If you’re an entrepreneur and you have a great idea for a new venture but you need capital to get it off the ground or you’re the owner of an established business and you need financing to purchase new equipment; whatever the case may be, if you’re in need of a business loan, America First Credit Union may be the right solution for you. This credit union offers a variety of business loans at competitive rates and with flexible requirements.
America First is a federally chartered credit union with its headquarters located in Riverdale, Utah. On March 16, 1939, a group of 59 employees of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local No 650, founded the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union. Established in a small office that was located in the Fort Douglas’ Building 207, the credit union’s service hours were strictly on Fridays, and only from 3:30 to 4:00 pm. Back then, rudimentary methods were used to collect cash deposits – a can of Prince Albert tobacco. There were only 79 members and the credit union’s total assets were just $788.
The finance office of the US Army Fort Douglas was relocated to the Utah General Distribution Depot, which was situated in Ogden, Utah. This relocation took place in June of 1947, and the Fort Douglas Employees Credit Union moved with it. In addition to relocating, the credit union also changed its name to the Federal Employees Credit Union. When the Navy Supply Depot opened in Clearfield, Utah, the credit union became affiliated with a total of five installations of the US federal government. In addition to the Navy Supply Depot, these installations included the following:
- The Utah general Depot
- Hill Air Force Base
- Fort Douglas
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Ogden, Utah
Thereafter, credit unions that were chartered in the state of Utah started offering their services to anyone within the state. In 1984, Federal Employees Credit Union changed its name to the America First Credit Union.
In 2003, America First Credit Union became federally chartered so as to protect members and to serve business members. In 2005, the credit union announced that they would begin offering Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to members, and in 2009, it acquired the Vegas-based Community Federal Credit Union after it was closed. A merger between America First and Arizona-based Altier Credit Union was announced in 2018, and in 2022, the credit union opened its first branch in New Mexico.
Today, America First Credit Union has more than 130 branch locations, and it services more than 1 million members. It also manages approximately $11.7 billion dollars in assets. In terms of membership, it is the 6th largest credit union in the United States, and in terms of assets, America First is the 9th largest credit union in assets in the country.
If you qualify for membership to America First Credit Union, you will be able to access all of the products that they offer. In addition to being able to apply for a variety of business financing products, you will also be able to make use of America First’s checking accounts, savings accounts, certificate accounts, and IRAs. You will also be able to conduct in-person banking at one of the three branch locations or one of the 5,000 Co-Op Network shared branches, and you can conduct activities with your account via one of the 30,000 ATMs. The credit union also offers online and mobile banking; you can log-in to your account directly on the America First website, or you can download the app onto your mobile device via the Apple Store and Google Play.
America First offers members of their credit union numerous perks, too. When you open an account with the credit union, you will receive personalized attention and can access customer service around-the-clock. Other perks of membership include:
- Discounts on travel, entertainment Sam’s Club, TurboTax and a variety of other services
- Discounts on life insurance, property, and vehicle insurance
- Discounts on prescription drugs via a free RxSavingsPlus prescription discount card , which offers savings of up to 70 percent
- Financial advisor services
- Free Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage from TruStage Insurance
“The terms on all commercial financing products from America First Credit Union are favorable.”
What does America First Credit Union Offer?
A Broad Range of Business Loan Products
America First Credit Union offers a variety of business loans. Options include:
- Lines of credit with varying limits, competitive rates, and low payments of just $25 or 3.5% of the balance, whichever is greater
- Business vehicle loans, with low-rate financing and terms of up to 72 months. Loans can be secured to finance vehicles that weigh up to 1 ton
- Equipment and machinery loans that can be applied toward a diverse array of heavy-duty, industrial, and medical equipment, as well as other types of commercial equipment, such as phone systems, furnishings, small business technology, etc., with loan terms of up to seven years, no prepayment penalties or annual fees, and minimum down payments
- Unsecured capital loans with max loan amounts of $15,000 and a max term of 60 months
- Business acquisition/franchise loans that can be used to fund the purchase or a franchise or an independent business, with competitive terms, rates, and fees
- Commercial real estate loans including both owner occupied and non-owner occupied commercial real estate, both of which offer competitive terms, rates, and fees
America First Credit Union offers a wide range of loan amounts. Additionally, the repayment terms are varied and flexible.
Favorable Loan Terms
America First Credit Union offers favorable terms on all of their business/commercial loans. The terms vary and range from product to product; for example, the term for commercial vehicle loans is 72 months, while for unsecured capital loans have terms of up to 60 months. That said, the terms on all commercial financing products from America First Credit Union are favorable.
The rates on business loans offered by America First Credit Union are competitive. Like terms, rates vary from loan product to loan product; additionally, several other factors that pertain to your financial history, etc., will also be used to determine the terms for your business loan.
