Lake Michigan Credit Union business loans review
Small-dollar financing with no fees for established businesses.
finder.com’s rating: 3.16 / 5.0
- Best for financing a small expense at a low rate.
- Pick something else if your credit score is below 700 or don't have collateral.
Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 950 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.
Lake Michigan Credit Union is a nonprofit lender that offers secured term loans to small businesses. It has some of the lowest rates out there, especially for a business loan. There’s also no limit to how little your business can borrow, making it ideal for businesses that need funding for smaller expenses.
Like most credit unions, it doesn’t have many eligibility requirements other than strong personal credit. But it doesn’t lend to startups, even though there’s no minimum requirement for time in business. And you can’t borrow more than $50,000.
How much will this loan cost me?
Lake Michigan Credit Union term loans come with rates from 5% to 7% — though we weren’t able to verify if these or any product details were up to date when we reached out in June 2020. There are no application or origination fees.
There’s no minimum to how much your business can borrow, though they max out at $50,000. Your business can take as long as 20 years to pay off the loan — though you might want to avoid such a long loan term to save on interest.
Use the calculator below to see how much you might pay each month based on different rates and terms within the ranges this lender offers.
Business loan calculatorSee how much you'll pay
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
Generally, you’ll need to be profitable with several years in business and have an excellent credit score of about 760 or higher to get the lowest rate on this loan. The loan amount and term you’re eligible for also typically depends on how much revenue your business brings in each month and whether you can afford the repayments.
With many credit union loans, longer terms also come with higher rates. However, Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t specify if this is true for its loans.
What do I need to qualify?
To be eligible for a business loan from Lake Michigan Credit Union, you must:
- Have a personal credit score of at least 700
- Be an established business
- Be a member or willing to become a member of Lake Michigan Credit Union
If you’re not already a business member, you can join when you apply — a representative can walk you through the business membership application. While Lake Michigan Credit Union only has branches in Michigan and Florida, anyone can become a member by making a $5 contribution to the ALS Foundation.
Like the loan amount, rates and terms, we were unable to confirm these requirements when we reached out in June 2020.
What information do I need to apply?
Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t specify which documents you’ll need when you apply for a loan — it depends on your business’s specific situation. However, it’s common for business lenders to ask for at least three months of personal and business bank statements, tax returns, balance sheets and financial projections.
What industries does Lake Michigan Credit Union work with?
Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t single out any specific industries as ineligible. But you might have a hard time qualifying if your business is in an industry that lenders consider to be high risk. This can include industries such as insurance, accounting, wholesaling and transportation.
The best way to find out if your industry is eligible is reach out to the customer support team by calling 616-301-8899.
What other types of financing does Lake Michigan Credit Union offer?
In addition to term loans, you can find the following types of business financing through this credit union.
- Lines of credit. Access to cash as your business needs it to fund an ongoing project like construction.
- Business Rewards Visa. This credit card can help cover small expenses that don’t need to be paid in cash like travel and meals with clients.
- Real estate loans. Financing for expanding your current space, moving to a new building or buying property for your business.
- Letters of credit. A letter from the bank backing your business’s transactions to help you start working with a new vendor or break into a new market.
- SBA loans. This credit union offers both 7(a) and CDC/504 loans, backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Pros and cons
Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a Lake Michigan Credit Union business loan before you decide to apply.
- Rates from 5% to 7%
- No origination fee
- No minimum amount
- Live chat available
- No online application
- No loans over $50,000
- High minimum credit score of 700
- Few product details available online
See more business loan providers
Use this table to find out how Lake Michigan Credit Union compares to other offers.
Is Lake Michigan Credit Union legit?
Yes, Lake Michigan Credit Union is a legitimate business lender. It’s insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), which means it meets federal standards. It’s also an SBA lender, which means that it meets standards set by the SBA for those specific loan programs.
It uses SSL encryption to protect any information you enter online to access your account. And since it doesn’t offer online applications, you don’t need to worry about submitting any sensitive information over the internet.
Do Lake Michigan Credit Union business loans get good customer reviews?
|BBB customer reviews||2 out of 5 stars, based on 4 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||3.7 out of 5 stars, based on 1 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||29 June 2020|
Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t do well when it comes to online reviews, though there aren’t many. It only has a handful of reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot, though several of its branches are reviewed on Yelp.
The main problem? How long it takes to apply for financing — one customer even eventually withdrew their applications out of frustration. A few also remark on the poor quality of customer service, a common problem with credit unions.
How do I apply?
Unfortunately, Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t have an online application. Instead, you need to call its commercial lending team at 616-301-8899. If they think you’re a good fit after discussing your business’s financing needs, you’ll get instructions for how to apply. But before you start dialing, double-check that you’re eligible.
What happens after I apply?
You’ll likely need to place a lien on your business’s assets to secure the loan and sign the loan documents before you get the funds. It’s unclear how long it will take to fund your loan. But without an online application, the turnaround could be several days or even a few weeks.
How do repayments work?
Typically, credit union business loans come with monthly repayments. You can find out information about when and how your repayments are due by checking your loan
If possible, sign up for autopay so you don’t have to take time out of your schedule to make payments each month. Keep track of your business bank account and loan balance. If you have any questions or notice anything off, reach out to customer service as soon as you can.
To learn how this credit union stacks up to others, read our credit union business loans guide.
Frequently asked questions
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