How to Select the Right Credit Partner For Your Credit Union


How to Select the Right Credit Partner For Your Credit Union

April 11, 2024
Certified Credit

Of all the financial institutions, credit unions stand out for their compassionate service, competitive rates, and unwavering commitment to their members’ success. By prioritizing people over profits, credit unions also earn esteemed reputations within the communities they serve. 

If you run a credit union, you most likely want to work with a credit partner that shares your values. After all, you rely on your credit partner to:

  • Provide your credit unions’ loan origination technology.
  • Enhance your credit union’s risk management.
  • Help you develop financial materials for your members.

If you’re wondering what factors to look for when choosing a credit partner, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ll break down six crucial components to consider when selecting a credit partner for your credit union.

#1 Innovative Technology

Credit union representatives have a lot of work on their plates, from assisting members to organizing community outreach programs. Fulfilling these responsibilities is easier when technology is taking care of repetitive tasks behind the scenes. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure your credit partner’s tech tools are:

  • Easy to implement
  • Easy to use
  • Automated 
  • Affordable
  • Reliable

At Certified Credit, we’re proud to announce that our innovative tech tools check all of these boxes. Most of our solutions can integrate with your existing loan origination system (LOS), allowing you to leverage their benefits without overhauling your operations. Many of our products also feature advanced automation to help you save time and money. 

As industry experts, we understand that the cost of loan origination has been on the rise. That’s why we craft our solutions with cost-effectiveness in mind, from our Cascade Automated solutions to our affordable credit reports. We also offer creative pricing options to ensure you get the features you need while staying on budget. 

Lastly, our tech tools are dependable, boasting a 99.00% system uptime. If you have any questions or concerns while using our products, our dedicated Customer Success team is always here to help. 

#2 Training and Onboarding

Innovative technology can do wonders for your mortgage lending workflows—that is, if your team knows how to use it. Since new products can come with a temporary learning curve, it’s helpful to find a credit partner that offers comprehensive training and onboarding support. 

At Certified Credit, we provide one-on-one training sessions for all of our products. This way, you can get the most out of your new solutions. And since we know you’re busy, you can schedule your training sessions around your schedule. 

#3 Exceptional Customer Service

Onboarding is just the first stage of your business relationship with your credit partner. Once you’ve been using their products and services for some time, you want to know that they’re still readily available to support you. 

With that in mind, look for a credit partner that has a proven track record of providing excellent customer service, like Certified Credit. Here are a few statistics that showcase our commitment to our clients’ success: 

  • Our 100% onshore Customer Success team is staffed with FCRA-certified experts. 
  • Over 95% of our customer service calls are answered in 30 seconds or less.
  • Our inbound customer inquiries boast a 12-second average speed of answer.
  • Our customer support staff is 30% bilingual. 

Most importantly, our Customer Success team is passionate about helping borrowers achieve their dreams of homeownership, just like your credit union. United by this shared mission, we can ensure your financial institution succeeds in all of its initiatives. 

#4 Lead Generation Solutions

Many mortgage lenders want to attract more leads in pursuit of greater profits. While your credit union isn’t profit-driven, growing your membership is still a crucial component to ensuring your credit union’s success. After all, an expanding member base can help you:

  • Increase your capital so you can offer more competitive rates and a broader range of services.
  • Amplify your economies of scale, allowing you to pass on more cost savings to your members.
  • Diversify your risk profile and improve your ability to weather economic fluctuations.
  • Make a bigger impact on your community as you pursue worthwhile initiatives. 

With these benefits in mind, it’s a good idea to select a credit partner that can help you attract more borrowers. At Certified Credit, we have many lead generation tools that can help you do just that. Here are just a few examples:

  • Cascade PrequalCascade Prequal is our automated prequalification solution. It can prequalify interested applicants in minutes by comparing their submission data to your pre-set credit thresholds. Once an applicant’s information has been sent to your LOS, you can nurture that lead into a loyal credit union member over time. Best of all, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their application won’t attract the attention of competitors, thanks to Cascade Prequal’s use of soft pull credit reports.
  • Credit score improvement tools – While some of your prequalification applicants will fall below your eligibility thresholds, you don’t need to abandon them at this stage. Instead, you can earn their enduring loyalty (and membership) by helping them improve their credit scores. Doing so is easy with our credit score improvement tools. These tools generate customized improvement plans that you can share with your applicants, whether they need a higher score to qualify with you, they’d like to secure a lower rate, or they’re eager to eliminate their PMI requirement.
  • Cascade Alerts – While you want to attract new members, it’s equally important to maintain the membership of your current borrowers. You can acquire more mortgage lending business from past and present members with the help of Cascade Alerts. This credit monitoring solution lets you know when your members are shopping around for new mortgage products, from purchase loans to HELOCs. You’ll be notified of this credit activity within 24 hours, giving you the chance to reach out before they commit to a competitor.
  • Cascade Undisclosed Debt Monitoring (UDM) – Many consumers assume that they’re good to go after getting approved for a mortgage. As such, some may charge up large credit card balances or take out additional loans before closing. Unfortunately, these actions can jeopardize their eligibility, forcing your credit union to repurchase their loan from its secondary market investor or eat the cost of its unexpected fallout. Naturally, these situations can also damage your borrowers’ experience and reputation.

    The good news? They can be avoided with the help of Cascade UDM. This solution monitors your applicants’ credit reports continuously until closing and alerts you if they incur any problematic credit activity. In turn, you can resolve potential eligibility issues well before closing. 

#5 Portfolio Protection 

Your mortgage portfolio has a significant impact on the financial well-being of your credit union. To ensure a healthy portfolio, you must vigilantly monitor your loans’ performance and keep an eye out for red flags. 

With Certified Credit’s convenient Portfolio Review, you can keep close tabs on your funded loans’ performance with ease. This versatile solution allows you to: 

  • Manage your portfolio’s risk by conducting monthly, quarterly, or annual assessments.
  • Measure risk within your portfolio by scanning for warning signs, such as increasing late payments, credit inquiries, or account balances.
  • Pinpoint which loans present the greatest risk, so you can prioritize your collection efforts accordingly.
  • Identify opportunities to provide additional services to your portfolio’s members. 

Portfolio Review is just one of the many risk mitigation solutions we offer at Certified Credit. Our team can match you with the ideal suite of solutions for your credit union’s needs and budget. 

#6 Size

Like credit unions, credit partners come in a wide range of sizes. While larger credit partners may have broader expertise and more diverse product offerings, they often fall short when it comes to personalized service. In contrast, small credit partners shine when it comes to providing hands-on support, but they don’t always have the resources to compete with their larger counterparts. 

With these pros and cons in mind, you may want to opt for a mid-sized credit partner, like Certified Credit. We’re ideally sized to provide the best of both worlds. Despite servicing mortgage lenders from across the country, we still managed to sustain strong, personal relationships with each of our clients.

Partner With Certified Credit Today

As you can see, there are many things to consider when selecting a credit partner for your credit union. At Certified Credit, we strive to fulfill each of these factors. What’s more, we love working with credit unions. That’s because we believe that mortgage lending is about more than just a score—so much so, that it’s our tagline.

By putting people first, we can help your credit union achieve its goals and satisfy its members. Along with the products and services mentioned above, we also offer:

  • Automated verification of income and employment
  • Automated credit supplements
  • Property and valuation support
  • Fraud and risk mitigation tools
  • Flood zone determinations
  • Underwriting compliance
  • Settlement services

Want to learn more about our mortgage lending solutions for credit unions? Schedule a credit consultation with our team today.