Goal: Boost bot­tom line but not mem­bers’ debt lev­els

CREDIT UNION: AD­VAN­TAGE ONE CU CAT­E­GORY: SALES AND SER­VICE CUL­TURE NOM­I­NATED BY: CUSTRATEGIES

Credit Union Journal - - Special Report - BY W.B. KING

WITH A TWO-PRONGED AP­PROACH, Ad­van­tage One Credit Union has helped mem­bers man­age their fi­nan­cial well-be­ing and gain ac­cess to low-in­ter­est loans, all while grow­ing the credit union’s bot­tom line.

“We are not in the busi­ness of adding more debt to peo­ple who come to us,” said Ad­van­tage One CEO Chris Cork­ery. “We are look­ing for ways to lower their monthly pay­ments on loans they have with other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and help them re­duce their debt.”

To help achieve this over­ar­ch­ing goal, the $142 mil­lion, Brown­stown, Mich.-based credit union part­nered with the Mont­gomery, Ala.-based cuStrategies.

“Ad­van­tage One Credit Union has done an out­stand­ing job of cre­at­ing a strong sales and ser­vice cul­ture by ef­fec­tively ex­e­cut­ing and im­ple­ment­ing all the mov­ing parts of our pro­grams and strate­gies in a holis­tic and timely man­ner,” said Ce­leste Cooke, CEO of cuStrategies. “One of the ma­jor fac­tors that con- trib­uted to their suc­cess was ac­count­abil­ity.”

DOU­BLE-DIGIT GROWTH

As a re­sult of the new lend­ing pro­gram, the credit union ex­pe­ri­enced 26 per­cent loan growth in 2015 and over 20 per­cent loan growth in 2016 with its ROA in­creas­ing dur­ing that time­frame, noted Cork­ery.

“We have part­nered with mem­bers and peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties to help them achieve fi­nan­cial free­dom by help­ing them in­crease their credit scores and lower their monthly pay­ments on loans with other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions,” Cork­ery ob­served. “Our pro­gram has saved our mem­bers hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars in in­ter­est and we’re proud to have over 2,000 suc­cess sto­ries.”

Among those suc­cess sto­ries was one mem­ber whose credit score spiked from 482 to 702 in just four months. Due to the in­creased credit score, Cork­ery said the mem­ber was able to buy a “newer, more re­li­able ve­hi­cle” with a lower pay­ment.

CRE­AT­ING STRONG EX­PE­RI­ENCES

“Our staff are so en­gaged and are be­ing re­warded for help­ing our mem­bers,” said Cork­ery. “We could not be more pleased with the ex­pe­ri­ences we are cre­at­ing for our mem­bers and the re­sults we are see­ing in our growth.”

To keep up with de­mand and reach more po­ten­tial mem­bers, Ad­van­tage One Credit Union re­cently cre­ated a busi­ness devel­op­ment po­si­tion and im­ple­mented cuStrategies’ “Busi­ness Devel­op­ment” pro­gram.

“The re­turn on in­vest­ment showed us that we made the right de­ci­sion part­ner­ing with cuStrategies to help us achieve our vi­sion,” said Cork­ery.

Ad­van­tage One CU’S CEO Chris Cork­ery.

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