CAMEO’s MMS program is in it’s fourth full year. Since the inception of the program, the number of loans has increased by 166% and the loan volume by 174% (see above graph). In 2016, lending grew by 38% across the entire cohort. MMS users made 186 loans in 2016, for a total loan volume of $3.6 million. The average loan size was $19,512.
Half of the participating organizations grew their lending activity:
- MEDA increased number of loans by 866%,
- Opening Doord increased number of loans by 121%, and
- Fresno CDFI increased number of loans by 28%!
MEDA expanded from 3 loans in 2015 to 29 in 2016. MEDA has one full-time loan officer on staff, and is looking to add another one in 2017 to continue their growth.
However, growth was uneven as some cohort members dealt with staff turnover and reorganization. CDC Small Business Finance exited the cohort, as part of an organization reorientation towards larger dollar small business loans, and Women’s Economic Ventures made 15 loans, down from 26 the year before, as several key staff members departed the agency. WEV is restaffing, however, and hopes to bounce back this year.
EDFC remained constant, with 6 loans in both 2015 and 2016, and will exit the program in 2017. EDFC has been a valuable cohort member; we have learned a lot about the organizational structure that can benefit most from the program. MMS makes the most sense for organizations that fund a minimum of 10 loans per year, and whose mission-driven loans make up no more than half of their portfolio. Users with lower activity, or a portfolio driven more by mission than by underwriting, will gain less from MMS’s automation and underwriting protocols.
Processing time has improved, with the cohort taking a median 35 days to completely process an application. The biggest improvements came during the document collection and decision-making periods, with cohort members shaving as much as 9 days off their document collection, and a further 0 to 3 days off their decision making. Auto-review and underwriting were consistent from previous years, with users taking between 2 to 4 days to run an auto-review, and underwriting returning a recommendation within 3 to 5 days. The biggest delays, as reported by our users, remains collecting missing documents from borrowers, whether in the initial packaging stage or in the closing process.
LiftFund rolled out a new version of MMS in September 2016 in order to streamline the process for both the borrower and the lender. MMS now includes an online document collection portal, which allows the borrower to post their documents directly into the system without sending them to the loan officer first. The portal generates a unique list for each applicant, and can be adjusted by the loan officer or underwriter to add or remove documents as needed. Since the portal was introduced, the cohort decreased the number of days it took to collect documents from an average of 22 days 18 days.
The new version also puts vital information right at the top of the application, so users can quickly review an application’s status without having to dig through multiple screens and subfields. This reduces back and forth between loan officers and underwriters due to missing or incomplete information; both parties can now check the application for minimum completeness as soon as they open the record.
For 2017, the cohort plans to expand. Each member set organizational goals at or above CAMEO’s baseline of 33% growth year-over-year. Some users have grown enough that they are considering graduating from the cohort into their own MMS licenses, as Working Solutions did in 2015.