Types of School Association Loans

LCEF offers a number of School Association Loans to help your association reach its financial goals. LCEF can also help with individual congregation financing with a number of loans for churches within the LCMS.

Secured (new and refinanced)

Secured 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 association 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 association time and money.

Line of Credit

This type of loan helps with anticipated cash flow fluctuations in your association’s operating budget.

Jump Start

LCEF’s Jump Start Loans provide seed dollars to support new or expanding initiatives. For example, this loan might cover the payment of a new staff member for Development Director or your Recruitment Office.

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.

School Association Loan Rates

September 2020

Loan TypeRate
Monthly, quarterly or annually - adjustable4.125%
Call for fixed rate options.

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.


SMART Loans for Schools

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

* Need help completing these types of projects? See whether a Laborers For Christ team can help! Contact LCEF to learn more.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does LCEF help schools?

    In addition to providing for short-term capital needs, LCEF provides loans to school associations to buy land, build and remodel ministry facilities as well as loans to upgrade equipment and line of credit loans. Loans are offered at reasonable rates, often lower than commercial loan rates offered by banks. LCEF also offers planning and development services through ministry support such as 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 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.

  • How long does it take to receive the funds for a SMART Loan?

    You application will be processed as quickly as possible, but many factors can affect the turnaround time. Within one business day of receiving your SMART Loan application, LCEF National Lending will be in contact to discuss the process.

  • 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.