The Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s Director of Lending, James (Jim) F. Pope, and Loan Administrator, Lori Tucker, answer nine frequently asked questions about our Loan Program.
1. WHAT TYPES OF LOANS, TERMS, AND RATES DOES GUMF OFFER?
JIM: We offer construction loans with terms of up to one year. Our current fixed interest rate for construction loans is 5.00%*. We also offer permanent loans with an amortization of up to 20 years. Our current permanent loan rate is 4.50%* fixed for the first five years. The minimum loan amount is $25,000.
2. WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS CAN OUR CHURCH BORROW MONEY FOR?
LORI: We offer loans for a variety of projects including but not limited to:
- Construction of a new building.
- Purchase of a parsonage or an existing building.
- Land acquisitions to expand a church’s ministry.
- Renovations to the sanctuary, fellowship hall or another church-related building.
- Ministry expansions such as a preschool.
- Refinancing of another institution’s loan.
3. IS THERE A PENALTY FOR PREPAYING OR PAYING OFF THE LOAN?
JIM: There is no penalty for prepayments or early payoff. Prepayments must be in a minimum amount of $1,000.
4. IS THERE A BALLOON PAYMENT AT SOME POINT?
LORI: We do not have balloon payments. We adjust the rate every five years to the current rate GUMF offers at the time.
5. DOES GUMF CHARGE POINTS ON THE LOAN?
JIM: We do not charge points, just standard closing costs, which generally include attorney and recording fees.
6. WHAT SETS GUMF APART FROM OTHER LENDING INSTITUTIONS?
LORI: Generally our loans are less restrictive with lower costs than other lenders. We make loans only to churches and church-related entities. We understand church finances better than others.
7. DOES GUMF OFFER SUPPORT AFTER A LOAN CLOSES?
JIM: We are always available to consult with churches on future growth strategy, capital campaigns or challenges they may be experiencing.
8. WHERE DOES GUMF GET THE MONEY TO LEND TO CHURCHES?
LORI: Our Certificate Program, which offers 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-year fixed rate investments, provides funding for loans to churches.
9. HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT GUMF’S LOAN PROGRAM?
*Please note: GUMF is lowering interest rates on loans effective November 1, 2020. Permanent Loan fixed rates for five years will be lowered to 4.25%. Construction Loan rates with terms less than one year will be reduced to 4.90%