AUSTIN, Texas, May 9, 2023 – FirstClose, Inc., a leading fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for mortgage and home equity lenders nationwide, announced today that America First Credit Union selected its FirstClose Equity™ solution to provide members access to a digital end-to-end home equity product that delivers a best-in-class experience and dramatically cuts down loan application approval times.
Industry analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages have seen their equity increase by a total of $1 trillion since the fourth quarter of 2021, a gain of 7.3% year over year. While home equity lending is experiencing rapid growth, it continues to be a friction-filled process driving demand for a solution.
America First is a Utah-based credit union with 120 branches across Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico, serving more than 1.3 million members, making it the 5th largest credit union in the country in terms of membership. Using FirstClose Equity, America First will be able to reduce the time to close from initial inquiry to as little as one week, versus the industry average of 45 to 60 days.
“Our focus is always on our members, and our partnership with FirstClose supports our goal of delivering the best member and processor experience possible,” said Austin Coleman, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending at America First Credit Union.
FirstClose Equity makes home equity a low-friction lending experience that consumers have come to expect. Consumers have one experience via a private labeled POS and borrower portal. The application process itself is extremely streamlined. With the member’s consent, FirstClose Equity collects and verifies asset and employment information. Even the few pieces of information that the member is required to provide can be uploaded through the platform. The decisioning engine delivers a firm decision on CLTV and pricing in approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
“Because we absorb many of the fees for our members, efficiency at every stage of the origination process takes on greater importance, and automation on both sides of the transaction is key,” said Coleman. “Through our integration with FirstClose, loan officers, underwriters, and processors never have to leave their LOS, which greatly increases our efficiency with home equity lending.”
Founded in 2000, FirstClose offers lenders a user-friendly home equity technology solution to lend more efficiently, faster, and at scale. “We are thrilled to be trusted with such an important role of helping fulfill America First Credit Union’s mission to provide their members with a simple and streamlined home equity experience,” said Tedd Smith, Chief Executive Officer of FirstClose. “We are the category leader and are committed to advancing our technology so our customers, like America First, can focus on what matters most – their member’s experience and improving their bottom line.”
About America First Credit Union
Founded in 1939, and with a long-standing history of exceptional member service, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable, and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 120 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $17 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1.3 million members. For more information, visit americafirst.com.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, FirstClose, Inc. provides fintech solutions to HELOC and mortgage lenders nationwide. The company’s mission is to increase profitability and reduce cost for mortgage lenders. FirstClose makes this possible through offering systems and relationships that enable lenders to assist the lender’s borrowers more effectively, reduce closing costs, and ultimately shorten closing times. For more information, visit firstclose.com.