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When I started in credit union business lending in 2001, the numbers to live by were 12.25, 80 and 100. Credit unions were strictly limited to 12.25% of assets in total member business loans, the loans were limited to 80% loan-to-value or less, and 100% of them needed to be reviewed annually. As a result of this tight box, the industry evolved into primarily funding loans secured with real estate. In fact, December 2019 Call Report data showed over 90% of credit union commercial loan balances are secured by real estate. That focus on real estate investors leaves many small business owners out.

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