Unlike many other lenders, there’s no need to be concerned about predatory lending practices when you apply for a loan with America First Credit Union. That’s because they are completely transparent with their loan process, terms, and conditions.
Managing your America First Credit Union business loan is convenient. You can manage your account at one of the three branches or one of the more than 5,000 Co-Op Network shared branches, as well as their more than 30,000 ATMs. Furthermore, America First offers online banking, which can be conducted via their website or mobile app.
Excellent Customer Service and Experience
With more than 80 years of experience, America First has established itself as a highly trusted credit union. Moreover, you will have access to customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Who Can Apply for an America First Credit Union Business Loan?
In order to apply for one of the many America First business loan products, you will need to be a member of the credit union. In order to acquire a registration, you must meet one of the prerequisite eligibility requirements, which include the following:
- You reside, live, worship, volunteer, or attend school in one of the following geographical locations:
- Salt Lake, Utah, and Juab Counties, Utah
- Areas that are considered eligible in Utah’s Cache, Davis, Iron, Rich, Washington, and Weber Counties
- Clark and Lincoln Counties in Nevada, with the exception of areas that are located within a 25-mile radius of the Alamo, Nevada Post Office
- Areas that are considered eligible in Churchill, Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey, Washoe, and Carson City Counties in Nevada
- Arizona’s Maricopa County
- Areas that are considered eligible in Mohave and Pima Counties of Arizona
- Areas that are eligible in Arizona’s Mohave and Pima Counties
- Areas that are eligible in Page and St. Johns in Arizona
- Areas that are eligible in Ada, Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Boise, Bonneville, Canyon, Caribou, Clark, Elmore, Franklin, Gem, Jefferson, Madison, Owyhee, and Power Counties in Idaho
- Eligible areas in Oregon’s Malheur County
- Areas that are eligible in New Mexico’s Bernalillo, Chaves, De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Torrance, and Valencia Counties
- Individuals who own, who are employed by, or who are involved in supplying Utah’s food industry
- Individuals who are employed or who are members of a Select Employer Group (SEG) or affiliated associations
- Members who are immediate family members or who reside in the same household of a current member or individuals who are eligible for membership
- Spouses of members who have passed away while they were still members of the credit union
- Current members of America First Federal Credit Union
- Individuals who are employed by America First Federal Credit Union or one of its subsidiary corporations
If you meet one of the above-mentioned requirements, you are eligible to apply for membership with America First Credit Union. You can apply for an account online or through a mobile app, or you can visit one of the more than 5,000 branch and Co-Op Network shared branches. You can also apply for membership over the phone by calling 1-800-999-3961.
In order to apply for membership and open an account with America First Credit Union, you will need to provide some basic information, such as a valid Social Security number (SSN), proof of the address of your residence, and a valid driver’s license or government-issued identification.
“Finance, grow, and increase the success of your business.”
What Kind of Business Loans Does America First Credit Union Offer?
America First Credit Union offers a variety of loan products that can be used to finance, grow, and increase the success of your business. The following is an overview of the different types of business loans offered by America First.
Business Line of Credit
The credit union offers lines of credit that are linked to America First business checking accounts. You can use the funds that a line of credit provides to cover a variety of expenses that are associated with your business. You’ll avoid exorbitant overdraft fees and you will have increased spending capacity for things like ordering inventory, making repairs to your business, making past-due invoice payments, and much more.
America First business lines of credit offer the following:
- Competitive rates
- Flexible limits that will meet your unique needs
- Low payments – either $25 or 3.5% of the total balance, whichever amount is greater
Commercial Auto Loans
With a commercial auto loan from America First Credit Union, you’ll be able to drive your business to success. This loan provides low-rate financing that can be used to purchase new vehicles for your company. Business auto loans from America First can be used to finance the purchase of company cars, trucks, trailers, vans, and more (vehicles that weigh up to 1 ton).
America First commercial auto loans offer competitive rates and terms of up to 72 months.
Equipment and Machinery Loans
America First Credit Union provides quick funding that you can use to bolster the success of your company. An equipment and machinery loan can be used to upgrade or replace existing equipment and machinery, or to purchase new equipment and machinery. With terms of up to seven years, no prepayment penalties or annual fees, and minimal down payment requirements, America First equipment and machinery loans are fair and flexible.
The financing provided by this loan can be used to repair, upgrade, replace, or purchase new tractors, dump trucks, backhoes, forklifts, and other types of heavy-duty vehicles. It can also be used to purchase various types of industrial equipment, medical equipment, and miscellaneous equipment.
Unsecured Capital Loans
Though a lot of the business loans offered by America First can be used for capital purposes, in the event that you do not have immediate access to collateral, a term loan or line of credit can be very useful.
