Truliant makes big push in SBA lending


Truliant Federal Credit Union, the state’s second-largest credit union, has added 15 people this year to its Small Business Administration lending team. The unit now has 26 staffers and business development officers in Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington and nine other offices in seven states and Washington D.C.

Truliant’s new SBA effort includes a newly hired 11-employee team led by Ray Drew, who has a YouTube podcast show and a national following in the business.

The credit union expects its volume of SBA loans to more than double from $46 million in 2023. It will focus on loans in the $100,000 to $500,000 range, which “meets a critical lending area for small business owners,” Don Jackson, vice president of SBA lending, said in a release.

Drew previously worked at FundEx Solutions, an SBA lender owned by Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based BHG Financial Group. “Ray is one of the top SBA lenders in the country. He brings new strategies and a carefully curated team of standout SBA professionals from across the U.S. to Truliagnt.”

Credit unions account for about 2.4% of the SBA’s $19 billion of 7(a) and 504 loans in the 2024 fiscal year, according to an SBA report. Those loans can offer more favorable terms such as low down payments and longer payment terms than traditional products. Banks got 89% of the business with small business lending companies gaining 6%.Truliant’s SBA loans include commercial real estate, business acquisitions and partner buyouts of as much as $5 million.

Jackson says there are growth opportunities for Truliant in SBA-related acquisition deals because so many older owners are seeking to sell their businesses. About 11,000 Americans are turning 65 each day this year.

“It’s a buyers’ market. A lot of businesses will be bought from seniors over the next few years. Baby boomers want to unlock the value that they’ve built into their businesses and grow their legacies,” Jackson says.“We expect a lot of growth. We’re equipped to handle it with a full team and great backend processes to support it.”

Started as a credit union for Western Electric staffers in Winston-Salem. Truliant now has about 35 branch offices in the Carolinas and Virginia. Assets top $5 billion.


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