Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode 83 · 3 weeks ago

How Specialization Can Win Credit Unions Members

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Credit unions can’t be everything to their members, so honing in on the products they specialize in and working with partners for the remaining products makes sense.

That is exactly what our guest today, Kayla Selhorst SVP Chief Operating Officer at CME Federal Credit Union, has accomplished — streamlining the lending operations at CME to approve more loans, with less staff. They did this by not only making their operation more efficient, but by putting the members' needs first.

Join us as Jeff and Kayla discuss:

  • Branches taking on more of a consultative role and what the new physical layout might look like (you will be able to get your coffee there too)
  • The real value of predictive lending when using transaction data history
  • Balancing AI and new technologies with a human touch to remain competitive and deliver customization to members 

Want to learn more about how Upstart partners with credit unions? Check out this case study, mentioned in the episode.

You're listening to Leaders and Lending from Upstart, a podcast dedicated to helping consumer lenders grow their programs and improve their product offerings. Each week, here, decision makers in the finance industry offer insights into the future of the lending industry, best practices around digital transformation, and more. Let's get into the show. Welcome to Leaders and Lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week's episode features my conversation with Kayla Cellhorst, the chief operating officer a CIMME credit union. Uh. It's a really interesting conversation. We dive into Kayla's thoughts around what she calls predictive lending, which I thought was a really interesting term. We discussed their centralization centralization of consumer and mortgage lending operations that's allowed them to really better serve their customers and increase their throughput, which I thought was a really fascinating And I asked her what she would do with a much bigger budget, and she told me she would build some things that today she has to buy from third place. I thought it was an interesting answer, and what she thinks it would be the first thing to build, Well, I'll leave that to the episode, so please enjoy my conversation with Kayla. Kayla, thanks for joining us on the podcast today. I really appreciate your making the time. Yeah, Jeff, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Yeah. So I've started about halfway through asking all my guests the same first question, which roughly goes none of us, at least not many people that I've talked to grew up dreaming of being in the banking industry or being bankers, and yet and yet here we all are. Tell me a little bit about your path to this place and kind of what brought you here. Yeah, I absolutely did not want to be a banker growing up. I never thought I would industry. So I became a teller at a pretty young age and thought, well, I encount cash, I'll do this for a little bit. I wanted to be a flight attendant and travel the world and have a little fun. So I ended up staying behind the teller line for a while and have worked. I've actually worked in banking and credit unions, so I'd like to say I've converted to the credit union life for the last twelve years. And here I always hear I came from the dark side so I absolutely love it. I think helping people is a blast, and we get to get creative and find ways to get things done for people. So it's not as boring as I thought, not as boring as I will say. The two things that have surprised me coming from the technology industry. It is not boring, that's true. Uh. And how consumer and mission oriented most I mean, there's the investment banker world that I think people have their perspective of the wolf of Wall Street traders and whatever, but most people in the banking industry are really focused on helping consumers with the products that they need, and we all need financial products in our lives, and so it's always been a refreshing thing that people are really focused on that in a way that I had not appreciated or understood from as an outsider. Yeah. Absolutely, and finding I love to find solutions for people, and I think this industry you get to do that. Okay, so well, let's talk about how you're finding better ways to find solutions for people. You were talking me earlier about centralizing consumer and mortgage lending operations, and that was a...

