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Excellence in Lending Awards

The purpose of the Excellence in Lending Awards is to identify, recognize and share examples of lending excellence within the credit union movement. The award recognizes credit unions for their ability to serve their members while sustaining sound financial performance. Credit unions demonstrating an ability to reach their members’ needs by innovative means are excellent candidates for this award.


The CUNA Lending Council is comprised of professionals who work at small and large credit unions with a variety of roles and responsibilities. In recognition of this diversity, the Excellence in Lending Awards will focus on “best practices” in three distinct areas of the lending discipline. Credit unions who meet award criteria are eligible for one of six Excellence in Lending Awards in the following:

Three categories:

  • Business Lending
  • Consumer Lending
  • Mortgage Lending

Two asset groups:

  • Assets less than $500 million
  • Assets $500 million or greater


  • All CUNA affiliated credit unions in the United States are eligible.
  • Project must have occurred prior to the entry deadline of the current calendar year and have at least substantially, if not completely, occurred within the last 12 months and not in years prior to that 12-month period.
  • Entrant may submit multiple entries. Each entry for consideration must be submitted separately.
  • Entry must be received no later than September 16 of the current calendar year

Selection Process

A panel of Lending Council Executive Committee members and industry professionals will select the Excellence in Lending Award winners in the three categories and two asset groups above. Selection will be based on candidates’ strategy, program/process, and performance.

Winner Recognition

Award winners will be recognized at the CUNA Lending Council Conference. Each winning credit union will receive airfare, hotel, and conference registration for one representative PLUS a $1,000 cash donation from the CUNA Lending Council to a non-affiliated non-profit organization of their choice.

Winning entries will be featured in a press release and in CUNA News in addition to being showcased on the CUNA Lending Council site.

How to Enter / List of Examples

Complete the online entry form that includes the following. Limit your entry to no more than 2-3 pages including supporting documents.

  • An Executive Summary that explains at a high level the challenge or opportunity your credit union faced, what you hoped to achieve, what alternatives were considered, how a decision was made and an overall assessment of the success of the initiative.
  • Supporting documents (optional) – should help demonstrate the value or benefits described in your Executive Summary so that the submission can be thoroughly reviewed and understood. Supporting documents can include photographs, presentations, charts, and videos.

Examples that could merit an award:

  • New lending product – good for environment product, introduction of a new product line (Classic Cars or RVs), different twist on a first-time homebuyer mortgage product
  • Process improvement in a lending area – decreased loan application processing time, increased application pull-through
  • Innovation effort – updated automatic approval, use of artificial intelligence, digital signatures
  • Sales/Promotional campaign of a lending product or service
  • Member Service/Experience improvement related to lending – improved online application process, automatic status updates, automatic pre-approvals, automatic credit line increases

The entry form must be completed and submitted online. The steps below outline exactly how to enter.

  1. Register an Account
  2. Create Your Entry
  3. Upload Digital Files
  4. Submit Entry no later than September 16, 2022

Entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm CST on September 16, 2022.

Entrants will be notified of the status of their entry by September 26, 2022.


If you have questions about the entry procedures, please contact CUNA Council Administration at 1-800-356-9655, ext. 4018 or