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Commercial & Real Estate Lending with a Credit Union

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By Tracy Liverman
Business Banking Advisor
ORNL Federal Credit Union

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say, “I didn’t realize credit unions did that!” when I meet with business owners or real estate investors to discuss their lending needs.  I must admit that before changing positions from a large national financial institution to ORNL Federal Credit Union ten years ago, I always thought of a credit union as a car lender.  My, how times have changed!

ORNL FCU began offering business loans to our sixteen county community chartered area in 1999.  We are able to provide financing up to $5 million for needs such as the purchase of real estate, refinance, construction, expansion, equipment, lines of credit, and so much more.  Rate and term are competitive to bank loans, and a credit union never has a pre-payment penalty.

The biggest difference between a national lender and your local credit union is the approval process.  As a lender for a large national financial institution, I felt more like an “order taker” than an actual partner with the business owner.  At the credit union, I’m able to work with the business owner as a true partner.  We take the time to get to know your business and determine the best options to get you where you want to go.  Decisions on a loan request are made within the department or presented to a loan committee, which consists of local executives, including the president of the credit union. Often several committee members will know the business owner personally or be familiar with the business itself, because we support them personally.

We’re active in the community and serve on many development boards, non-profit boards, and committees that enable us to give back to the community, as well as get to know more about the leaders in the community we serve.  It just makes sense for us to support each other!

Finally, I often hear people ask, “How do I qualify for membership?” Each local credit union has different criteria to determine eligibility.  At ORNL Federal Credit Union, it’s as simple as being able to answer yes to the following question: Do you live, work, worship, or attend school in one of our sixteen counties that comprise our community charters?  If so, you qualify for membership.  For a business owner, we simply want to support businesses that are located in our area and be a valuable business partner.  Let us surprise you with all that we have to offer!

Tracy Liverman is a Business Banking Advisor at ORNL Federal Credit Union
She can be reached at (865) 425-3335 or [email protected]

ORNL FCU is an Equal Housing Lender and Federally Insured by the NCUA.

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