disingenuous narrative that misrepresents credit union mortgage lending,” concluded the leaders

Some key data points that need a correction for the record include:

  1. Credit unions outperform on key mortgage portfolio share indicators: Black borrowers make up 6.5% of credit unions’ mortgage originations compared to 5.5% of banks’, and low-income borrowers make up 8.3% of credit unions’ originations compared to 6.1% of banks’.
  2. A broader analysis of mortgage lending data shows that borrowers saved as much as $70,000 over the life of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage in 2022 when financing with a member-owned credit union rather than Wall Street banks and mortgage companies. The savings are largest for those with significant credit score challenges.
  3. Specifically to Navy Federal Credit Union, 18.4% of NFCU conventional originations came from Black applicants compared to 8.4% for the top 50 lenders.


In related news, Navy Federal Credit Union is facing a lawsuit that accuses the credit union of discriminating against minority home loan applicants. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Navy Federal of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibit lending discrimination based on race. 

Navy Federal yesterday issued a statement noting its commitment to fair lending and its status as a national leader in lending to the Black community, ranking 3rd among the leading 50 lenders in the percentage of mortgage loans made to Black borrowers and first among large lenders. Navy Federal also said in the statement that it had hired a civil rights attorney, Debo Adegbile, to assess its mortgage lending policies and practices and make recommendations. Adegbile is a former commissioner of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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