SBA plans tools to reduce lenders’ costs

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SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced two initiatives aimed at helping cut costs for credit unions and other small lenders in the 7(a) program.

June 11, 2014 – Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the Small Business Administration, on Tuesday announced two initiatives that are expected to reduce the costs for small lenders, including credit unions participating in SBA 7(a) loan programs.

Beginning July 1, SBA will start making its total credit score available to all lenders for loans amounting to less than $350,000. This replaces the requirement for lenders to conduct a cash flow analysis and debt service coverage determination, in turn helping those lenders save time and money. SBA says this is aimed at helping small lenders such as credit unions and community banks and that it is projected to boost loan volume.

Early next year, SBA plans to roll out a new, automated 7(a) loan guarantee platform that SBA expects will save lenders up to $5,000 per loan issued. The platform provides one set of forms, services and data management to SBA’s lending partner network. SBA says the initiative should make it easier for credit unions to gain economies of scale required to compete with larger lenders.

NAFCU works closely with SBA to promote ways to maximize credit unions’ participation in SBA’s 7(a) loan program. Loan amounts guaranteed by SBA are excluded from credit unions’ member business lending cap.

NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel PJ Hoffman attended Tuesday’s address, which Contreras-Sweet delivered before a meeting of the Center for American Progress.

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