Business FAQ


The SMCU Business Solutions team would love to meet you and answer your questions about commercial loans or business banking in general. Below are some of the most common questions we hear from our members. To ask your own question, or to request a one-on-one meeting with someone on the SMCU Commercial Lending team, click the button below and select "Business Solutions" in the “Send to” field.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Loan amounts are based on a number of different factors, which are unique to each application. Your total loan amount depends on:

  • The loan purpose
  • Your credit history
  • Previous credit limits
  • Your income
  • Gross sales of the business
  • Any collateral used to secure the loan
  • How long you’ve been in business

To discuss your particular situation, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

Many business owners prefer the flexibility and availability of a line of credit. However, the structure of a business line of credit may not always be in your best interest. In most cases, a line of credit is best for covering short term expenses, such as purchasing inventory, where you expect to be able to repay the loan quickly. A fixed-term, fixed-payment business loan may be better for long-term investments, like equipment or real estate.

To discuss your particular situation, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

Your loan approval is tied to many factors. For example, the business needs to have been established for more than two years and must demonstrate both a historic and future ability to repay the loan. We also review a number of factors other than income, such as the type of collateral and the business’s balance sheet, as well as the credit history of both the business and the person applying for the loan.

If you would like to discuss the criteria we look at, prior to submitting an application, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

We are usually able to approve qualified applications in about a week. We can often complete funding within a month of the completed approval for qualified loans.

To discuss your particular situation, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

In some cases, it might make sense to use the equity in your home as collateral for a business loan, especially in cases where you have few other assets. However, many times the loan can be secured using other collateral, including the assets of the business or other assets you own personally.

To discuss your particular situation, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

With business loans, a down payment represents an investment by the business owner, and is almost always required by lenders. Ordinarily, we require a 20% down payment. However, some situations will allow us to accept as little as 15% or even 10%. Your down payment can come from savings, home equity, retirement funds, or many other sources.

To discuss your particular situation, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

Not necessarily, especially when a loan is for starting or purchasing a business. Though current income is often one of the factors contributing to getting approved, in some cases, we focus more upon the business you are looking to start or buy and base our loan decision on things like potential revenue, business assets, and other criteria.

To discuss your particular situation, please contact us using the “Ask SMCU” button at the top of the page.

Lenders tend to look more upon positive cash flow or adjusted net income than equity or collateral. A "positive net income" factors in the owner's salary, interest, taxes, amortization, and depreciation. Revenue and cash trends over the previous three years are highly scrutinized by lenders.

SMCU BUSINESS PRODUCTS

  • Business Lines of Credit1
  • Vehicle Loans2
  • Equipment Loans3
  • Real Estate Secured Loans4
  • Business Term Loans5
  • Share-Secured Loans5

HELPFUL RESOURCES

Washington Small Business Development Center is your local resource for expert business advice, management training, and market research. SBDC advisers offer personal one-on-one assistance at no charge. Visit the website to connect with an advisor; explore classes, webinars, and podcasts; or check out research and business-planning tools.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is focused on helping Americans start, build, and grow businesses. The SBA Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, and other forms of assistance to small businesses. The SBA also offers an extensive learning library of articles, online training, and videos on a broad range of business topics. The SBA also offers information about aspects of the Affordable Care Act that affect businesses.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. It holds events and workshops across the U.S., providing education and matching entrepreneurs with volunteer mentors. The website offers local and online workshops, tools, templates and information about free mentoring opportunities.

SMCU is federally insured by an NCUA and is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.