CU2.0 Podcast Episode 114 Nicholas Hinrichsen on Smarter Car Loans for Credit Unions

Call this Part 2 of our smarter lending for credit unions. The recent episode, #113, explored small business lending with Capiform’s Sherif Hassan. Listen here. This week it’s time for something entirely different.

Happy with your car loan portfolio?

Many credit unions are anything but and this has become a crucial issue as most are awash in deposits and now are hunting for profitable places to put that cash to work.

Car loans could be it. But indirect lending…not so much.

Enter Nicholas Hinrichsen, an online car sales veteran who co-founded an online used car marketplace in 2015 when he raised $10 million in venture capital. They sold that business in 2017 to Carvana, which by now has grown into one of the nation’s biggest used car retailers.

After logging three years at Carvana he is again starting up a new company, with $5 million in venture funding, where the aim is to help credit unions better sell car loans to their members.

Hinrichsen knows car loans and he also knows about credit union dissatisfaction with indirect loans.  He has a better idea: helping members refinance existing car loans issued by third parties, converting them into credit union owned loans.

Credit unions can win that fight, said Hinichsen, because usually their loans are better, at lower interest rates.

Most credit unions, he admits, do “spray and pray” marketing, sending out mailers to all pre-qualified members. In this podcast he tells a smarter, more cost effective way to contact the right members, ones who just might be prospects for car refinance.

Keep listening because he has an idea for tools that will essentially pre-populate a loan app for a member, using data the credit union already has. So filling out a loan application literally takes seconds.

And another – intriguing – idea he has is about how to profitably make sub-prime loans to existing members and, in the process, to create a path for them to get lower interest rates going forward. Just that may be a core credit union mission, especially as more members deal with economic pains of the pandemic.

You know you want to issue more and more profitable auto loans. This is a podcast you have to hear.

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