...fascinating um statement that you made to me because so often I see the experiences in a in a bank or credit union kind of divided among product lines, and it's like they're all their own separate things, and it's like the teams don't talk, and it's the consumer, the member ends up having an experience dictated more by that organizational structure than by what they need. And so your statement that you were centralizing that really struck to me is really interesting. So tell me a little bit about what that means and why that was something you wanted to do. Yeah, so we have always relied on our branch network and historically that's where a member would go for loans or new accounts. And obviously, as technology grows and people expect answers now and for us to be more efficient and fast, we found that that was not the best way to do things because we would have a loan officer that would have to go from an n SF conversation to a mortgage conversation to an autozation or help someone elance their checkbook. So those sales people could not really focus on sales. So for us centralizing that function, we went from twelve people offering loans down to four, and we were able to double our loan production, because those loan officers could only focus on, you know, building that relationship with Jeff, finding out what he needs in the future, was he need right now, and then partnering with the branches. We still have branches, of course, and we have loan centers where they can put the members on the phone directly with the loan officers. So we found that it helps the majority of consumers and our members, they want to do things via email, text, phone, they don't want to come in. Now, we still have a handful of members I love to come in and sign, and we obviously offer that for them, but we've also found ways to do e notary so if someone doesn't want to come in for an auto loan, we can just get on the phone and de notarize that as well for them. So we've also seen increase and non interest income because again, those loan officers get to know just those products versus having to know a checking account and a money market and all of those operational things. That's why I'd love to dive into what that what exactly you kind of cut out or centralize or what that means, because the idea of fewer loan officers and more loans. I mean, I feel like everybody in the business we go, I want me a little bit of However, I get tell you know, fewer officers, more loans. So what is it that they're not doing, and what is it you've kind of how have you simplified their lives to make it possible for a smaller number of people to end up doing more business for you. That's a that's a pretty big win. Yeah. So we have essentially taken all the processing from them, so I for that data entry. So they're gonna get on the phone with our Remember, they're going to find out what the need is, what are they looking for, make sure they find the right product, focused on cross sell, talked about insillary products. Once that conversations happen, they have a partner in processing, it's going to take that loan to all of the people, make sure that eyes are dotted, teas are crossed, and then get back on the phone for closing. Hopefully have some late s ship buildings so...

...they can follow up. Um. So it just helps them hyper focus, so they are having more time to have those sales are on. Hey I don't have your driver's license number in here? Correctly, We're gonna have a process or reach out about that UM and then because we've really focused on partnering them with loan officers for referrals, because we still need the referrals from branches. There are still people that physically walk into those branches, but I remember definitely are doing more via email text. I mean docu signs huge for us. We don't, you know, we do everything from a room. That's that's remarkable. As you shifted to some of that outsource of processing, have you automated or digitized or changed how that processing works? Is that mostly just kind of separation of roles between the kind of product expert who's working with the client to understand them and the more process oriented back office is it Is it kind of the same process and just different people in a real separation or are you digitizing slash automating any parts of that. I would love to automate it and digitize that. We have not. It is actually a scation of roles today, so we have people that are processors UM, but that's definitely an area I think for us to take that to the next level, UM could help. I mean you talk about like bots and stuff like that. I mean, if we could not have a human touching it, so we're having to humans touch it. Um, that would even make us more efficient for sure. Well, so we talk about in the future, you did mention people coming into branches. How do you see branches playing into the future for this, Like what what what? What role does that playing? What's the experience you think a member once in the branch or that you want to provide in the branch versus what you provide over email. I'm sure part of centralization is like if not not a loan officer in every branch, which means I can't do that work in person. So how do you think about the role of the branch and that kind of a context as we move forward. Yeah, so couple of things that play there. Obviously we're competing against not only other credit unions and banks, but not true to providers as well. So insurance you know, insurance companies have banks now, um, you know carbon of room, upstart up, all of those players we have to also compete with. So we are building branches is not the way to do that, you know, brick and mortar. But I still believe consumers want to be able to come in and talk to someone if they have an issue or they don't understand something. So I think that's where the branches play a role, is more of that consultative I'm here to help you through a problem and then connect you with an expert within the credit union, whether they're in there or not, to help you with your next purchase or problem. Interesting, so they end up more as like a guide to navigate the offerings and the people, but not necessarily the expert on everything. Yeah, fascinating. Do you see how do you see the transactional nature of the branch shifting? I mean, so much of what branch has traditionally been a like I come in to get money, I come into deposit a check or it's a very it's not really a consultative eyes or experience. It's like a a thing to do.

