Gamrath promoted to assistant VP

The Board of Directors of CNB Bank amp; Trust NA announces the promotion of Craig Gamrath to the position of assistant vice president, commercial lending.

Gamrath began his career at CNB as a commercial loan officer. For the past six years, he primarily has been responsible for acquiring new business client relationships. His background in real estate sales has made him well-known within the community and much sought-after as a knowledgeable real estate lender. In his new role, he will be responsible for exploring new commercial and small business loan opportunities and further deepening current banking relationships.

In an effort to cultivate and encourage an increase in commercial growth and development in the Riverbend, CNB Bank amp; Trust is more actively focusing on the development of commercial relationships. Gamrath's experience and dedication to his clients make him the perfect complement to CNB's progressive lending focus.

Gamrath resides in Godfrey with his wife and is an involved member of the community. He is a graduate of Principia College in Elsah.

CNB Bank amp; Trust has 13 locations in Alton, Brighton, Carlinville, Carrollton, Clayton, Mo.; Hillsboro, Jacksonville, Jerseyville, Oak Forest, Palos Heights, Pittsfield, Shipman and Taylorville.     

America First Credit Union sizzles with hot loans, cool giveaways during “Summer Better Than Others” loan campaign

America First Credit Union sizzles with hot loans, cool giveaways during "Summer Better Than Others" loan campaign

OGDEN, UT (June 23, 2016) \Summer is upon us and Utah's largest credit union, America First Credit Union, is sizzling with low rates on auto, RV, mortgage and home equity loans and Visa credit cards during its "Summer Better Than Others" campaign of giveaways, running through Wednesday, August 31. Members can take advantage of loan opportunities, while also being entered to win a selection of prizes awarded each day of the promotion, to include loan payments, electronics, Disneyland vacations, and more.

Members can take advantage of low rates to make summer purchases, including RVs, automotive and home equity loans. Individuals are automatically entered to have loan payments made for a month, as well as to win a host of summer giveaways when they finance a new loan, use an America First credit card, become a member, follow America First on its social media platforms or enter via the online form on the America First website.

Prizes will be drawn daily and include Get Away Today Disneyland vacations, loan payments, BBQ grills, $300 Amazon and Wal-Mart gift cards and more.

Members can enter to win a selection of prizes via the America First Facebook page, as well as at

For more information, visit, America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.

About America First Credit Union

The summer auto-loan pursuit-a-palooza

Another busy summer vehicle-selling season is upon us, and a majority of us are looking for the best strategies to maximize loan growth.

Considering the volume of vehicles to be sold, prospects are good. According to NADA (Nov. 2015), "New light-vehicle sales are expected to rise to 17.7 million units in 2016. This would mark the seventh straight year of increasing US new-vehicle sales."

While prospects are good, competition has never been tougher. If your shop is into indirect lending, you'll be competing with a long list of other lenders (many of whom are other, larger credit unions) on price, dealer reserve, terms and credit standards, and response and turnaround time. In the credit union space, large lenders with significant scale typically rule the day. If your shop is not into indirect lending, you'll be competing with those picking off your members at the dealership.

Modern techniques available

Credit union pioneer Louise Herring said, "We must remember what we started out to do and then find ways to do it with the modern techniques available." We're lenders. It's at the heart of what we do - that hasn't changed. But the way we get those loans has changed for many of us since Louise Herring helped charter more than 500 credit unions back in her day. None of us can afford to sit back and wait for members to call on us with a loan request. Rest assured, there is always some organization who wants our members' loans, be it a prime or predatory lender. We'll have to fight for every loan we win. Fortunately, we have modern techniques available to help us identify and capture loan opportunities.

Below are several modern techniques to consider when formulating your summer auto-loan growth strategy. I recommend using the Experian products below because of my experience with the company. It has the largest share of the CU marketplace for a reason - reliable turnkey solutions, and a demonstrated commitment to credit unions in the underserved consumer space.

