Loan Decisions Taken by People, not Robots

At London Mutual, lending decisions are made by real people, not an automated process.

At London Mutual, we’re big fans of using technology to make our members’ lives easier. Whether it’s a tracking tool to give members real-time updates, rolling out ‘soft’ credit searches, or adopting Open Banking, we’re no strangers to doing things differently.

But ever missed your bus due to an ‘unexpected item in bagging area’? In that case, you’ll know that sometimes, there’s no substitute for dealing with a real person.

Increasingly, larger lenders are taking loan decisions automatically, relying on third-party credit information and opaque scoring systems. That’s great if you’re fortunate enough to have a pristine credit history and have lived at the same address for many years. But for many people, life is more complicated than that.

Unfortunately, fully automated loan decisions can mean that unless you jump through all the hoops it will be a case of ‘computer says no’. Sometimes, it won’t even be clear what those hoops are. That could mean that you are offered a loan that isn’t suitable for your needs that you could struggle to repay, or, it could see you turned down altogether on a technicality.

Credit Unions Do Things Differently

At London Mutual Credit Union, we believe that at the end of the day, lending is about people, and that each one of us is unique. When we receive your online application, it will be considered carefully by an experienced member of our Loans Team. They’ll look at your financial situation in the round, including pay slips and bank statements. We’ll use these to build up a complete picture of your finances and borrowing history. It also ensures we spot any issues that could be a problem such as high levels of gambling.

Then, and only then, they’ll come to a common-sense decision about whether it’s right—for both us and you— to go ahead with your loan.

It can sometimes take a bit longer and feel a little more involved. But we think it’s fairer, because it gives everyone, no matter their financial background, the best chance of a positive outcome. It’s just one of the ways, as a credit union, we aim to do things differently.

Ben West

As Head of Business Development, Ben is responsible for promoting our membership and services, improving customer experience, and developing our links with employers and community organisations

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