Posted by MeridianLink | October 9, 2023

Help Ease Your Members Loan Payment Concerns

The following post is provided by TruStageTM, a MeridianLink partner.   

By Lisa Pavelski, Director, Lending Digital Capabilities, TruStage 

The demand for payment protection products has significantly increased over the past few years. Now is the time for credit unions (CUs) to give their members what they want—when they need it most.  

That’s why MeridianLink® and TruStage™ have partnered to create a new digital loan application feature. This allows credit unions utilizing TruStage payment protection products and MeridianLink® Portal to provide their members with content about payment protection directly within the loan to both educate members on protection options and provide a provisional quote. 

Consumer-Driven Design 

The rippling effects of COVID-19 are still impacting consumer behavior. In fact, over 80% of consumers have adopted behavioral changes.1 Noticing this shift, TruStage set out to conduct consumer research to better understand what consumers need and want. 

The TruStage 2023 Consumer Lending Preferences research found 2:  

  • 81% of consumers worry about not being able to make their loan payments due to unexpected expenses and life events.  
  • 64% of consumers would be interested in obtaining payment protection products in conjunction with their loan if given the option.  
  • 69% of personal loan applicants and 48% of auto loan applicants don’t recall being offered payment protection. 

Additionally, a TruStage survey of credit unions found that nearly 50% of direct auto loans are starting digitally, and nearly 12% are funded with no human intervention.3 

So, not only are consumers interested in payment protection products, but they’re also initiating their search digitally without speaking to a customer representative. Having this information influenced our problem-solving approach, as well as the subsequent design and implementation process. 

Collaborative Solutions Help Put Ease at the Forefront 

Through partnerships with credit unions and feedback from members, we formed the design and experience available to members today. With a focus on relevance and simplicity for members and ease of integration for credit unions, we have seen over 40% of credit union members engaging with payment protection product options.4 This is important to note because 9 out of 10 participating CUs say it’s important to make the offer at the time of application.5 

The API (Application Programming Interface) integration between MeridianLink Portal and TruStage is easy to implement within minutes and removes any guesswork by knowing which protection is relevant to their loan application.6 The API provides credit unions with the most up-to-date, compliant, and member-focused education, relevant to the products they endorse directly in the loan application. This gives members a way to express their interest in learning more and easily communicate that to the credit union lending team. Through continual iterations to optimize the member experience, the API integration now also provides a provisional quote to members allowing them to make a more educated decision about their interest in the product. 

Knowledge is Power 

Payment protection education is crucial to a member’s overall experience as well as their personal benefit. Educating members can help credit unions empower individuals with the knowledge they need to protect their financial well-being.  

Our design is focused on increasing member education digitally. With proper education, members will have a better understanding of the payment protection products suitable for their needs, and provisional quotes provide a sense of the cost for this protection. This can lead to increased member engagement, which was shown by the increase in member engagement with product options. Educated members could also ease their concerns about loan payments because they will know which payment protection options are available to them.  

Meeting the needs of members doesn’t have to be a complex software rollout or IT tech stack upgrade. It can be as simple as integrating educational product content into an existing experience.  

If you have questions or would like to learn more, email the TruStage Customer Optimization team.  

We’re hopeful this example of collaboration can help credit unions expand their offerings and help provide valuable protection to more members. 

1 LIMRA, “Americans’ Worries Shift from COVID-19 to the Economy,” December 2022

2 TruStage 2023 Consumer Lending Preferences Research, May 2023 

3 TruStage Lending Tracker 2022 Survey Results, December, 2022 

4 TruStage Lending API Database: Total engagement for all products with MeridianLink, May 2023 

5TruStage Payment Protection Solutions Digital Integration Credit Union Feedback Survey, June 2023 

6 TruStage internal data, August 2023 

TruStage™ is the marketing name for TruStage Financial Group, Inc. its subsidiaries and affiliates. Corporate Headquarters 5910 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705 

LPS-5877687.1-0823-0925  © TruStage 

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