There’s no doubt that 2019 is going to be an exciting year for Northstar, and we have a lot to look forward to as the building construction work takes shape. While moving dirt and building a ministry center is fun, the finance team has some great things to share too.
For some background for the newer members and regular attenders, back in 2017 the Immeasurably More finance team worked with the leadership at a handful of local/regional banks and submitted packages for a potential building loan. The team later presented to the church that each of the banks respectfully declined our requests based on certain financial metrics we did not meet. Until that point, God had seemingly graced us with open doors in every facet of the project, and this was one of the first moments of pause to reflect on His sovereignty and reaffirm our trust in Him.
We later explored our non-bank option in Ziegler Financial (now Stifel) for practical purposes which left us with some encouraging news—namely, a soft “yes” for a loan—but attached with lending conditions that left more to be desired.
Two years later, this past fall, we continued our conversation with the National Bank of Blacksburg to reexamine our loan package. AND THEY SAID, “YES!”
What changed? Through incredibly generous contributions to the Immeasurably More campaign, we have $1,000,000 more in our project account than we did two years ago and reduces the loan request by that amount. While the project cost is about the same, NBB now has a much more palatable loan-to-value percentage. In other words, Northstar is more lendable as the bank has less risk.
Is this a better option? Yes, for a number of reasons. All other things being equal:
- We get to partner with a well-regarded, local institution in NBB
- Northstar has had a positive and long-standing relationship with NBB
- A lower initial rate than non-bank lending
- No requirement to have an annual CPA audit
- An interest-only period during construction that gives us time to ramp up for debt service
- Monthly payments instead of weekly
- NBB agreed to match Ziegler in letting us re-calculate our amortization when we make large payments against the principal balance
This may or may not seem to be exciting to you, but we should be excited. Even more, we should be encouraged and amazed by God’s provision. Praise God for a prayerful, expectant, and obedient body of believers.