February 16, 2022
If you haven’t considered a credit union as your next commercial lending partner, you're not considering all the options. Mark Ritter, CEO of Nu Direction Lending, specializes in bringing traditional business financing to the credit union market, keeping the focus and funds local. Jason chats with Mark about what makes the credit union relationship unique and how wholesale distributors can benefit by securing their lines of credit, real estate loans, or general financing with a community-based lender.
"Credit unions tend to be much more approachable than your big bank, and they're conversational," Mark explains, making his case for broader acceptance of credit unions as a small business collaborator. In addition to keeping money flowing locally, credit unions offer their clients direct access to lending decision-makers. That's a win-win for distributors as personal relationships buoy a company’s bottom line.
It’s no secret that members have always loved banking with their credit unions; they've just chosen to go elsewhere for their business needs. Until now. Two decades ago, credit unions began taking on the big banks by offering an alternative to impersonal, convoluted business loan structures and arms-length service. Credit union-funded small business loans have since become a top-tier financial option. "Last year, in 2021, the credit union industry did $40 billion in commercial financing,” Mark says. And it’s no wonder. Organizations like his streamline the lending process, providing credit union members access to business loans up to $500,000.
Not a member? No problem! Over the last ten years, credit unions have greatly expanded their membership criteria, welcoming more personal banking and small business clients into the fold. "I always say, if you're driving past the credit union in your hometown, there's probably about a 90-95% chance you could go in and open up an account," Mark says. Hyper-local fiscal expertise comes with another big credit union plus. "Nothing we do has a prepayment penalty. Ever.”
Whether it's a line of credit, a real estate loan, or something in between, the opportunities for distribution businesses are endless. "Credit unions have really been able to fill that niche of not only being their small business lender, but the commercial real estate lender," Mark says. "I've seen credit unions do the truck loans for your small businesses, [and] lines of credit up to the large-scale commercial real estate for warehouses."
When searching for fast, fair, and reliable funding, maybe it's time you took your business to a credit union––an organization that knows your company as well as your community.
Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
“Last year in 2021, the credit union industry did $40 billion in commercial financing.”
“We're a nice organization, but we're not a charity.”
“We're looking at it from a community standpoint. That money that we're giving you comes from local deposits that we're putting back into the community.”
“When it comes to your business, you should be borrowing to make more money than you could just without the cash flow.”
“What I always find is that the best and most desirable customers for your business, particularly in the distribution, tend to be the worst payers.”
“Nobody's out there protesting in the streets against their local credit union so it feels nice to be on the good side of it.”