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Northwest Federal Credit Union business loans review

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Startup-friendly business term loans starting at with minimal eligibility requirements.’s rating: 2.2 / 5.0


When you’re starting a new business or have a large one-time expense, Northwest Federal Credit Union (FCU) could help you get the funding you need. There are no limits to how much your business can borrow and no minimum requirements for revenue or time in business. But with loans starting at , it might not be the best stop for small projects.


Product NameNorthwest FCU business loans
Min. Credit Score680
APRUp to 18%
RequirementsBe a business member of Northwest FCU and have a credit score of at least 680.

First, do I qualify?

To be eligible for a business loan, you must:

  • Be a business member of Northwest FCU.
  • Have a credit score of at least 680.

What is Northwest FCU?

Northwest FCU is one of a handful of credit unions that offers financing to businesses nationwide. Its unsecured and secured business term loans can be used for things like buying a car or stocking up on inventory. Term loans start at and go as high as you need, as long as you qualify. Though, it usually requires collateral on loans over $100,000.

Most term loans range from 36 to 72 months, though there’s also no fixed minimum or maximum term. Interest rates are fixed and can be — the maximum rate federal credit unions are allowed to charge. On top of this, Northwest charges an application fee, typically around $250.

What makes Northwest FCU business loans unique?

Northwest FCU offers what could be one of most affordable business loan options out there for startups and entrepreneurs, since it can’t charge more than 18% in interest.

There are no requirements for how long you’ve been in business or how much you make each month, so it could also be a viable choice for small business struggling to turn a profit. But to qualify, you’ll need a good credit score of 680 or higher.

What are the benefits of Northwest FCU business loans?

  • Startup-friendly. New and young businesses might be eligible for financing from Northwest FCU.
  • Flexible funding. Your business can use its Northwest FCU loan for any legitimate business purpose.
  • No minimum revenue. Struggling businesses might also find affordable financing with Northwest FCU.
  • No maximum amounts. Your business can potentially borrow as much as it needs.

What to watch out for

  • Good credit required. Business owners must have a credit score of at least 680 to be eligible for a Northwest FCU loan.
  • No online application. You have to pick up the phone to apply for a term loan from Northwest FCU. Other types of financing under $50,000 have online applications.
  • Little information online. Northwest FCU doesn’t provide any information about rates, terms or credit requirements on its site, which can be difficult to navigate.
  • Poor reviews. It gets a D- from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for failing to respond to customer complaints.

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OnDeck small business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
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Rapid Finance small business loans
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Fundera business loans
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LendingClub business loans
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What does the Internet say about Northwest FCU?

There’s not much online about Northwest FCU as of September 2018. But what’s there isn’t inspiring. It only has four reviews and 17 complaints filed against it with the BBB. The BBB itself gives it a D- rating, mostly because it never responded to customer complaints.

It doesn’t have any reviews on Trustpilot, though several of its branches have pages on Yelp with mediocre ratings. Many complained about unexpected fees when they were late paying back a loan and an unresponsive customer service department. Several reviewers also had trouble using the banking app to make payments or deposit checks.

How do I apply?

Get started on your loan application by calling Northwest FCU’s commercial lending department at 703-709-8900 and dialing extension 4728. From there, a loan specialist determines your eligibility and guides you through the application process. The turnaround time is typically three to five business days.

Before you pick up the phone, double-check that your business is eligible for a loan.


To qualify for a loan from Northwest FCU, you must be a member and have a credit score of 680 or higher. Not already a member? You can become one while you apply for a loan by becoming a company partner. You can also apply to be a company partner by filling out a quick one-page application on Northwest FCU’s website.

What documents do I need to apply?

Typically Northwest FCU asks to see the following documents, especially if you’re a startup:

  • Tax returns
  • Personal and business bank statements
  • Balance sheet
  • Business plan
  • Financial projections

Other types of business financing from Northwest FCU

  • Auto loans. Buying a car for business use? An auto loan might be what you’re looking for. Your business can apply with a quick online application for all loans under $50,000.
  • Lines of credit. Northwest FCU offers both revolving and fixed credit lines for small businesses with continuous working capital needs, starting at $50,000.
  • Real estate loans. Northwest FCU has options for small businesses looking to buy or refinance commercial real estate.
  • SBA loans. Your business can apply for either an SBA 7(a) or 504 loan through Northwest FCU.

I got a business loan from Northwest FCU. Now what?

After Northwest FCU disburses the funds, your business can use them for whatever it specified on the application. Ask if you can sign up for automatic payments to ensure your repayments are taken care of each month.

Watch your loan balance and your business bank accounts. If you notice anything off, reach out to customer service as soon as possible.

Bottom line

Northwest FCU’s flexible eligibility requirements could make it an affordable option for startups and low-revenue businesses looking for financing. However, its poor customer reviews and relatively involved application might make it less than ideal if you’re looking for something quick and easy. You can look into more financing options by visiting our guide to business loans.

Frequently asked questions

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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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