Are you looking for a way to expand your growing small business? Perhaps you are interested in launching a start-up venture and need capital to help you get started? Whatever the case, there is help available at Affinity FCU that offers a diverse range of business loans for clients who qualify.
Affinity FCU has more than 20 branches encompassing a tri-state area. With headquarters located in New Jersey, this bank is the largest credit union in the state. In fact, Affinity FCU is ranked in the top 2% based on the asset size of all credit unions in the area. Like most credit unions, Affinity FCU is a not-for-profit venture that offers services to members only. The bank is also federally insured by the NCUA.
The FCU was initially formed and chartered at the end of 1935. This was actually just under a year after the Federal Credit Union Act was signed by the then President Roosevelt. The point of the credit union was to help meet the needs of the employees of Western Electric Company and it was then expanded to include the employees of AT&T. Once the expansion was finalized, it was then named GHQ FCU. Eventually, the assets grew to be close to 100 million dollars making it the largest credit union in the state.
Eventually, the bank opened 20 branches in the tri-state area and split into three companies that served their core base. By doing so, they were able to greatly diversify the member base while offering a full range of services to their members. These services also include business loans. In addition to regular services, the bank also offers a wide range of business and commercial services. Business savings, business member benefits, business credit, checking services, and business loans are a few of the most popular offerings.
What Does Affinity FCU Offer for Business Customers?
Affinity FCU offers all of the typical banking services you will find at a regular credit union. However, it is their business line of services that really shines. The bank is fully committed to helping companies of all sizes improve their growth and maintain a steady cash flow according to their needs. For newer companies or clients who are simply not sure of what financial services they will need, the bank offers a concierge range of assistance. This allows a business loan and business account manager to work directly with you to help you find a tailored solution that fits your business model. Some of the loan and service options available for business clients are:
- Commercial term loans
- A commercial line of credit
- Business overdraft line of credit
- Commercial mortgage loan
- SBA loan
- Visa Business credit line with rewards
“A great way to expand your business without stunting your overall growth or limiting your cash flow”
Why Should You Consider an Affinity Business Loan?
If you have a well-established company or if you are starting a new venture, a commercial loan can be the boost you need to succeed. Affinity FCU business loans are an ideal way to increase the amount of working capital you have on hand so that you can manage your daily expenses with ease. They are also a great way to expand your business without stunting your overall growth or limiting your cash flow. Managing daily purchases can put a serious dent in your available capital, which can really slow down growth, however, entering a business loan will allow you to make upgrades and regular purchases without the stress that comes from a lowered amount of cash on hand.
Business loans are not only for expansion or the raising of capital. You can secure a business loan for the purpose of restructuring existing debt or even an existing commercial mortgage. If you are looking to purchase a location or build on an existing lot, a business loan is an efficient way to finance your venture. You can also enjoy investing in new properties and ventures through the help of a business loan through Affinity FCU.
Who Should Apply for an Affinity FCU Loan?
Affinity FCU offers competitive rates on their business loans for all of their commercial clients. The terms, rates, amounts, and repayment terms are flexible and depend on the approval amount. Small businesses that operate in the tri-state area are eligible to apply for a business loan. Mid-ranged and larger companies are also encouraged to apply. At this time enterprise loans are not available, however, referrals can be provided to comparable lenders in the area. To see if you qualify for a business loan from Affinity FCU, simply fill out this form here for more information.
“Employees of AT&T and 2,000 other employee groups are accepted”
How Do you Qualify For Affinity FCU Financing?
Applying for business loans via Affinity FCU Financing is pretty simple. The loans are only open to members, so you will need to initially create an account with the bank. Employees of AT&T and 2,000 other employee groups are accepted. Once you create a business account, you will then be able to apply for a loan. Existing members are also able to create a commercial account if they do not already have one. You will need to provide some basic information when initially applying for the business loan such as:
- Company business plan
- Industry type
- Licensing and disclosure documents
- Loan type you are interested in
- Operational status and projections
- Business history and financial statements
- Business credit report
- Personal credit report
- Detailed information about the purpose behind your loan application
- Industry-specific requirements such as bonds, clean hand reports, ect.
