Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here and Gone

By John Blom and Margie Church 

Sometimes we get so busy reacting to the current trend, that we lose focus on the future. Yes, auto buying season is upon us and rates are fantastic. This year is projected to be very strong for manufacturers and dealers. Consumers are loosening their purse strings and shopping for vehicles to replace those they've held on far longer than they historically have.

With auto shows popping up everywhere, it's the perfect time to run a pre-approved or pre-qualified promotion to your members. Arm them with money to shop realistically for a vehicle they want— and you keep their business. Everyone is happy

Going after brand new auto purchases might be a no-brainer, but what about the members who have equity in their vehicles? They are ripe pickings for a trade-in and a new loan, too. Have you made the credit union's rates and terms top-of-mind to help ensure these members don’t make the mistake of financing at the dealership or bank? Ouch.

And as long that new car scent is in the air, this is a great time to scrutinize your entire auto loan portfolio, not just a bottom line target. Take a look at the exposure you've got from loans coming to term in the next twelve months. Formulate a strategy to reach these members in case they're thinking of trading, or want to use the equity in their vehicle for another purpose. 

While you're investigating, learn the health of your auto loan portfolio and the quality of your VIN data. Having this information helps you recognize the exposure your credit union has in potential loan turnover and loss. Millions of dollars in auto loans could walk out of your door to a bank or dealership.   

And you'll be thinking those loans were here and now gone.

Is your credit union doing any of these things to hang on to its auto loans? Share with us. We're always interested in learning.

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