Credit Union Leasing of America Experienced Double-Digit Growth in 2023

In a challenging auto finance environment, CULA grew its portfolio as well as Credit Union and Dealer Partners, while expanding national footprint


San Diego, CA – February 29, 2024 – Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) experienced double-digit growth in its portfolio, credit union and dealer partners in 2023, even in the face of a challenging auto finance environment, the company announced today. CULA drove 24% growth in credit union partnerships year-over-year, with four of those additions driving expansion into multiple states.


In addition, the Company grew active dealers 17%, adding 274 new dealers to the program. CULA now offers vehicle leasing through credit unions in 23 states and more than 40 credit unions are currently active on CULA’s innovative leasing platform.


“While vehicle prices have been trending down, the average transaction price remains $6500 higher than in January 2021 according to Kelly Blue Book,(1)” said Ken Sopp, President of CULA. “High prices, coupled with an elevated interest rate environment, continues to make it challenging for consumers to afford cars, which is why leasing remains a strong option for credit unions to offer members in the market for a new or used vehicle – and why we expect to see continued growth in 2024.”


According to CULA’s January 2024 “Future of Auto Finance” survey, nearly 60% of credit union professionals say they believe vehicle leasing would be a positive addition to their finance portfolio in 2024 – data that is borne out by the uptick in new vehicle leasing reported by Experian: from 21.15% in 2022 to 27.37% in 2023(2).


Sopp also noted that the growth CULA has seen in its dealer partnerships is something they expect to continue in 2024. In fact, over 70% of credit unions in the CULA survey reported that they plan to deepen/increase those relationships in 2024. “Dealer partnerships have been core to a credit union leasing program’s success and it makes sense as it offers dealerships yet another financing option for its customers.”


“Vehicle leasing enables dealers and credit unions to provide relief from the high price of vehicles to their members, as well as term flexibility, without the risks of longer-term loans,” continued Sopp. “Leasing has, quite simply, become a necessary portfolio offering to help credit unions remain competitive in the current environment – and for the long term.”


According to Vince Nowicki, Chief Lending Officer of Mission Federal Credit Union in San Diego, California, a CULA partner since 2018: "Since we have partnered with CULA on vehicle leasing, we have been able to open up an important, more affordable alternative to help our members get into a vehicle without taking on an extended loan. And the benefits to us, in addition to helping our members, are higher yield, greater portfolio diversity and staying relevant with our members’ preferences, as well as being able to rely on CULA to navigate the back-end complexities of leasing for us so we can focus on member service. Offering a lease product was a new strategy for Mission Federal. We were fortunate to have partnered with CULA who helped us every step of the way.”


CULA has been the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for over 35 years. Its innovative leasing program is analytically driven, high-value and handles all the intricacies of leasing for its clients – including insurance, operations, compliance and more. CULA’s understanding of the credit union financial model has resulted in long-term business relationships with top-tier credit unions, including nine of the top 10 credit unions offering leasing in the U.S. The program enables credit unions to easily add leasing to their portfolios and dealers to offer their customers more finance options, especially as affordability becomes their main concern.



About Credit Union Leasing of America

Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) has been the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for over 35 years. Founded in 1988, CULA provides best-in-class program assistance, analytics reporting, compliance support, dealer management tools and member services. The CULA indirect vehicle leasing program empowers credit union innovators to diversify their existing loan portfolios, improve yield and expand member services. Visit to learn more.


Media contacts:

Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, angela(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (714) 454-8776

Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (949) 307-1723



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