- Every application is vetted and approved on a case-by-case basis.
In order to be qualified for any type of business loan, you will need to have a minimum credit score of at least 680. While business credit scores are accepted, personal credit scores will also be pulled as part of the application process. The bank will review the past several years of your credit history including the types of existing loans you hold, the length of those loans, and your repayment history.
Affinity FCU Loan Application Process
Starting your business loan application process with Affinity FCU is simple. You can fill out a request form online here). The bank will give you a list of documents and loan application requirements in addition to the application form. You will then need to fill out the form and submit it in person with your supporting documents. It is always a good idea to make sure that you have all of the required forms and documentation before submitting your application to prevent delay or rejection of your business loan.
Once you filled out the application, you will need:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address
- Proof of business address
- A valid social security number
- Proof of income or business revenue
- A copy of the business license and supporting documents
- Annual income documentation for the business
- Business plan for new ventures
In many banks there is a fee required when you apply for a business loan or business line of credit, however, there is no fee with Affinity FCU. That being said, your small business loan interest rate will depend on your credit and there are other fees that are assessed when the loan is processed and approved. Once you submit your application along with your supporting documents, the bank will verify and run your credit. The time it takes to verify your documents and review your credit history will vary, but in most cases, it will take about a week to review.
Once the documents and credit report have been reviewed, the bank will deliberate regarding extending you a line of credit. Depending on your needs, you may be approved for more or less than your requested loan amount. The complexity of your application, the loan type, and the amount you are seeking to borrow will all determine how long it takes for your application to be approved or denied.
Affinity FCU Business Financing Fees
There are some fees that come with securing a loan or line of credit for a business. While Affinity FCU does not charge an application fee, there are other fees that are unavoidable. The credit union is always upfront and open regarding the fees charged for the loan and its services. Knowing and understanding these fees can help you manage costs in advance. There is always an origination fee charged for a business loan. This is basically an upfront fee that is charged for processing the loan and is the same regardless of the loan amount.
SBA loan guarantee fees are unavoidable, but they range from 0.1% to 3.75% depending on the loan size for business applications. There is also a yearly service fee that is charged for the life of the loan which can range from 0.1% to 0.55%. The loan size also plays a role in the size of this fee. Underwriting fees are also unavoidable. This fee is collected by the underwriting team and goes to pay for the verification of documents provided with the loan application. This includes; bank statements, financial documents, tax returns, credit reports, licenses, land deeds, and any other documents provided with the application.
Once the small business loan has been processed and completed with Affinity FCU, it will need to go for closing. There is a closing fee charged which covers a variety of small expenses. Costs such as the wire transfer fee, loan package, business evaluation, and real estate appraisals are some charges that are covered by the closing cost fee.
Affinity FCU Financing Interest Rates
Interest rates are always fluctuating in addition to rates offered by various banks. As of 2022, the average rate for any type of business loan will range from 2.45% to 7.1%. These are the rates listed by the Federal Reserve, which is also followed by Affinity FCU. Business loans and their associated rates work a bit differently than consumer rates. Understanding how business interest rates work and what affects interest rates can put you in a better position when applying for a loan from Affinity FCU.
What are Affinity FCU Business Loan Interest Rates?
Interest rates on business loans are basically what the credit union will charge you for extending you a line of credit. Banks make money from the interest you pay on the principal amount, not the actual loan repayment amount. If you have good credit and a solid business structure, you will be able to qualify for a low-interest rate.
Typically, small business loans will have the lowest interest rates, but at the same time, they will be harder to qualify for. The loan type will also have an effect on the interest rate you are offered. Small business loans from Affinity FCU that are backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration tend to have an interest rate range of 5.50% to 8%. These are easy to qualify for if you have all of your documentation, have great credit and collateral that exceed the loan amount 2:1.
