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CU Student Lending unveils new loan programs

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NEPTUNE, N.J. (7/11/12)--CU Student Lending LLC has launched its 2012 private student loan and private student loan consolidation programs--the cuScholar Private Student Loan and the cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation.

A credit union service organization, CU Student Lending is a network of credit unions offering private student-lending options to students and families nationwide. 

The program is powered by Fynanz lending technology and includes loan participations to enhance and mitigate risk. Fynanz is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

cuScholar Private Student Loan and the cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation are replacing the EdAccess Private Student Loan and EdSucceed Private Student Loan Consolidation within the cuStudentLoans program.

The cuScholar Private Student Loan offers the same benefits as its predecessor, which includes low rates and borrower benefits from credit unions, and is used to help students and their families bridge the funding gap in higher-education financing.

"Students today face challenges in higher costs and less aid when financing their higher education," said Alice Stevens, CU Student Lending LLC chairman. "Credit unions are happy to answer the call and help these students reach their educational goals responsibly, both during school and after graduation, through the cuScholar Private Student Loan and cuGrad Private Student Loan Consolidation."

The cuStudentLoans program, which currently serves more than 150 participating credit unions, uses common underwriting and pricing in all of its loan products.

CUNA council paper addresses performance evaluation

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MADISON, Wis. (7/11/12)--Credit unions must invest in training for both managers and employees to get the most from the performance evaluation, according to a new CUNA Human Resources, Training & Development Council white paper.

Managers need to be taught how to use the evaluation as a tool to encourage honest, open dialogue and how to provide effective coaching, according to the paper, "Performance Evaluations in the CU Industry: Updating a Tired Task to Drive Change & Goal Achievement."   Employees need to be educated on the value of the assessments so they can properly engage in the process.

Management training plays an important role in ensuring that the evaluations provide feedback that is most beneficial to the employee. It can also help teach managers how to engage employees in a constructive dialogue about the positive and negative aspects of the evaluations.

At The Partnership FCU, Arlington, Va., managers take part in human resources quarterly management meetings to discuss as a group the performance review process and how to write a performance review. Managers also have a toolkit with documents to reference and a handheld guide on how to write successful evaluations. Before meeting face to face with employees, managers meet with human resources to discuss evaluations. A human resource representative explains what belongs in the review and what doesn't, and the types of examples needed to support statements in each objective.

Employees also must be engaged in the process for performance evaluations to be most effective and evoke change, said the paper.

Barksdale FCU, Bossier City, La., has embedded much of its evaluation process into the culture by introducing it early on to new employees. "The employees definitely know what is expected of them," said Rose Suire, vice president of human resources. "It's job specific, based on the performance plan an employee is given in the first week of employment."

Once the evaluations are approved by human resources, the manager and the employee sit down to discuss the results and set new personal and department goals. "We can see that the conversations are happening because the comments are inputted into the evaluations," Suire said.

"We encourage them to have two to three conversations throughout the year."

To download the white paper, use the link.