When personal loans help borrowers more than credit cards

Anderson Brothers Bank (Mullins, South Carolina) is offering personal loans to people in need, including those who have less than stellar credit scores.

Anderson Brothers Bank (Mullins, South Carolina) is offering personal loans to people in need, including those who have less than stellar credit scores.   

Susan Grant, Vice President of Marketing, explains that the bank’s personal loans can help many people, especially if they only need to borrow a small amount of money. 

The new personal loan is proving to be quite popular, says Grant. In fact, the bank recently wrote a short story explaining how its loan helped a customer, and then posted it on its Website.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the story: 

“After seeing the Anderson Brothers Bank (ABB) commercial on TV several times stating the Bank could make the loan process easy even for those with less-than-perfect credit, our new customer decided to visit our Market Common office to see what all the hype was about.  

Owen Willis, ABB Loan Officer, met with him to discuss his various loans and how they may be consolidated.  To Owen’s astonishment, the Annual Percentage Rates (APR) were very high and he quickly realized Anderson Brothers Bank could consolidate these loans at a much lower rate, resulting in a significantly lower monthly payment – a savings of nearly $500 per month!” 

Grant says that some customers were actually paying 200 to 400 percent on personal loans through a payday lender because of their credit. 

“People need money to cover car repairs or for a new refrigerator. But unfortunately, when you have less than stellar credit, you are either paying an exorbitant rate, or the bank will try to give you a credit card.

“The problem with a credit card is the bank will give you a $15,000 line and some customers don’t want to be tempted when all they need is $1,000.”

The personal loans offered by Anderson Brothers Bank are designed to accommodate those with credit scores as low as 550 to 660, but the product is also attractive to those with high scores. 

Before the bank started promoting the loan, Grant did a test run in the branches. “We didn’t start with heavy promotion when we rolled it out.  

“Instead we did a buck slip promoting our personal loan. We handed them out in our drive-up and people were shocked. We had several customers come into the bank and say they didn’t know we had loans like this!

“Plus, many customers told us they’d tried so many banks and got turned down so they didn’t even try. But now that they saw what we’re offering, they were encouraged.” 

Because of the positive early response, the bank launched a complete marketing program just three months ago that included billboard, digital, TV, print, social media, and postcards. 

Customers can apply online, but typically talk with a loan officer, says Grant. “We look at factors beyond the customer’s numbers. And even if we deny the loan, we don’t leave it at that. 

“Instead, the loan officer will go through the application with the customer and provide a path to eventually being granted the loan.” 

The bank is already seeing a nice lift in loans, thanks to this product, she says. “I know that loans have picked up greatly from the response were getting from our loan officers.”  

Source: Susan Grant, Vice President/Marketing Director, Anderson Brothers Bank, phone (843)464-3551; e-mail susang@abbank.com.

Image courtesy of Anderson Brothers Bank
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