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Five tips to lend with your head and heart

How-To How-To
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The National Credit Union Foundation partnered with SchoolsFirst FCU to highlight how their approach to underwriting empowers staff, promotes team and member advocacy, and keeps financial well-being front and center.

1. Hire the right people

Look for candidates who embrace the spirit of your Member commitment and want to make loans happen. You can teach process, but you can’t teach heart.

2. Onboard smart

Keep the focus on problem solving and meeting Member needs, not delinquencies or sales goals. Let staff know you’ve hired them to approve members.

3. Always get a second opinion

Run every loan through underwriting. This way it takes two to say no. Never automatically deny a loan and don’t require your teams to approve loans only within certain FICO parameters.

4. Empower your team to find the “yes”

Give multiple teams (including underwriting, branch leadership, and contact centers) the flexibility to find ways to approve a loan. Foster a service-centered environment so if an approval isn’t possible now, employees proactively work to make it possible in the future.

5. Learn from your members. Listen to their feedback.

Use every member interaction to improve and refine your lending process and encourage feedback. The insights you’ll gain from these are priceless.

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