LOANS Congregation Loans Financing a loan to purchase property, construct a new facility or renovate your existing facility is a major undertaking. LCEF understands your congregation’s desire to serve people in God’s name while being fiscally responsible. That’s why we offer Congregation Loans for churches within the LCMS.

LCEF will guide you through every step of your church financing process with care and professionalism.
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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 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 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.

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

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

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

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.

Our SMART Loan for educational institutions is designed to meet the short-term financial needs of LCMS elementary, middle and high school associations and related recognized service organizations (RSOs).

LCEF’s SMART Loan is ideal for:

  • S – Security upgrades and system enhancements, including energy efficiency projects*
  • M – Maintenance and other facility upgrades, including playground equipment*
  • A – Academic resources for classroom use
  • R – Repairs for both the building and fleet (can also be used for vehicle purchases)
  • T – Technology needs and equipment leases, purchases and upgrades

Benefits & Features

  • Loan structured up to 10 years, depending on needs
  • Up to $150,000
  • 0% interest for first 12 months
  • Interest for second 12 months determined using LCEF’s Cost of Funds (PDF), adjusted annually
  • Interest for remaining term of loan determined using LCEF’s Cost of Funds (PDF) plus up to 2.5%, adjusted annually
  • Low closing fees and no prepayment penalties

Congregation Loan Rates

November 2020
Loan TypeRate
New Start - adjustable3.625%
Specialized Ministry - adjustable2.000%
Monthly, quarterly or annually - adjustable4.000%
5- and 10-year fixed-rate balloon, 2% prepayment penalty (subject to availability of funds)Call for fixed 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

November 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 annually3.000%3.031% *