Three Questions You Should Ask to Enhance Your Member Lending Programs

Are you satisfied with less than 10% market share, knowing that your credit union promotes the philosophy of providing your members with the best financial solutions?


With more than $236 billion outstanding, credit unions are the fourth largest holders of consumer credit. Surprisingly, this comprises only 9.7% of total market share. Are you satisfied with less than 10% market share, knowing that your credit union promotes the philosophy of providing your members with the best financial solutions? Below are three questions you can ask of your lending management team to assist you with providing the best lending program for your membership.

1) Are you maximizing your lending opportunities within your membership community?Do you provide your members lending options that support their needs for down payment assistance and support their life event needs (such as children’s education, family vacation, and family expansion/home improvement assistance)? Do you have risk-based analysis, so that your members with established financial history can participate in more flexible lending programs? Are you measuring the volume of your home equity lines/loans originated simultaneously with your first mortgage activity or coupled with other member service requests (such as DDAs, Credit Card or Checking Account relationships)? Do you think an aggressive home equity line/loan program would positively affect your member relationship? Think of the member satisfaction and servicing efficiency you can achieve with an aggressive combination home equity lending program.

2) Are you addressing the special financial needs of your members who are new homeowners? First-time home buyers often are challenged with limited savings. Can you offer flexible options to support your new homeowner’s financial needs? First-time home buyers tend to enjoy sweat equity and need strong home improvement lending options. Can you offer home improvement loans based on the stated increased value? Knowing that new furnishings go hand in hand with a new home, can you offer a new homeowner with proven good credit history cash-out lending up to 100% CLTV? Keep your new homeowner members happy with your home equity line/loan program depth and service designed to meet their financial needs.

3) Are your loan specialists selling member lending solutions or are they taking orders? All too often we continue “doing as requested” instead of serving as a proactive member “financial advocate.” Do your lending specialists have the tools and training they need to be financial consultants? Can you make it easy for them to interact with your members to expand the scope of what is asked for and to address more than what was originally requested? Can your lending staff “up-sell” an opportunity to place the member in a better financial position? Can each loan specialist provide at least three member options based on a review of the bureau and the initial request? For instance, a $12,000 used car loan request can generate a custom member financial analysis for 1) the auto loan only, 2) the auto loan and $8,000 of credit card debt consolidation, or 3) auto, credit card, and consolidation of a $15,000 bank second mortgage. How many members would turn down a financial plan that consolidates their financial relationship with your credit union and saves them money? Each member should be provided with custom choices and value-added services that enhance your ability to exceed their expectations (and turn “$12,000 loans” into “$35,000 loans”). Selling with member financial benefit in mind beats order taking every time.

With the help of an experienced credit indemnity specialist, you can develop solutions that will streamline your lending processes, expand your member lending product matrix, and transfer the risk of default from the credit union to an insuring institution. As a leader in this industry, ORICS has specialized in marketing credit indemnity loss protection* for over fifty years, and addresses the needs of credit unions to recognize member ownership and the membership benefit of “people helping people”. Feel free to share this information with your management staff and contact ORICS at (800) 621-7873 or if you have any questions.

* Loss protection programs are underwritten by Old Republic Insurance Company



This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.

If you are interested in contributing an article on, please contact our Callahan Media team at or 1-800-446-7453.


March 19, 2007


  • Upsell me into the loan I don''t want, don''t need and have me pay for my auto over 15 years. Good advice.