Despite difficult economic conditions the nation’s credit unions remained relatively strong during the second quarter of this year, boosting membership, consumer loans and assets during those months.

According to information submitted by the more than 7,000 credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Administration, membership at these financial institutions rose to 91 million members from 90.8 million, even though the actual number of credit unions declined between April and June of this year.

The NCUA data also showed that nation’s credit unions also saw a boost in both total shares and assets during the second quarter of this year, growing to $812.2 billion and $942.5 billion, respectively.

Credit unions also experienced a 13.1 percent drop in the bankruptcy filing rate of its members between the second quarter and the first quarter of 2010, while the amount of loans charged off due to bankruptcy filings rose to 24.17 percent during the same period.

“The second quarter financials demonstrate the continued resilience of the credit union industry,” said the NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz in a statement. “Specifically, I am pleased to see that net income has risen significantly since 2010, and that lending has grown for the first time in four quarters. NCUA’s 2010 rule providing for short-term or payday loan alternatives has contributed to the recent growth. In the latest quarter, credit unions made 52 percent more of these alternative short-term loans.”

Credit Unions Boost Lending Activity:

The NCUA also reported that credit unions boosted the number of consumer loans they issued during the second quarter of this year, with the total number of loans growing 0.7 percent to $564 billion during that period. The most popular forms of credit extended to its members included used vehicle loans, unsecured loans such as credit cards, and first mortgage real estate loans, while auto loans and other real estate loans dropped between the months of April and June. The overall growth of loans issued by credit unions during the second quarter stands in stark contrast to the previous three quarters when the total amount of loans issued actually declined.

The NCUA also reported an increase in the amount of short-term, small loans issued during the second quarter of this year. These type of loans, considered to be an alternative to predatory payday loans, rose 52 percent between April and June of this year after declining 32.8 percent during the first quarter of this year.

For those unfamiliar with the National Credit Union Administration, the agency essentially does for credit unions what the Federal Deposit Insurance Fund does for banks. The NCAU regulates federally-charted credit unions and, similar to the FDIC, insures their deposits up to $250,000.

Read: Just 1 in 10 U.S. Credit Unions Make the Grade

Learn: Credit Unions: What You Should Know

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