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Northwest Federal Credit Union business loans review

Northwestern Virginia credit union can fund large projects with options for SBA 504 and 7(a) loans.

finder.com’s rating: 3.3 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bottom line: Northwest Federal Credit Union offers low-cost financing for large projects in Virginia. But pick another lender for small costs or emergency expenses. Read our full review or get our 30-second take.

Details

Min. Amount$50,000
Min. Credit Score680
APRUp to 18%
RequirementsBe a business member of Northwest FCU and have a credit score of at least 680.

Pros

  • Low maximum rate of 18%
  • SBA 7(a) and 504 loans available
  • No fixed maximum loan amount

Cons

  • No online application
  • Loans start at a high $50,000
  • Only serves Northwest Virginia

Our take on Northwest Federal Credit Union business loans

Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) offers a variety of business loans, though options are geared toward large projects. Its term loans start at a high $50,000 — though you can find lower amounts of financing to purchase a vehicle or use its line of credit for smaller costs. Because it’s a federal credit union, it can’t legally charge interest rates over 18%.

Like most small credit unions I’ve reviewed, it doesn’t offer much information on its website or accept online applications. Typically, local lenders make up for their lack of technological savvy with an exceptional customer experience — though Northwest also gets mixed reviews in that department. If a seamless application and quick funding are your main concern, consider another lender. 

NWFCU doesn’t disclose much information online

This lender doesn’t disclose any information about minimum rates, fees or repayment terms on its website. You’ll have to reach out to a loan officer to get a quote.

But because it’s a federal credit union, Northwest legally can’t charge an interest rate over 18%. This makes it a relatively inexpensive loan — especially if your business has struggled to qualify for bank financing. Government-backed Small Business administration (SBA) loan rates are even lower, thanks to federally mandated caps.

Other types of business financing at NWFCU

In addition to term loans, small businesses can find the following types of loans through this credit union:

  • Auto loans
  • Credit cards
  • Lines of credit
  • Commercial real estate loans
  • SBA 7(a) loans
  • SBA 504 loans

Like with term loans Northwest Federal Credit Union doesn’t give many details about these financing options. 

Northwest Federal Credit Union reviews are negative

BBB accredited No
BBB rating A-
BBB customer reviews 1.57 out of 5 stars, based on 14 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 45 customer complaints
Customer reviews verified as of 01 November 2021

NWFCU gets almost entirely negative reviews from customers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Several of its branches have pages on Yelp with mediocre ratings. Many are complaints 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.

Reach out to find out if your business qualifies

Northwest Federal Credit Union doesn’t publish eligibility requirements, other than being a commercial member of the credit union. It also required business owners to have a credit score of 680 when I first wrote this review — though I wasn’t able to verify that minimum credit score in 2021.

The best way to find out if you qualify is to set up an appointment with a loan officer.

How to become a member

You can become a commercial member of NWFCU 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 the credit union’s website.

Call the commercial lending apartment to apply

The first step to getting a Northwest Federal Credit Union loan involves reaching out to its commercial lending department. To get in touch with that department directly by calling 703-709-8900 and dialing extension 4931. From there, a loan specialist determines your eligibility and guides you through the application process. Typically NWFCU asks to see the following documents:

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

The turnaround time is typically three to five business days.

NWFCU’s large minimum loan amount set it apart

While NFWCU’s maximum rate is low compared to other business lenders in general, that rate is legally required for all federal credit unions. But its minimum loan amount of $50,000 is uniquely high for a small business lender, even compared to large national banks.

If you need a loan over $50,000, this is good news — it means NWFCU’s loan officers are experts in dealing with large amounts of financing. But nearly a third of small businesses needed financing below that amount, according to the Federal Reserve. Those small businesses might want to work with another lender.

Alternatives to Northwest Federal Credit Union

Unlike NWFCU, these providers allow you to start your application without picking up the phone or visiting a branch. Fill out the form to see options that may be available to your small business. Or visit our guide to small business loans to learn more about how business financing works.

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements

Biz2Credit business loans
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 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.

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.

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.

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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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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