America’s First Federal Credit Union reported a record-breaking year for powersport loan originations in 2015, Bob Jaffe, indirect loan manager, told Powersports Finance. The credit union is also on track for another record year in 2016, he added.
Birmingham, Ala.-based AFFCU saw a 25% increase year over year in its overall indirect portfolio, and a 20% increase year over year in its powersports portfolio, Jaffe said.
The company’s growth is commensurate with its strong partnerships and increasing dealer network, Jaffe said. “We take our business relationships and partnerships — including our powersport dealers — very seriously,” he added. “We stand with them, and we provide them with a lot of service and quick turnaround on decisions and funding that helps them with their business and finances. We are an active partner with them as far as promotions and onsite events.”
AFFCU is partnered with 25 dealers, and projects to pick up another 5 to 7 dealers in 2016, Jaffe said.
Powersports Finance spoke with Jaffe about the company’s growth and initiatives. Following are edited excerpts from the interview.
PF: Which powersports vehicle garners the most demand?
BJ: We are coming into our boat season — the first of July we are boat heavy with our boat dealers. The ATV market kind of picks up after boats in the fall and winter. Motorcycles and RVs are kind of year-round.
PF: What technology are your partnered dealers asking for?
BJ: We do everything electronic now, and that seems to be working pretty well. What helped us was — four years ago — we signed up with AppOne and that opened the door to a lot of powersport dealers who didn’t have the wherewithal of having their own finance department and weren’t able to print contracts.
PF: What’s your average credit score among consumers?
BJ: We are more of a prime lender. The average credit score is 725.
PF: Any plans to offer subprime financing in the future?
BJ: We’ve discussed getting more into subprime, but we’ve purposely kept our recreational merchandise to the prime market. We’re a conservative credit union — for us on a recreational product, we look at it not so much as a toy, but it’s not a necessity either, so we put those in the hands of stronger buyers.