You serve beyond the scope of a religious institution. We serve you beyond the scope of a bank.
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As the nation's leader in religious institution lending, Bank of the West has garnered a wealth of knowledge and experience. We'd like to share some of this information with you; we hope you find it helpful.
- Deal with a lender who demonstrates an understanding of religious institutions. Ask the lender how their religious institution loan products, features, and covenants differ from their standard commercial loans. These subtleties can have a significant impact on future costs and your religious institution's autonomy to effectively manage its operations.
- Have your financing firmly in place, in writing, before starting your project. This will ensure that the project is started and completed in a timely fashion. This avoids the potential for costly delays and the inconvenience of mechanic's liens being filed.
- Before tendering escrow dollars under an agreement to buy land or buildings, be aware of entitlement, zoning and environmental issues. An experienced religious institution lender should be able to assist you with these matters.
- Ask the lender and the contractor for references from other religious institutions of comparable size. References will help you choose the right partners to make your project go as smoothly as possible.
- You should have a banker who is knowledgeable about religious institution operations and organizations and is experienced in lending to religious institutions. Simply ask how many years the bank has been lending to religious organizations, how many loans have been made, and how large their full-time religious institution lending staff is.
- Look for an experienced religious institution lender that can act as a consultant and be a referral source for other religious institution industry professionals, such as fund raisers, growth planners, architects, CPAs, and contractors.
- Avoid mortgage brokers or lenders who ask your religious institution to sign something prior to analyzing a loan application and offering a financing commitment. You should not have to pay a fee prior to reviewing the terms and conditions of a firm offer.
- Meet with the bank to discuss the scope of the project before you spend large sums of money on architectural designs for a project that may be too costly to build.
- Don't depend on the sale of your current facility or other uncertain future events to provide the funds to complete construction of your project. Circumstances beyond your control could disrupt your financial plans.
- Deal with a bank that has demonstrated years of consistently lending to religious institutions. Newcomers to the industry may not be there when you need to refinance or begin your next phase or project.
We hope these tips will help your project go smoothly. At Bank of the West, we have an entire department of nationwide professionals who work exclusively with religious institutions full time. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of religious institutions and the communities they serve. Isn't that the kind of dedication you would like from your financial resource? If you would like to speak to us about a project you're considering, please call us at (800) 405-2327.