Whether you aren’t keen on the idea of lines of credit that are open-ended or balances that are constantly revolving, a term loan may be the right choice for you. America First Credit Union small business term loans can provide you with the funds you need for your business with the ease of a pre-determined and established payment and term period, making it the ideal choice for one-time and other kinds of business-related expenses.
The maximum amount for business term loans is $15,000, and the maximum term is 60 months.
Business Acquisition/ Franchise Loans
If you are interested in purchasing a new franchise or you would like to buy your own independent company, a business acquisition/franchise loan from America First Credit Union might be the right option for you. Terms, rates, fees, and loan amounts vary. To find out more, visit your nearest America First branch or call 801.215.5557 to speak with an associate.
Commercial Real Estate
If you are ready to purchase, you want to build, or you need to make improvements to the property that your business is housed in, consider a commercial real estate loan from America First Credit Union. The fully licensed, professionally trained, and highly experienced representatives in the loan division at America First Credit Union are dedicated to assisting business owner with the appropriate loan that will meet the financing needs of their commercial properties.
America First offers loans for two types of commercial real estate:
Owner Occupied Real Estate
America First offers commercial real estate loans for owner occupied buildings; that is, buildings that entrepreneurs own. The loans that the credit union offers for owner occupied real estate boast the following features:
- Competitive rates, terms, and fees
- Flexible terms of up to 25 years
- Borrower cash down as low as 10%
- No penalties for pre-payments
- 10-year call and five-year rate adjustments
- Financing available for acquisition of existing properties and construction of new properties
Several factors will be taken into consideration in order to determine the interest rate and terms for a loan for owner occupied commercial real estate. These factors include the type of property, the type of loan, and the strength of the borrower.
Non-Owner Occupied Real Estate
The loan division representatives at America First Credit Union are dedicated to assisting business owners find the right loan for your non-owner occupied commercial real estate.
America First offers commercial real estate loans that can be used for the following non-owner occupied properties:
- Apartment buildings/ multi-resident housing
- Office buildings
- Warehouses/ industrial buildings
- Retail buildings
The features of commercial real estate loans for the aforementioned non-owner occupied properties include the following:
- Fair and flexible terms and conditions
- Amortization for up to 25 years
- 10-year call and five-year rate adjustments
- No penalties for pre-payment
- Financing available for both acquisition and construction of non-owner occupied commercial real estate
It’s important to note that the interest rates and terms for commercial real estate loans for non-owner occupied properties from America First vary and depend on several factors. These factors include the type of property, the type of loan, and the strength of the borrower.
How Do You Qualify for an America First Credit Union Business Loan?
In order to be eligible for an America First business loan, you must meet certain qualifications. These qualifications vary and depend on several factors, including the type of loan that you will be applying for and the amount of financing you are seeking. That said, however, there are some general qualifications that apply for all of the business loans the credit union offers.
Personal and Business Credit Score
When you submit your application, America First will review both your personal and business credit scores to determine the level of risk you pose. Ideally, the credit union would like business loan applicants to have a personal credit FICO store of at least 670. While you may qualify for a loan if your FICO score is under 670, do note that you will pay a higher interest rates and the terms may not be as lengthy.
America First will also assess your business credit score. A score of between 80 to 100 on the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) PAYDEX is considered an ideal business credit score, while score that falls under 49 would be considered bad, and you likely will not qualify.
Annual Business Revenue and Profit
The loan division of America First credit Union will also assess the annual revenue and profit of your business. They will request copies of your business bank account statements and your business income tax returns. To determine if you have access to enough positive cash flow so that you can afford the amount you are requesting on your business loan, you may also be asked to provide profit and loss statements.
Your debt-to-income ratio will also be assessed when determining if you meet the eligibility requirements for a business loan with America First Credit Union. Your debt-to-income ratio will allow the loan division to determine whether or not you can afford to carry the additional debt that the loan will provide.
For secured business loans, America First will ask that you pledge collateral. In the event that you fail to repay your loan, the credit union will rely on the collateral you put up.
America First will also consider your industry when determining whether or not you qualify for a business loan.
You may also be asked to share a business plan, particularly if you’re a startup. This plan will allow the loan division to assess key pieces of information, such as financial projections, the intended purpose for the funds you are seeking, the outlook of your industry, and a competitive analysis.
You will also need to present some crucial documents when you apply for a business loan with America First Credit Union. Examples of these documents include the following:
- Statements for both personal and business checking and savings account statements
- Tax returns; both personal and business
- Copies of your business license and permits
- Employee Identification Number (EIN)
- Proof of collateral
- Business plan
- Insurance plans for your business
- Payroll records