By Laura Enock
Are high loan amounts first thing that comes to mind when you think of business lending? The truth is, not every entrepreneurial member owns or needs a commercial building. In fact, InTouch Credit Union in Plano, TX has seen the primary need for business loans change from commercial real estate to loans of under $100,000. The credit union’s loan programs primarily serve full-time businesses that include manufacturers, professional services, retail stores, restaurants, software consulting, a piano studio and landscapers.
“We saw an increase in requests for startup businesses and business owners that did not have the capital to make a down payment to do the loan via conventional options,” explains Tarry Martin, VP of Business Sales and Services at InTouch, which has 75,000 members, $817 million in assets and operates 19 branches across four states.
As a result, the credit union evaluated the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7A program, went through the application process and then implemented the approved program, which included internal training on the loan program.
“The SBA application process for a loan can be a little overwhelming for some members, especially if it is the business member’s first experience in applying for a business loan,” explains Martin.