by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Adam Gibson Photography

Right now, the homebuilding market feels a bit like the Wild West as the pandemic has caused a ripple effect across the market that involves supply chain interruptions, inventory shortages, and distribution issues. With so much uncertainty in the air, it’s comforting to have someone you can turn to who offers stability in the industry and whom you know will remain loyal, reliable, and supportive. Step one in building a home involves seeking out a construction loan, and there is no better choice to get this process going than the team at TCU (Teachers Credit Union) as they are as solid as they come.

Born and raised in Marion, Indiana, Albert Gonzalez developed an appreciation for the game of basketball as most Hoosiers do. But growing up in the Midwest fostered something else in Gonzalez – a desire to serve others and help them achieve their dreams.

Gonzalez started his lending career in the mid-90s when a friend recruited him to become a mortgage broker. It didn’t take long to realize that he had found his calling. He cut his teeth on investment property and acquisitions. That led to refinances, which led to purchases and then, new construction – his sweet spot. In 2005, Gonzalez worked as a Wholesale Account Executive in Naples, Florida, where he gained expertise helping clients build and purchase high-end and luxury homes.

In 2021, he joined the team at TCU as a mortgage loan originator where the financing of new construction homes represents roughly 80% of his work.

“TCU is the best lending partnership I’ve had in my career,” says Gonzalez. Through his work in the mortgage industry, he has also been pleased to work closely with local leader Shelley Specchio, who runs the Metropolitan of Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR); Alan Thorup, Executive Director of Greater Indianapolis Mortgage Bankers Association (GIMBA); and Steve Lains, CEO of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI).

“I’ve always been a supporter of all three of these associations because they are instrumental in advising people where to go for resources, guidance, direction, membership, and community involvement,” says Gonzalez, who has been affiliated with these associations for the better part of ten years.

These close ties in the community are another reason Albert chose to work at TCU, which recognizes that local businesses are the lifeblood of the economy. With that in mind, TCU is committed to promoting financial education and empowerment by supporting local initiatives in the community.

“We strive to be a positive force for our members and their communities,” says Gonzalez. “I tell my clients, ‘TCU will provide you with the best experience, and your builder will love working with us.”

Randy Henry, Director of Finance at Wedgewood Building Company, says that TCU has been easy to work with from the home builder perspective. “Albert Gonzalez and his team have made the process efficient, with funding of construction draws occurring within 48 hours in many cases,” says Henry.

Joe Gradison, owner of Gradison Design Build agrees that TCU has been a great lender partner for their team and their clients. “Albert does a nice job serving the client by locking them in a competitive rate prior to construction and being available to answer questions,” says Gradison.

For many years Scott Bates, co-owner of Christopher Scott and AR Homes®, has partnered with Gonzalez and TCU. “Albert does a nice job for our clients by being very responsive and providing them with competitive rates,” says Bates. “His process has always been pretty easy as it relates to a construction-to-perm loan, which is the type of loans our clients obtain as new home builders. Albert always finds creative ways to get terms set for our clients.”


TCU has grown to 57 locations and more than 300,000 members, making them the largest credit union in Indiana. This growth is due, in part, to the fact that their team members are known for their speed, service, process and expertise, all of which contribute to tremendous member satisfaction.

For homeowners who are designing and building a custom home that is the culmination of their own unique vision, step one is financing a game plan to see it through. The team at TCU is ready to hammer out the details of a loan that will cover all the construction costs.


  • One-time close
  • Interest-only payments during the construction phase
  • Immediate draw release
  • Cost approach used on appraisal (restrictions apply)
  • Expert Construction Appraisers
  • Local underwriting
  • Jumbo/super jumbo mortgages available
  • E-closings

The entire loan process is done in-house, including the processing, underwriting, and closing. Gonzalez, along with Jeff Oman, Mortgage Sales Manager at TCU, and Ryan Woodruff, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, built an expert panel of appraisers who do nothing but construction lending.

“Typically, credit unions and community banks have a mortgage business unit to help their current members or customers with the homebuying process. At TCU, we’ve transformed our philosophy and leadership to meet the demands of not only our own members, but also the needs of others in the communities we serve,” says Woodruff. “We have more lending programs than ever, faster approval times, dedicated staff for our purchase and construction programs, and a vision to give the same standard of service on the mortgage side as we’ve done throughout the credit union for over 90 years.”


Not only has TCU built a program that’s conducive to both builders and consumers, but the TCU team, which includes Gonzalez, Oman, Woodruff, Heather Friesner, and Meghan Johnson, care greatly about their members.

“The entire team contributes so much and each of us has the opportunity to get to know each member,” says Gonzalez. “Everyone who has worked with us, whether builder or homebuyer, knows Heather and Meghan.”

Andrew Brindley, Project Development and Strategy Manager at H-E Homes, says that in an industry that has a reputation for a stressful and cumbersome process, Gonzalez and the TCU team have always gone above and beyond to show their homeowners an incredible level of passion, kindness and guidance each step of the way.

“Albert and his rockstar team provide a consistently clear and positive experience, combined with easy and helpful communication, to ensure homeowners feel engaged and understand exactly where they are in the process,” says Brindley. One of the first formal steps that homeowners take for their brand-new home is financing. So, it is imperative that the experience is positive because the first impression, which is made in financing, sets the tone for the rest of the construction process.

“Albert has such a warm, inviting, personable vibe that puts our homeowners at ease,” says Brindley. “His passion and commitment set everyone along the best path for the entirety of the process. When homeowners start their new home build [in a positive way,] it makes the rest of their experience so much smoother.”

TCU has 18 locations in and around the Indianapolis area. Get started on your construction game plan by calling Gonzales directly at (317) 605-3383 or by visiting to apply online. The TCU team can be reached at (317) 572-2326.