I want to get it done. Is that um changing shifting? And if it is, how do you think about keeping your staff up to date and educated. It changes the role of the staff in branch and the needs for training or the skill sets that you want. I'm curious how you think about what that really shifts for them and how you prepare your staff um for you know, a slightly different role in those in those locations. Yeah, that's a great question and absolutely something that we're talking about we're struggling with. I mean, you hire teller off the street, let's call it that, and they want to come in and just cash checks. Well that's not really what we need anymore. I need problem solvers. I want people to understand that they are in that branch to help the next person in line and figure out how can we serve them better? What aren't we offering them? And that is difficult, and especially in this market of staffing that we've dealt with the last year, is we are to change that shift from you know, you're here as someone that's really a partner to our mem bers. You're not here just to get them a hundred dollars out of their account or tell them a balance. So that has been difficult. I think we have a good plan moving forward. Um, we were trying to build training programs for staff and really hire We don't hire people that are tellers anymore. I mean cash handling experience is great, but we can count we can train most people account cash. We're looking personnel, you know, someone that wants to engage with people, and we do have a new branch that we're building currently, and that is absolutely a focus for us, is changing those job descriptions in that branch and probably testing some of this there. Are you changing the physical layout and the new branch. I'm curious. I feel like as you build one out that you like, rethink what it looks like and how it operates and what kind of spaces you have for clients and members. And yes we are. We actually are building with a coffee shop, so it'll be an open concept food hall. Um so more so that consultative sitting there, you know, sit down in a cafe and just have a conversation. And we also have a tech services that's going in there to fix things like broken screens or if your computer has issues, and that's part of our part of ce ME actually, so um we're trying to be a little bit different and you know, meet everybody's needs. So we still have that traditional branch they can come into, but it's just more of a comfortable setting that works well. I sometimes meet my financial advisor of her coffee and then it's awkward to be in a Starbucks. Afterwards, you go, it's not the best place for this conversation, but you know, we wanted a coffee and a place to meet. So that sounds I'll come in for a good espresso, you espresso. That sounds fun. And another one of the comments you mentioned was this concept of predictive lending. And I mean, I love all technologies, particularly predictive technologies, but I'm curious what you you know when you use the phrase predictive lending with me, how do you think about what that means and what the value of that is for the institution and your members. I think it's a term that's thrown around in our industry too, and I don't know that there is...

...is a model that has been like the golden ticket of predictive lending. I mean, I hear from a lot of different vendors that say, oh, we can help you with that UM. For me, it's really understanding a member's account and how they're using us UM. So for example, if a member's overdrawing every every twenty eight days or maybe always around the holidays, you can tell their cash flow is low being able to us saying hey, Jeff has a need this month, or he's going to have a need, let's reach out to him. So that's what I'm looking for is something that can get at knowing what the member needs before they even do and looking at those themes and how they've used their account prior. And those are the times too, especially for us as a credit union, that we don't want our members turning to, you know, a payday lender or someone that's going to charge them and interest rate three times it will charge them. So it also it's not just to grow our business, it's also picture we're supporting that group. It's always felt to me like in particular, the transaction data in a depository account was one of the most underutilized resources from a banking credit union point of be like, it tells you so much about that person, their history when they need or want money, and yet the predictive capacity and even just the automation. I mean, I called my bank who shall remain me most and said, you know, you know so much of my checking and then I have a savings and any so much in my savings and the rest of it's invested. Can you just like, can I just set those numbers with you and you'll flow the money? And the rough answer was like, not only couldn't they predict for me what I would need they just watch off. Why don't we set up a monthly conference call and we can review the balances in your accounts and then we can rebalance it if necessary. I said, why a conference call with ten people to move money between my accounts? But I wanted to be easier to see this. Are you seeing like real success in this concept of taking the data in the transaction history you have with that client, which is such a risk rich source of information, and turning it into insights and then adictive capacity to actually understand what their needs are. That feels like, I won't say the holy Grail, but one of the key things that an institution ought to be able to do to earn loyalty from a customer, to actually understand your needs, maybe even before you do. And then I don't see even the big banks executing effectively on today, and I'm curious if you're seeing real results. Are more a vision of work, it's also a vision of where we want ahead. But I will say lightly, you know, we tried to do that so that officer group I was talking about, this is one of the things we spent time on over the last two years, is really like how to do outbound phone calls, and while we aren't great at mining the data, we do provide them some so finding out like our members that refinance and autolone with us every three years, we're proactively reaching out to those people to say, hey, we know you typically purchased a car every three years. We'd love to help you with the next one. UM. I would love to find a solution to get in, like to figure out that deposit account where you were talking about. UM Definitely, I think it is the holy grail. And you said saying about loyalty.

