Grow Revenue, Control Costs, and Increase Membership

Grow Revenue, Control Costs, and Increase Membership

How smarter collections activities can help your credit union.

Blog post by Marney MacFadyen, Vice President of Sales, Credit Control, LLC. Marney is a life-long fan and supporter of credit unions. Credit Control is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Consumer and Commercial Loan Recovery Services. http://www.nafcu.org/CreditControl/

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role as a NAFCU Preferred Partner is that I get to talk to so many credit unions around the country.  Most often, I talk with loan recovery specialists.  They tell me about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and how it impacts their ability to do their jobs, or about best practices and benchmarks they have found useful, or how they help their credit union colleagues understand what they do and why it’s so important.  These stories drive everything I do.

For many people, “collections” is a dirty word.  Most have some negative perceptions of the people who work to recover past due loans.  And occasionally, we see an article or news piece spotlighting the misconduct of a rogue collector.  Understandably, many credit unions are concerned when they see news like this, and out of an abundance of caution may be reluctant to collect from their members for fear of negative backlash or legal liability.  As a consumer and commercial loan recovery veteran, I can say with complete confidence that there is a right, just, and helpful way for all credit unions to assist with and recover problem loans.

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“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.

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Unraveling Qualified Expenses for Coverdell ESAs

Guest post written by Alison Brink, copy writer for the Retirement Services division of Ascensus. Alison researches and writes about various IRA, ESA, and HSA topics for Ascensus’ online and printed publications and education materials.

With students back in school and those glaring tuition bills coming due, many of your Coverdell education savings account (ESA) members may be seeking distributions to help pay (or be reimbursed for) their education expenses. And because a designated beneficiary (the child for whom the ESA is established) does not pay taxes on ESA distributions if the assets are used for qualified education expenses incurred at an eligible education institution, members may have questions about whether their expenses are qualified. While the ESA’s designated beneficiary or responsible individual (often a parent or guardian) ultimately is responsible for determining if education expenses are qualified, they often turn to the ESA administrator with questions.

Eligible Education

ESA assets generally can be used for elementary and secondary education, as well as postsecondary education. Some taxpayers save for postsecondary education through qualified tuition programs, commonly referred to as “529 plans.” But 529 plan assets cannot be used for elementary or secondary education.

Eligible Education Institutions

Part of what makes qualified education expenses qualified is the fact that the expenses have to be incurred at an eligible education institution. An eligible elementary or secondary school for ESA purposes is any public, private, or religious school that provides elementary and secondary education (kindergarten through grade 12) as determined under state law. An eligible postsecondary school is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution that is eligible to participate in student aid programs administered by the Department of Education. An eligible educational institution would include nearly all accredited public, nonprofit, and private postsecondary institutions.

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We’re Embedding Our Best Technology in Apple Pay… and Into All Digital Transactions

Originally posted on Cashless Pioneers blog

Guest post written by James Anderson, Group Head and SVP, Mobile and Emerging Payments, MasterCard

James Anderson_MC

MasterCard is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Branded Products.

In bringing Apple Pay to consumers, Apple wanted to deliver the highest quality transactions possible. So who did they turn to? Those who’ve built the scalable payment infrastructure that is the envy of others – MasterCard.

We believe that payments should always be a simple proposition to the consumer – but once you get under the hood, there’s a very sophisticated network in place that enables any of us to walk into a store and make a purchase – trusting that our cards will work as we expect them to. We realize that consumers don’t care about that – but what they do want to know is that their information and their money are secure.  Through the work that MasterCard did with Apple and with the active engagement of the first four issuers – we’ve delivered the most secure combination of technologies that we’ve ever deployed:

Phones_MC

Top Things to Know About Apple Pay and the Security of Our Digital Payments Platform:

1. Apple Pay Transactions Will Work Just Like Any Other MasterCard Transaction

Transactions that originate from Apple Pay will work the same as any other MasterCard transaction. The consumer will see the card they wish to use in their iPhone from the issuer that they are used to doing business with, the merchant sees a MasterCard transaction – either the familiar contactless form in store or Digital Secure Remote Payment for in-app. Apple is never in the transaction path.

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