Your specific financial situation will also play a big role in the types of interest rates you are offered. Business borrowers with long-standing businesses and good credit will be offered the best interest rates on the market. New ventures with a solid business plan are also able to get approved for low to moderate interest rates at Affinity FCU. Every type of business loan has a different set of eligibility criteria. Your annual income, the risk of the loan, or even the reason for the loan will also determine the rate you are offered. High-risk loans tend to be paired with higher interest rates.
If you want to secure a better interest rate for your business loan, one way to do so is by offering collateral. Affinity FCU accepts several forms of collateral such as property, business inventory, or even a down payment for land or construction loans. The more collateral you offer, the less risk the credit union will have to bear. This will lower the interest rates offered for your business loan and in some cases, it may even increase the loan amount extended to you.
Of course, there are things such as inflation and general market fluctuations that will have an effect on interest rates. The total loan amount and the duration of your business loan will also determine what rates you qualify for with Affinity FCU. Variable interest rates and fixed interest rates are typically the two options provided. Variable rates tend to be lower upfront but may increase with the market. Fixed rates tend to be a bit higher from the outset, but the rate will never change regardless of market fluctuation. Affinity FCU offers both options depending on the needs of the client.
Is There a Difference Between SBA and Standard Business Loans from Affinity FCU?
Standard business loans and SBA-backed business loans do not differ very much. The main difference is that SBA loans from Affinity FCU are federally backed. This extra support and security offer flexibility that many business owners can appreciate. Those with SBA backing also tend to have a lower down payment for business loans. In many cases, SBA loans will also be able to carry longer repayment terms which will make monthly payments much more affordable for small business owners.
Tips on Qualifying for an Affinity FCU Business Loan
Now that you know more about the business loan process from Affinity FCU, we have some tips that will help you qualify. As a rule, it is always best to apply for a business loan before your need for the loan becomes urgent. Securing a business loan takes time, and you will also need to have plenty of documentation, reports, and in some cases, a down payment ready. Giving yourself ample time to secure the loan will put you in a better position to negotiate the best terms for your budget.
Focus on Your Score
Your personal credit score is one of the most important factors when it comes to securing a business loan or line of credit from Affinity FCU. Your credit is a window into how you manage debt and how well you are able to manage your finances. The better your personal credit score and business credit score is, the more appealing your application will appear to a lender. The numerical score is not the only thing banks consider however, they also look at your payment history. Make sure that you have a good history of on-time payments with little to no late payments within 24 months before applying for a loan. It is also a good idea to keep your debt to income ratio below 45% for at least one year before seeking out a business line of credit or a business loan. Companies that have a high DTI over a long period of time signal a risk due to poor money management decisions.
Consider Your Collateral
If you are just starting out, chances are your collateral will be your home or other personal assets. For existing businesses, the collateral may be the inventory, property, or even receivables. Providing collateral for your business loan will reduce lender risk and make your application more attractive. Even if you have a solid plan and great returns, securing an additional line of collateral can help ensure that your loan is approved. Collateral simply gives the bank a fallback in the event that you are unable to repay the loan or if your business happens to fail.
Fine Tune Your Business Plan
For new start-up ventures, it is important to draft a comprehensive business plan that lays out your goals for the next five years. For existing businesses, an updated business plan is also helpful. Showing the lenders your long-term plans and goals for your business will show them that you have a plan of action that will lead to success. Banks generally want to know the purpose of the loan and how you plan to use the money to use in your business before extending any form of credit. To this end, you should also provide up-to-date financial projects for at least the next 24 months following your application. In your business plan, your top brass and their resumes should also be provided for review.
Show Your Revenue Records
One of the main requests or requirements for a business loan with Affinity FCU is the submission of a revenue statement. Clearly detailing the general sales, trends, and cash flow you experience each year will help you get approved. Make sure that you have an up-to-date record of your monthly income and losses. You should also have a comprehensive list of your liabilities and assets. The bank will want to review at least two years' worth of revenue statements for small loans. For medium to large loans, 2-4 years' worth of statements may be requested. Have your statements professionally prepared and certified if possible. You will also need to provide copies of your ledgers and bank statements for verification.