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Community State Bank loans review

A local Wisconsin lender that specializes in agriculture and nonprofit banking.

Bottom line: This local bank might only have seven branches, but the expertise it offers agriculture, nonprofits and other small businesses in the area could be hard to find with a larger lender.

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Business term loans, business lines of credit, SBA loans, commercial real estate loans, farm loans, personal loans, auto loans, mortgages, construction loans

Types of loans available

No

Online applications

Details

Types of loans availableBusiness term loans, business lines of credit, SBA loans, commercial real estate loans, farm loans, personal loans, auto loans, mortgages, construction loans
Online applicationsNo
Number of branches7
Branch hours9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Customer service hoursNot stated
Customer service optionsLive chat, phone, email
Mobile appYes
Routing number75907002

Review by


Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.

Expert review

Community State Bank is small even for a community bank. It only serves three counties in Wisconsin — but packs a lot of punch. It has specialized programs for nonprofits and agricultural businesses, which can struggle to find funding. And its involvement in the local community could make it a good resource for local businesses in that area.

But its size has its drawbacks. It’s not open for appointments after businesses hours or on Saturdays. And with no online reviews you’ll have to talk to other members of your business community to get an idea of what to expect as a customer.

What is Community State Bank?

There are a few local banks called Community State Bank (CSB). But this review is about the Community State Bank in Southeast Wisconsin. It's a relationship-driven lender with seven branches across Kenosha County, Racine County and Walworth County.

Because it's relationship-oriented, meeting with a loan officer is key to setting up an account. But you'll need to find time during the work day — all branches are only open during regular business hours.

What types of loans does Community State Bank offer?

Small business owners can find the following types of financing for their companies and themselves:

  • Business term loans. Financing for a specific purchase or project, secured by the assets you're purchasing with terms up to five years.
  • Business lines of credit. Access to cash for working capital and other short-term financing needs.
  • SBA loans. Loans partly guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for owners that don't have the personal assets to fully guarantee a business loan.
  • Farm loans. CSB has loan programs specifically for the agriculture industry, including Department of Agriculture- and Farm Service Agency-guaranteed loans.
  • Commercial real estate loans. Financing to buy, renovate, expand, maintain or build new real estate for your business.
  • Personal installment loans. Funding for personal use to pay for a large expense like a wedding or recreational vehicle.
  • Car loans. New and used financing that you can take to a dealership and pay in cash.
  • Mortgages. Financing to buy a home or cover construction expenses.

What industries does CSB specialize in?

CSB has a special banking program for agriculture businesses and nonprofits. It's a preferred FSA lender, which means that it has the authority to approve FSA loans without running your application through the agency.

Contact Dave Moyer at the Union Grove branch for information about agriculture banking. Nonprofits can reach out to Steve Donovan in Racine, Robert Pieroni in Kenosha or Mike Ploch at the Lake Geneva branch.

How does borrowing with Community State Bank work?

CSB is a relationship-based bank, so you'll have to set up an appointment to discuss your options before you can take out a loan. Typically, you'll bring a few documents to your first meeting, such as your business's financial statements, to get an estimate of what type of financing would best serve your business.

This process can take a few months — at first. But as your banker gets to know your business, they might be able to anticipate financing needs based on your financial reports.

Pros

  • SBA and USDA loans available
  • FSA-preferred lender
  • Accepts nonprofits
  • Mobile app and livechat on website

Cons

  • No online application
  • Only open during business hours
  • No customer reviews

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Community State bank reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating NR
Glassdoor 3.4 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 09 November 2020

CSB has no reviews or complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, Trustpilot or Yelp. In fact, it doesn't even have a BBB page — all other CSB pages on that site refer to an Iowa-based bank with the same name.

This is common for lenders of this size — CSB only has seven branches, after all. To get an idea of the customer experience, ask around your business community to see if any other owners have used this bank.

What do employees say?

CSB only has a few reviews on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor — and the Indeed page includes reviews from multiple banks with the same name. A few employees complained of a shortage of employees and poor management.

This normally would not be a sign of high turnover — meaning you could have trouble building a strong relationship with your lender. But with so few reviews out there, it's difficult to determine.

What other products does it offer?

Moving all of your banking to one place can strengthen your relationship and make it easier to qualify for financing quickly. If you're thinking of taking out a business loan with CSB, consider signing up for some of these products as well.

  • Bill pay
  • Business account sweeps
  • Business ACH origination
  • Business wire transfer services
  • CDs
  • Checking accounts
  • Credit card merchant services
  • Credit cards
  • Gift cards
  • Health savings accounts
  • Investment, wealth management and financial planning
  • Money market accounts
  • Savings accounts with interest

Special banking services are also available for children under 12 and adults over 55, which include social events and newsletters to keep you connected with your community.

Community State Bank history

CSB got its start as The Bank of Union Grove, which was founded by grain mill operator John Blakey in 1989. It became FDIC-insured in 1933 and changed its name to Community State Bank in 1983. Since it's expanded to seven branches across the three counties it serves.

In 2018, it opened a café in collaboration with Shepards College, where it offers training and work experience for students with intellectual disabilities. It also opened two community rooms at the Union Grove location.

CSB could be a particularly great choice for agriculture businesses, nonprofits and any other small businesses that serve the local community. But read our guide to the best business loans to see how it compares to other options.

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