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LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. – Spokane Teachers CU not only wants its members to know the credit union does mortgages at competitive rates, but to be sure STCU is top of mind with members when it’s time for them to buy a new home or refinance an existing one. That’s why the $658-million community-chartered credit union has been running a Home Loan Campaign since April offering members and credit union employees various incentives to make them aware of Spokane Teachers’ mortgage products and services. STCU Advertising Manager Daniel Thorpe said the credit union “wants to establish in the minds of both members and non-members that Spokane Teachers Credit Union is the place to go for home loans. STCU has a great reputation in terms of service and responsiveness, but the problem we face is that many homebuyers don’t know we offer home loans. Even some realtors who are STCU members have said they didn’t realize we offered home loans. We created this campaign with one simple message in mind – “Yes, we do home loans.” Our hope is we will establish awareness with members ahead of their home loan needs. We want to convey the competitive advantages we offer so they will think of us first.” As part of the campaign, Spokane Teachers is giving away a $100 gift card to Home Depot to members who finance their first home with a mortgage from STCU. To be eligible for the gift card, the member has to either get their first mortgage home loan at Spokane Teachers, or bring over their home loan from another lender and refinance it at the credit union. To motivate credit union employees to refer members to the credit union for a mortgage, Spokane Teachers has been offering non-Real Estate Department staff several incentives. For example, for every referral that results in a completed home loan application, employees receive $5 to spend in the CU’s “company store” called Stars R Us on items such as movie tickets, gift certificates to various stores such as Barnes & Noble and area coffee houses, logo wear, and other merchandise. In addition, the name of the STCU home loan officer and processor who handle each finished home loan is being entered into a monthly drawing during April, May and June. The more home loans they close, the greater their chances of winning up to $200 in gift cards from Home Depot that STCU is giving away. To promote STCU’s Home Loan Campaign, employees are also being encouraged on 12 designated days during the campaign, to wear purple STCU logowear with khaki/Dockers pants along with their “Yes, we do home loans” magnetic pin. How successful has Spokane Teachers’ Home Loan Campaign been so far? In April alone, 97 referrals came in from STCU employees and 54 loans were closed totaling $7,583.9 million. As of May 20, an additional 45 loans had closed totaling $5,505.3 million, and as of April 30th the CU was servicing $313,684.9 million in mortgage loan volume. Loans included purchases, refinances, and construction loans. Those numbers compare to the pre-campaign 17 mortgages the credit union closed in January totaling $$1,614,5 million; 29 in February totaling $3,271.7 million; and 38 in March totaling $3,433.7 million To educate members on what’s involved in obtaining a mortgage and purchasing a home, STCU brings guest speakers such as a realtor and home inspector to its Homebuying 101 classes. Among the topics covered in the classes are: preparing for buying a home and applying for a mortgage; getting pre-approved; deciding what the member needs in a home; finding a realtor “that fits you”; getting a home inspection; and closing on the home. Instructors also go over the different types of loan products available including fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgages, FHA and VA loans. They’re also familiarized with the different types of loans available from STCU which includes construction loans. STCU spokesperson Susan Cerutti-Jensen said that, “The homebuying process can be very confusing, especially for first-time homebuyers. Before members may have shopped around and considered other options when they were looking for a mortgage product. We want them to come to us first for a home loan, to be their home loan lender of choice in our marketplace. We’re committed to educating members about the homebuying process and making it as painless an experience as possible for them.” -

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