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Lake Michigan Credit Union business loans review

Small-dollar financing with no fees for established businesses.

finder.com’s rating: 3.16 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bottom line: Lake Michigan Credit Union offers secured term loans with some of the lowest rates out there, especially for a business loan. 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.

Details

Max. Amount$50,000
Loan TermUp to 240 months
Min. Credit Score700
APR5% to 7%
RequirementsPersonal credit score of 700+, established business, willing to become a member

Pros

  • Rates from 5% to 7%
  • No origination fee
  • No minimum amount
  • Live chat available

Cons

  • No online application
  • No loans over
  • High minimum credit score of 700
  • Few product details available online

Our take on Lake Michigan Credit Union

Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) offers a variety of business loans with incredible rates and low fees. There are no minimums on its loan amounts, and it costs just $5 to become a member. Plus, it offers no prepayment penalties if you choose to pay off your loan early.

But it has a high minimum credit score of 700, which may be out of reach for those with new or poor credit. And its online details are lacking. There’s no digital application, and it doesn’t give much details about its loan products on its website. Customer reviews are few but lean negative, mostly citing issues with time delays and poor customer service.

LMCU’s loan rates and fees are good but unverified

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 . 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.

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Rates depend on your credit score and business profits

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.

Joining the credit union costs $5

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.

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

Like the loan amount, rates and terms, we were unable to confirm these requirements when we reached out in June 2020.

The documentation you’ll need to apply isn’t clear

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.

High-risk industries might have a hard time qualifying

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.

Lake Michigan Credit Union offers several other types of financing

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).

See more business loan providers

Use this table to find out how Lake Michigan Credit Union compares to other offers.

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
Biz2Credit business loans
Finder Rating: 3.75 / 5: ★★★★★
Biz2Credit business loans
$25,000 – $6,000,000
Starting at 5.99%
6+ months in business; $100,000+ monthly revenue; 500+ credit score
Get only the capital you need through secure, prescreened lenders with this highly rated company offering SBA, expansion, working capital and other loans.
OnDeck short-term loans
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
OnDeck short-term loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 35%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue, active business checking account
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Fora Financial business loans
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
Fora Financial business loans
$5,000 – $500,000
Varies
6+ months in business, $12,000+ monthly revenue, no open bankruptcies
Get qualified for funding in minutes for up to $500,000 without affecting your credit score. Best for companies with at least six figures in annual revenue.
Lendio business loans
Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5: ★★★★★
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
ROK Financial business loans
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
Fundbox lines of credit
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Fundbox lines of credit
$1,000 – $150,000
Not stated
6 + months in business, $100,000+ in annual revenue, 600+ credit score
Get flat rate, short-term financing based on the financial health of your business, not your credit score.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Lake Michigan Credit Union is legit and keeps your information safe

When it comes to safety and security, Lake Michigan Credit Union is:

  • a legitimate business lender.
  • insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), which means it meets federal standards.
  • an SBA lender, which means it meets standards set by the Small Business Association for those specific loan programs.
  • SSL-encrypted 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.

Online reviews are limited but lean mostly negative

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.9 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 11 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 3.7 out of 5 stars, based on 1 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 13 October 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.

You can call to apply — but there’s no online application

Unfortunately, Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t have an online application. Instead, you need to call its commercial lending team at 616-301-8899, available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

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.

You can apply in person if you live in Michigan or Florida — those are the only two states where Lake Michigan Credit Union has branches. But you still might want to call the commercial lending department to schedule an appointment first.

It might take several days or weeks to be approved

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.

Expect monthly repayments on your loan and no prepayment penalties

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’s terms.

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.

Lake Michigan Credit Union doesn’t charge any prepayment penalties. That means you can save on interest if your business can afford to pay off the loan before the term is up.

To learn how this credit union stacks up to others, read our credit union business loans guide.

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.

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