'Loan Stealing' Proves Profitable ForCU

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - (08/12/04) -- While increasing numbers of creditunions are convincing members to refinance or consolidate theirloans with them, Sunmark FCU has made a science of the practice ittouts as 'Loan Stealing." The $320 million credit union has'stolen' an estimated $60 million in new loans so far this year andhopes to steal as much as $100 million from area banks for theyear, according to Bruce Beaudette, credit union president. Sunmarkhas a group of telemarketers it calls its 'Outbound Team,' whichscours credit reports to see where members' may have other loansoutstanding, then pitches lower rates and monthly savings totargeted members. "It's been a gold mine the last few years,"Beaudette told The Credit Union Journal. The practice began aroundthe time of the campaign for HR 1151 when the credit union waslooking at a way to strike back at area banks. "We were so mad atthe local banks we thought this was a good way to get back atthem," said Beaudette. Of course, a credit union has to have goodrates, in order to be able to succeed in stealing a loan, henoted.

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