13 CUs Across the US to Participate in Non-Prime Auto Lending Pilot

Filene Research Institute launches incubator with Ford Foundation grant to benefit underbanked consumers

The National Credit Union Foundation, (NCUF) in partnership with Filene Research Institute, announced today that the product incubator for Non-Prime Auto Loans, is full with 13 credit unions across the country participating. Non-Prime Auto Loans, an NCUF product, is one of five products in the Filene Research Institute’s accessible financial services incubator funded by the Ford Foundation.

“Credit unions have a long history as being the proving ground for consumer centric, innovative financial products,” said Cynthia Campbell, director of innovation labs at Filene, “and partnering with the NCUF to test the viability of Non-Prime Auto Loans with mainstream financial institutions was a natural fit since their experience in working with low-to-moderate income consumers is extensive.”

88% of Americans drive to work. Without a car, options for work, food, childcare and healthcare become limited. Economic mobility is strengthened through the mobility that comes with affordable, reliable wheels. This product increases access to affordable auto loans to those who have credit challenges.

“Estimates say that families can increase their income by as much as 25% with access to reliable transportation,” said Gigi Hyland, NCUF Executive Director. “We’re excited to work with not only Filene on this project but also such a wide array of credit unions across the country to give affordable, safe and reliable used cars to those that need them most.”

The following credit unions will be testing the Non-Prime Auto Loan product:

  • CALCOE FCU in Yakima, Wash.;
  • Cy-Fair FCU in Houston, Texas;
  • Denver Community CU in Denver, Colo.;
  • EECU in Fort Worth, Texas;
  • Freedom First CU in Roanoke, Va.;
  • Laramie Plains Community FCU in Laramie, Wyo.;
  • Missoula FCU in Missoula, Mont.;
  • SchoolsFirst FCU in Santa Ana, Calif.;
  • Seasons CU in Middletown, Conn.;
  • Shreveport FCU in Shreveport, La;
  • Summit CU in Madison, Wis.;
  • University CU in Austin, Texas; and
  • US FCU in Burnsville, Minn.


About NCUF (ncuf.coop): The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is the charitable arm of the US credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes. Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.


About Filene (filene.org): Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.