FINDLAY, Ohio (7/15/11)--As is the case with most credit unions, Hancock FCU, based in Findlay, Ohio, is facing the challenge of decreased loan demand. So it looked for ways to build its loan portfolio and centered on refinancings. To help offset costs related to the difficult financial environment, the credit union’s loan officers began asking members about their existing loans at other financial institutions, and suggesting how they could save money by receiving a lower interest rate or shorter-term loan at Hancock FCU (e-Lumination Newsletter July 13). The credit union’s lending officers developed an “apples-to-apples” illustration that showed members how much they could save over the life of the loan--and members took advantage. The lending team kept track of the amount they saved members with branch office savings “thermometers.” The thermometers stimulated additional interest from members, and, through the end of June, the credit union had increased its loan portfolio by more than 5% from June 2010. To date, the $58.8 million asset Hancock FCU said it has saved its members more than $40,000.