Internet Lending Becomes Front, Back-End

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The $200-million Freedom Credit Union reports it is processing one-third of its member loans- out of 1,000 each month-through an Internet lending process. The credit union, which has two branches, is using InterLend, an online lending system, with its existing loan automation system provided by Atlanta-based Creditor Resources, Inc. (CRI). In addition to the loan processed completely online, Freedom CU said its remaining loans require less attention as a large part of the process is being completed automatically.

"We set out to install InterLend as a convenience to our members who wished to apply for a loan via the Internet," said John King, Freedom Credit Union EVP. "Since InterLend automates a portion of the processing for all Internet loans, it was going to offer members who applied via the Internet faster-and in some cases, instant-approval on their loans."

The credit union used credit score data from a two-year period to develop a simple approval matrix. Integrated with CRI's CRIterion product, InterLend automatically pulls credit ratings, calculates debt ratios, and fills out essential forms, so it saves a great deal of time whether the loan originates online or in one of our branches.

Making the entire process possible is the credit union's usage of electronic signatures. Richard Gallagher, president of California-based Oak Tree Business Systems, Inc., provider of business to CRI, said his firm is steadily moving away from hard copy forms. The company, along with CRI, moved through the application process screen by screen to ensure all disclosures and licensed contracts are seen by members.

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