December 8, 2010

NIH credit union launches new member business loan program

Rockville, Md. (December 7, 2010) - The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU, ), one of the largest credit unions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and the nation’s largest serving the healthcare and biomedical industries, has announced the launch of a new member business loan program for qualified professionals in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. Following recent national legislation that provides increased capital for small business loans, NIHFCU has established a new member business loan program including U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans as an approved SBA lender. Any qualified professional in the healthcare and biomedical industries may apply with NIHFCU for a secured or unsecured loan to meet their long- and short-term business borrowing needs. The program is particularly beneficial for the area’s biotech firms looking to invest in their organizations as well as physicians, dentists and other current or aspiring small business owners in the healthcare or biomedical industries who want to start or expand their practices. Small business lending remains down following two years of attempted government revival, and many local banks are finding it difficult to provide loans.

“As credit access is constricting, we are expanding opportunities,” said Juli Anne Callis, president and chief executive officer for NIHFCU. “NIHFCU has a long track-record of providing high-quality financial services to medical and biomedical professionals at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as a number of local hospitals,” said Callis. “We are now taking that knowledge and experience, and expanding our services to NIH partners and related key industries in our region.”

Wendy L. Smith, president of Capital Area Transport Service (CATS) has been a member of NIHFCU since 1993. The former social worker at Suburban Hospital had previously utilized the credit union for her personal financial needs prior to leaving her position to start her own business. As she was launching CATS, which provides patient medical transportation services in the Washington, D.C. metro area, she learned about the new NIHFCU member business loan program through an NIHFCU branch employee.

“I have done medical transportation planning for more than 15 years and I saw an opportunity to enhance patient transport services within the community,” said Smith. “Because of my experience with patients and a master’s degree in social work, CATS stands out from other medical transportation services in the D.C. metro area. We not only arrive on time but also make the extra effort needed to ensure patients are well cared for throughout their entire ride.”

Smith will use her $75,000 SBA loan for working capital to support the growth of the business. With one van already in operation, she plans to expand her fleet in the near future.

“NIHFCU’s lending team walked me through the process step by step,” said Smith. “With their support, I was able to turn my vision into reality.”

NIHFCU’s new menu of member business loan options include business lines of credit up to $100,000, business term loans, business real estate secured loans, SBA loans and a Business Visa Card with no annual fee and credit lines of $25,000 or more upon approval. NIHFCU’s experienced team of lenders works one on one with business owners to offer streamlined and personalized service to ensure the application process goes smoothly.

For more than a year, NIHFCU has been working to expand its suite of businesses services as it increases membership among the healthcare and biomedical communities. A proven leader and pacesetter within the credit union industry, Callis successfully championed a similar business lending initiative in Silicon Valley, Calif. where she served as the Chief Operating Officer with KeyPoint Credit Union for over a decade. NIHFCU’s regional business lending headquarters is located at 111 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20850. Applicants may also apply via phone at 877-398-4892 or by visiting .

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