America First Credit Union business loans review
Unsecured capital loans up to $15,000 for business owners in the Southwest.
finder.com’s rating: 2.25 / 5.0
America First Credit Union offers straight-forward financing for small businesses in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho. Its term loans go as long as 5 years and don’t require collateral. For a credit union, funding is fairly quick, with turnaround as quick as one to two days. Though it might not be ideal for emergency situations: You need to visit a branch in person at least once to sign the loan documents.
First, do I qualify?
America First Credit Union has flexible eligibility requirements. Aside from being a member, your business just needs to show verification of income or an income plan projection if it’s just getting started. There are no hard cutoffs for annual revenue, your credit score or time in business.
What is America First Credit Union?
America First Credit Union is a Salt Lake City-based credit union that offers unsecured term loans of up to $15,000 to small businesses. You have up to five years to pay back your loan, and APRs are capped at Up to 18%. There are no origination or application fees. In fact, the only fees to worry about are $25 for late payment or returned checks.
If your business needs more funding, America First can connect you with an SBA loan — though keep in mind that this application typically takes much longer and can be more involved. You’ll also need to provide collateral.
What makes America First Credit Union business loans unique?
America First Credit Union business loans are relatively simple and have a fast turnaround. While you’ll need to become a member when you apply, it only takes between 24 and 48 hours to get a decision after you’ve started your application. There’s no minimum amount your business can borrow, and it’s also open to businesses less than two years old.
What are the benefits of an America First Credit Union business loan?
- No minimum amount. You can borrow as little as you want to prevent taking on more debt need.
- Flexible requirements. There are no minimum requirements for revenue, time in business or your personal credit score.
- Competitive rates. The highest APR you’ll get on an America First Credit Union business loan is Up to 18%.
What to watch out for
- Unsecured loans only up to $15,000. If your business needs more, you’ll need to apply for SBA-backed financing, which typically requires collateral.
- Limited state availability. Your business must be located in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon or Utah to qualify.
- Branch visit required. While you can apply for a loan online, you have to visit a branch to sign the loan documents.
Compare more business loan providers
What does the Internet say about America First Credit Union?
America First Credit Union doesn’t have strong online reviews as of October 2018. While it gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on factors like advertising practices, the majority of its 12 customer reviews are negative. On top of this, 29 customers have filed complaints against the credit union.
It doesn’t have a Trustpilot page, but several of its branches have reviews on Yelp. The most popular branches have two and three stars, though a few have as many as five stars. Most customers agreed that the service was often slow and inconsistent. Several complained of being given the run around when trying to fix a problem without ever coming to a resolution.
How do I apply?
You can get started on your America First Credit Union business loan application online, over the phone or in person at your local branch. If you aren’t already a member, you might want to reach out to the credit union first to make sure you qualify.
Business membership eligibility
You or your business must meet one of the following criteria to become a member:
- Business located in an area of Nevada, Utah, Arizona or Idaho near an America First branch.
- Live, work, volunteer, go to school or worship in an eligible area.
- Work for America First Credit Union or one of its subsidiaries.
- Work in the food industry in Utah.
- Immediate family member of a current member.
- Share a household with a current member.
- Member of the Utah PTA.
- Spouse of a deceased person who was eligible for membership.
Steps to apply online
- Go to the America First Credit Union website.
- Click Business in the top navigation bar.
- Select Unsecured – Capital Loans.
- Scroll down and click the hyperlinked text that reads Business Loan Request.
- Enter your basic contact information, select which type of loan you’re interested in and provide a general description of how your business plans on using the funds.
- Wait for an America First Credit Union representative to get in touch to help you complete the application process.
What documents do I need to apply?
While it varies depending on the type of financing you’re applying for, America First Credit Union typically asks to see the following documents:
- Two years of business tax returns.
- Two years of personal tax returns.
- A projection of future business revenue for new businesses.
Other types of business financing from America First Credit Union
America First Credit Union also offers the following types of business financing:
- Unsecured revolving lines of credit. Qualified businesses can get access to lines of credit with limits ranging from $15,000 to $50,000. Each time you withdraw, it turns into a seven-year loan with interest-only repayments for the first three years.
- Equipment and machinery loans. SBA loans based on the value of your business’s new equipment and machinery.
- Commercial vehicle loans. Both conventional and SBA loans for buying new vehicles for business use, also based on the value of the vehicle.
- Business acquisition and franchise loans. SBA loans to buy another business or start your own franchise.
- Commercial real estate loans. Financing for both owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied real estate purchases with terms up to 25 years and five-year rate adjustments.
I got a business loan from America First. Now what?
Once your business has its funds, you need prepare to pay off your loan. Check your contract to learn when your first repayment is due. If possible, sign up for autopay so you don’t need to take time out of your work schedule to make repayments each month.
Keep track of your loan balance and your business bank account. If you have any questions, reach out to your point of contact at America First Credit Union or call customer service at 800-999-3961.
America First Credit Union’s unsecured capital term loans are quick, straight-forward and ideal for newer businesses looking for a small amount of financing. They’re only available in four states, however. And if you’re interested in borrowing more than $15,000, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
To learn more about your business financing options and compare lenders, check out our business loans guide.
Frequently asked questions
Business loan ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We rate business loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.
Read the full methodology of how we rate business loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.