Types of Congregation Loans

LCEF offers a number of Congregation Loans to help your congregation reach its financial goals. LCEF can also help with the financing of your congregation’s school with a School Association Loan.

Secured (new and refinanced)

Secured Congregation Loans can be used for equipment and organ purchases, property purchases, repairs, replacement of HVAC systems and other capital improvements. They can also be used to refinance existing loans.


Your LCEF Construction Loan can help cover the costs of constructing new buildings or renovating existing ones. LCEF’s Construction Loans have just one closing, saving your congregation time and money.

Construction Bridge

Construction Bridge Loans provide short-term financing to fill the gap between construction completion and collection of building fund dollars. LCEF’s Bridge Loans have just one closing, saving your congregation time and money.

Line of Credit

This type of loan helps with short-term capital needs, seasonal cash flow or anticipated cash flow fluctuations.

Jump Start

LCEF’s Jump Start Loans provide seed dollars to support new or expanding ministry efforts. For example, this loan might cover the payment of a new staff member for Evangelism Outreach or a Director of Youth Ministry.

Soft Cost

Soft Cost Loans provide working capital for pre-construction related costs such as architecture/design fees, engineering fees, market studies, capital campaign expenses and special assessments.

Specialized Ministry

A Specialized Ministry Loan provides funds to outreach ministries providing specialized opportunities and sharing the Gospel in cross-cultural, low-income communities.

New Start

A New Start Loan provides funds for new start congregations. Ministries that qualify for a new start loan are first-time worship facilities. New branches or satellite ministries stemming from existing ministries may also qualify for this loan.


Parsonage/Housing Loans are written to congregations on behalf of a rostered church worker (RCW). These loans are available in states where LCEF is not licensed to provide residential loans directly to RCWs.


LCEF’s Unsecured Loans are written in an aggregate of up to $100,000.

Congregation Loan Rates

September 2020
Loan TypeRate
New Start - adjustable3.750%
Specialized Ministry - adjustable2.125%
Monthly, quarterly or annually - adjustable4.125%
5- and 10-year fixed-rate balloon, 2% prepayment penalty (subject to availability of funds)Call for fixed rates

APR = Annual Percentage Rate. The Annual Percentage Rate is a uniform measurement of the cost of a loan, including interest and financed costs of closing, expressed as a yearly percentage rate.
See all loan rates.


Organization Education Loans

LCEF’s Organization Education Loan program addresses rising higher education costs and student loan debt, some of the most troublesome obligations faced by many LCMS ministers. Crushing debt may cause ministers to concentrate more on their financial needs and less on their call to serve their communities.

LCEF’s Organization Education Loans are provided to sponsoring LCMS organizations who act as eligible borrowers to support active ordained or commissioned LCMS ministers, typically in the first 10 years after graduation.

Benefits & Features

  • Loans up to the total amount of debt, not to exceed $100,000
  • Funds may be drawn on for up to two years with interest billed monthly
  • Interest rates based on LCEF’s Cost of Funds (PDF) plus 1%, adjusted annually; interest rates are not based on credit score
  • Ability to consolidate outstanding federal and private student loans
  • Loan funds disbursed to creditors
  • Friendly, knowledgeable loan specialists and service staff

Organization Education Loan Rates

September 2020
Loan TermRateAPR Range
* APR is based on a $50,000 loan amount at the initial interest rate listed, 120-month term, $75 loan origination fee.
Up to 10 years - adjusted annually3.500%3.531% *

APR = Annual Percentage Rate. The Annual Percentage Rate is a uniform measurement of the cost of a loan, including interest and financed costs of closing, expressed as a yearly percentage rate.
See all loan rates.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does LCEF help congregations?

    LCEF provides loans to new and existing congregations to buy land, build and remodel ministry facilities. Loans are offered at very reasonable rates, often lower than commercial loan rates offered by banks. LCEF also offers planning and development services through ministry support such as VisionPath, demographic analysis, architectural advice, Capital Funding Services and Laborers For Christ.

  • Does LCEF provide both construction and permanent financing?

    Yes—with only one closing! At closing, the borrower signs a Promissory Note, which addresses the construction phase and the permanent terms of the loan.

  • How does our congregation apply for an LCEF loan?

    Call your LCEF District Vice President or call the Lutheran Church Extension Fund at 800-843-5233, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT), Monday through Friday. They will answer your questions and provide guidance.

  • How long does it take to receive a loan?

    It depends on many factors. Some projects require more planning than others. Sometimes, architecture or real estate professionals must be consulted. Local regulations and ordinances may have to be met. However, we can assure you that with the help of your National Lending Team and the LCEF Loan Specialists, your loan will be processed as quickly as possible.

  • What is escrow disbursing?

    Escrow disbursing is a service provided by LCEF to the borrower to assist in a construction project. An LCEF Loan Specialist collects documentation to establish an account for the purpose of tracking and disbursing the construction loan dollars and the building fund dollars throughout the building project. In accordance with state statutes, the Loan Specialist collects the necessary documentation from the various contractors in order to assure a lien-free and complete project.

  • How can loan payments be made?

    Loan payments can be made one of three ways:

    1. Mail a check. (Include the loan number) to PO Box 870991, Kansas City, MO 64187-0991
    2. Use the MyAccount service to transfer funds from an allowable investment such as a StewardAccount®.
    3. Transfer funds from another financial institution. For this option, please read the Electronic Funds Transfer Agreement and Disclosure and fill out the Automatic Loan Payment Authorization form.
  • What fees are associated with the Education Loan Repayment Programs?

    Borrowers will pay a one-time origination or processing fee of up to $75 per loan, which will be included in the total loan amount.

  • How long is the Education Loan Repayment program application process?

    A pre-qualification decision will be made on the application within one week. A typical loan will be funded within three to four weeks.

  • How is the Education Loan Repayment program different from my federal student loans?

    Our Education Loan Repayment Program provides a refinance opportunity for both private and federal student loans. It is important to note that unlike federal/government student loan programs, once federal student loans are consolidated through the LCEF Education Loan Repayment Program, they are no longer eligible for certain repayment options that are made available only for federally backed student loans, including:

    • Subsidized interest
    • Income-based repayment program
    • Possible debt forgiveness
    • Extended amortization
    • Allowance for payment forbearance, interest only, financial hardship payment deferment, etc.