If you can offer someone saying before they need it and prove to them you can do it quickly, I think you gained so much trust with them and loyalty for that next purchase. So trying to figure out and people now want things quickly and they want you to offer it to and before they need it. I mean, you know, you're on Facebook and I talked about comfter and then the comfter shows up on my Facebook page later. So how can we do that in our industry that is efficient and not just we're kind of band aid being together things right? Well? I love that model because so much of the industry's business model is related to successfully getting one customer to to to transact with you on multiple products. I mean, that's kind of what everybody is trying to achieve. And you got to earn the right to get that business. And I feel like the the customer's current relationship is so rarely particularly the data generated from that is so rarely used to actually improve their experience and earn that business. And we end up, you know, rate competitive the dealership through an indirect channel with the customer that if we've known they were going in to buy a car, we could have given a better deal, but we didn't know, we didn't see it, and now we're, you know, next you know, we're one of twenty on the list at the f and I guys screen saying oh yeah, they'll make an offer too, And there's you've lost that opportunity to really earn the business from your customer by understanding them. And the data is there, you can really see it. And I think there's so much advantage to be able to improve the customer experience and earn that that can continue business if you can actually take advantage of it. So it feels it does feel like a massive opportunity for the institutions that figure out how to do it effectively. Absolutely, well, that's something we agree on. You mentioned that there are common wisdom in the industry with which you may not agree. I'm curious what common wisdom in the industry you may I think everybody knows that to be true, but nobody's doing it effectively. What are people think is true that you think maybe they're wrong about? Well, I mean a couple of things and not oh many. I like multiple, multiple answers are acceptable here, so as if you talk about you know, we talked about digital transformation and AI and we all need to be we have to have you know, that technology to remain competitive. But I do believe that consumers still put a lot of weight into knowing who they're working with and dealing with. And I think what I mean by that is if you go all in and just say I'm going to have all the bots and all the AI and I'm gonna win, I'm not sure if you don't balance that with the human touch and value and what you are offering to someone, if they don't connect with it, I'm not sure you really will win all the business. So I say this a lot. Really, anything we do here is that there has to be balanced and everything we do we have got to remain competitive, but we also still have to provide a service that people can look to and say, yeah, they have the same values as me, or they are helping me and my family through whatever it is. So that's one thing that I just think sometimes people get so excited like, oh, there's this new technology, it's the golden ticket. Well, I think we've all been around long enough to know there really actually isn't a golden ticket it...

