How can we help? Call us at 360-455-1569 or email

What to tell CLOs about needed guideline changes…

I’ll be presenting to Chief Lending Officers from Credit Unions around the country at the CUNA Lending Council 2009 Conference. Sure, it is likely the attendance will be down as it is for many business meetings these days. But the CLOs who will be there will be from the Credit Unions who are doing well, relatively speaking.

I am going to make four recommendations for guideline changes to allow us to say ‘YES’ to good loans even as the ’08 and ’09 tax returns show the worst historical years of the recession.

Was 2009 a good year?

If your business borrower (or business owner on a personal loan) had great success during the recession, no problem. But if they suffered as did many businesses and things are looking up in 2010, our usual review of historical data from tax returns may not give us the needed information to make a good decision.

In a previous post I made the case for why your business borrowers and business owners are likely to file their 2009 returns early. I think we’ll have to cope with that historical data sooner rather than later.

My session at the Lending Council Conference

Helping your Self-Employed Members in Rough Waters: How to Say “Yes”
Linda Keith, CPA, Loan Quality Consultant/Trainer, Linda Keith, CPA, Inc.

the best of times, consumer and mortgage lenders can find it difficult
to qualify self-employed members. Now it is tougher. You’ll take back
three tools to help your lenders say ‘yes’ to self-employed members:

  • Adjustments to get from Taxable Income to Recurring Cashflow
  • Where and how to dig deeper when the first result is a ‘no’
  • When a red flag is not red after all

> See Linda talk about this session here

Join the conversation

If you were me, what would you recommend to Chief Lending Officers of credit unions and of banks on how to make good loan decisions when the recent historical information is so different than your best guess as to their near-term prospects?

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.