VP, Business Lending and Services
Business Matters –
Growing Business Lending
We're proud to announce the appointment of Francine Boards as Vice President of Business Lending at Travis Credit Union. Formerly TCU's senior commercial credit officer, she will oversee strategic growth and direction for our business lending and deposit services department.
Francine is excited about her new role, which includes sharing her thoughts in upcoming Business Matters columns. In this column, we talk with her about TCU Business Services in general.
How can Travis Credit Union help local small business owners?
Travis Credit Union can assist small businesses in obtaining access to capital through our business loan products which consists of lines of credit, term loans, Commercial Real Estate loans (owner-occupied and investment) and business debt refinancing under certain criteria. Business lending also allows for the purchase of machinery and equipment, working capital, business expansion, the purchase of an existing business, start-up financing through our SBA loan program and franchise businesses.
What are the qualifications to obtain a business loan from TCU?
There are several common areas an analyst/underwriter looks for when qualifying a business for financing that includes the five C's of credit, which are credit history, cash flow, collateral, character and capital. In other words, what are the trends in the business history and how is the capacity demonstrated to repay the loan.
What are some of the common issues facing small business owners?
Obviously, small businesses are facing challenging times in the current economic climate and therefore trends in business history don't necessarily show consecutive years of profits. Businesses are also faced with the lack of access to capital as financial institutions also have regulatory requirements to adhere to when making business loans. Credit risk impacts business growth. Balance needs to be achieved for both the lender and business borrower during this economic period. Lenders need to make "good" loans and mitigate risk, and businesses need capital in a downturn market.
What type of help is available to people who want to start a business?
Travis Credit Union works with local technical assistance providers, namely the Solano and Contra Costa Small Business Development Centers. These centers provide financial consulting and technical services to individuals so they can obtain financing, such as Travis Credit Union's SBA loan program.
Why should business owners use TCU for their business loans?
Our loan decisions are made at the local level and in house. We make it our "business" to understand what businesses we are lending to by providing relationship services and working with our business owners. By providing strong membership services to our business owners, we show our commitment to business lending which leads to the success of their business. TCU offers a good range of business loans with competitive terms.
Why is it important to have the right financial partner?
It is important because it is a win-win situation for both the business borrower and the lender to develop a good working relationship. Not only do we want to make profitable loans from a financial partner standpoint, we want our businesses to succeed. At Travis Credit Union we want to be able to grow along with the businesses we lend to during their different stages of life cycle, which results in a strong financial relationship.
What are some of your goals as Vice President of Business Lending?
I would like to lay down the groundwork for a successful business lending department. This encompasses putting together business lending policies that meet our regulatory/compliance requirements, provide strategic business development goals to grow the business unit in the counties we serve and mitigate our risks by being fiscally responsible for our members and our organization.