...that we've all figured out, but there are definitely wins and things we can do well. So I think making sure that you balance that approach and not spending your tire budget. I'm just buying a bunch of tech, and then if you don't have a way to deliver it, it's not going to work well. I always do those things that properly executed go hand in hand. Like it's paying people to cash checks, you can start paying them to have good conversations that are helpful to the member and the flip side every you know, you free up the time of your staff to be available really quickly. Like one of the things we've I've always thought is like when I when I don't want to talk to somebody, don't make me do it. And when I do, don't make me wait, don't make me go through layer. I vr to have a conversation with a human, like when I need a person, I want a person. Uh. And then so often it's like, well, I just want to do this, like, well, give us a cause happening. I was prying buy a car and they're like, come into the dealerships. I don't want to come to the dealership. I just want to want to want to purchase the vehicle. Do I have to come on, come on in and will negotiate. Well, I want to do that. I just want to, like, I want to do the thing. And so I the more I think you can use technology to automate the stuff that people don't want to come in for, the more resource and immediacy, you have to to talk to them in the moment where they actually need assistance, guidance, help to find that expert of that right product to fit their needs. Yeah. Absolutely, Um, I think it's critical that you are helping someone know when they need something. You're there when they have an issue, and you are quick. People aren't waiting around for answers anymore. Now somebody else will pick up. So he said multiple things. That's one the other ones I was just going to touch on. You said something about UM a couple of minutes ago gaining business and you know, having those multiple consumers. Right, everybody wants to be the primary financial institution. And I've been an industry for twenty two years and we've said that and no one's figured that out. And I think that's the thing you have to accept now, we are never going to be the primary financial institution when it comes to all of the stuff that's out there. So for example, my members are going to use Venmo, right, they're going to get an American Express card that using Delta points, and I can't compete with that. And so I think you have to as an institute and say, we can't be all the things to everybody. So what are we going to be really good at and get hyper focused on that and be able to provide that to your consumer really well and efficiently. So I think that's one of the things that people get really caught up in is, Okay, how are we going to get capture on the business. Have the checking account, have the autolone, have the credit card, and I think you have to get over that and say, I know you're going to use other products, but how can I fit in your world of finances? That's interesting to give up on the vision of being all things. But you're right, I mean, you're right, like we all have. I don't know anybody who only works institution. Uh, And I know many institutions that have very mediocre offerings in a bunch of categories because I feel like they need to be there. But like, do you want to be the credit card company against m X and Chase? Like, is that is that the is that the battle you're gonna win in the place you're gonna earn customer loyalty? Where do you want to do it in different ways? That's focus is obviously can be underappreciated it And I think, and that's...

...one thing I really saw coming from banks to credit unions. I got to the credit union and I'm like, why do we offer five products? Like we know what all of those products and I'm picking on us. We don't offer that money. But I do think credit unions in general have it in their DNA that they must have everything a member could ever need. And you have to kind of get away from that and say we can't do all of the things, so what can we be really good at? I like that. That's that's a that's a great principle. Hey there, I'm David Brand, s VP of Lending Operations at Share and View Federal Credit Union. When we saw our members turn to personal loans to consolidate and pay down their debt, we knew we needed to improve our digital process. We were able to launch with Upstart in just sixty six days without any heavy lifting or hiring any additional staff. Best of all, we've been able to work with our account manager to adjust our loan volume and returns given the current economic environment. If you want to learn more about how we've been able to scale to ten million dollars a month in personal loan volume and acquire over members to expand relationships with, you can check out our case study on upstart dot com slash lenders. That's Upstar dot com slash lenders. Thanks for your time. Now back to the show. All right, There was one other question I asked that you gave an interesting answer for. It's like, if you had ten x your budget, what would you be spending it on? Other than you know, bigger salary and uh, better travel. But like, um, what would you be doing if you had obviously you don't have a tremendously large budget. Is not being one of the you know, super large financial stutions. Where would you be putting money more money if you had it to spend on a technology space. Yeah, I would definitely be spending it on the technology space. So we are at the mercy at our size of a lot of third parties, and we have wonderful third party relationships. But you when you do that, you have to if you want something change, you're at the mercy of their time for or if I need rammed. So definitely for ease of use and being able to pivot quickly. Being able to own some of those technologies I think would be a game changer for us, so that we could listen to remember feedback and have that control. I mean I take member feedback to partners and like yeah, yeah, I have seventy other clients that are giving me other feedback, you know, So having some control I think would be help us to be more successful and be able to move quickly. Now that the fall up that I'm really curious to your answer to, and this is where would you do that because obviously kind of your earlier point about focus and not trying to be everything to the member, but picking the places where you have value. I imagine the same would be true in this space, which is like, you can't build everything right. You're not gonna build a credit bureau to like, it would make no sense. There's good credit bureaus out now. I got my issues to brews be like they're out there. You know, if you said, hey, we could go build a couple of things we had, you know, a bunch more budget. What are the areas that you feel like our areas where you could add real value or would would see the most benefit from owning and building internally versus where you go,...

