Get on board!

Let me start by saying “Thank You” to everyone that took the time to vote for me during the initial phase of the competition. I’d also like to thank my awesome team at AFCU. There is no way I would be considered for this competition without them. As with any successful leader, I have a great group of people working with me that make me look really good!

I have been over our indirect lending program for a while now but it was just recently that I was put over our outbound calling department. When I was approached with the idea of taking over that department my wheels were already turning of how Member Development could take advantage of the awesome opportunities that Indirect Lending was already producing. 

If you’ve watched my submission video or read my elevator pitch you are aware that my project involves onboarding new members that come in to our credit union via the indirect loan channel. We bring in around 600 new members each month that we have the opportunity to serve. In the past we’ve squandered opportunities to make these members understand the value of their credit union membership. 

What we are doing is very simple and not a ground breaking idea. I think what makes it unique is that instead of just talking about it, we are actually doing it! We are attempting to call every single new indirect member that we bring in. Our intent is to inform them that we financed their new purchase, tell them who we are and what we do and find out if there is anything else we can assist them with. Sometimes that’s it. But many times, it’s resulting in us opening additional deposit accounts, refinancing automobiles, debt consolidation or a credit card. We are currently working with TransUnion to pre-screen these members so we know in advance if we can offer them an additional product which helps to eliminate the data mining and research phase.

Some of you might be thinking to yourselves, what about all the recent discussions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act? Great question! We are taking precautions to make sure we remain in compliance. First, we are using the same credit report (excluding the prescreen campaign) that the dealer pulled when they submitted the application to us instead of pulling a new bureau to determine if they are eligible for additional products. Secondly, we have a specialized application for membership that is a requirement for funding the loan the member is signing stating that they acknowledge and understand that we may use the information they provide to determine their eligibility for additional products and services. For a great informational presentation regarding this topic, check out Steve Van Beek's study by clicking here. Steve is an attorney that does a great job providing insight into credit union legal matters. 

It’s still early in our implementation of this new process but we are already starting to see results. We are having a positive impact on our first payment defaults by helping members set up their payments, collecting new email addresses that can be used for marketing as well as collecting, opening many new deposit and transaction accounts, protecting our members loans with GAP and extended warranties and helping each member get a positive first impression of AFCU and credit unions as a whole.

I’ll continue to update with new blog posts to celebrate the successes of the project. I’d love to help anyone that is looking to begin a process similar to this. It can be done even if you have limited resources. Our hard and soft costs have been minimal and I expect the return to be exponential!

Dustin Cole