Forty percent of online members have either used (31%) or tried to use (9%)
an online loan application, according to a new survey by Callahan's Survey Consortium,
a shared cost research group. However, these proportions varied greatly by credit
unions, demonstrating that some credit unions are more successful in convincing
members to use online loan applications. The member comments below further illustrate
the importance of this channel to online members:
"I applied for this loan at night after banking hours and found out
if I was approved the next morning. The ease and convenience was great."
"Online approval did not work, had to wait for someone to call. By the
time someone called we had what we need from another bank."
"Would prefer a faster approval time. Within a few hours...even on a
weekend...would be a big incentive for me to use my credit union again. Right
now we are looking to buy a new car and I have been investigating other banks
to see how quickly we could be approved if we find the car we want."
Most of the online loan applications were fairly recent, with the majority
made within the past year (62%), showing the dramatic increase in adoption in
a short time. Of the online loan applications made, auto loans (37%) were the
most popular, followed by signature/personal loans (29%). Usage of online applications
for mortgage (22%) or home equity (12%) is much lower.
The majority of the online loan applications were made with the credit union
(80%), but this varied based on the type of loan. Online members were most likely
to have used their credit union when making auto (89%) or signature loan applications
online (85%), but only 61% of online mortgage applications were made with their
"I've used the online application for two auto loans and each experience
was easy and fast. That's why I stay with my credit union, the customer service
Given that online loan applications offer credit unions both the opportunity
to decrease loan processing costs as well as further strengthen their relationship
with online members, credit unions should ensure that their website makes it
as easy as possible for members to use their online loan applications. Online
members provided a number of ways that credit unions could improve their performance,
including providing more information upfront and offering faster approvals.