Saving Members Money

CEO’s monthly messages to staff are an important communication on results and vision.

Leaders use stories to illustrate strategic purpose.  They  include examples of what an organization strives to be.

One example is WEOKIE Credit Union’s Jeff Carpenter’s internal newsletter illustrating how it delivers the benefits of cooperative ownership.   The following are vignettes of saving members money by refinancing from much higher rates and by understanding member’s specific circumstances.

The following cases are used by permission with only the names changed:

  • David came in to see if we could refinance his vehicle from Flagship where he was paying almost 17% interest! WEOKIE approved him at 7.49% and lowered his monthly payment from $660 to $400. David left happy knowing that not only would he be paying less every month, he also is saving over $3,000 in interest.
  • Rebecca consolidated her credit card debt with us. She was paying 24.99% and higher in interest on her credit cards. We were able to lower her interest to 11.99%. This saved over $2,400 in interest alone! The new monthly payment of $211.00, including payment protection, is $200 less than it was before!
  • Jordan refinanced his auto loan with WEOKIE at a 2.99% interest rate. The dealership had originally financed him with Santander Bank in Texas at a 20.99% interest rate. After some time building his credit and making good payments, he was able to refinance at this significantly lower rate. He will save about $7,601.41 in interest!
  • James refinanced his auto loan with WEOKIE at a 7.24% interest rate. He reluctantly financed with Capital One when he purchased the vehicle with a 15.67% interest rate. WEOKIE was able to cut his rate in half, which will save him about $8,207.30 in interest!
  • Ed came in asking for a payoff quote on his auto loans. Kady asked him why he was needing a payoff and he said he was refinancing to lower his interest rate. She asked more questions and learned he is purchasing another rental property. His goal was to reduce his debt to income ratio since he always does really short terms on his auto loans. After learning more, we proposed a cash out loan and lower interest rate to help him stay with WEOKIE. We were able to lower his rate to 1.99% extend his term to 60 months, lower his payment from $886 to $536 AND give him $15,000 in cash for his new rental purchase! Ed was ecstatic we could help him reach his financial goals without leaving WEOKIE!

Examples Tell the Cooperative Story

These cases demonstrate the credit union difference more concretely than general slogans.   They recognize staff initiative and document specific member benefits.

Stories are easier to remember than grand plans.   Thanks to Jeff and his team for sharing these examples of cooperative employees making a difference.

One Reply to “Saving Members Money”

  1. Chip – Thanks for sharing how this leader is using stories to tell a story.

    Stories make a difference. They are something people can relate to – much more so than stock photos of “pretty people” in print or online.

    I do a little exercise by asking clients if I were in their hometown, what local restaurant would they recommend? Not a chain, but a real greasy spoon. I normally get a passionate response. “You have to eat at Ray-Ray’s Rib Shack. Be sure to get the half slab of baby-backs and a side of cheesy corn. Leave room for peach cobbler for dessert!” The reason I get that response is because the person has experienced the restaurant and tasted the food.

    Most employees have never tasted the food (products) they serve to their members. Heck, too many don’t even know what’s on the menu. Telling stories provides a metaphorical whiff of what is cooking in the kitchen. It provides them with specific examples that allow for a spirited response when a member asks about a product or service. We all value word-of-mouth; stories give credibility to the answer.

    Measuring success is equally important here too. Setting a goal for interest saved provides staff with something to monitor progress against and provides a great marketing opportunity to sell the credit union difference. Look how much money we have saved members! A specific dollar amount so far.

    Congratulations to this innovative credit union leader!

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