Hey, this is kind of side not as critical. I can live with the third party relationship a lot longer in this space than in the other. One of those areas that you would focus on for building if you had the budget to do it. Yeah, First and most data mining, if we could understand how to get into our system and pull out the data, and it really goes along right with that predictive lending. If I could build that system myself on our core and have control over it without having to requests like how do we get this data? And every I mean, companies will sell you on that, right, I can come in and data mind, and then it's like, well, once we get in, we're not sure we work with your core. You know, I want to be in control of that. So I think that first and foremost just data mining, understanding what how our members use us, and really understanding I think we all have a sense. But getting at that that helps you what's successful, right, so you can offer that to two more people and versus we might be doing something that we think is successful, but we really can't get at the that data to find out is it we just think that or is that real? Do you have like new teams or how do you think about analyzing data within the organization? I said, because sometimes I've seen centralized analytics organizations whose job is data. Sometimes there's like an analyst on each product team or in each business unit that kind of has a job of like piecing together data. Have you made any I do feel like this question of like how do I turn bits? There just saying now the data is the new oil, and I think it's actually totally backwards, which is to say oil is rare and therefore extremely valuable. Uh. And all you really have to do is get out of the ground, and then people pay a lot of money for it. And data, I feel like it's almost the opposite. It's like it's everywhere, everybody's got a lot of it, and yet turning it into something useful it's actually really hard. Uh. And there's this it's like the reverse problem of oil to me where because that's not finding data it's hard. It's like, we have lots of it, we just got to turn it into like insights and intelligence and knowledge and actionable um ideas. And I'm wondering how you're tackling that particular problem in terms of staffing or tooling or teams and how that gets distributed across the works. It feels like one of the most pression and pressing problems of the time, like how do I turn all this data in my various systems into something useful to the business. Yeah. So I'll be honest with you, Jeff, I am not a tech person, and so I always say, you know, just give me that answer. That's always you know, just this is in my head, this dream, and why can't you just provide that to me like, I don't know push a work right, So definitely I would not be in charge of that at all. But I think for me, I'm from my perspective, it's a person or department that really is part of the strategic planning of the organization and knows what what's the next two years, what's the next three years, what are the goals this year, And having a place at the table hearing all of that planning to then go back and say, Okay, we're the experts on how we're gonna extract stuff and here's what we heard, Kayla, you want that...

...is a goal for lending. We're going to extract some data help you get there. So that's really in my dream world. But I'd love to see and have versus splitting it up. I think anytime, especially in a smaller organization, a smaller bank or credit union, if you have each department responsible for their own we're all doing you know, you have fifty departments, every one of them is doing something different, We're headed in fifty different directions. So I think definitely being a part of the you know, having to see it at the table, part of those conversations. Yeah, it's it's a hard problem. Even for a data and technology company like Upstart. We struggle with sometimes the right people having access to the right data, and hey, that day is in three different systems and you can't you know, combine it all into understanding the end to end question that we might have. So it's, um, I feel like it's an area that's underinvested in by most organizations in terms of being able to take advantage of the data because it's it's not like oil having and it's not the it's not the same thing, and being able to make use of it and turn into something value. Well. Then I've got three questions I ask everybody at the end of the podcast, so I'll throw them at you now, kayla uh and looking forward to hearing your answers. The first is what's the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten? So I would say definitely being open to feedback, whether good bad, and I find a lot just in my career or being around people. I think people have hard time taking constructive feed at times. UM. I love to hear the good and the bad. And you could ask my boss, I'm constantly asking, like, no, what could I do better? I think that's really important and in the same sense, not being afraid to fail. So I want to hear bad feedback, or I do want to fail so I can say, Okay, this didn't work. What can we do differently? How can we make it better? And I think if people can embrace that, it's okay to make mistakes. It's okay if I say all the time I'm failing forward, Yeah, failing forward or learning fast. I'm curious you have any tips on I feel like so often the visceral reaction of receiving particularly critical back is to become defensive, to explain, to justify, to defend your perspective, what you did, why you did it. And even if the person is not saying hey, you screw up and saying hey, here's how I think we could be done better. Do you have your TI on how you emotionally pull yourself out of that moment in some way and don't react in that most human way of saying, hey, give me some credit here, you know, defending yourself or justifying a decision or whatever. How do you how do you do that? It's easy to say, and then I find it in the moment, it's human. No one wants you're like, oh, you didn't do a good job at that. But I think if you have a mindset that we are all human and none of us are perfect, and each of us have a perspective that if we're open to listening to each other's we could make something better together. Or you know, you might see something a different way that I don't, and so it can open up conversation. Um, you just can't. You just have to realize it's not personal, right, I mean, most of the time people are giving you feedback to me, you know, to pick you apart would be mean. It really is just like, hey, we could have done this better. Have you thought about that this way? Oh? Yeah, that's...

