Loan Zone: Achieving origination efficiency

New system helps grow Trailhead CU’s portfolio, including its niche product: floating home loans.

When Justin Olson joined Trailhead Credit Union in 2013 as VP/member services, the credit union was facing an uphill climb.

With a loan-to-share ratio of just 59 percent and on a steady monthly decline, the now $120 million credit union was originating about $1 million a month. That wasn’t enough to improve the LTS ratio, and the Portland, Ore., credit union was losing business to lenders that were providing a better customer experience.

Trailhead CU had big plans to rebrand the credit union, recruit new members and grow loans. However, Olson says inefficient processes stood in the way of that growth and his team’s ability to provide excellent member service.

In particular, the loan process was extremely inefficient. Three different platforms were required for employees to take a loan from approval to funding.


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