Church Financing

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What is Church Financing in Texas?

Church financing

Church Financing with Hub City Lending

Church Financing are considered a specific types of commercial real estate loan. Churches and related religious properties, such as temples, convents and religious schools fall under commercial real estate. 

Specialty lenders offer mortgage loans for religious properties, and the loans adhere to conventional commercial terms. Some religious organizations fund their own real estate purchases, construction and improvements or have an affiliated lender. 

However, many churches, temples, religious schools, convents, monasteries and less well-known religiously-affiliated properties depend upon mortgage loans to meet their goals.

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How does Church Financing work in Texas?

A normal church can borrow up to about 4 times gross tithes and offerings, but it can be as high as six times its gross tithes and offerings. The maximum loan amount is based upon 4x-6x the church’s gross tithes and offerings (before expenses).

Church Finance Committee Duties & Responsibilities

Talking money is simply an unpopular topic for ministries. However, it requires a diligent approach to managing finances to sustain a vibrant church. Churches elect or assign members to serve on a Finance Committee. This team of people is responsible for the management and responsible stewardship of church financial resources.

This crucial committee can have a significant influence on the sustained financial health and growth of church assets. When mismanaged, this group can negatively affect the long-term financial viability of a church – something no one wants to be responsible for.

Church Finance Committee Checklist:

1. Revenue Projections

Budgeting is tough without an accurate estimate of how much money will be available. Analyze past giving, attendance trends, and average member donations to arrive at a realistic estimate of project revenue.

For example, use your church administration software to generate a report that displays how many giving families you have. Then calculate the combined households’ average monthly giving. It’s important to remember to keep this reporting procedure private. Consider erring on the side of caution and basing your estimates on actual giving habits rather than optimistic growth.

If your church is in the midst of a capital campaign, for example, don’t expect weekly giving to the general fund to grow while members stretch to allocate contributions to a building project.

 

2. Creating A Budget

The finance committee contributes to the creation of the global budget, which is based on revenue predictions, and allocates funds to various departments.

Individual department managers are in charge of developing their own budget estimates based on the church’s strategy, corresponding department goals, and resources assigned to support those goals. Allow individual department heads to make their own budget projections. Greater accountability, more accurate reporting, and better reliability will all result from one single action.

For example, if the church has a plan to expand its youth ministry, budget monies would be provided to the youth department to help support those efforts. After that, the Youth Director will provide a budget that is based on the program’s needs and plan. Working managers are more likely to stick to their budgets if they take this method.

Because they were involved in the budget process and understood the reasons behind it, rather than being handed a budget from on high. A manager’s participation in the budget process provides a layer of accountability because they have no one to blame if the budget isn’t met.

 

3. Budget Review

A budget is essentially an itemised allocation of monies that must be monitored.
Every month, the finance committee should review the budget and analyse any variations by reviewing the actual amounts that came in and the actual dollars that went out.

When projections fall short or unanticipated expenses arise, mid-year budget revisions may be necessary.

 

4. Emergency Funding

When a significant expense arrives unexpectedly, even the greatest budgeting might go awry. To compensate, set aside a portion of your budget for emergency spending. Set aside a portion of your income for an emergency fund.

Create an emergency definition and don’t touch the cash unless you have a genuine financial emergency. Maintain this fund’s growth year after year to ensure that financial resources are available in the event of unanticipated catastrophes.

This protection can help you avoid a financial miscalculation.

 

5. Financial Reporting

Systematic financial reporting allows the church to monitor its performance and budget compliance. Create monthly or quarterly reports to keep church leadership informed about budget and spending deviations.

Show cash available for the project and what percentage of funds have been raised if there is an endeavour to generate building funding.

If there is an emphasis on reducing church debt, include that information as well.

 

6. Responsible Stewardship

To do what they do, churches rely on the generous gifts of their members.

The church board and finance committee have a major obligation to be good stewards of those finances. There should be a means to link every spending to the mission’s success.

As a result, this group of committed individuals should question any expenditures that do not serve the church’s purpose, vision, or strategy.

 

7. Safeguarding Church Assets

The board, along with the finance committee, is in charge of ensuring that the church’s assets are properly accounted for.

This committee should be responsible for drafting cash handling policies and conducting audits of anyone who handles church funds.

This involves ensuring that cash is stored safely, that no one is ever left alone with money, and that members, volunteers, or staff who come into contact with cash are constantly supervised.
If you believe church embezzlement is uncommon, think again.

 

8. Ensuring A Profit Margin

Nonprofit organisations develop their capital through profit margins.
Because nonprofit organisations are unable to profit from their operations, any funds remaining after expenses are reinvested in the organisation. Profit margins should be set aside as a percentage of income in church budgets.

For example, if a church receives $500,000 and budgets for a 5% profit margin, it will save $25,000 per year, which can be re-invested in church infrastructure.
Consider what a decade or two of growth could do for that safety net!

 

9. Debt Management

It is difficult to establish a church without incurring some debt.

However, if a church is in debt, it is limited in what it can achieve. The finance committee should develop a debt-reduction strategy, which should be included in the budget.

Debt reduction can be accomplished through capital campaigns aimed at reducing debt, or by making aggressive debt payments.

Either technique is acceptable, but the ultimate goal should be to get the church as debt-free as possible.

 

10. Member Financial Teaching

Members of the church can only give as much as their personal budgets allow. 

By giving lessons in personal finance, budgeting, and financial management, the finance committee can influence members. Assisting members in getting a grasp on their money will certainly result in increased donations.

 

11. Manager Budget Training

Churches that hire personnel to run various departments should enlist the support of the finance committee to teach church leaders how to manage their budgets, read and analyse financial statements, and deal with departmental budget variations.

