Posts Tagged 'loans'

Economy: taking the long view

loans1982

Here’s a little something we came across while cleaning out some old newsletters. It’s an article in our January 1982 newsletter about the Jackson Co-Op Federal Credit Union lending when no one else would.

Sound familiar?

Jackson Co-Op is now American 1, but we find ourselves in a similar situation. When many banks are restricting their lending practices, American 1 is still providing loans to those who need them.

In 1982, prime lending rates were at 16%, compared to 3.25% today. The economy was in a recession then, too.

But even with the economic weirdness, we were lending to our members. Just like today.

Nice to know some things don’t change.


Introducing a better way: Simple Loan



American 1 is changing the way we do lending.

Imagine picking out a vehicle on a dealership lot anywhere in the country, giving us a call, and driving away in your vehicle – all without stepping foot into an American 1 branch. That’s the idea behind Simple Loan, an exciting new plan to simplify the loan process.

Simple Loan lets you sign one set of loan documents up front, establishing your preferences (we call it “the plan”), and – from then on – closing on a loan without having to work around our branch hours. All the hard work – the papers, the transfers, the payment – is done behind the scenes by us. In fact, once you’ve established your plan, your biggest responsibility will be picking out the vehicle you like.

Simple Loan works like this: you come into a branch and sign some papers. These papers tell us what your lending preferences are, updates your personal information, and lays the groundwork for any loans in the future. Then, when you want to finance a used vehicle or want an American 1 Visa card, you simply give us a call. We verify your plan, check to make sure the application information is correct, work to get it approved, and arrange payment with the dealership (for a vehicle) or send your new Visa card in the mail. Those documents you signed at the beginning make all this convenience possible.

Right now, American 1 is the only credit union in the area that does Simple Loan, or anything like it. But it’s not a new idea. In fact, we’ve taken the best practices of other credit unions – ideas that have worked before – and developed Simple Loan to fit your needs.

The up-front paperwork process, from start to finish, might take a half hour. But from then on, we take care of all the lending details. You tell us what kind of loan you need, and we do all the paperwork behind the scenes.

There are a few exceptions. If you’re buying a vehicle from a private individual, and not a dealer, there is some title work to be done. Refinances are also an example of when you may need to sign some papers. But even in situations where we need your signature, we can get it over the fax machine.

This is an easier way to get a loan. And it works for vehicle loans, signature loans, and Visa cards. Instead of doing a bunch of different paperwork for all those kinds of loans, though, you’ll sign one set of documents. That’s all there is to it.

For the upcoming Fall Used Vehicle Sale, we want as many members signed up for Simple Loan as possible. For one, it will make our car sales much more efficient. The up-front paperwork takes less time than sitting down and financing a vehicle used to take. Second, we’ll have a special station set up at the sale just for Simple Loan members – meaning you’ll be in and out and driving away in minutes.

To help kick off the plan, our branches are staying open later so you can establish your plan. Stop in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until 7 p.m. at any American 1 location to get started. That way, you can stop in after work if you’re pressed for time.

And please call us (888.213.2848) with any questions you have. We’re really excited about Simple Loan and how much easier it’s going to make closing a loan for our members.


American 1 Federal Credit Union