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Ascend Federal Credit Union Business Loan Review

As a well-known financial institution in and around Tullahoma, Ascend FCU offers a range of business lending options at competitive rates and multiple paths to its membership for entrepreneurs and businesses based in Tennessee and beyond.

Ascend Federal Credit Union was founded in 1951 to serve the financial needs of Arnold Air Force Base employees in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Ascend runs 21 branch locations in Middle Tennessee, serving more than 208,000 members.

Maya Friedman Ascend Federal Credit Union was founded in 1951 to serve the financial needs of Arnold Air Force Base employees in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Ascend runs 21 branch locations in Middle Tennessee, serving more than 208,000 members.
Maya Friedman
August 9, 2022

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Do you own and run an established business, or are you an entrepreneur with a solid business plan in search of financing to launch your new venture? Ascend Federal Credit Union may offer the commercial loan solution that you need to take your business to the next level, as this credit union offers a range of business lending options at competitive rates.

Ascend Federal Credit Union was founded in the year 1951 in order to serve the financial needs of Arnold Air Force Base employees in Tullahoma, Tennessee, at which time the credit union was known as the AEDC Federal Credit Union. Since that time, Ascend Federal Credit Union has remained a well-known financial institution in and around Tullahoma, reflected, for instance, in its naming right for the Ascend Amphitheater. The credit union changed its name to Ascend Federal Credit Union — and is better known simply as Ascend — in 2006, reflecting its broader field of membership. 

Ascend Federal Credit Union is Federally chartered and insured by the National Credit Union Association, and has grown to be a strong local credit union that serves more than 208,000 members. Currently managing over $2.6 billion in assets, Ascend Federal Credit Union is the 109th largest credit union in the United States. Ascend runs a total of 21 branch locations in Middle Tennessee, and has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau. 

Credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions dedicated to serving their members, for which reason they are able to offer better rates and lower fees on their banking services and loan products. Not all credit unions are equally equipped to serve entrepreneurs and businesses, but Ascend Federal Credit Union can be considered to be a full service credit union, which offers a wide range of business banking and commercial loan solutions at competitive rates. 

Should you be interested in partnering with Ascend Federal Credit Union, which remains headquartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee, you should be aware that this credit union offers multiple paths to membership, and businesses based in the state of Tennessee and beyond may qualify to join. Once your business becomes established as a member of Ascend Federal Credit Union, you will subsequently have the option of applying for any of the business loans Ascend offers. To discover whether this is a viable option for your business, explore this guide. 

“Ascend Federal Credit Union is able to serve your business by providing more competitive rates and lower fees.”

What Does Ascend Federal Credit Union Offer?

Ascend Federal Credit Union offers an impressive array of personal and business banking solutions, as well as a variety of commercial loans and unique membership perks that include discounts around stores and restaurants in counties in Middle Tennessee and access to financial education tools. Above all, Ascend Federal Credit Union is able to serve your business by providing more competitive rates and lower fees than you would be able to obtain from a mainstream banking institution. 

A Wide Variety of Business Loans

If you are exploring your commercial loan options, it is helpful to know that Ascend Federal Credit Union’s commercial lending specialists can work with your individual business to find the commercial loan solution that will best serve your needs as you plan for a successful and financially healthy future. The commercial loans offered at Ascend Federal Credit Union include:

Do you not see the type of business loan that you need on this list? Ascend Federal Credit Union’s commercial lending specialists may still be able to work with you to provide the financing you are after. Many credit unions offer dedicated commercial auto loans and commercial equipment loans, for example, while Ascend Federal Credit Union does not — but the credit union’s business term loans may still be used for these purposes. 

Significant Lending Capacity

As the 109th largest credit union in the United States and one of the largest credit unions in the state of Tennessee, Ascend Federal Credit Union manages in excess of $2.6 billion in assets and offers significant lending capacity, regardless of the size of your business or its structure. 

Flexibility

Whether you already own and operate a smaller business such as an LLC or sole proprietorship, serve on the board of a corporation, or are an ambitious entrepreneur who is excited to be launching a brand new venture, the advantages of partnering with a smaller local credit union are immediately apparent. At Ascend Federal Credit Union, you will be a valuable member, and the dedicated commercial loan specialists will be working with you to explore what financing options may be available to you. 

Favorable Loan Terms

Whether your business needs a shorter term, or you are seeking to finance a project that will unfold over a longer period of time, Ascend Federal Credit Union is able to offer flexible terms on all of their business loan solutions. The precise nature of your loan term is subject to your unique circumstances and an in-depth discussion with Ascend Federal Credit Union’s commercial lending team. 

Competitive Rates

As a smaller credit union, does not publish precise information regarding the rates they can offer on their business loan options. Instead, Ascend Federal Credit Union will work with you to determine what may be available to you. You can, however, count on experiencing the difference of working with a credit union; all of Ascend Federal Credit Union’s commercial loans have competitive, low, rates. 

A Full Suite of Business Banking Solutions

Should your business be looking for a financial institution through which it can comfortably conduct all of its day to day banking needs at competitive rates and with a positive customer experience, you will be interested to learn that Ascend Federal Credit Union is a full service credit union that makes a wide range of business banking services available. These include:

Merchant Services

Ascend Federal Credit Union has partnered with Winstar Payments to be able to offer their business members convenient point of sale solutions and payment processing services. These merchant services are also suitable for businesses that are conducting ecommerce operations, and offer access to real time reporting 24/7, so that you will always know what is going on. 

Excellent Customer Service

With more than seven decades of experience under its belt, Ascend Federal Credit Union has established itself as a trusted financial partner in Middle Tennessee and beyond. Ascend Federal Credit Union’s declared core values are respect, excellence, integrity, generosity, service, and relationships. By joining Ascend Federal Credit Union as a business member and partnering with the credit union for your business financing needs, you will have a trusted local ally that will always look out for your best interests. 