  • Recapture your members who were "sold" the dealer financing. I recommend using Experian to compare your existing member list to find auto loans that were recently financed elsewhere. Use this list to take back the loans. It's amazing how far prescreening tools have advanced since I was actively in the lending business. Experian's experts can help you craft a custom list to target the best loans you want to recapture, picking only those that match your yield and risk criteria.
  • Prospect potential buyers before they start shopping! Dang, I wish I had this tool back in the early 90s when I was VP of Marketing and doing my best to grow loans! Experian's In The Market Model for Auto enables credit unions to proactively market to members before they are actively shopping for credit. Credit Unions can target prospective buyers BEFORE the onslaught of marketing during the busy summer auto-buying season. Great timing is critical to success, as it's easier to get a loan at the time of purchase than to try to recapture it later. Credit unions have a long, successful track record of loan pre-approvals. Experian offers sophisticated, easy to deploy prescreen solutions as a modern-day technique to get the most out of our efforts to keep our members' business.
  • Target thinner-credit-file Millennials. Millennials are buying cars in big numbers these days. Now the largest generation in the country, Millennials bought 4 million cars and trucks in 2015 - second only to the Baby Boomers, according to JD Power's Power Information Network. Millennials' share of the new-car market jumped to 28 percent. In the country's biggest car market, California, Millennials outpaced Boomers for the first time.[1]

Another modern technique I'm excited about is Experian's Extended View program, which helps lenders qualify thin-credit-file consumers. These consumers have little or no traditional credit, but have established good credit with other providers, such as cell phone companies, rent, utilities, etc. Extended View provides credit union lenders with enough supporting data to approve a much larger pool of good loans.

The season is here, what's your strategy?

We are lenders. Consistent, profitable loan growth should always be our top priority. The challenge is that many of our credit union shops have non-loan related priorities that will trump an appropriate focus on this busy lending season. These credit unions will miss out on the opportunity (while it is here). We never know what the economy will be tomorrow, and have to seize what we can today.

The good news is that, overall, our credit union space is growing loans at a good pace, and that means many of us will likely make gains during this summer season. However, if your credit union is not attaining the profitable loan growth you need or desire, I challenge you to look at new techniques and different strategies to make the most of this peak auto-buying season - before it's too late.


New loan opportunities could revitalize local counties


Its not always easy to get the money needed to clean-up an old industrial site, but theres a new funding opportunity in West Virginia and projects in our area will receive priority.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection received an $820,000 grant that will fund a revolving loan. Projects in the Ohio Valley will get preference because there are so many sites in our area that need attention.

We received $820K and 20 percent of that will be specifically for petroleum sites and 80 percent will be for hazardous sites, said Casey Korbini, WVDEP.

Korbini is an environmental resources specialist. She spoke Wednesday at the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Planning Commissions Brownfield Task Force meeting to outline details of the loans.

We are prioritizing this for the Ohio Valley, so your applications in the Ohio Valley will receive prioritization over you know, maybe a southern county or a southern community because that is the focus of our grant, Korbini said.

Korbini said the loan will be low-interest and an incentive to clean up and invest in sites that are contaminated or are perceived to be contaminated. Government entities, non-profits and private entities may apply.

Were trying to make sure we have the right criteria before we go ahead and start accepting applications. However, if you do have a site now and youd be interested in getting a loan with the revolving loan fund, please let us know because we do want to start to get an initial inventory, Korbini said.

Loan recipients will be required to have a 20 percent match to bring to the table.

Keeping a funding plan ready

Harshala Chandorkar,
Exposure, intellectual surroundings and competitive study environment are the factors that drive students to go for studies abroad in the American, European and Australian universities for specialised courses. With available education loan opportunities, lack of finance is no more a hindrance to their aspirations. There are banks and financial institutes that offer loans to students for several graduate, postgraduate and professional courses. In fact, most banks lend a maximum of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh loan for studies; some may offer larger amounts too. However, weakening of the domestic currency has resulted in the cost of overseas education going up for students; the average ticket size of the loans has also gone up. The question is how to still pursue your dream of studying at a foreign university.