Priority One Financial Services Inc., a division of Forest River Inc., announced that Northcoast RV was the grand prize winner of the Forest River credit card “Hook ‘Em Up” contest for its dealer partners.
According to a press release, Northcoast RV won a 70-inch LED Sharp TV. The credit card program, available to Forest River dealers, helps with sales of towable products, trailers, non-motorized RVs, boat engines, parts, accessories, service, repair bills and winterization. Other winners received $100 Best Buy gift cards and Apple 27-inch computers. Over $10,000 in prizes were awarded during the three-month contest.
The “Hook ‘Em Up” contest rewarded dealers that signed up consumers with the card from July 1 through Sept. 30. For every completed Forest River credit card customer application a dealer submitted, the dealer received one entry into a weekly drawing for a $100 Best Buy gift card. Drawings were also held at month-end and at the end of the contest.
“Dealers have told us they are blown away to receive a prize for using something that is already helping increase sales so much,” said Greg Hauenstein, Forest River credit card program representative. To enroll contact Hauenstein at (800) 419-1041 or go to www.forestrivercard.com for additional information.
Priority One Financial Services, Inc., a division of Forest River Inc., has expanded its credit card program for RV and cargo trailer dealers to the marine industry. According to a press release, the Forest River Credit Card can be used on boat engines, parts, accessories, service repair bills and winterization.
Consumers can now enroll for the credit card to receive multiple financing options on marine products and services along with exclusive offers while also experiencing quick and easy approval processing, low monthly payments and no annual fees.
As with RV and trailer dealers, participating marine dealers will receive individual training that will help to maximize program benefits, an EZ transaction guide with step-by-step instructions for processing applications, sales through the online system and marketing assistance.
“The Forest River Credit Card program really took off for towable products, so it’s natural to move into assisting Forest River marine dealers as well,” said Jared Zimlin, Priority One Business Development Director.
For additional information go to www.ForestRiverCard.com.
Priority One Financial Services Inc. and its parent company, Forest River Inc., have partnered with TD Retail Card Services (TDRCS) to hold a third-quarter contest for dealers offering the Forest River Credit Card to consumers.
According to a press release, consumers may use the card to purchase a cross section of Forest River products such as utility/cargo trailers, towable RVs, parts, accessories and service repair bills.
The “Hook ‘Em Up” Forest River Credit Card contest rewards dealers that sign up consumers with the card from July 1 through Sept. 30. For every completed Forest River credit card customer application submitted, a dealer will receive one entry into a weekly drawing for a $100 Best Buy gift card. Drawings will also be held on the first business day of August, September and October for monthly prizes and at the end of the contest there will be a grand prize drawing for a 70-inch Sharp TV.
“The contest was developed to increase consumer use of the card, thereby driving more sales into our participating dealers’ hands,” said Greg Hauenstein, Forest River Credit Card program representative.
To enroll in the program contact Hauenstein at (800) 419-1041 or visit www.forestrivercard.com.
Heather Mariscal, president of Priority One Financial Services, was recently honored as one of Business Leader’s 2011 Women Extraordinaire Award winners at an award luncheon held at Florida’s Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club.
According to a press release, Business Leader Media annually honors the top women business leaders of the South. Mariscal, along with 23 other honorees, was chosen out of 1,700 nominations and selected based on her outstanding professional achievements as well as her passionate efforts to make a difference in the Tampa Bay business community and organizations.
Mariscal has been with Priority One, a recreational industry F&I outsourcing provider and subsidiary of Forest River Inc., for eight years and was promoted from vice president of operations to president in 2009. She led the company through the economic/lending crisis of 2009 not only surviving the downturn but emerging with a stronger company.
Mariscal has also been involved in several community activities, such as Walk Now for Autism, and annually Priority One celebrates “P1 gives thanks” throughout the month of November. Employees are given time off to volunteer at charities to give thanks back to the local community.
“Respecting and encouraging the differences of each individual on your team helps maximize their potential,” Mariscal said. “By empowering those around you to be creative and communicate ideas, you will continually evolve. Transparency, whenever possible, is paramount as it fosters an environment of open discussion creating a team aligned around a clear, common goal.”
