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  • Writer's pictureW.B. King

Mountain America CU Taps Blend to Speed Up Loan Approval Times

By W.B. King


In an effort to provide its 1.1 million members access to a digital end-to-end home equity product geared toward cutting down loan application approval times, the Sandy, Utah-based Mountain America Credit Union (MACU) partnered with Blend.

“Our focus is always on our members and providing with the financial resources that help them define and achieve their financial dreams,” said Amy Moser, senior vice president and chief lending officer at Mountain America.


The San Francisco -based Blend, which powers billions of dollars in financial transactions daily, offers a platform designed to transform banking experiences for their customers. MACU is now using its Instant Home Equity product.


“Mountain America is a longstanding partner that we’ve worked extensively with on delivering mortgage and consumer-banking products powered by the Blend platform, and we’re excited to be able to continue to do so in a new area of product innovation,” Erik Wrobel, head of product at Blend, said in a statement.


A spokesperson for Blend told Finopotamus via email that financial institutions contact the company for a number of reasons, some of which are based on competition. “Certainly [there is] some pressure for traditional financial institutions who are competing with certain fintech companies that can offer streamlined and expedited application flows.”


Blend’s Instant Home Equity product integrates automated income and identity verification, instant title, real-time decisioning, property appraisal and remote online notarization to achieve substantial time and cost savings for both lenders and borrowers, the spokesperson shared.


Simplifying Approvals


When officially rolled out, Instant Home Equity will offer MACU members a digitally transformed home equity process with simplified approvals,” the spokesperson noted. “The new home equity process, now fully digital, significantly shrinks loan applicants’ time waiting to close (from what could potentially take four to six weeks) to just a few days.”


The product was built on its low-code, drag-and-drop development engine, Blend Builder, the spokesperson told Finopotamus. “We’ve taken a process that used to take weeks and shortened it to potentially only a few days, eliminating manual steps and significantly reducing origination costs.”


The elimination of these critical steps is made possible through automation and industry-leading real-time data processing, including instant verifications for income, identity, credit, property value, insurance, title and flood.


“Working with Blend,” Moser said, “supports our prioritization of identifying ways to provide our members with personalized financial experiences in the context of home equity lending that help us achieve our goals and provide an outstanding member experience.”


Instant Home Equity, Wrobel noted, will enable Mountain America to access a HELOC market, which continues “to surge even as purchase mortgages and refinances wane.” In the first half of 2022, for example, HELOC lending activity rose to its highest level in 15 years. (In late January 2023, Bankrate.com reported the average rate on a 10-year HELOC was 7.37%, the highest it has been over the past year).


“We are pleased to be trusted with playing an integral role to help fulfill Mountain America’s mission to provide their members with the easiest, most streamlined financial experiences, through our work in automating the home equity origination process,” Wrobel said.



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