CUDL Complete Helps Patelco Navigate Processing Hurdles After Robust Indirect Volume Growth
The $7 billion Patelco Credit Union set lofty growth goals for its indirect auto lending program in 2017. With the help of an aggressive rate strategy, the credit union’s indirect team delivered. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the Pleasanton, Calif.-based credit union had grown its total indirect loans outstanding by 65%, to $730 million from $442.5 million one year earlier.
That robust growth continued in 2018, with Patelco adding $63 million more indirect auto loans in Q1 and another $71 million in Q2.
However, while the credit union’s financials showed tremendous success, the back office of Patelco’s lending division was living a very different reality. The indirect lending staff was challenged to maintain processing effectiveness with the high volume of contracts they were receiving, Indirect Lending Supervisor Candice S. Dorsey recalled.
The credit union began experiencing a lag in funding times to its dealer partners. As a result, dealers began calling the credit union asking when they could expect funding. This caused an increase in call center volume and longer wait times on hold for members.
CU Direct representatives noticed Patelco’s pain points associated with processing its increased volume and didn’t wait for the credit union to ask for help. Instead, it reached out to Indirect Lending Director Katherine Keilman and suggested CUDL Complete, a program that allows CUDL credit unions to outsource their indirect loan processing.
“Honestly, we were not aware such solutions existed,” Dorsey said. After reviewing the program and meeting with a CU Direct representative, Dorsey and Keilman knew CUDL Complete would be a good fit for Patelco and would relieve their growing pains.
“What was most important was to get back within our SLA and turnaround times, and implementing CUDL Complete was the key,” Dorsey said. “Our short-term goal was to get back to same day funding. Our long-term goal was to utilize CUDL Complete as a source of overflow when we experience high volume again.”
Patelco went live with the CUDL Complete program in August 2018 and soon returned to its usual same-day funding speed, satisfying its dealer partners, and reducing call center volume to normal levels. The program also produced an unexpected decrease in quality control exceptions, because the reasonable workflow allowed loan funders to produce higher quality work.
Patelco’s indirect team ended the year strong despite the funding backlog the first half of the year, even exceeding their annual indirect loan growth goal. The credit union now has an indirect loan portfolio of more than $1.05 billion.
The implementation process was smooth, Dorsey reported. The program integrated perfectly with Lending 360, Patelco’s loan origination system. That meant the credit union was able to add Lending 360’s SmartFund feature, which allows dealers to digitally transfer lender documents directly to the credit union’s LOS, into CUDL Complete’s workflow, by simply designating and adjusting queues.
That integration made the funding process even more efficient — and guaranteed the same level of service for members whose loans were processed through CUDL Complete as those through Patelco’s own internal loan processors. Dorsey described the partnership as a quality team delivering quality member service and producing quality work overall.
Patelco now uses CUDL Complete to handle indirect overflow quickly and easily.
“If we see a peak in volume, we notify CUDL Complete and add applications to their queue,” Dorsey explained. “Our funders and the CUDL Complete funders pretty much work the applications at the same time. When we divide the workload, we are able to get through the applications in a very timely manner.”
Not only did CUDL Complete help Patelco keep the peace with its auto dealers and meet its loan growth goals, it also cut expenses by eliminating the need for indirect loan staff to work overtime. Team members now regularly leave at their schedule time and improve their quality of life.
“I think the main thing for us was to give our team members their lives back,” Dorsey recalled with a laugh. Burnout had become a problem and adding CUDL Complete boosted department morale, she added.
“The program surpassed our expectations,” Dorsey concluded. “The funding team at CUDL Complete is great. They always stay in communication with us and don’t hesitate to reach out to me or the team with questions.”