Firelands FCU Saves Time, Money and Members While Making More Loans


Firelands Federal Credit Union Vice President of Lending Brett Montague has been pleasantly surprised with the amount of new business he’s been able to do thanks to Open Lending’s Lenders Protection™ program.

When the $264 million credit union in Ohio initially signed on with our program, Brett told me he only expected to be making a couple dozen deals a month. After launching, he discovered it would be much more!

“Really, we’ve been booking 60 to 70 loans, even 80-plus a couple of months,” Brett shared with us. “We’ve used the program a lot more than we originally expected, which is great because a lot of our indirect portfolio is still current members. So, we have a lot of people that I know, if we weren’t in this program and we weren’t able to help them, would have financed with another larger, national lender who definitely would have charged more in interest.”

Helping members is what credit unions are all about and helping credit unions is what Open Lending is all about. Brett explained, “We’ve been extremely happy with the returns…Even with the program and the costs associated, we’re still able to get the borrower – which is our member which is important to us – a better rate, we keep that loan, and we don’t run the risk of them moving to another financial institution.”

As a former credit union CEO, I understand first-hand how driven credit unions are to serve their members. Now at Open Lending, I strive to help you deepen relationships with your members rather than forcing them into other options that may not be in their best interest. That also equates to more loans, backed by Open Lending’s constantly evolving credit data decisioning and insurance backing, for greater financial security at your credit union.

Plus, our goal is to make everything as seamless as possible for our clients. “The best thing for us is the ease of actually getting a loan over to Open Lending,” Brett said. “The integration with our LOS is very, very close. Our loan officers are able to get a decision back, and it allows us, in the indirect channel, to still be very quick and get those decisions back as quickly as we can, which helps us book more loans.”

No matter how good the underwriting, some loans will go bad, but we make good on your claims, saving your collections people time and headache and your credit union money. “Every time we get a claim paid, our collections department is very excited about it, because it’s just one less deal they have to mess with,” according to Brett. “And the bonus for us is we do have a very strong recovery, so after claim payment we’re not positive, but we’re very, very close to a positive loss ratio with the Open Lending program.”

Open Lending is dedicated to assisting credit unions with their mission to better serve all of the consumers we possibly can. You don’t have to take our word for it; we have many happy clients, like Firelands Federal Credit Union. Lenders Protection will help your credit union make more loans to help consumers in need of a hand up.

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