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Priority One Financial Services Inc., a leading F&I outsourcing provider to the RV industry, will commemorate its 25th anniversary in business by honoring its dealer partners.
According to a press release, Priority One will be holding a contest throughout the year. The dealer that sends the 25th funded deal every month will receive a prize. Prizes range from an Apple iPad II to a Keurig Commercial Coffee Brewer to a 32-inch LCD TV.
“As we strive to excel in our industry, we greatly appreciate the trust and confidence our dealers extend to us, and we wanted to show them how much we value their partnership and encourage them to celebrate with us all year long,” said Heather Mariscal, president of Priority One.
In 1987, entrepreneur Lisa Gladstone founded Priority One by creating a concept that provides finance and insurance (F&I) services for marine dealers to retail finance their customers. In 2007, Priority One was acquired by Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, and added other recreational dealers to their network. Through the years, Priority One has grown from one to 50 employees and provides F&I managed services for hundreds of recreational dealers nationwide.
Priority One Financial Services Inc., an F&I outsourcing provider for the recreational vehicle industry, is offering its dealer partners free online access to NADA’s used value guide.
According to a press release, the guide offers a “comprehensive spectrum of benchmark pricing data” that consumers and professionals from various industries use to help buy, sell, trade or shop for vehicles including RVs, trailers, boats, motorcycles and more.
“Most of our dealers are currently paying to access NADA’s online vehicle pricing guide or paying for the quarterly books to perform their book-outs, so we wanted to take that cost burden away from our valued dealers,” said Lorraine Mariotti, vice president of lending for St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Priority One, a division of Forest River Inc.
By providing this tool for their dealers, Priority One dealers will be able to determine values on units at any time through a link to nada.com on Priority One’s exclusive dealer resource center.
Priority One Financial Services has added new employees in several of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company’s departments.
According to a press release, Stephen Jolles and Jason Edwards have joined as business managers, Eli Salhaney has been added to the dealer account executive team and Tyler Swinehart is the new junior network administrator. Priority One is the recreational industry’s oldest and largest F&I outsourcing provider.
• Jolles brings prior experience as a mortgage banker and a recreational loan officer where he developed an understanding of lender guidelines. A Maryland native, he graduated from the University of Tampa, Fla., with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
• Edwards offers years of experience as a senior loan officer responsible for loan applications, loan submissions and bank approvals. He has also worked in sales within the consumer finance industry.
• Salhaney has a strong background in mortgage financing, insurance sales and general management. Eli has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 2004 but was born and raised in Michigan where he graduated from Western Michigan University.
• A native of the Tampa Bay area, Priority One’s junior network administrator, Swinehart, will be responsible for network operations, hardware and software maintenance and user support.
Priority One Financial Services announced that Rob Auer has moved to a new position within Priority One, assuming the position of specialty finance business manager.
In his new role, Auer will help dealers move additional units by securing recreational loans for credit-challenged consumers. He assumed his new role on April 1, according to a news release.
In 2008 Auer joined the sales department at Priority One bringing with him over 10 years experience in the finance industry. Previously at Priority One he was a dealer account executive, responsible for bringing new dealer partners aboard.
“Rob has tackled every challenge we’ve put in front of him with an amazing attitude and energy,” said Heather Mariscal, Priority One president. “He has been a huge help to Priority One over the last year or so juggling projects outside of his normal day-to-day duties, and I know he will do amazing in this new role.”
Priority One has been serving the marine and RV industry since 1987. Acquired in 2007 by Forest River Inc. a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company, Priority One serves as the F&I managed services provider for hundreds of dealers nationwide. For more information, visit www.P1FS.com.
Editor’s Note: The following advice column was written by Lorraine Mariotti, vice president of lending for Priority One Financial Services. Priority One has been serving the marine and RV industry since 1987. Acquired in 2007 by Forest River Inc. a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company, Priority One serves as the F&I managed services provider for hundreds of dealers nationwide. For more information, visit www.P1FS.com.
Co-buyers aren’t the solution for every credit-challenged customer you see, but savvy F&I managers know when a co-buyer will help secure a recreational loan approval and when they won’t. Of course, a lot of this depends on your lenders’ guidelines as well as the amount financed, but knowing when to seek a co-buyer and when not to can help save you and your customer precious time when working on an approval.
