Sound Credit Union business loans review
Financing from with APRs capped at 10.15% — but only for Washington State businesses.
finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0
- Best for business loans under $25,000.
- Pick something else if you don't live in Washington State.
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.
Sound Credit Union is a nonprofit financial institution that serves residents and businesses located in the state of Washington. It offers several different types of business financing, including unsecured term loans. These can be a great option for covering small expenses — its term loans start as low as $500. And with rates that top out at 10.15%, it’s less expensive than what you’d find with most microlenders.
But it won’t help you in your startup phase, or if you live outside of Washington state. You’ll need to be around for at least two years and live near a branch to qualify. And online applications are only available for loans of $50,000 and under.
How much will this loan cost me?
Sound Credit Union business loans typically come with with rates from 6.15% to 10.15% and there are no application, origination or prepayment fees.
You can borrow between and go up to with terms as long as .
We weren’t able to verify the rates and terms when we called customer service in June 2020. The representative we spoke with suggested filling out an online form to see what rates and terms your business might qualify for. But you can use the calculator below to find out how much a loan within these ranges might cost.
Business loan calculatorSee how much you'll pay
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
Generally, factors like your credit score, revenue and time in business can affect your loan amounts, rates and terms. For example, there are no minimum credit requirements but you’ll need to have a personal credit score of at least 700 to be eligible for the largest loan.
Like with most credit unions, longer loan terms typically lead to higher interest rates. These loans are generally unsecured. But if your business needs the full , Sound Credit Union typically asks businesses to back the loan with an asset like equipment, inventory or real estate.
What do I need to qualify?
To be considered for a Sound Credit Union business loan, you must meet the following criteria:
- In business at least two years
- Eligible for membership
While there are no minimum revenue or credit score requirements, Sound Credit Union will factor into your application.
Business owners must be eligible for Sound Credit Union membership as an individual to become a business member. You must meet one of the following criteria:
- Work, live or go to school in Washington
- Work for one of its select employer groups
- Be related to someone who meets one of the above requirements
What information do I need to apply?
Sound Credit Union might ask to see the following documents:
- Your business licenses
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Profits and loss sheets
What industries does Sound Credit Union work with?
Sound Credit Union doesn’t disclose which industries are eligible for its loan program. However, you may have a hard time qualifying if your industry is considered high-risk. These can include industries like trucking, construction, lending and gambling.
What other types of financing does Sound Credit Union offer?
In addition to small business loans Sound Credit Union offers the following types of business financing.
Sound Credit Union offers loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) — in fact, it’s a preferred SBA lender. This means it has the authority to underwrite loans instead of relying on the SBA, which can speed up the turnaround time. However, it doesn’t specify which loan programs it offers.
Business lines of credit
Sound Credit Union offers secured and unsecured lines of credit starting at $5,000 with terms as long as 10 years. Businesses can make interest-only repayments on each withdrawal for the first 12 months.
You can find loans to buy a new vehicle for your business or refinance a current loan. This includes large specialty vehicles in addition to business passenger vehicles and trucks. SBA funding is also available for vehicle financing.
Commercial real estate loans
Financing for buying an office, warehouse, retail building, multifamily complex and more. This credit union offers funding for both owner-occupied nonower-occupied properties.
Pros and cons
Sound Credit Union business loans aren’t available to all small businesses. Weigh the pros and cons before you decide to apply
- Low maximum APR of 10.15%
- Loans as low as from this nonprofit lender.
- No origination fee
- Locations limited to Washington State
- Loans over $50,000 are available, but you have to apply in person
- Long terms come with high rates
See other top business loan options
Is Sound Credit Union legit?
Yes, Sound Credit Union is a member of the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), which means it meets certain federal standards — like charging no more than 18% in interest. It also takes steps to protect your account by using technology like transport layer security (TLS) and multifactor authentication. And it conducts annual security audits.
Sound Credit Union reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||2 out of 5 stars, based on 4 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||7 customer complaints|
|Customer reviews verified as of||13 October 2020|
Customers haven’t said much about Sound Credit Union online. It only has a few negative Better Business Bureau reviews, and no Trustpilot page. However, several of its branches have Yelp reviews. Customers complain that its online banking service was difficult to use or felt that the whole process of setting up an account or paying off a loan was unnecessarily clunky.
We also had a difficult time getting in touch with customer service — it took eight minutes to get through to a representative when writing this review. And when updating this review, we weren’t able to speak to someone to confirm any product details.
It wasn’t all bad, though. A few customers really appreciated the personalized service they found at Sound, especially after switching over from big banks.
How do I apply?
You can apply for a Sound Credit Union business loan online, over the phone or in person at your local branch. Applying in person is fastest: You can often get a response within 24 hours. Otherwise, it can take two to three business days to hear back.
Follow these steps to apply for a Sound Credit Union business loan online:
- Go to the Sound Credit Union website.
- Hover over Business in the main navigation bar, then click Business loans.
- Select Term loans, then click Apply online.
- Enter your email and create a password before clicking Start my application.
- Set up three security questions, then click Enroll.
- Complete the application with information about yourself and your business, including its assets.
- Review and submit your application.
What happens after I apply?
Typically, it takes between two and three business days for Sound Credit Union to respond to online applications. And in some cases, you may need to provide additional documents to verify the information you provided.
How do repayments work?
Sound Credit Union doesn’t provide any information about how its repayments work. But most credit unions require monthly repayments on business loans.
You can find information about when and how often your repayments are due in your loan contract. But if you have any questions, reach out to a customer service rep at 800-562-8130 or by visiting your local branch.
Find out how Sound Credit Union compares to other lenders by reading our business loans guide.
Frequently asked questions
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.