Borrow FAQ

Why should my congregation choose Disciples Church Extension Fund over other financial institutions?

We have been making loans to congregations like yours since 1883. We understand your ministries and your history. We understand the lifecycles of congregations. We pray with you and we stay with you. Also, we can help you in ways that banks just can't, including offering low- and zero-interest loans for special circumstances.

What else does Disciples Church Extension Fund do besides make loans?

Disciples Church Extension Fund also offers building and architectural consultations, capital fundraising counsel, investment services and more. We want to be a partner in your ministry. It’s about Disciples working together to do God’s work.

What kinds of loans does Disciples Church Extension Fund make?

What does applying for a loan involve?

Our goal is to make the loan application process as easy as possible. Check out the Loan Application Process.

What is the difference between a church loan and a residential loan?

Church loans are considered commercial loans so the process and requirements to secure a loan are very different. Commercial loans are evaluated based on cash flow and income available to repay debt. In other words, congregations need to demonstrate an ability to pay back the loan. Lending institutions tend to consider commercial loans more risky, which leads to adjustable-rate mortgages, higher interest rates and larger down payments, as well as a rigorous review of the organization’s -- your church’s -- financial statements.

What information is needed from congregations to apply for a loan?

Visit the Loan Application Process section for an overview of the process.

What loan interest rates does Disciples Church Extension Fund charge?

Disciples Church Extension Fund offers competitive rates. Ultimately, your loan rate will depend on the kind of loan your congregation seeks and the length of your loan term. Our staff can guide you through the various options, including special interest rates.

What is the application process for a DCEF loan?

Follow these five simple steps to apply for and receive a Disciples Church Extension Fund loan. 

  1. Contact: Jumpstart the loan process today by contacting a DCEF advisor, who will work with you to gather the necessary information. Then your advisor will send you a loan application and proposed loan terms.
  2. Application: Return your completed loan application along with all required documentation.  If you qualify, your DCEF advisor will submit your loan package for approval.
  3. Loan review/approval: The DCEF loan committee reviews and approves loan packages every week. Your advisor will notify you once your loan is approved. Please note that high-risk loans or loans for more than $1.5 million require additional approvals that extend the timeline.
  4. Additional documentation: In preparation for disbursement, your DCEF loan processor will request any outstanding documentation, such as title work and property value. Once this information is received, your loan processor will prepare your loan documents. 
  5. Disbursement: Once the appropriate documents are signed and recorded, you’ll start receiving your loan funds.

How does Disciples Church Extension Fund set its interest rates?

As a non-profit financial ministry, Disciples Church Extension Fund sets loan rates based on the cost of funds.

How long does the loan process take?

It depends on your project, the amount of money you need, and the time required to process third-party documents such as title work and appraisal reports.

Who is eligible for a Disciples Church Extension Fund loan?

  • Disciples congregations
  • Disciples Regions and Areas
  • Disciples general ministries and the General Assembly
  • Disciples colleges and seminaries
  • Church of Christ-Disciples of Christ congregations
  • Stone-Campbell tradition congregations
  • Any organization listed in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Year Book and Directory
  • The Christian Church in Puerto Rico and congregations listed in their annual report
  • Other qualifying churches and organizations with which we have a working agreement

What information is required for the loan application and initial review?

  1. Financial statements: Current year-to-date, plus three previous years of balance sheets and income/expense statements
  2. Property value: Appraisal value, or brokers price opinion (depends on loan criteria)
  3. Congregation statistics for the previous three years: Average worship attendance, participating membership and number of giving units (or number of tax statements issued last year)
  4. Project information: Includes bids for renovation or construction, unsigned contracts, unsigned purchase agreements and any other relevant documentation
  5. Ministry statement: Statement describing the church’s ministry and how the project will enhance it
  6. Church documents: By-laws/articles of incorporation/certificate of good standing from your Secretary of State
  7. Repayment plan: Statement describing where the funds to repay the loan will come from (capital campaign, fundraising, operational budget or rental income)