Case Study: CoVantage Credit Union – Compliance Audit

The Challenge

With 19 locations spread across Northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan, CoVantage Credit Union focuses on providing outstanding value and exceptional service to all of its members. This sometimes includes providing loans that, on paper, might appear risky to a third party audit company with limited credit union banking experience.

That’s why, when searching for a new loan reviewer, CoVantage leaders prioritized real-world lending experience over the size of the firm. For its most recent audit, CoVantage chose Enlighten Financial. With decades of combined experience working in both community and regional banking, the team at Enlighten understands lending.

Enlighten Financial Solution

As for all its clients, Enlighten Financial’s loan review process includes:

  • Ensuring that risk ratings are properly identified and assigned;
  • Testing credit underwriting to confirm risk is mitigated;
  • Reviewing loan policy;
  • Identifying unknown issues for management to address.

The team’s recommendations were all “high level,” according to CoVantage Credit Union Vice President Rhonda Norrbom. She appreciated the team’s thorough review and its willingness to provide both detailed process changes and broader insights into best practices.

That doesn’t mean she accepted them all, of course.

“It’s easy to make a judgement on a piece of paper, but it’s another thing to actually see the quality of character of the borrower,” she said. “Sometimes we just do things because that’s what you do in a community of our size.” The team at Enlighten understood those decisions, she added, thanks to their industry expertise.

The Results

Given the timing of their review — late 2020, in the middle of the Covd-19 pandemic — Rhonda said she was particularly impressed with Enlighten’s team. She’s already recommended them to a credit union colleague, and will include Enlighten in their RFPs going forward.

“They were very professional in their communication and how they accommodated us,” she said. “They were great.”

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