Credit Union seeks software with a robust offering

Prior to choosing a software vendor, Teachers Credit Union in South Bend, IN was using only excel spreadsheets and word documents to manage their member business loans. As the credit union grew, it became apparent that efficiency was needed. Initially, they were looking for a product that would do spreads and underwriting, and prepare a proposed loan to take to loan committee for approval. Also, the credit union knew that they needed to move to imaged files and wanted something that would offer all of this functionality. They also wanted something configurable for their presentations to loan committee, easy to use for imaging, and offered a tickler component. Suntell’s Square 1 Credit Suite® met all of their needs. Teachers Credit Union had heard about Suntell from another credit union, and after their due diligence, they became a Suntell customer in March 2013.

The Implementation Process

Upon contract signing, the credit union began training and development of their nightly core download from FiServ – XP2. Beginning in January of 2014, they “jumped in with both feet,” according to Debbie James, Senior Credit Analyst. At that point, all spreads and proposed loans were prepared using the Square 1 Credit Suite’s Credit Analysis and Loan Presentation. They are still working through Document Imaging and ticklers in Documentation Tracking. James says that as they touch a file, they scan it. They will likely be done with that project within a few months of completing this case study. They keep a few paper documents, but they are in the vault and never looked at: they rely on their imaged loan files.

Two analysts with the most experience completed their configuration of the products. James acknowledges that they have made a lot of tweaks as they use it. The expectation was set with everyone and sold to executive management that the software was powerful in that it was configurable. Changes could be made on the fly and the end-users would immediately see the result.

James says that they had a lot of support from upper management, and that was huge. Loan officers were told that usage was not optional, and that the administrators were careful to configure the user authorities, assuring users that “If you make a mistake, we will help you fix it as you learn.” That helped with buy-in that the officers knew they could make mistakes.

Loan Portfolio Management

James says that their presentations and analysis are so much more consistent as a result of using Suntell’s Square 1 Credit Suite®. Examiners have been in, and have been thrilled to review images versus paper files. They are getting to a place where their exception reports are useful and they are excited about sending out exception letters. They are working on configuring Loan Queue for pipeline reporting and workflow to implement with the new Dashboard functionality. They also use Collections & Work-Out to enter Watch List plans and feed that information into their presentations to loan committee.

Ongoing Relationship with Suntell

Officers and analysts attend the free “Lunch and Learn”: training sessions that Suntell offers two times per month. James has also attended Regional Training and finds it very valuable because she receives the perspective of a few different Suntell trainers, and also interacts with other users – saying that it is the best conference that she goes to during the year. She said that it is nice to see that when support tickets are submitted that they don’t go off into “never-never land” – she receives a response or a follow-up. Overall, the credit union’s experience with Suntell has been great.

About the Credit Union

TCU is the largest Credit Union in the State of Indiana with more than $2 billion in assets, with 51 branches throughout the State of Indiana and Michigan. TCU not only offers traditional financial services to its members, but also non-traditional services such as travel, real estate and insurance. For more information, visit