Archive for Growth & Retention

“I Always Pay My Bills on Time! Why Don’t I Have a Perfect Credit Score?”

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of VantageScore Solutions’ monthly newsletter, The Score. Subscribe here.

By John Ulzheimer, Nationally Recognized Credit Expert

It’s a question that comes up often in credit-scoring discussions with consumers – including some consumers who are also financial-industry pros. “I’ve never missed a payment in my life, so I have perfect credit and I should have a perfect credit score, right?”

The question seems logical enough. If you have a perfect track record of making payments on time, it seems safe to assume you’ll have a perfect credit score. What’s critical to understand, however, is that credit scoring models consider more than just your payment history when calculating your credit scores. They consider a wide range of data elements from your credit reports, all of which have proven over time to be reliable predictors of credit risk. Along with your payment history, factors such as your total debt, the age of your credit files, your credit-shopping practices, and your depth of credit all contribute to your credit scores.

When you look solely at the payment history metrics from your credit report, it’s likely that they’re only responsible for around 30 to 40 percent of the points in your credit score.  That means how you pay your bills is important, but not as important as performing well across all scoring categories. In fact, it’s entirely possible to have never missed a payment in your life and still have below average credit scores.

The formula for earning and maintaining a solid credit score is actually quite simple.

Read more

Vintage Strategies for a Prosperous 2014

Originally posted on cuinsight.com.

Guest post written by Dan Green, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Mortgage Cadence, LLC

Mortgage Cadence, LLC is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Mortgage Processing and Fulfillment Services.

Last month we introduced part one of vintage strategies with the idea of providing mortgage lenders five ideas for a successful new year. Part one provided the first two strategies. Part two presents the remaining three.

In January’s article, we discussed the importance of recognizing market differences. There are many, and they are varied. From rising rates to complex regulatory oversight to increased purchase activity, one thing is clear: times have changed. When first-timers decide to purchase a home, they will think first about the lender who took the time to educate them about home ownership. This means that lenders need to implement strategies to foster those relationships now for continued success in the years ahead. This brought us to our second strategy: adapt to borrower behavior. If borrower allegiance was in question prior to 2007, no doubt today’s fickle borrower is likely to be even less. Thriving lenders will have to adapt, aggressively converting applications to closed loans at much higher rates through better borrower nurturing and increased transparency throughout the mortgage origination cycle. Read more

National Financial Literacy Month is an Opportunity for Credit Unions

Originally posted on CUInsight.

By Randy Salser, President, NAFCU Services

With the financial pitfalls of the Great Recession behind us, and security breaches becoming a common threat, members are more mindful of their personal finances than ever before.  Because credit unions are a reliable and trusted source, they have the unique opportunity to educate their members about financial literacy. For expertise on where credit unions should focus this National Financial Literacy Month, we turn to our Preferred Partners: Read more

Are You Prepared for the Twists?

Originally posted on forwardbanker.com.

Guest post written by Scott P. Wallace, Vice President of Marketing, Deluxe Corporation.

Deluxe Financial Services is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Check Printing, Online Check Ordering, Check Fraud Prevention, and Member Loyalty Solutions.

Traveling the Trip of Banking

Picture this: It’s 1950. A family of seven, plus their beloved pet dog, piles into a station wagon and sets out for a cross-country road trip with the radio blaring tunes as they cruise down the two-lane highway. There are no mobile phones to ask for directions and no GPS to keep them on track to their destination. It’s just mom, dad, five kids, Fido, a map book, and the open road.

Fast forward to today. It’s 2013. A family of four sets out on a road trip, but now with the aid of a GPS-enabled smartphone, apps to keep them abreast of road constructions and detours and a portable DVD player to keep the kids entertained.

We’re still taking road trips, but how we’re getting there and the tools we use are different.

And the same could be said in today’s financial environment. Consumers still rely on their financial institution, but how they receive communication and the tools they use vary. Read more