Community Business Lenders

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Community Business Lenders Creates Entirely New Business with Imagetek

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Back in the early days, when Community Business Lenders Service Company, LLC (CBLSC) first started, they were communicating with board members via email. Board packets were done weekly and quickly these packets because too big to email. 

Sometimes the board packets contained borrower information as well, which they realized wasn't very secure.

Ginger Heckman, Manager of Business Development, realized this wasn't going to work long term. "I thought, what if we could just use email to notify them the information was ready instead?" Now the active board members can just log in and securely access the information they need.

By using Radix, a cloud-based information management service, they were able to create a completely paperless, flexible business from the very beginning.

CBLSC was founded in 2005 in order to provide Iowa credit unions with the resources and third-party support to offer member business loans to small business owners and individuals who are eligible for credit union membership. They provide services for underwriting, documenting, closing and servicing loans as well as facilitating loan participations.

Credit unions are limited on the size of loans they are able to make, so they were losing members to larger banks who could and would then take the entire customer's portfolio of loans.

Some credit unions have as many as 10 users that need to log in and view loans at any given time. Printing and mailing these documents would have been not only expensive but time-consuming. Emailing these documents would have not only been expensive but also time-consuming. Emailing these documents wasn't a viable option either, as email is vulnerable to hacks and sensitive customer data and could be exposed. The auditors also needed to be able to access information without tying up the resources of CBLSC.

It became apparent how setting up the business to be paper-free from the very beginning would save time, improve efficiency, and provide better security for sensitive information.

The Solution 

CBLSC worked with Imagetek to install and implement the solution. They needed to be 

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a paperless office that would allow communications between multiple credit unions at the same time. They chose Radix to scan the paper document and to store and send files. 

The Results

Today, there are 13 employees of CBLSC and 50 credit union owners who participate on the loans. Each of these businesses has access to their own loans through the system. Users can add the documents they need to the loans and everything keeps moving.

Managing a business like this on paper would be impossible. Files would be lost, misplaced or simply missing. Loan packets would take weeks to put together. Thanks to Radix, CBLSC is able to get them turned around in 24 hours and provide 24x7 access from any location on virtually any device.

Heckman said, "The underwriters use the system the most because when they are reviewing a loan, they can see the tax and financial information in one spot."

they access the information

Since CBLSC has been using Radix for nearly a decade they have to build their business in the cloud. This has given them a business advantage because they are able to prove the reliability and security of information access over competitors. "Even the auditors have their own access. They can access the information they need from wherever they are, without calling us," Heckman said. "it's really nice."

They money savings of running a business without paper is incredible. Heckman said,  "it would cost us five cents per page when we were printing before. With the average loan document being over 100 pages, that's at least $5 per loan packet. Some loan packets can be replicated up to 35 times depending on the number of participants in the loan because everyone would need a copy."

CBLSC has avoided spending $64,500 in printing costs alone because they never used paper.


By partnering with CBLSC, credit unions are able to increase their earning asset base, earn fee income by referring loans they cannot fund, and strengthen their member relationships. In addition, credit unions can better serve their membership by selling a participation in the loan to CBLSC. Credit unions can increase revenue without investing in additional personnel, software and capital expenditures of an in-house business lending department.

This business model has been so successful in Iowa, they are now branching out to other states. They have opened another location in Wisconsin under the name Reach Business Lenders, and have two additional states anxious to follow suit. Radix simplified the business setup so much that they have only had to hire to people. They were able to get off the ground without having to make the investment in people or software.

Heckman said, "We just duplicate the project for each new state and it's basically a business in a box that is ready to go."

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