LMCU. Where members are neighbors and down payments are low

Income & Employment Verification



LMCU lowers mortgage verification costs, accelerates close times, and enhances its member experience using Argyle’s VOIE

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) has been helping members optimize their finances for over 90 years. It offers a wide range of services—from high-yield checking and savings accounts to custom insurance and retirement plans to hassle-free mortgages and auto loans—designed to return maximum rewards for minimal investment. Thanks to its trusted history and member-first business model, LMCU has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in the United States as well as Michigan’s leading mortgage provider.

To continue offering the most competitive products to its members, LMCU was looking for a way to address rising loan verification costs, particularly those resulting from manual processes and high third-party fees. It found an answer in Argyle, along with faster turnaround times and a better member experience.


To close a loan, LMCU needs to at least verify that a borrower is employed, if not run a complete verification of employment (VOE) report with work history and income details. This used to involve collecting documents like paystubs and W-2s and manually processing the data, which (between contacting employers, requesting and filling out forms, and dealing with errors) could take days or weeks. In some cases, employers would only submit records via a third-party service like The Work Number (TWN), requiring LMCU to set up an account and incur extra expenses to purchase a report.

“It was a huge hassle,” says John Harpst, LMCU’s vice president of mortgage strategy. “It took a lot of time, and our loan teams had to spend hours playing find-the-number instead of focusing on our borrowers’ experiences and the opportunities in our markets.”

All in all, this meant LMCU faced variable, unpredictable time and cost barriers just to get the data it needed to serve its members. LMCU needed a solution that provided timely verifications at a reasonable cost.


LMCU began investigating alternative solutions that would allow it to connect to a borrower’s payroll account and pull income and employment data in real time. At first, it turned to one of Argyle’s competitors, but this vendor didn’t fully understand how to apply its own technology in the mortgage process. Then, LMCU discovered Argyle.

Argyle’s platform is mortgage-ready, and Argyle’s team is equipped to guide the rollout across different functions, from loan processors to originators to other lines of business. Now, LMCU’s loan officers can deploy Argyle at the outset of an origination and get real-time answers about a borrower’s income and employment, then use that same, ongoing connection to run a pre-close VOE report without paying over and over for re-verifications. 

Argyle’s solution isn’t just faster and more cost-effective than manual processes and TWN—leading to more efficient, affordable services and higher conversion rates—it yields deeper and more accurate insights. Beyond basic income data, Argyle allows LMCU to access details like what a borrower makes shift by shift and instantly pull documents like paystubs and W-2s. This not only results in quicker close times, but also empowers LMCU to process more applications and confidently expand its market.


3 week time-savings per loan

Verifying a borrower’s employment via manual processes and/or TWN used to take LMCU up to three weeks; with Argyle, it’s done in under a minute.

“Competition is fierce among banks and credit unions. You have to differentiate yourself, and one of the key indicators is speed,” says Eric Schlagheck, LMCU’s director of mortgage processing. “Argyle’s cutting-edge technology allows us to improve our turnaround times, so we can close faster, with a better borrower experience, and with fewer gaps late in the process.”

$100 saved per loan

Inefficiencies and high third-party fees led to rising verification costs, but Argyle’s automated solution reduces LMCU’s operational expenses, allowing them to pass rate savings on to its members. Over the course of one year, LMCU saved over a quarter of a million dollars, including ramp time.

“Now that Argyle is fully implemented, I anticipate even higher savings over the course of the next year,” says Harpst. “Again and again, we’re seeing the ability to re-verify at no additional cost pay dividends, and that’s without accounting for the enormous amount of time we’re saving.”

Enhanced member experience

With Argyle, LMCU can access data and documents any time it needs without requiring borrowers to upload forms, leading to a better onboarding experience and improved engagement.

“Our primary goal is always to provide our members with high-quality financial services,” says Harpst. “By increasing the speed of verifications and passing our savings down to them, we are able to offer our members the best possible mortgage experience, without time-consuming blocks or extra fees.”

  • Summary

    A member-first financial community cuts unnecessary time and expense from its mortgage process

  • Industry


  • Solution

    Verification of Income & Employment

Be in good company