Founded in 1931 by a small group of farmers, Beacon Credit Union now serves over 45,000 members with locations in 10 different counties throughout northern Indiana. The Credit Union offers a broad range of deposit, investment, loan and trust services. It prides itself on being the largest agricultural lending credit union in the United States. With assets just under $1 billion, Beacon Credit Union understands the important of staying on the cutting edge of technology by forming business relationships with vendors that have the same vision and drive.
Beacon systemizes with Suntell solutions
Beacon Credit Union was originally seeking a software solution because they did not have any “systems” in place: officers did their own loan analysis in Excel spreadsheets, and documentation tracking was also done in a spreadsheet. The credit union wanted to streamline their processes, and also knew that they were going to be creating several credit analysts positions, which were new to the organization. The loan portfolio size had also started dictating that something more sophisticated than an Excel spreadsheet needed to be utilized in the underwriting process. Suntell was selected as their vendor in 2009.
“Our internal audit department loves being able to access documentation through Suntell without having to request physical files be sent to them. The ease of being able to find the exact image needed through doc imaging has sped up the internal review function.”
Trisha Loker, Vice President
The Implementation Process
The first area of focus was Credit Analysis for underwriting and Loan Presentation to prepare loans for approval, since both of these areas would bring consistency. Trisha Loker, Vice President, started working at the credit union shortly thereafter and worked on getting everyone on the same page for those two areas of the system. After that, the credit union implemented Documentation Tracking and Suntell Document Imaging. Loker notes that Suntell helps make the underwriting process much more detailed and consistent . The implementation process of credit analysis was fairly straightforward. We have been able to make changes along the way if necessary. Implementing documentation tracking and imaging has been a more time consuming project. We wanted to make sure we had both areas set up properly before beginning to doc track and image the entire portfolio. We are pleased with how we were able to set both up and are continuing to make progress in getting the entire portfolio tracked and imaged into Suntell. “The employees that use Suntell for credit analysis, doc tracking and doc imaging are proactive and excited about changes and new functionality.”
We provide credit risk management solutions for
credit unions and banks.
Loker says that they use Suntell for risk ratings, both at the time that the loan is originated, and as part of the annual review process. Documentation tracking is utilized to monitor the completion of annual reviews. Loan Presentations are now all consistent and uniform. The credit union had examiners a year ago, and the examiners had nothing but praise for the amount of information that was included in presentations. After looking at just a few presentation reports, the examiners knew how to find information and had everything they needed in one report.
Loker says, “Our internal audit department loves being able to access documentation through Suntell without having to request physical files be sent to them. The ease of being able to find the exact image needed through doc imaging has sped up the internal review function.”
The credit union also sends letters out of the system for requests for financial statements and tax returns. Previously, updated financial information was only requested as it was needed so receiving a system generated letter was a first for most of their members. Loker found that they had a good response from their members with what information they were requesting and why. Their first round of requests produced better results than the credit union thought they would receive.
Working with Suntell
“Support is always responsive and helpful,” Loker says, “I don’t have to wait days for call back or feedback.” She also notes that requests for changes to the system area are always considered. Loker attends user conferences and finds that they are valuable in learning from other people. Loker has worked with other software products, and commented Suntell is the most user-friendly.