A finance committee should be able to create budget training and a simple method to assist managers in becoming more financially literate. A church finance committee serves as a financial think tank.

Establish a financial committee dedicated to budgeting, monitoring, and controlling how church money are spent, and your church will have the resources it needs to carry out its mission, vision, and strategy.

 

Types of Church Loans Offered

  1. Mortgage: The first is a mortgage, which is common for large construction projects. Mortgage loans usually are more than $75,000 and require the borrower to put up current facilities or land as collateral.
  2. Long Term vs. Short Term Mortgages A long-term, fixed-rate mortgage locks in your monthly payments for a long period of time, providing a predictable but potentially costly payment schedule once interest is factored in.
  3. A short-term, variable-rate mortgage has a sliding interest rate depending on national rates. This can lead to inconsistent payments but also allows the borrower to pay off the loan quickly if they’re capable.
  4. Unsecured Church Loans: Another option is an unsecured church loan. These types of loans are most commonly used for smaller renovations or equipment upgrades. Since these loans are usually smaller than mortgages, they are more easily secured.
  • Fixed rate and term loans from 5 to 30 years
  • No personal guarantee (pastor, president, preacher)
  • Amortized to 20 years, due in two years at 90% LTV
  • Loans starting from $50,000
  • Light documentation, no minimum FICO at 50% LTV
  • Prior bankruptcy or foreclosure OK
  • 75% LTV for churches established 3 years or more
  • Mixed use with church at 50% LTV
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Crowd funded down payment
  • Up to $12,000,000 loan amount

Church Financing Application

Church Financing Checklist:

A little planning goes a long way toward making everything run smoothly.

Things you can have prepared while starting the Church Finance Loan application.

  • Background and Denomination
  • History of the Church’s Leadership
  • Location(s) of the church, both present and prospective (if different)
  • Congregational demographics in general
  • Information on the church’s core ministries, such as youth ministry, day care, preschool, and outreach.
  • Financial statements for the last three years, Balance Sheets and Income Statements
  • Total number of members
  • Property value at the moment (if applicable)
  • Budget for the project as proposed
  • Information from your Campaign
  • Timeframe
  • Amounts raised thus far
  • Total campaign projections
  • History of previous campaigns: Have you run any other successful campaigns?The Church’s History

Church Financing Best Practices

Consider the following best-practice recommendations when shopping for a church loan:

Understand what interest rate terms may mean for you.

Balloon notes are often referred to as “fixed rate loans” by banks. This is a little misleading. While the term “fixed rate” has a favorable connotation in the residential market when the loan duration is 15 or 30 years, the rate is only fixed for the 5-year term on a 5-year balloon note. In the commercial mortgage market, the advantage of an adjustable rate loan is that you know how high your rate can go up front. Furthermore, the loan will stay in place until the entire debt is paid off.

Don’t borrow more than you can afford.

When establishing how much your church can borrow, just take into account your tithes and offerings. You should not utilize designated revenue, like missions or philanthropy, to pay your mortgage.

Borrow for the longest period possible.

A longer amortization plan (and thus cheaper payments) can provide you with the budget flexibility you need to deal with cash flow fluctuations. Your income will be smaller some months than others, no matter how precise your prediction is. Don’t let your ministry suffer because you have a greater loan payment to make.

Pay off your loan as quickly as possible.

It’s possible that your income will be larger than planned some months. Pay off your debts with the extra income. Make sure you don’t have a prepayment penalty while shopping for loans so you may take advantage of every opportunity to make extra principal payments on your loan and save your ministry money in the long run.

Mitigate the long-term risks to your ministry.

You can’t afford to plan your ministry’s future in 5-year increments. Look for a loan with a longer duration rather than a shorter term to avoid the fees and dangers of refinancing every few years.

 

Calculating Debt to Income Ratio for Churches

Ultimately your church loan will come down to whether or not the lender is comfortable that the church’s net income can reliably service the debt each month. Net income is how much money is left in the church’s bank account after all expenses have been deducted. In simple terms, your new monthly payment multiplied by 12 months can only be a certain percentage of the church’s net income. Every lender is different, but a good target to aim at is 42% of annual net income.

If your church had an average net income of $100,000 over the past 3 years and your new loan payment is $3,500 per month, the church would satisfy the debt to income ratio of 42% ($3,500 x 12 months = $42,000 / $100,000 = 42%).

On the other hand, if the church only had an average net income of $90k over the past 3 years, identifying one-time expenses can be the difference between qualifying for the loan or not.

 

Church Financing FAQs

How does a church loan work?

A normal church can borrow up to about 4 times gross tithes and offerings, but it can be as high as six times its gross tithes and offerings. The maximum loan amount is based upon 4x-6x the church’s gross tithes and offerings (before expenses).

What type of loan is needed to buy a church?

Due to both low construction costs and low interest rates, a lot of growing churches are in the market for a loan. Most people are familiar with residential mortgages, but a church is considered a commercial enterprise, requiring a commercial mortgage.

Do banks give loans to churches?

Traditional banks, conventional lenders, private lenders and hard money lenders offer commercial loans for churches.

How much do churches borrow?

We consider a loan equal to 25 percent of annual budget receipts to be the max level of debt a church should take on.

Where do churches get money to build a church?

So most churches operate on a very meager budget compared to their actual needs and the needs of the community. Donations. For the most part (in catholic cathedrals), donations and regular attendance are the main source of income.

Can a church get a line of credit?

Lines of Credit can be used for the purpose of construction, renovation, or for temporary cash flow when the church’s income is uneven. Copies of financial records and attendance history from the past 3 years are to be provided to Church Investors Fund at the time of application.

Church Financing Near Texas 

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