THIS year for the first time in their century-old history, credit unions are on track to surpass $100 billion in mortgage loan originations.

Member-owned and not-for-profit, the institutions have benefited from the explosion in home refinancing, as well as a record growth in membership that industry representatives attribute to consumer disillusionment with the big banks.

"We'd be remiss if we didn't give a shout-out to the major banks for being annoying to consumers and forcing people to seek out other alternatives," said Bob Dorsa, the president of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association in Las Vegas.

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