VantageScore’s Top Five Most Popular Questions at NAFCU’s Annual Conference

Credit Scoring with VantageScoreWritten by Jeff Richardson
Vice President, Communications and Public Relations

NAFCU members aren’t exactly known for being shy or reserved.  So you can imagine how many questions I fielded about credit scoring, both during my breakout session presentation and while chatting with conference participants in VantageScore’s networking lounge during NAFCU’s Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montréal, Canada last month.

Because some of the questions during the conference were particularly popular, I thought it might be helpful to compile and share the five most common questions that came my way. Here are those questions and related answers, presented in no particular order.

1. How does the VantageScore® credit scoring model help credit unions grow?

One of the key differentiators of the VantageScore® model is its ability to score more of your credit union members. Your lending portfolio will benefit from capturing the widest possible base of qualified and relevant prospects within your target demographics and risk strategy, without having to relax credit standards to attract more members.

Traditional credit scoring models limit your lending universe to a smaller percentage of qualified U.S. adults than the lending population available with the VantageScore® 3.0 model. The VantageScore® 3.0 model gives lenders, like your credit union, access to 30-35 million consumers who are invisible to traditional credit scoring models. That’s a group larger than the population of Texas!

  • VantageScore® 3.0 credit scoring modelThe model expands the lending universe by using broader and deeper credit file data and more advanced modeling techniques that capture unique consumer behaviors more accurately.
  • Nearly 25% of these newly scoreable consumers are actually prime or near-prime credit quality—excellent candidates for mainstream lending products.

A terrific infographic that provides a more detailed explanation is available on our website.

2. Why does your member’s credit score go down after he/she opens a new credit account?

One of the characteristics that contribute to the calculation of a VantageScore® credit score is opening a new credit card account. This is far less influential than the main factors that affect a score, such as missing payments or maxing out a credit card account, but it does have an impact.

A small drop in a person’s credit score is possible after opening a new credit card because that new account represents new risk of potential overextension, with no available history to demonstrate that the consumer can effectively manage the new account. Applying for a new account also likely involved a credit inquiry with one or more of the three credit reporting companies (CRCs: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). That inquiry is also likely to cause a slight drop in an individual’s score.

As long as your member doesn’t max out the credit card or miss any payments on the new account (or any others), the member’s score should return to its previous level in about three months.

3. Who uses the VantageScore® model?

Nearly one billion VantageScore ® credit scores were used in 2014, by over 2,000 lenders and other industry participants, including 6 of the 10 largest banks. In that same vein, credit unions should know that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recognizes the VantageScore® model, and there are no regulatory hurdles for credit unions that want to take advantage of the model.

4. How can our credit union switch to VantageScore®?

The VantageScore ® model is marketed and sold exclusively through licensing arrangements with the three major CRCs (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Your credit union likely already has a relationship with one or more of these companies and can obtain more information about VantageScore® through your CRC representative. Get contact information for the three CRCs on our website.

5. Did I win the VantageScore® Drone Giveaway?

VantageScore's DJI Phantom 2 VISION GiveawayVantageScore’s giveaway of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision personal drone generated almost as much attention as our presentation session. Inspired by our company tagline, “A Higher Level of Confidence,” the high-flying prize was a constant object of curiosity – and longing by conference attendees.

Thanks to all who submitted a business card or had their badge scanned for a chance to win. You’re all winners in our book, but only one lucky NAFCU Annual Conference attendee could take home the drone. Congrats to credit union attendee Michael O. who is the new owner of a DJI Phantom 2 VISION!

It was a real pleasure meeting you all at the conference. And, if you want to connect with VantageScore® further, sign up for our e-newsletter The Score, and follow us on Twitter: @VantageScore®In the meantime: À l’année prochaine (Until next year)!

Download your copy of the free white paperMaximizing the Credit Universe” to get valuable insights into ways to revise current strategies to manage risk, while expanding the ‘credit accessible universe.’

VantageScore LogoVantageScore Solutions, LLC is NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for credit scoring. For more information on VantageScore’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/vantagescore.

Top Innovative Solutions Recognized at NAFCU 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo

The winners of our annual Innovation Awards competition, recognizing outstanding innovations that help credit unions thrive, have been revealed! This year’s Innovation Award winners are preferred partners Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2.

2015 Innovation Award Winners: Insuritas, MasterCard, Q2

“Our partners set a high standard for innovation geared toward driving credit union success,” said Randy Salser, president of NAFCU Services. “This year’s winners provide innovative solutions that help credit unions stay competitive, while delivering exceptional member service.”

Insuritas for EasySTREET
EasySTREET is the first technology solution of its kind. It extracts data from a credit union’s core, its loan origination system, any credit union CRM or CIF platforms, and supplemental data from TransUnion or Lexis Nexis. It compiles a master auto or home insurance policy application on behalf of the member without ever bothering the member with questions. The technology then automatically solicits bids for auto and home insurance coverages from multiple insurance carriers in under 2 minutes. These prices are then compiled in a personalized email that is sent to the member. The member sees up to four bids from A-rated carriers, ranked by cost. For the first time, the credit union can actually do the insurance shopping for the member without ever bothering the member. For more information about Insuritas’ products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/Insuritas.

