CULA expands its footprint in one of the top leasing markets with the largest credit union headquartered in New Jersey to offer comprehensive car leasing solutions
San Diego, CA, and Basking Ridge, NJ – August 2, 2022 – Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) announced today that it has partnered with Affinity Federal Credit Union (“Affinity”), one of the nation’s largest credit unions, to bring the affordability and flexibility of leasing to Affinity’s New Jersey members and local dealerships, with plans to expand the indirect leasing program to New York and Pennsylvania.
Affinity provides comprehensive services and solutions, including auto purchase and leasing support and loan options, for its members in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Affinity ranks in the top 2% of all credit unions in the U.S.1, and has more than 20 branches across the tri-state region. CULA, which experienced record growth in the last two years, with 2022 expected to surpass 2021, has been the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for over 30 years.
“Affinity’s mission is to support our members' financial well-being and to work closely with them to achieve their financial goals,” said Kathleen M. Metz, Senior Vice President Lending, of Affinity. We recognize that car ownership is increasingly difficult in today’s climate, with record-high prices and low inventories presenting heightened challenges for interested buyers. CULA is an industry leader and shares our commitment to superior member service. We’re excited to extend this new offering to our members and dealer partners.”
CULA offers an analytically driven, high-value leasing program and handles the intricacies of leasing for its clients – including analytics, insurance, operations, compliance and more. Its partners include the industry’s most innovative credit unions, including nine of the top 10 credit unions offering leasing in the U.S.
“Our partnership provides direct benefit to our members and team members, alike. The new CULA Plus Program handles even more of the lease end responsibilities and will allow for an efficient, streamlined and positive experience for our team, while boosting the member experience,” Marisa Manning, Indirect Operations Manager, of Affinity added.
“New Jersey is one of the most important vehicle-leasing markets in the U.S., and we are proud to further expand our credit union reach in New Jersey – as well as in New York and Pennsylvania – with the forward-thinking team at Affinity,” said Mark Chandler, CULA’s VP of Business Development. “There is a significant opportunity for credit unions who offer vehicle leasing in the current economic climate, and we are pleased to help Affinity meet this moment. Our program is designed to enhance membership and yield, while helping to diversify service portfolios.”
According to Experian2, in today’s automotive landscape, there is “an opportunity for credit unions to step in and gain market share.” Credit unions amassed 22.06% of the total automotive finance market, up from 18.55% a year prior, according to Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market: Q1 2022 report.
CULA, working with its credit union partners, originated 50,000 leases for $2 Billion in 2021, a single year record. In the first 6 months of 2022, CULA has already grown by 50% YOY, and is on pace to see even better results for full year 2022. The company has nearly tripled its portfolio in five years to $5 billion and currently offers leasing through credit unions in 20 states. More than 35 credit unions are currently active on CULA’s innovative leasing platform.
“It is so gratifying to see our credit union partners achieving such impressive results as they help their members into vehicles in the current economic climate. We have no doubt that Affinity, with its focus on serving the needs of its members, will prove to be one of our most successful partners,” concluded Chandler.
Affinity is a full-service financial institution, member owned and community focused, with a mission to nurture your financial wellbeing. With more than 20 branches across the tri-state area, Affinity is the largest credit union headquartered in the state of New Jersey, proudly ranking in the top 2% of all credit unions in terms of asset size1. The Affinity difference is about people helping people on a deeper level and understanding what YOU need to make your unique dreams a reality. For more information, please visit www.affinityfcu.com.
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 30 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 https://www.cula.com/ to learn more.
Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, angela(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (714) 454-8776
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, (949) 307-1723
1 Source: NCUA.gov. Using the “Credit Union and Corporate Call Report Data” found here: https://www.ncua.gov/analysis/credit-union-corporate-call-report-data