Successful Lenders Share What Works For Them Online
Two credit unions that have had great success with their e-lending programs shared some best practices and
The two credit unions doled out advice ranging from how to "get in the member's face" to how to avoid "the highest insult"
"What we keep hearing across the board is that members still want that face-to-face time," said Pierre Cardenas. SVP-lending and
To get e-lending in front of members' faces, GECU first analyzed its web traffic. "They went to their accounts to check balances
The Next Step
But just promoting and linking e-lending at web traffic hot spots isn't enough. The next step is to offer some other value to the
"Most members looking to buy a car are going to do some research, and that research can take two or three hours. We save them
GECU took it one step further and talked with local dealers about setting up links between the CU's site and the dealers' sites.
How'd they come up with the idea? "The dealers wanted to advertise in our newsletter," Cardenas explained.
"We weren't going to allow them to do that, but it clicked, and we decided to put together the dealer link program. No money
The program is relatively new and just keeps getting bigger. "This is only going to grow because the socio-economic barrier to
At Digital CU in Marlborough, Mass., the credit union has tweaked its e-lending capabilities to face down a common problem
"The lending dilemma is to make a good decision faster, but it must be consistent across all channels," said Diane Richard, vp-
To do this DCU started doing mass pre-approvals across its membership.
"But you have to manage the risk," Richard acknowledged. "We do this by pre-screening our members. We pre-screen every
As part of the screening process, Digital sends its tapes to Equifax and then downloads that into the system so that tellers will be
That way, Richard explained, when a member goes into a branch to drain his savings account for a downpayment, the teller can
How The Process Works
The same tape is also loaded into the call center as well as the online lending module.
"Let's say a member logs on and doesn't know he's been preapproved. He fills in the first portion of the application, and he is
For those who aren't automatically approved, they are contacted within 10 minutes either by the call center or by e-mail. No one is
"The online process takes only a minute or two, and you never want to deny someone a loan in just a minute two," Richard
The extra time is worth it: the approval rate is about 90%. And arming frontline staff with credit bureau and preapproval
But when Digital says it has "100% online lending, including fulfillment," they're not kidding. If a loan is approved online, the
"We are not asking for a bill of sale, and sometimes we don't even ask for the dealership information," Richard said, noting the
When the member endorses the check over the dealership, the member is agreeing to all terms, and the loan is booked the day the
"When we first started this, we did have some dealers refuse to accept the check, but we now give them $100 on those deals. And
To monitor the automated decision process, the automated lending tool, Decision Power, is assigned its own loan officer number