Cooperative Federal seeks Business Loan Officer

Cooperative Federal is a unique combination of a traditional credit union and a non-profit community development organization. We operate four community-based offices in the city of Syracuse, NY and three high-school branches. Joining our team is making a choice to dedicate yourself to revitalizing our community and advancing social justice.

As a non-profit, certified Community Development Financial Institution, we have spent the past 36 years developing a comprehensive selection of accounts, loans, financial education, and financial counseling services to help our predominantly low-income members build credit, buy cars, become homeowners, avoid foreclosure, launch businesses, and more, particularly in neighborhoods that have become “bank deserts.” In this way, we use the tools of finance to foster inclusion, equity, and solidarity.

Micro and small business lending has been a core component of Cooperative Federal’s mission since our inception. With customized products and flexible criteria, we help entrepreneurs access right-sized business capital, create jobs and strengthen our local economy. Our programs focus on serving businesses than do not qualify for conventional financing, including start-ups; providing fair credit to counter discrimination; and creating opportunities in marginalized communities.

Position Summary:
Cooperative Federal is looking for candidates who have a commitment to our mission and can demonstrate their creativity, detail-orientation, diligence, efficiency, enthusiasm, flexibility, organization, thoughtfulness, and sense of humor through service to small business and entrepreneurs.

The Business Loan Officer is a key member Cooperative Federal’s lending team. By working with colleagues and community partners, this staff member will help Cooperative Federal scale up opportunity lending in the Greater Syracuse Area, with an emphasis on micro loans (under $50,000) as well as small business loans (typically up to $100,000, with occasional larger deals).


1) Support the creation of loan opportunities: Originate loans to small and micro businesses by supporting loan intake; analyzing applicants’ financial, project and management capacity; and preparing loan packages and recommendations.

Organize loan intake and manage the application pipeline.

  • Maintain pipeline reports to monitor incoming and in-progress loan applications.
  • Verify that applicants receive ongoing communications regarding the status of their loan application.
  • Monitor the availability of loan capital and loss mitigation from Cooperative Federal’s dedicated business loan funds.
  • Provide other assistance and support to the Business Loan Officer & Advisor, as needed.

Underwrite financing requests in a timely manner and within lending guidelines, and work with borrowers through all stages of the financing process.

  • Process loan applications, verifying the accuracy and completeness of each file.
  • Spread applicants’ financials; provide historical analysis of financial strengths and weakness in order to assess capacity for new debt; analyze borrower budget and projections to assess and stress test debt service capacity.
  • Compare applicants’ liquidity, profitability, and credit histories with similar organizations within industry environment to determine risk relative to sector.
  • Provide an assessment of the collateral and contribution to risk mitigation.
  • Summarize applicants’ financial information; complete risk ratings for loan proposals; input relevant information into risk evaluation forms and transmittal summaries.
  • Prepare and present loan requests to the Business Loan Committee for review and approval, including all relevant underwriting information and recommendations.
  • Draft commitment letters and loan closing documents; coordinate closings; coordinate draw inspections and approvals as necessary.

 2) Sustain the opportunities created: Ensure effective operations and risk management in Cooperative Federal’s business loan portfolio through post-loan oversight and support, including monitoring portfolio performance and completing Annual Reviews.

Complete periodic review and analysis of borrower data, and draw a conclusion if there is a change in the level of risk associated with borrowers.

  • Obtain required financial information from borrowers, for Annual Reviews (as needed) and other reporting purposes.
  • Prepare borrowers’ billing statements and late letters.
  • Monitor periodically the status of loans that are on the watch list and/or warrant close monitoring (i.e., quarterly reviews, payment history, and covenant compliance).
  • Make site visits to borrowers’ businesses when necessary.
  • Underwrite loan amendments and loan workouts when needed.
  • Report on the loan pipeline and portfolio.
  • Manage collections process, make collections calls, and participate in loan collections, workouts, and enforcement actions when necessary

3) Other responsibilities: Collaborate with colleagues and partners on program development, management, expansion, outreach, and strategic planning.

Support marketing and outreach efforts.

  • Attend and participate in occasional outreach and networking events (back up coverage for Business Loan Officer & Advisor).
  • Engage actively with community partners, seeking to understand their circumstances, challenges, expectations and needs, and suggesting solutions to meet those needs.

Attend and participate in the Business Program Committee, including completion of tasks as assigned.

Perform general duties as expected from Cooperative Federal’s lending staff.

  • Keep credit documentation organized both physically and digitally.
  • Maintain client confidentially and maintain files and data in a secured manner.
  • Remain up to date and knowledgeable on internal policies and procedures.
  • Carry out other such duties as may be assigned or requested.
  • Unusual Requirements: Occasional evening and weekend work.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • Experience with or knowledge of small business lending, alternative business lending, small business management, economic development, or technical assistance, mentoring or consulting, particularly with micro businesses or self-employed is desirable
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook
  • Interest in learning and mastery of the craft of community development micro-business lending
  • The ideal candidate has experience evaluating unconventional borrowers, managing client relationships and navigating complex interactive situations both on the phone and in person.
  •  Superior writing, verbal and interpersonal skills
  • This position requires someone who thrives in multi-cultural settings, is passionate about financial capacity-building and economic justice. Experience working (or volunteering) with a diverse range of clients and colleagues, and with underserved populations is a must
  • The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated interest in empowering disadvantaged communities and low-income people, and the skills to build new relationships and communicate effectively and enthusiastically about Cooperative Federal.
  • Fluency in a second language is desirable. Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred.
  • An openness to learning new skills and systems, a desire to develop new program approaches in response to poverty issues, and a proactive approach to building his/her skill-sets.

Competitive nonprofit salary based on lending/underwriting experience, education, and skills and a benefits package, including health insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, life insurance, generous paid time off, and 11 paid holidays annually.

How to Apply:

To apply, please email a brief cover letter and your resume to

You can also direct resumes, cover letters and inquiries to:
Cooperative Federal, Attn: Staff Search, 800 N Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13208

To apply by fax, send resume and cover letter to (315) 476-0567, ATTN: Staff Search