Brad Hettich began Commercial Lending X, a commercial lending and banking consulting company, over three years ago to help banks more easily lend money and business owners borrow.
Commercial Lending X helps business owners acquire and become more knowledgeable about the loans they take on. The company additionally operates as a consultant for banks across the US, facilitating commercial loans by offering outsourced underwriting solutions that enable banks to respond more quickly to lending requests.
We talked with Hettich about his successful lending company, which he says is “exploding” in the best possible way.
What is the story behind Commercial Lending X?
I’ve been in commercial banking for well over 15 years. I was a commercial lender and worked in commercial credit. When the market fell apart I got the idea to go out and help borrowers.
With my background, being very credit-focused, I wanted to help borrowers not just find a loan but understand what it was that they needed, what options there were, and get them the right solutions.
I was approached by some banks to provide assistance and that’s what led us down this path. We’ve become a very active player in working with banks, doing loan review work, and consulting work with them.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
It’s interesting, being a commercial lender in traditional banking, in a way I always was an entrepreneur. Part of our job was to originate business and manage a loan portfolio. Even though I was always working for a bank, I was also working for my clients.
At the end of ‘08, beginning of ’09 when I saw the market hitting the fan, I was looking for other ways to reinvent myself. For years in commercial banking I’d get a headhunter call a couple of times a week. I knew that wasn’t going to exist anymore.
I’d always had this business idea in my head but never thought about taking it forward. When ’09 rolled around and I saw the huge void in the market, I saw there was an opportunity to pursue it.
What are some things you do to relax and unwind from your busy days?
You mean when I actually have time to do it? I try to take a couple of hours out of every night, make a cut off time between 5:30 and 6 pm, to spend the meat part of the evening with my wife and kids.
I find just spending time with them, playing a board game, video games, kicking a soccer ball around or playing basketball, to me that’s very fun and relaxing. It reminds me why I’m busy the rest of the time building the company.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
I’d probably be that character that can make 20 duplicates of himself, so I’d just have more time to get everything done. I think he’s actually a bad guy so that’s probably not the right thing to say.
What’s next for Commercial Lending X?
We are exploding. I knew that there was demand out there for the service we provided -- as we’ve gotten the word out there are just so many people coming out of the woodwork on the lending side and the bank consulting side.
There are few groups out there that are as nimble and quick and willing to do as much as we’re willing to do: get creative in pricing and get creative in the way we manage the job to help organizations save money.
There’s just so much opportunity out there. We’re growing like mad.