...great advice? All right. Second question, what's the best piece of advice you've evergotten about the consumer banking or consumer lending space in general? So I think that one is pretty easy for me. Don't view people as a number. Everybody has a story, everyone has a different background, and really understanding that do not judge people that are going through a hard time because you can help them get to a seven forty and pay less interest, or you can get them over a hurdle. And making sure that we aren't putting people in boxes and sitting down and saying, Jeff, tell me what you're going through. What do you need I need to you know, I want to help you, and understanding that full story and knowing that their story will change. You know, we all go through things. I tell my tellers all the time. Referrals aren't sales. You're just making sure they know about something. And people get married every day, they have kids, they graduate, they get divorced, they buy homes. I mean, every single one of us are going through life and things do happen. So just making sure that we aren't assuming what's going on in people's lives. Everybody has a story. I like it. Learn a little bit about this story. They are mostly more interesting than you think too. Yeah. People stories are are endlessly fascinating to me when you actually dig a layer a layer down. All right, last question, what's one bold prediction for the future. So I wish I had a crystal ball so I could tell you exactly. Um, but I do think you know, this year, obviously we've seen rates go up, um drastically. Um. There you know upcoming recession. Maybe in the next year or so, rates are obviously going to go back down. If that happens. Um. I think what I've learned this year is that consumers are going to continue to spend and they still have needs for purchases. And you see that with auto loans for example. You know the price of autos have gone up, and I'm still doing just as many auto loans right People are figuring out how to pay more for things. So making sure that we don't just say, well, people aren't gonna be able forward things or is going to be slow, I think there's way is to help people still get things done. Um, So I think consumers will continue to spend through this interesting. It is certainly uh predictions about the macro economic environment are probably extra fraud right now because I don't think anybody's seen some of the combinations of things we're seeing in terms of where the labor markets at, where the savings rates at, what's happening to rates, what's happening to credit performance and spending. It's like things seen the sideways and upside down. So that's a really interesting prediction consumer spending will maintain over the next period of time despite different headwinds we may face in the economy. Like well, Kay, I appreciate you making the time and day and sharing your thoughts with the audience. This was a fascinating conversation. I'm sure everybody will enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you, Jeff, thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it. Up Start partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan portfolios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that the bank does too. Upstarts AI lending...

...platform uses sophisticated machine learning models to more accurately identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models. With fraud rates near zero, upstarts all digital experience reduces manual processing for banks and offers a simple and convenient experience for consumers. Whether you're looking to grow and enhance your existing personal and auto learning programs or you're just getting started, Upstart can help. Upstart offers an end to end solution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile. With all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing, and servicing, It's all possible with Upstart in your corner. Learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting upstart dot com Slash four dash Banks. That's upstart dot com Slash four dash Banks. You've been listening to Leaders and Lending from Upstart. Make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe to Leaders and Lending in your favorite podcast player using Apple Podcasts. Leave us a quick rating by tapping the number of stars you think the show deserves. Thanks for listening until next time,.

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