SOUTHFIELD, MI — Franklin Bank, a southeastern Michigan bank specializing in small business, has entered a lending partnership with gas utility MichCon that will increase the bank’s lending portfolio substantially and help generate leads for the company’s dealer network program; a coalition of heating, cooling, and home improvement contractors.

As part of Franklin’s Installment Lending Program, the MichCon Energy Loan provides home improvement customers of approved MichCon dealers with quick access to loans for home improvements and repairs.

“With the average home improvement loan at $3,400, we expect to increase the volume of loans in our portfolio by an additional 250 loans per month, resulting in an addition of $10 million to $12 million to our yearly portfolio,” said Reece Smith, vice president and installment lending manager of Franklin Bank.

The Installment Lending Program from Franklin Bank and MichCon has no processing or application fees, offers competitive interest rates, and guarantees maximum 24-hr turnaround for approval. In most cases, approval will occur within 30 min of application, according to the bank.

According to Harold Gardner, vice president of marketing and sales at MichCon, “We selected Franklin because of their supreme customer service and strong reputation as a responsive bank.

“Franklin not only provides the financing for these loans, the bank also services them completely, which makes the entire process easier than ever and improves our overall service to our customers.”

Interest rates for this program’s home improvement loans are expected to start as low as 9.9%, depending on the amount of the loan and credit rating. The minimum loan is $1,000 up to $20,000 maximum. The terms of the loans vary from one to seven years.

Services and equipment must be purchased from and completed by an approved contractor of MichCon’s dealer network program. Homeowners who are not MichCon customers may apply for a Home Energy Loan by contacting an approved MichCon dealer.

MichCon Energy Loans provided and serviced by Franklin Bank may be used to purchase the following products:

  • Central air conditioning systems;
  • Natural gas furnace or boiler (includes humidifiers, air cleaners);
  • Conversion services to natural gas;
  • Natural gas fireplaces or logs; and
  • Natural gas generators.