It is a misconception that co-buyer and co-signer mean the same thing. They do not. Most lenders use these terms differently, so be sure to understand your lender’s definition. Typically, lenders define a “co-buyer” as a person who has equal ownership (deposit, monthly payments, tax and insurance) of the unit and equal liability (subject to collection on payment defaults). The definition of a “co-signer” is someone who signs the loan with the primary buyer and is obligated to make the payment if the primary buyer does not. A co-signer usually has no ownership in the unit.
Qualified co-signers are used extensively in the automobile business; however, co-signers are typically non-existent when it comes to recreational lending. Why? Unfortunately, lenders have stricter underwriting guidelines for boats and RVs and lenders believe that in most cases if a person doesn’t qualify for the loan on their own, a co-signer won’t help that person qualify either. For the purposes of this article, the term “co-buyer” will be used, indicating a borrower who will have equal ownership in the unit.
A co-buyer is an important tool in an F&I manager’s toolbox and can help secure a recreational loan approval in the following ways: When the total annual income of one buyer is not enough to meet the requirements of the loan. If there is a high debt-to-income ratio, using an employed spouse as a co-buyer can effectively speed up the approval process. When trying to improve guidelines for revolving debt. When trying to qualify the original applicant for a better credit score. When the original applicant has a good credit history, but could be somewhat light in the area of comparable installment history.
Co-buyers can be a husband and wife, a parent and child, significant other, siblings, or close friends, but typically recreational lenders look for a co-buyer to be living at the same address as the buyer and have a vested interest in the purchase. It is important for the co-buyer to understand that he or she is making a large, long term commitment when agreeing to become a co-buyer and not just to help the original applicant become approved for the loan. A co-buyer is just as responsible for the loan as the original buyer.
They are considered a joint owner of the purchase, so the co-buyer is equally responsible for the repayment of the loan. The loan will appear on the co-buyer’s credit bureau as an obligation, and it will figure into the co-buyer’s individual debts. If the buyer makes a late payment, or if the unit is ultimately repossessed, this will also reflect on the co-buyer’s credit bureau. Both the buyer and co-buyer are named on the loan contract and on the title.
A co-buyer typically cannot help secure recreational loan approvals when:
- The buyer has derogatory credit. Lenders qualify each applicant’s credit individually. If one applicant does not qualify, the entire application is declined. Lenders view co-buyers as adding strength but not solely supporting a loan.
- A spouse who has no additional income sources. Actually, this particular buyer can even hurt the loan approval process.
- Additional debt is brought to the equation, which is not entirely offset by their added income.
A good F&I manager will add the co-buyer’s information (if helpful) when they first submit the application to their lenders to save time and to maintain acceptable funding ratios with their lenders. Additionally, an F&I manager should set proper expectations with their customers as to how a co-buyer can or can’t help secure a recreational loan approval right from the beginning and not wait until the loan has been declined to bring the subject up. When to add a co-buyer and setting the proper customer expectations is critical in today’s sales and lending environment and gives your dealership the best chance at securing an approval and delivering a unit to the customer.
Priority One Financial Services, the recreational industry’s oldest and largest F&I outsourcing provider, has added Ruben Sierra Jr. as a business manager in its new specialty finance department.
The new department was formed to help dealers move additional units by securing recreational loans for a higher percentage of credit-challenged consumers, according to a news release. Sierra’s 30 years in the automotive industry as a sales, finance and closing manager makes him a perfect fit at Priority One and for this department, the release stated. In addition to his work experience, he is Association of Finance & Insurance Professional certified and has JM&A training, which is one of the largest providers of F&I products in the automotive industry.
“We really lucked out with Ruben,” commented Rina Aponte, operations manager. “He is experienced, knowledgeable, customer service oriented and can even speak Spanish fluently, which will be helpful for certain dealerships we work with.”
A native of Tampa, Fla., Sierra has been married for 43 years to his high school sweetheart, has two children and five grandchildren. When he is not working, he enjoys the Florida lifestyle of boating and fishing.
Priority One has been serving the marine and RV industry since 1987. Acquired in 2007 by Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company, Priority One serves as the F&I managed services provider for hundreds of dealers nationwide. For more information, visit www.P1FS.com.