Household Database: Overview


The Household Database is a marketing and loan processing tool designed to provide comprehensive information about both members and non-members. The information gathered in these screens can be used when processing loan applications, as well as for various marketing activities.

  • A household is typically defined as any group of people who reside within the same house, whether or not they are related. However, your credit union can use households to link any group of members that you consider a “unit” for sales and marketing purposes. The household database can keep track of both credit union members and non-members, even if they do not actually live in the same house (such as a child away at college). Each household is assigned a sequential number for identification purposes.

The database consists of a series of screens which contain employment information, references, asset and debt information, and a financial summary. Here are some highlights of what the Household Database offers:

  • A way to “connect” various credit union members who live in the same household, keeping you better informed about just who your credit union members are, and enabling marketing materials to be targeted to specific households.

  • Financial information such as employment, income, assets and debts to make processing loan applications fast and easy.

  • A way to record your members dealings with other financial institutions, to help you offer more competitive services to your members.

  • Ninety-nine household records can be recorded in one household

Once individual financial and personal data has been entered, the CU*BASE Report Builder (Query) can be used to gather statistics and target promotions to households and individuals with similar interests or buying habits.

How Loan Applications Work with the Household Database

The most common way in which data is updated in the Household Database is through the Loan Application processing system. Whenever an application is generated, all of the income, employment, reference, asset and debt information from the application screens that are currently in the Household Database are pulled into the application. As you work through the application, any changes made are saved both to the application as well as to the household database for that individual.

This technique keeps the household database up-to-date for use in future loan applications as well as for use by other credit union staff, such as your marketing team or collections officers.

However, once the loan application has been initially created, data is never pulled from the household database into the application again. In essence, the application is a “snapshot in time” of the state of the household database at the time the application was created. Data then flows back to the household database from the app, but never comes from the household database back to the app again unless the app is cleared and re-created. This is because an application is designed to represent the member’s situation as of the time he or she applied for the loan.

Most of the time, an outstanding application and the household database record for a member will both be the same. Here are some situations where they might not remain in synch:

  • If the member has two pending loan requests at the same time. When an application is created for each of these requests, a new “snapshot” is taken from the household database at that time. After that, both apps will be feeding information back to the household, but no data comes from the household back into the app. This means that changes made on one app WILL NOT affect the other app automatically. To get both apps in synch again, simply clear one of them and recreate it.

  • If changes are made to the household database from outside the lending system. Since the household database can be accessed via separate tools and shortcuts from outside the lending software, it is possible for someone else in the credit union to modify something in the household database while an outstanding application is being worked. Remember that once the app has been generated, it no longer pulls any data from the household database. To get both back in synch, simply clear the app and recreate it.

Related Topics

Electronic Lending: A Database for the Future

Household Database Maintenance