The SBDC Blog caught up with Fred Crispen, Sr. V.P. of Celtic Bank. He recently moved his small business lending operation there. He and his crew appear to be just as progressive today in their lending as they always have.
How long have you been doing commercial loans, and what has been the most satisfying aspect of your career?
I have been involved with commercial lending about 40 years, concentrating in SBA Lending for the last 25 years with both bank and non-bank lenders. For the past 10 years I have concentrated in developing and directing small working capital loan programs utilizing several SBA loan products.
To me, being able to assist a small business owner startup and grow a business is very rewarding. On numerous occasions, I have had business owners approach me and thank us for helping them with a $25,000-$50,000 startup working capital loan which they have parlayed into a thriving business employing 50-100 people. That just makes you feel good!
You have done a large number of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans over the years. From the borrower’s perspective, what is the advantage of an SBA loan over a conventional loan?
Cash Flow for the business is the largest advantage. SBA enables us to provide long term financing without balloon payments or call provisions in the loan. A typical non- SBA working capital loan, if the borrower could find one, would be for 3-5 years versus our 10 year term, fully amortizing loan. On a $50,000 loan at 7%, 10 years our payment would be about $581 per month versus a typical non-SBA working capital loan at the same rate but a 3 year term, with payments of $1,543 per month. That’s a monthly cash flow savings of $962 for the small business. Monthly cash flow is extremely important to a small business borrower.
Tell us about the different loans you represent.
We utilize three SBA loan products under our Celtic Express Loan Program, offering loans from $20,000 to $150,000. One application covers all three; The Patriot Express program, an expanded veterans program, Export Express, designed to help promote US exports and SLA II (Small Loan Advantage II) which would cover all other eligible SBA borrowers.
You are now with Celtic Bank. Tell us about your relationship with them and is it pronounced kel-tik or sel-tik?
It is pronounced sel-tik, as in the Boston Celtics. The bank is one of the top 10 SBA Preferred Lenders operating on a national basis, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. As an industrial bank, we do not offer commercial / business checking accounts. We are a transactional lender and leave the deposit relationship with the local banks in the borrower’s marketplace.
We have a role in your lending process. Tell us the value of that.
We have teamed up with the SBDC’s on a national basis to provide Technical Assistance for our borrowers in many areas including business planning, marketing, accounting and the others areas of assistance you provide to business owners on a daily basis. We found that it’s a winning combination in that we have borrowers who are better equipped to survive in today’s ever changing business climate. We have been thanked many times for referring clients to the SBDC by borrowers who did not know that your service was available.
How does one apply for a small business loan with Celtic Bank?
The application is located on our website at www.celticbank.com/express , clicking on the Celtic Express Loans up to $150,000 link. The application can either be faxed or emailed back to us at the toll free number or email address at the top of the application. If the application is complete, it is loaded into our system and credit is approved or denied within 72 hours. Borrowers with approved credit are emailed a checklist of items needed for final loan approval and funding. After initial credit approval, the borrower is in control of how quickly we can move to closing by how fast they can get information required back to us.
Direct Line 850-236-5166
Toll Free 866-644-0042 x 6304