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Starting a Business with Navigant: Our Six-Step Business Banking Process

By Pamela LaBreche

Our lending process is designed to make your life as easy as possible, because coming up with the big idea (and then running your business) should be the hard part.

You have an idea for a business. You’ve done all the necessary planning to set yourself up for success. You have a fully baked business plan filled with supporting data. Your key leadership team is signed on and ready to work, and you’re already thinking about the prospect of creating new jobs somewhere down the road.

First of all, congratulations! Now… what’s next?

We understand that launching (and then owning and operating) a small business is far from an easy task. My colleague Jeff Cascione covered that topic, and offered a few tips to help prospective business owners through the process, in a previous article.

This article focuses more specifically on how we at Navigant Credit Union can help.

Providing our members with the financial assistance and expertise they need to turn their business ideas into realities has been part of Navigant Credit Union’s DNA for more than a century. As a Preferred Lender recognized by the Small Business Association, we offer a wide range of competitive and personalized lending products that will help you afford office space, purchase equipment and provide you with the financial stability you need to get your business idea off the ground. Plus, our collection of Business Banking products – from efficient and user-friendly online banking tools to a full suite of cash management services – will arm you with the tools you need to immediately take control of your new business’s day-to-day operations.

Applying for a business, and getting approved with Navigant Credit Union couldn’t be simpler. In just six steps, spanning over the course of as little as 60 days, you can start and finish the entire process and walk away with a loan that fits your business model.

Here’s how our process works.

Step 1: Set up an initial meeting

Our team is always available to meet with members, or prospective members, to discuss their business needs. We strive to schedule our kick-off meetings within three business days of your first request. In other words, we’re ready when you are.

Before our initial meeting, you’ll need to fill out some paperwork, including: 

  • Business Loan Application
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Tax Return Release Authorization Form

Plus, we’ll ask you to provide us with a brief overview of your business, as well as resumés for your company’s key principals.

Step 2: Loan submission & analysis

Once we have your documents and supporting information, we will immediately package everything together and formally submit your loan request.

This step of the process typically takes between 1-3 business days.

Step 3: Underwriting

A member of our underwriting team will ensure that you meet the basic requirements of the loan for which you are applying. That will take about 3-5 business days. From there, we’ll send you a written Term Sheet summarizing our proposal.

Step 4: Conditional approval

Once we receive your signed Term Sheet, we’ll immediately start the approval process. For business loans, this stage of the process can take between 10-20 business days. If you’re looking for a commercial real estate loan, the approval stage may take 20-30 business days.

Step 5: Approval & closing preparation

At this point, you’re only about a month removed from your first meeting – and, assuming all went well, your loan request is now fully approved. All we need to do now is schedule a closing date with you and your attorneys.

Step 6: Closing

We’ll get all parties involved into a room and sign the paperwork. After an hour or two, you’ll be finished. Your loan will be approved, and you’ll be ready to start investing in your new business!

The Next Steps: An ongoing, always-on partnership

Navigant Credit Union prides itself on its commitment to be a reliable and accessible partner for each and every one of our members.

The six steps of getting your business loan approved couldn’t be easier, but we understand that every business comes with its fair share of obstacles to navigate and challenges to overcome. Our team of professionals will always be available to help you through them.

If you’re interested in applying for a small business or commercial real estate loan, Navigant Credit Union can help. Learn more about our Business Banking Suite by visiting