Loan Specialist - Central Nebraska - Bilingual

Are you passionate about assisting individuals and communities with small business development, affordable housing, and access to capital? Do you enjoy talking with people to uncover their needs and present them with financial solutions? Are you competitive and self-driven to meet goals? The Center for Rural Affairs is looking for you!

The Center for Rural Affairs is seeking a full-time Loan Specialist who is bilingual and fluent in both English and Spanish to serve central Nebraska with a focus on Grand Island, Kearney, Lexington, and North Platte.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about small businesses, entrepreneurship, and affordable housing, and think strategically about access to capital. They will have a proven ability to build relationships with clients, community leaders, and partners to maintain a strong referral network. They will deliver technical assistance to potential and current loan clients. They will visit current client businesses and celebrate their accomplishments. They will be committed to getting results while assisting clients in navigating opportunities for entrepreneurship and affordable housing.

Who we are

The Center for Rural Affairs is a dynamic, energetic non-profit organization working to build a better rural future for all. We’ve done this work for more than 50 years and we do it from rural places with a flexible work environment. Our work creates opportunities for beginning farmers, new business owners, and first-time advocates. The Center’s work is rooted in principles of diversity and inclusion. We believe that a diversity of people and ideas strengthens our work, our workplace, and our communities. We celebrate this diversity and we are committed to advancing practices that create an equitable and inclusive workplace. We take equal opportunity seriously and we welcome and support all applicants and team members. Additional information can be found at Check to see if our mission and values match yours, and read about how the Center’s work makes rural communities more vibrant.

What you’ll do

The Loan Specialist reports to the Lending Services Assistant Director, works with the lending team, and is responsible for the following

  • You will assist, guide, and educate prospective loan borrowers as they journey through the loan application process.
  • You will develop a referral network with local partners, businesses, bankers, economic development districts, and local community residents to identify and support individuals who need small business and housing loans.
  • You will gather all documents needed, as well as prepare, analyze, and assess loan packages to present a loan application for review and approval.
  • You will provide technical assistance to borrowers in all stages of their loan relationship with the Center.
  • You will build a strong relationship with all loan clients, making regular contact with them in person, through phone conversations, or other methods of touching base with clients to keep them informed, gather information, or point them to resources.
  • You will develop the expertise to be the trusted go-to person for resources and referrals when requested by community members, organizations, Center staff, and partners.

Who you are & keys to success (the must-haves)

To be successful in this job, you will excel in four areas:

  • Relationship-building: You know how to talk with people to learn what needs they have through conversation and inquiry. People trust you because you’re efficient with their time and have their best interests in mind. You’re able to build sales networks, as well as alliances, and find points of collaboration even when there are competing interests on your time. You develop and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders and can bring in allies and partners from marginalized communities, such as people of color, people with disabilities, low-income families, and immigrants. 
  • Drive to achieve results: You know how to work to your strengths to achieve your own ambitious goals, and you anticipate hurdles as merely a momentary inconvenience. You possess a competitive drive and are creative when prospecting clients. You set a high bar and meet it because you think three (or 30) steps ahead to come up with pragmatic, yet innovative, solutions. You have financial acumen and an affinity for the details. 
  • Inclusive leadership and management: You approach leadership in your work with a mindset of “power with” rather than “power over” and regularly include others in decision-making. You use resources wisely and can provide clear direction to clients, partners, and contractors to leverage time and resources for impact. You have experience managing multiple projects and keeping tasks from slipping through the cracks. 
  • Commitment to racial equity and social justice: You recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in addressing barriers to capital access. You recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome, reflect on, and act on feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about difference to overcome barriers. You recognize that entrepreneurship is a pathway to better financial outcomes. 

Both English and Spanish reading and writing fluency is required.

If you were here right now, you would be:

  • Identifying individuals who are in need of small business and housing loans and using your knowledge and experience to sell them solutions.
  • Creating an action plan with a client that helps them meet their financial and/or business goals, with the vision of closing their loan in sight.
  • Meeting your quarterly and annual goals by creating a large network of relationships.
  • Analyzing, assessing, and presenting a complete loan application package for a business or housing loan to the loan committee for approval several times a month.
  • Providing technical assistance to your loan clients to help them be successful, learn best business practices, and be able to make regular payments on their loan(s).

What else you should know

This is a full-time non-exempt position based in Central Nebraska. This position will require frequent travel by car throughout the region to build your sales and client network, meet with community partners and loan clients, and may include overnight travel on occasion. This position has a salary range of $51,500 to $66,000. Candidates with more extensive relevant experience may be considered for a Senior Loan Specialist role with a salary range of $63,000 to $80,000. A top-notch benefits package that has a cash value of $10,000 to $29,500, depending on family status and tenure with the Center, is also included. Benefits include a 97% employer-paid family health insurance that includes a contribution to a Health Savings Account, retirement options, a fantastic Employee Assistance Program, 12 paid holidays plus paid time off between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, Friday Summer Hours, and vacation and sick pay.

The Center for Rural Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and participates in E-Verify, is committed to the full inclusion of all individuals, and takes steps to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations.

How to apply

If you would like to work for an organization that has a national reputation as one of the top organizations in the country that works to make rural communities more vibrant, apply by sending your resume, cover letter, and three professional references by clicking here.  In the cover letter, please include how your personal and professional experiences have positioned you for success in this role and any related work, skills, or expertise you want us to know about. Please let us know how you heard about this position and why you want to work with us.