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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

Zia Credit Union Turns Members’ Heads to Grow Loans

$200M CU earns 15.7% loan growth in 2022

The $204.8 million Zia Credit Union has been approached about merging into other credit unions. The answer is always a resounding, ‘No, we don’t need to.’

With an ROA of 1.1%, loan growth in 2022 of 15.7% and membership growth of 3.19% in 2022, that’s 100% true.

Zia’s progress shows no signing of slowing either. January, typically a slow month for loan growth – usually negative for Zia, reflected a 3.14% loan increase, according to CEO Dwayne Herrera. “Our team is knocking it out of the park right now.”

He continued, “2022 was fantastic for Zia Credit Union. That was a record year for us. And it was organic and not a lot of mortgages, mostly consumer loans.”

Herrera explained that he knew the credit union needed to grow lending, and it took a while to get the team trained up, but members are taking notice. Zia doubled down on training its loan officers, who were a mix of experienced veterans and some new to the business. They used to average $300,000 to $400,000 per month each; now the loan officers are producing close to $1 million each per month.

“The biggest thing was we looked at our situation and worked to understand the real needs,” Herrera explained. “We streamlined and implemented our ‘Meet or Beat’ rate for certificates of deposit and consumer loans, including auto and RV loans, which also give members 1% cash back.” He added the credit union is bringing in a lot of auto refinancing with that deal.

And the results are in: A year ago the credit union’s loan-to-share ratio was 62.73%, and as of yearend 2022, it reached 75.3%. Herrera said the goal is to hit 90% loan-to-share. With an eye toward improving delivery systems to meet members’ expectations for convenience, Zia converted to a new core and is also planning to bring instant loans to its members soon, so the growth opportunities continue to, well, grow.

Herrara said Your Marketing Co. has played a significant role in Zia’s success, too. “We have them slammed. We don’t give them any breaks. They do a good job, and we get a lot of value from them.”

Your Marketing Co. CEO Bo McDonald said, “We appreciate Dwayne’s kind words. Zia is willing to do the work a smaller credit union needs to do to succeed, and they’re doing it all for the right reasons: their members. The team has been willing to work with us and let go of preconceived notions about marketing, so we can help drive the results they’re seeking. That’s important.”

Your Marketing Co., is a full-service strategic planning, branding and marketing firm serving credit unions that are not content with the status quo. Since 2008, YMC has helped dozens of credit unions grow their potential through strategy, execution and accountability. And we give a damn!


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