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Denied? No biggie.  by Tara

March7

I heard something the other day that I wanted to address. Someone told me that they wanted to apply for a loan, but were afraid that they would be rejected. If this happened, the person was worried that they would feel embarrassed.

As someone who truly encompasses the values of LACU, my first reaction is “Ahhhhh! I want to give this person a hug!!!” Okay, now that I have THAT out of my system, I want to scream to the hilltops that we will never, ever judge you. We encourage people to come in, chat with us about your needs and then let us help you figure out how we can save you money or determine if we can help get you that new car you need or the bigger home for that growing family of yours.

But let’s push away the hearts and flowers for a second. I’m going to reveal to you exactly what happens if you are not approved for a loan:

A financial counselor will let you know that you have not qualified at the time. Instead of laughing at you (which would never happen here!) or kicking you out the door, the financial counselor will go through your credit report with you. Together, you’ll look at what portions might be, well, bruised. Based on what the credit report says, the financial counselor will be able suggest things you can do to start improving your credit right away. You might even be able to determine a timeline as to when you could reapply for whatever loan you were hoping for.

What’s helpful about this process is that once you see the good, the bad, and even sometimes the ugly on your credit report, you’ll finally be able to determine a plan of attack. I truly believe that a PLAN is the key to achieving your goals!

You should know that we are required by law to give you a denial notice. The notice contains all sorts of information, including your credit score, contact info for the credit bureau that we obtained your credit report from, and information on how you can obtain a free copy of your credit report (you just have to mail that denial notice into the credit bureau we got your info from).

Also, a denial is never listed on your credit report and does not negatively impact your score. For example, if you were denied a loan from us, your credit report would say that Linn Area Credit Union had an inquiry, but it does not say that you were not approved.

I hope that this has taken out some of the mystery for you curious folks. We will always remain professional and you’ll even receive some great financial advice to help improve your future! See, there really is a silver lining to a denial!

When Loans Get Personal  by Tara

October7

Life happens when you can least afford it. Come on, you know exactly what I mean. It seems like the worst – and most expensive – things happen at the most inconvenient times. 

My husband and I are expecting our first child, which I hear can be rather expensive! In preparation for the little one, we’ve been very careful with our finances. Now, we may have one on the way, but we already have a fur-baby, a 2 year old Yorkie mix named Wrigley. Little Wrigley weighs in at a hefty 4.5 lbs and is pretty much convinced he’s a human. Yeah, that’s probably my fault. 

Anyway, Wrigley fell severely ill from some sort of random bacteria. After three consecutive visits to the vet, we needed to take him to a 24/7 veterinary hospital. Our little guy had to stay under their care for about 48 hours. We were fortunate enough that we had access to money to cover this unexpected, but necessary cost. Although I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if we weren’t able to cover the cost… 

Sure, the vet hospital has financing options, but I definitely wouldn’t have been comfortable going that route unless it was absolutely necessary. I needed a trusted PERSON I could talk to, especially in such an emotional state. What on Earth would we have done? 

Wait, better question: What could Linn Area have done to help us out? 

I spent a little bit of time with one of our financial counselors, JoAnn, to find out what would happen if someone such as myself would have called upon Linn Area for help.

JoAnn first reminded me that one of our strengths is that we are PEOPLE who get to know PEOPLE. She said that the first thing she would have done is listen to the entire story. Next she would have started asking questions about current accounts, loans and assets, searching for ways to help me get the lowest rate possible. One of the very first things she would look for is whether or not I had a current car loan (which I do!). Depending on how much I already had paid off, increasing or extending the loan might be a possibility. Another thought was that I could take out a small signature loan and set up automatic payments so that I didn’t have to worry about remembering to pay it at a certain time each month. I could also take out a Home Equity Line of Credit to cover my unexpected expenses. Even opening a credit card could be another solid option (imagine all those Rewards points if I went that route!). 

I seriously couldn’t believe all the options we had available! And, remember, even if you’re not currently a member, Linn Area would be happy to help you! (Yes, you’d have to become a member, but that’s super easy!) 

I was comforted to know that here at Linn Area Credit Union we truly will do whatever we can to help you out. Is it possible in every scenario? Unfortunately, no. But we will listen to your story, bend over backwards and hopefully it ends up mutually beneficial. 

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, Wrigley is back to his vibrant, healthy self again!