News & Events
CULA Expansion Continues: Launches in Utah with University Federal Credit Union Leasing Program
UFCU partners with CULA to become the only Utah-based credit union to offer the affordability and flexibility of vehicle leasing to members
San Diego, CA and Salt Lake City, UT– September 14, 2021 – Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) and Utah’s University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) today announced that they are partnering to bring the affordability and flexibility of credit union vehicle leasing to Utah, with their first leases having closed in August. This partnership makes University Federal Credit Union the only credit union in Utah to offer vehicle leasing, while further expanding CULA’s national footprint.
University Federal Credit Union, which was founded in 1956, is a values-based, full-service financial co-operative serving the needs of more than 100,000 member-owners and their communities. CULA, the leader in indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions for over 30 years, has experienced record leasing demand over the past six months, and, in addition to Utah, recently expanded into or increased regional coverage in New Hampshire, Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California, among the many markets it serves.
“Our core values are to create a positive impact on our community and to make a difference for every member, every day, and this means making sure a wide range of financial products are available to our members,” said Jack Buttars, Chief Executive Officer of UFCU. “Finding the right vehicle at the right price has probably never been more challenging than it is today. Working with the terrific CULA team, who streamline the complexities of leasing – from analytics to insurance to operations to compliance – we are now able to ensure that our members have the opportunity to benefit from leasing’s more affordable payments and term flexibility, critical factors given the current market landscape.”
Pandemic-driven chip shortages and supply chain issues have led to severe vehicle inventory restraints that have driven vehicle pricing to record levels, while limiting choice for car buyers. The estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $42,258 in June 2021, with new vehicle prices increasing $2,527 (up 6.4%) from June 2020, and $928 (up 2.2%) from May 2021. Vehicle leasing offers consumers the option of lower monthly payments – on average about $100 less than vehicle loan payments, with lease payments on SUVs an average of $109 lower than loan payments. In addition, leasing provides consumers with the option of shorter term commitments versus purchasing. This is key for consumers who need a vehicle, but can’t find the exact model they want in the current market.
“We’re pleased to be able to further extend our footprint in the West, at a time when leasing is such an important option for consumers, by partnering with UFCU, an institution that exemplifies what credit unions are all about: serving the community,” said Ken Sopp, CULA’s President. “Utah is a new state for us and we are excited to ‘pioneer’ credit union leasing here. Our leasing program can amplify the customer-centric values of University Federal Credit Union, while also expanding and diversifying their portfolio of services, helping to further enhance membership and yield.”
The above market conditions have driven a swell of interest in leasing; and credit unions, with their trusted positions in their communities in these uncertain times, have helped their members with a record number of leases in partnership with CULA. The first six months of 2021 were record-breaking for CULA, with over $950 million in lease originations, an 88.8% increase over the same period in 2019, and the highest period of originations in CULA’s more than 30-year history.
CULA pioneered indirect vehicle leasing for credit unions with its analytically driven, high-value leasing program supported by stellar customer service and proven systems, all with a focus on helping credit unions meet their financial and membership goals.
About University Federal Credit Union, Utah
University Federal Credit Union is a values-based, full-service financial co-operative serving the needs of more than 100,000 member-owners and their communities. Our mission is to create a positive impact on our community and to make a difference for every member, every day.
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 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