MasterCard for Identify Theft Resolution
The Identity Theft Resolution Benefit solution provides credit union members with the ability to monitor the “dark web” and receive tailored alerts about their personal information. Additionally, MasterCard offers free identity remediation services to members who are victims of identity theft. This service will provide more peace of mind to members and will help credit unions reduce cardholder attrition due to security concerns. MasterCard is the only payment network that provides a service like this to all U.S. cardholders. For more information about MasterCard’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/MasterCard.

 Q2 Holdings for the Q2platform
The Q2platform gives credit unions the ability to serve their members’ online and mobile banking needs via a single, secure virtual banking solution. While the Q2platform in and of itself is an innovation, perhaps the single most innovative attribute of the platform is its integrated, patent pending security component, RFA (Risk Fraud Analytics). By having a holistic view of end users’ activity, the behavioral profiling algorithms that undergird Q2’s RFA solution are able to build a comprehensive picture of a member’s virtual banking habits. This vital feature makes it far easier to detect anomalous behaviors that typically precede fraud and to stop suspect transactions in real-time—before any funds have been compromised. For more information about Q2’s products and services, visit www.nafcu.org/Q2.

Representatives from Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2 accepted their awards on Tuesday, June 23rd at a private VIP reception at the Musée Grévin in Montréal.  Join us in congratulating this year’s innovation award winners!

For a complete schedule of conference events, visit www.nafcu-annual.org. For up-to-the-minute information on the conference, follow the #NAFCUAnnual hashtag on Twitter.

Financial Calculators Can Multiply Your Credit Union’s Reach

CULookup Financial Calculator via SmartphoneAlthough Financial Literacy Month officially occurs in April, your members are looking for ways to manage their financial futures throughout the year. Obvious statement? Perhaps, but it’s important to note that regardless of the day or month, your members are continuously looking for practical tools and resources to help plan and set goals to maximize their financial well-being.

Offering financial calculators on your credit union’s website is a huge added value for members and is an easy and quick way to extend your credit union’s reach and create a channel to attract new members.

Deliver Personalized Financial Guidance 24/7

Many people use online financial calculators to estimate mortgage amounts they can obtain, evaluate how long their retirement savings will last, or determine the amount of time it will take to pay off their credit card balance. And, the great news is that your members can access this valuable set of tools any time of day and on any device. Members should think of your credit union as a resource for financial guidance. Offering financial calculators on your website is a great step to take in order to enhance your reputation for helping individuals manage their financial health.

Offer Member and Mobile-Friendly Online Resources

Be sure that your credit union website offers financial calculators that are member-friendly, and more importantly, mobile-friendly.

On April 21st, Google re-programmed their search algorithm to reward websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms with higher rankings. This change will undoubtedly have a profound effect on search listings, thus confirming that responsive web design is now a best practice for websites.

Give Your Website a Valuable Boost in Visitors

By offering mobile-friendly online financial calculators to your members, your credit union will inevitably see an increase in website traffic.  Don’t forget to track these visitors!  You’ll want to answer questions such as, “What is my most popular calculator?”, “How many unique visitors are my calculators attracting?”, and “What is the total number of calculations occurring?”  Tracking this type of visitor data will lead to greater insights and better reporting.

Ultimately, driving more visitor traffic depends on the call to action issued on your website. The call to action is the component of your marketing message that directs your audience toward the obvious next step you would like them to take.  You may direct your audience through a banner or button click or a request to complete an online form.  A call to action could be the differentiating factor between a website visitor and a converted new member.

CULookup Call-to-Action Home LoanIf you overlook the importance of a strong call to action, you will miss an opportunity to showcase the value of your credit union’s products and services. And, a missed opportunity could be a lost opportunity.

View Financial Calculators as Strategic Tools

By viewing your online financial calculators as strategic tools rather than just a standard element that resides on your website, you can enhance the value that these resources generate for both your members and your credit union.

Take advantage of the financial calculators that were developed specifically for credit unions and their members, by visiting Financial CalCUlators powered by CULookup.com  or contact info@culookup.com for more information.

CULookup.comFinancial CalCUlators powered by CULookup.com offers 30 financial calculators developed specifically for credit unions and their members.  Calculators are mobile-friendly and support custom call-to-action banners to direct users toward a next step after any calculation. Financial CalCUlators are free to NAFCU members and offered to non-NAFCU member credit unions for a nominal fee.

The latest release of Financial CalCUlators powered by CULookup.com will be unveiled on June 23rd at the NAFCU 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montréal.  New features of the release include a responsive design to ensure that all calculators are mobile-friendly and custom call-to-action banners that direct calculator users toward the obvious next step after any given calculation.   Financial CalCUlators offer 30 embeddable financial calculators specifically developed for credit unions and their members. For more information on the new release, visit CULookup’s exhibitor booth in the Preferred Partner Pavilion during the conference.