BY KAITLIN MORRISON
One credit union has found prosperity in auto lending by keeping its members informed and engaged. Discover what this CU’s Top 3 best practices are and how to apply these secrets to success to your indirect lending program at both the corporate and branch level.
At the start of 2017, we talked about automotive lending and shared some ideas for creating an effective indirect lending program. For this issue, we spoke with two leaders at Greater Nevada Credit Union about their auto loan program and how they serve their members by helping them get the financing they need. This credit union emphasizes financial education right at the start and keeps members informed and engaged so they do not feel lost during the process.
Greater Nevada shared their best practices with us and we have three great takeaways from our conversation. From there, we will talk more about branch best practices, including compliance and training issues at the branch.
Best Practice #1: Reassure your members and avoid making assumptions. The start of every lending conversation is your opportunity to encourage your members, begin arming them with knowledge and help them feel confident.
Your members should “not be frightened of the process. Ask for clarification on anything that you don’t fully understand – there are no dumb questions!” says Tom Wambaugh, VP of Member Services at Greater Nevada Credit Union.
If your member needs a little reassurance, that is okay. Remember, not everyone has the same level of experience with auto buying. A big part of the loan consultant’s job starts with finding out where the buyer is in terms of his or her loan and financial knowledge. Not everyone needs a detailed play-by-play of the lending process, but some of your members are also beginning with very little or no loan know-how at all. This is the moment for your consultant to triage the member’s experience and research level.
Wambaugh suggests that loan consultants prep for every new loan conversation by avoiding assumptions about the buyer. Each member is bringing a different level of experience, confidence and financial preparedness.
Best Practice #2: Bring the right education to every loan conversation. After pre-approval, your member’s financial picture will guide the way through the education, budgeting and shopping steps.
“Having your financing in order prior to shopping for your next vehicle eliminates some anxiety and lets you focus on making sure you make a great vehicle choice,” Wambaugh adds.