A Few Simple Clicks – Using technology to sell more loans

by Jamie Swedberg

Technology, in and of itself, can be one of the best tools for marketing loans. Edward Guerin, VP/credit union development at Costa Mesa, Calif.-based software provider MeridianLink, says it’s especially effective in casting a wide net to nonmembers and bringing them into the fold.

Using tools like those provided by MeridianLink, a credit union can offer prospective members instant online approval on a credit card—all the applicant has to do is fill in a few pieces of information. Once that’s done, the system uses the same information, plus a few additional questions, to create the applicant’s credit union membership and fund his or her savings or checking account. This ease of use can make all the difference in a challenging market, especially as more and more people begin to prefer interacting with financial institutions online.

But that’s not even the best part, Guerin says. Once applicants are approved for membership, the online portal automatically pulls up all their existing debt obligations on a single screen and shows at what rates the credit union could refinance them.

“What we’re doing is basically pairing the data on the membership application with the credit detail, and the credit union is making an offer to the member that goes something like this,” he says. “‘So we see here you’ve got a car loan with WFS Financial. The current balance of that car loan is $20,000. Your current payment is $474. You’re pre-approved to refinance this loan with us, your new credit union, at a better rate of 4 percent, driving your payment down to $401.94. The net result is, we’re going to save you $72 a month by bringing that car loan from somebody else over to your new credit union.’ And the person can go ahead and execute the offer by clicking an apply button.”

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