In addition to 21 convenient branch locations in Nashville, Brentwood, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Franklin, Smyrna, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Spring Hill, Dickson, Columbia, Lewisburg, Manchester, McMinnville, Cookeville, Winchester, and of course Tullahoma, members based in Tennessee will always have access to a commercial lending specialist. 

As a modern credit union, Ascend Federal Credit Union also offers access to a secure and convenient internet banking portal that will allow you to check your balance or make repayments any time you need to. 

“Ascend Federal Credit Union is more flexible in the paths to membership that it offers.”

Who Can Apply for a Business Loan From Ascend Federal Credit Union?

In order to be able to apply for any of Ascend Federal Credit Union’s flexible business financing solutions, which offer uniquely competitive rates, it will first be necessary to become a member. Unlike traditional banks, credit unions are exclusively able to work with their members, which are also shareholders. 

Many credit unions have restrictive fields of membership that enable only people based in certain geographical regions or those affiliated with certain employer groups to apply for membership. Ascend Federal Credit Union is more flexible in the paths to membership that it offers. You will be able to join Ascend Federal Credit Union if:

As a business, you may instead be able to partner with Ascend Federal Credit Union by becoming a Select Employee Group partner, a choice that would additionally set all of your employees up with a path to joining Ascend and gaining unique membership perks. 

It is important to note that Ascend Federal Credit Union notes that it is not necessary to live or work in the area that the credit union primarily serves (Middle Tennessee) to become a member; Ascend notes that it has members all over the world. The TNC path to membership does not require you to be based in Tennessee, either. 

In order to become established as a member — once you know that your business is eligible to join Ascend Federal Credit Union — you will need to:

Joining Ascend Federal Credit Union is straightforward, and the membership application may be conducted in person at one of Ascend’s branches, online via their website, or by telephone (at 800-342-3086) . Once you are a member, you will be able to apply for any of the business loans that Ascend Federal Credit Union offers. 

What Types of Business Loan Products Does Ascend Federal Credit Union Offer?

Ascend Federal Credit Union has optimized its commercial lending options by providing three distinct types of business loans, which may be used as working capital, to expand your business, to cover short term cash flow challenges, or to finance the purchase or construction of commercial real estate. The following is an overview of the types of commercial loans that Ascend Federal Credit Union makes available. 

Commercial Real Estate and Construction Loans From Ascend Federal Credit Union

Ascend Federal Credit Union specializes in commercial real estate loans and commercial construction loans, as the credit union states that its commercial portfolio was developed and grown in precisely this way. Ascend Federal Credit Union offers financing for a wide variety of commercial property types, whether they are owner occupied or investment properties. Refinancing an existing commercial real estate loan through Ascend Federal Credit Union may be an attractive option to new members of the credit union as well. 

Ascend Federal Credit Union is able to provide financing of up to 80% of the value of a commercial property. It offers flexible and varied terms, and favorable rates. These loans are underwritten locally, and business members of Ascend Federal Credit Union can expect a fast turnover. 

Business Term Loans From Ascend Federal Credit Union

Business term loans may be short term, up to 18 months, medium term, or long term, between three and 25 years. This type of commercial loan provides the borrowing business with a predetermined amount of financing for a specific project, or may be used as working capital. Business term loans may have fixed or floating interest rates, and feature regular repayment schedules. 

Ascend Federal Credit Union can work with your particular business to assess what type of financing it may be able to offer you, and tailor the rates and terms to your unique needs. The flexible nature of business term loans makes up for the fact that Ascend Federal Credit Union does not offer business equipment loans or commercial vehicle loans, or business acquisition loans. That is, term loans may take the place of these business loan products in many cases.

Business Lines of Credit From Ascend Federal Credit Union

The business lines of credit that Ascend Federal Credit Union provides focus on assisting businesses in meeting their short term financing needs, such as by covering inventory purchases or temporary dips in cash flow owing to seasonal fluctuations. Lines of credit covering up to $500,000 are available from Ascend Federal Credit Union. 

What Types of Business Loans Does Ascend Federal Credit Union Not Offer?

Notably, Ascend Federal Credit Union is not currently able to offer Small Business Administration loans. These Federally backed financing options are a popular choice among small and new businesses that may not otherwise find reasonable rates or have access to financing.

How Do You Qualify for a Business Loan From Ascend Federal Credit Union?

In order to determine whether your venture qualifies for a business loan, Ascend Federal Credit Union will take the same steps that any other financial institution would. Businesses would typically begin by having a discussion with one of Ascend’s commercial lending specialists, and can telephone the credit union’s commercial lending department at 800-342-3086 to discover more. 

Ascend Federal Credit Union’s commercial loans are geared toward ventures that have been operational for two years or longer, but exceptions may be made. 

As Ascend determines whether you can be approved for a business loan, you will be required to submit the following documentation:

Ascend Federal Credit Union will investigate your background by looking into your business credit score, which will ideally fall between 80 and 100 on the  Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) PAYDEX score. Lower scores will result in less favorable rates. The FICO scores of individuals acting as principals and guarantors should be above 670, meanwhile. Before you can be approved for a commercial loan, Ascend Federal Credit Union will check your annual revenue and profit and your debt to income ratio to assess whether you will be able to carry the loan. In the case of new businesses, show Ascend Federal Credit Union your detailed business plan as well as relevant personal qualifications, and discuss what type of financing the credit union may be willing to make available based on the risk. 

Secured loans have a fast turnaround, and the Ascend commercial lending team will typically be able to tell you whether your business has been approved for the commercial financing you sought in 30 to 60 days.


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