Is It Time To Double Down Or Fold On Mortgages?

With the uncertainty in the mortgage industry, credit unions need to decide if they want to build a comprehensive mortgage strategy or walk away.


Next week, hundreds of credit union mortgage professionals will descend upon Las Vegas for the annual ACUMA conference. They’ll be treated to educational content, networking opportunities, and the chance to practice their own personal risk management in the casino.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the mortgage industry with increasing talk in Washington, DC, about winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rapidly approaching compliance deadlines for the new CFPB rules, and rising interest rates. The dealer seems to be holding all the cards, which leaves credit unions asking, “Should we be doubling down or folding on mortgage lending?” The answer has to be one or the other; standing still will only result in declining business opportunities as refinances go the way of the penny slot machine.

Doubling down would involve a comprehensive strategy, the most important being a shift in focus from refinance to purchase loans. With a refinance, the member chooses a lender they trust or one recommended by friends or family. Credit unions typically score well here as we’ve helped lots of members save money with refinances. Purchase loans, on the other hand, involve the buyer, the seller, the buyer’s real estate agent, and the seller’s agent. With more people in the mix, there is more to influence where the buyer goes for financing. In many home purchases, the realtor’s referral carries a lot of weight, and they recommend lenders that close the deal on time and are easy to work with.

6 Ways To Double Down On Your Mortgage Lending

  1. Build a realtor network. Opportunities exist through Lunch & Learns about the credit union’s mortgage program, sponsored continuing education classes, and real estate commission rebate programs.
  2. Hire full-time professional originators. Originators need to be able to take a mortgage application, have mortgage knowledge, and network with realtors to generate referrals. This must be mutually beneficial and requires constant attention.
  3. Be timely. Realtors and borrowers want loans that close fast and on time. Working to streamline your process will help you meet the contract dates and keep your members and realtors happy. Nothing will harm your perception among realtors more than missing a few sale contract dates.
  4. Communicate. In this age of information, credit unions need to do a better job of keeping the member and the real estate agent up-to-date on the status of their loan. Look into how you can offer convenience with technology to push out automated status updates.
  5. Market your mortgages. Members only buy a home once every five to seven years, so you need to constantly remind them that you can help. You need to prominently display your mortgages on the credit union’s home page and marketing materials.
  6. Educate your members. Credit unions have been educating their members for years with home buying seminars. Now, more are offering classes on home staging — how to get your home ready to sell — as a feeder for the next purchase.

All of these strategies can yield a jackpot of opportunities for your credit union. Without a strong purchase strategy, you just might be throwing in your cards and folding.

For more information, visit or read the blog of Tim Mislanksy, president of myCUmortgage, at

myCUmortgage believes credit unions are the best source to help Americans with home ownership. And for more than 10 years, we’ve built our processes and programs around helping credit unions accomplish this. With nearly 180 credit union partners across the country, myCUmortgage keeps your credit union in front of the members and we operate in the background. We’re re-designing the mortgage experience with COOPORTUNITY — the combination of transparency and true collaboration.

Tim Mislansky is president of myCUmortgage and SVP/CLO for Wright-Patt Credit Union. He sits on the ACUMA board of directors, is a member of Mortgage Cadence Advisory Council, and serves on the Dayton Ohio Habitat for Humanity board. Tim has 20 years of credit union experience. He can be reached at (877) 630-3399.


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Sept. 16, 2013


  • Believe first time homebuyers will be key segment of purchase mkt. what can cus do to to get a lead in serving this market?