Credit unions have been revving up their business lending for a while, but the Tukwila, Wash.-based Boeing Employees Credit Union has put the pedal to the metal, creating a five-fold increase in business loans over the last three years. And it has done so largely by tackling a limitation common among credit unions when it comes to business lending: Fear.

Business lending at credit unions has been growing by double digits annually since 2013, according to the latest data from the NCUA. A little more than 36% of all credit unions now offer business loans, up from about 29% in 2009, and 7.4% of all credit union loans are now business loans. Size appears to be a factor: The larger the credit union, the more likely it is to offer business loans, according to the data (95.5% of credit unions with at least $1 billion in assets offer member business loans; the national average is 36.5%).

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Tina Orem

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