This Insights article was contributed by Courtney Woods, Corning Credit Union Supervisor of Business Services.
Business loans play an important role in the success of a business. Whether it be an SBA loan, revolving line of credit, installment (term loan), or a commercial mortgage, these loans are often used to grow and expand a business, but can also be used to cover overhead expenses. Whatever the reason, there’s a lot that goes into getting a commercial loan, so we’ve highlighted four steps you can take to get started.
Step 1: Get Organized
The first big step to take when applying for any loan is getting your finances and documentation in order. To get a full picture of your business, lenders will need to look into all of your business information: income, profitability, cash reserves, cash flow, balance sheet, collateral, equity investments, credit history, as well as your management team, and even your character.
Step 2: Get Clear About Your Business and Loan Needs
There are certain questions to ask when determining the size and type of business loans needed, such as:
- Are you looking to grow the business?
- Is the best fit a line of credit, a commercial mortgage, or a term loan for equipment purchase?
- Do you have collateral for a loan?
- Are you looking for something short- or long-term?
Once you have clear answers to these questions, you can move on to choosing a commercial lender at a strong financial institution to work with.
Step 3: Choose a Partner
When choosing a partner, look for a reliable and strong commercial lender who will work with you from start to finish. A strong relationship with your lender will allow you to receive knowledgeable support and resources to set the business up for success and continued growth. Moreover, it’s essential to choose one that believes in a proactive relationship approach rather than a transactional approach. A proactive relationship approach will cater to the needs of a growing business more than a transactional approach will. Lastly, choose a partner that supports its business members by working directly with the business’ third-party entities such as an accountant, attorney, insurance agent, etc. to ensure a holistic approach is being taken.
Step 4: Complete an Application
While many credit unions offer a variety of ways to apply for a business loan, completing and submitting a one-page application can easily be done online at CCU
with your business information. If all owners, principles, and/or authorized signers who will be on the account fall into the CCU field of membership
, then they are eligible to apply for a business loan. In North Carolina, anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, or regularly conducts business in the City of Wilmington and many surrounding areas is eligible to apply for a loan and join CCU.
CCU’s approach to building and maintaining long-term relationships is the key difference between us and other credit unions and commercial lending centers. From the beginning, our commercial lenders take a 360-degree approach to support the entire relationship rather than looking at each loan as an individual transaction. Our knowledgeable lenders take the time to understand each request to ensure we are providing the best possible outcome. By consulting the business owner on best practices, we are able to tailor the loan size and type to their specific business needs and help set them up for success. As a result, we encourage business owners to keep an open mind as the loan outcome may be different than what they anticipated.
To learn more about business lending solutions from CCU, click here
Federally insured by NCUA. Membership eligibility required. Loan approval is subject to lending guidelines and credit qualifications.
As a member-owned, not-for-profit, independent financial organization, Corning Credit Union exists solely to serve our members. This means that every dollar invested in CCU is returned back to our members through better rates and lower fees on our high-yield checking account, auto loans, mortgages, and more. For more information visit us at www.corningcu.org.