Small Business should look at Credit Unions

Small business credit unions are a great choice – lower fees, potentially lending to you based on your full picture and not just an algorithm. The issue is finding one that your business can join, that is also located near you.

Credit Unions require Membership. But membership isn’t hard.

In many cases, you can become a member of a credit union simply by residing within a credit union’s geographic footprint. But, the credit unions featured below don’t require that you live inside their area – in fact, most of these credit unions are national in reach. Just become a member in most cases by making a nominal donation to a non-profit.

Here are 8 Credit Unions Most Businesses Can Join

1. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers a variety of lending products to member businesses. To become a member, if don’t live in certain areas near Minneapolis / St. Paul, you can make a $25 donation to the Affinity Plus Foundation..

2. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union is an online-first credit union that serves a geographic footprint inside the greater Chicagoland area. They offer business loans to their members. You can become one by making a $10 or greater donation to Foster Care to Success (FCS), or by living in one of the many Chicagoland suburbs

3. Connexus Credit Union

Don’t let the stock photography and Web 1.0 design fool you – this is a large credit union with over $1B in deposits. To become a member, make a $5 donation to the Connexus Association.

Once you become a member, you can apply for a business card. They’ve got several no-annual-fee cards to choose from.

4. Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union offer a suite of business lending products, including real estate, equipment financing and revolving lines of credit.

To join Consumers Credit Union, first join the Consumers Cooperative Association. It costs $5 to join.

5. Digital Credit Union

Digital Credit Union (DCU) is among the top 20 credit unions in the nation, as measured by assets. They’ve got a presence in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but accept new members nationwide. As the website attests, they offer a variety of products and even have affiliated companies that offer insurance and financial advice.

To become a member of DCU, you first need to join one of its participating organizations. The membership amounts range from $10 to $120. Once you join DCU, you have a lifelong membership, so you could cancel a membership with the other organization after joining. But, would you really cancel your membership with Reach Out for Schools? Think of the children.

6. GTE Financial

GTE Financial is a medium-sized credit union with more than $500M in deposits. They primarily serve the Tampa Bay area, but can accept new members nationwide.

You can join by providing a one time $10 membership fee to CUSAvers. Get started here.

7. NASA Federal Credit Union

Though NASA Federal Credit Union’s website looks dated, the credit union offers a full suite of business lending products to its members.

A complimentary membership to the National Space Society (NSS) entitles you to join NASA FCU.

8. University Federal Credit Union

University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) is one of the largest credit unions around. They offer loans for real estate development, starting at $500,000 for owner-occuplied loans.

To become a member, you can join the University of Texas Longhorn Foundation. All it takes is a one-time $20 donation to The University of Texas.

A few drawbacks

Credit Unions and community banks tend to be laggards when it comes to features like mobile banking, a ton of ATMs around the country, or backend integrations with your business. But these can be easily traded off for lower fees, better service and a willingness to work with you when it comes to business loans.