Mortgage Loan Volume Soars With Integrated Web App

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Mortgage loan production rose by 35% after Michigan State University Federal Credit Union integrated web applications with its origination system in 2002.

"We had offered online mortgages since 2000, but they were not interfaced with the loan origination system," Jacqueline Ford, mortgage manager at the $1.2-billion CU. "After we went into sophisticated integration in 2002, we were able to run credit reports and approve loans much faster, usually within 24 hours."

Members can now also log-in online to check the real-time status of their mortgage applications and loans, Ford said.

Michigan State University FCU (MSUFCU) uses iNetAp, an online loan application that is tied to the Loan Producer origination system, both provided by Dallas-based Financial Industry Computer Systems, Inc. (FICS).

The FICS software interfaces with the 520,000-member CU's core system, Symitar's Episys.

Many credit union mortgage departments are eager to set up shop on the Internet, realizing that online mortgages can boost the bottom line, according to Callahan and Associates. More than 20% of all online loan originations are for first mortgages, reported the Callahan & Associates Survey Consortium Group.

But not all credit unions will save additional time and trouble by ensuring that online loan applications are integrated with origination and core processing systems.

"Before we had integration, the online information did not flow into our loan origination system," Ford continued. "We had to pull the application off the Internet, e-mail the member when we received it, and re-key the data into Loan Producer, and request additional information."

With the integrated systems, loan processors save up to an hour and a half for each loan entered via the Internet, said Ford.

In addition, the automated flow of data "cuts down on human error, preserving data integrity," she added. "We have very few errors that appear in our closing documents."

The swift, accurate application process means that more members are compelled to apply online, Ford said.

The number of web-based mortgage applications has increased 30 % since MSUFCU started using the integrated systems and status tools, she said.

Currently, MSUFCU receives 50 applications per month via the web, and about 200 from Michigan State University FCU's five branches during this "slower period," Ford said.

Loan volume increased to $183 million in 2003, up from $95 million in 2002, she said. Volume for 2004 will settle around $105 million, she said.

MSUFCU will offer instant decisions online in March, added Ford.

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