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Collins Community Credit Union

Started by ten Collins Radio employees back in 1940, Collins Community Credit Union has become one of the largest credit unions in Iowa. One of the reasons that they have grown to over $440M in assets is that their staff of more than 175 employees is dedicated to the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” This philosophy has led them to tremendous growth in indirect auto lending in the state of Iowa. In order to handle this rapid expansion, Collins Community CU turned to industry leader, Teledata Communications, Inc. (TCI) and their powerful DecisonLender platform. 

Rick Samek, AVP and Consumer Loan Manager at Collins Community CU, was chosen by the senior managers at the credit union to find a new system. Samek recalls that “we were completely overloaded with loan applications. They were coming in by fax and we had to process them manually, which was very inefficient.” He emphasizes that “we needed to automate our processes, or hire more people. There was no in-between.” Samek met TCI at a CUNA conference, saw a demonstration and was quite impressed. He still needed to perform due diligence, however, so he spent two to three months in comparative research. In the end, he came back to TCI because their system was clearly superior.

One of the factors that affected Samek’s decision was that their fifty car dealers had various auto loan routing networks in place. “We liked the fact that DecisonLender supported the two most popular portals for handling auto loans - DealerTrack and RouteOne – the ones that our dealers use,” says Samek, adding that “TCI’s system has all of the elements bundled into it that we need to effectively run our car dealer network.” Of course, pricing always plays a role in any new technology decision, and Samek was pleased to discover that “DecisonLender was easy to cost justify because it really is an affordable solution.”

Today, Samek’s 12 person Consumer Lending Department is off and running with the new system - 6 employees use it regularly. Samek can personally direct the decision making now that the DecisionLender system handles all of the heavy lifting. He notes that “the main summary screen provides an excellent overview of the applicant, and I can now handle about 40 applications in just a couple of hours or so, while before it could take me all day.” Another area where there were tremendous labor savings was in generating adverse actions. According to Samek, “we used to spend at least a couple of hours a day keying in information and printing adverse actions, but now with DecisionLender this tedious task is handled with just a click of the mouse.” 

He admits that it is hard to pinpoint all of the labor savings that TCI’s system delivers because savings accumulate throughout the process, but Samek points out that “we haven’t needed to add more staff to handle the increased volume. Our capacity has dramatically increased and we are much more efficient now.” For instance, DecisionLender automatically pulls credit reports, and checks the OFAC database when new members join the credit union. “The time savings really add up across the board,” states Samek.

As for the administrative features of DecisionLender, Samek “likes the reporting capabilities because they meet our needs. Plus, the main summary screen provides an excellent overview of the applicant.” 

Collins Community Credit Union has been so pleased with TCI’s lending platform that they have actually performed hands-on demonstrations for other credit unions looking to automate their lending systems. Samek notes that “they were very impressed with the DecisionLender system and our operations here. It is easy to see that we are ahead of the game by working with TCI.”

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