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Credit union activity in the mortgage and home equity line of credit (HELOC) markets recorded a decline during the third quarter of this year, according to new data from TransUnion (NYSE:TRU).

The balances on credit union-originated mortgages grew more than 4% year-over-year during the third quarter, but originations are down by nearly 60% compared to one year earlier. Variable rate HELOCs recorded 14% year-over-year origination declines.

One bright spot for credit union lending was fixed-rate home equity loans, which saw an 18% increase in originations from the third quarter of 2022.

“Inflation and cost-of-living challenges continue to result in many credit union members using credit products as a way to get by, and this can be seen in the continued growth in balances in existing accounts,” said Sean Flynn, senior director of community financial institutions at TransUnion. “At the same time, a consistent trend of rising interest rates over the last year has led many of those same consumers to avoid originating new loans and lines of credit in favor of leveraging existing ones they already have. This has been particularly the case in the mortgage market, where originations are down significantly from where they were one year ago.”

Still, credit unions had good news in regard to the low level of delinquencies for the home-focused products: a 0.51% delinquency rate among credit union mortgage borrowers, a 0.56% rate for HELOC borrowers and a 0.57% rate for home equity loan customers.

“The relative stability of the delinquency rate among credit union borrowers has played a key role in helping to ensure their rates remain attractive to borrowers relative to rates as a whole,” added Flynn.