Small Business Startup Loans
Business firms avail loans for financing start-ups by approaching lenders like banks and credit unions who decide on the prudence of the investment based on the following factors. They evaluate the loan application and decide on conventional business financing, that does not require a Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantee, provided the borrower is deemed credit worthy. In case, the applicant's credit history is not up to the lender's credit standards, the financier would require an additional guarantee, the absence of which would disqualify the borrower from obtaining the loan. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was instrumental in the US Small Business Administration (SBA) temporarily eliminating administrative fees and raising the level of guarantee on some of its loans. These steps have been taken to provide lenders with the security necessary to accelerate the process of disbursing loans to millions of business owners who are in desperate need of capital.
The reason for the meltdown in lending, was on account of the lending institutions being unable to securitize their loans. Securitization is the process of pooling loans together and issuing securities with the underlying pool of loans acting as the collateral. These securities are purchased by investors who receive income from the interest and principal payments made by the borrowers. Securitization increases the lending power of the banks by freeing up funds. However, over time, the liquidity in the secondary markets declined since the securitizing institutions were unable to find buyers for investments backed by the pool of debts. Hence, banks who depended on the secondary markets for liquidity, became hesitant in extending credit to small businesses. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, tackled this problem by providing assurance, that the government would purchase 7(a) and 504 first-lien securities, which were backed by the popular SBA loans that promulgated small business startup loans.
Startup Loans for Small Business Entities
7(a) Loan: SBA guaranteed 7(a) small business startup loans are meant for borrowers who are interested in starting a business, expanding or acquiring small business entities. The typical applicant lacks the necessary collateral to clinch a loan and has insufficient equity to start the enterprise. The maximum amount of SBA guaranteed 7(a) loan, that can be availed by a borrower, is around $2 million and the SBA guarantees up to 75 percent of the amount of the loan. Administrative fee, on processing the loan, has been eliminated on loans originated on/after Feb. 17, 2009, with retrospective effect. Lenders, who have been approved to participate in SBA lending programs, are eligible to provide SBA guaranteed small business loans. People operating a home-based business can apply for this loan provided they meet the standard eligibility and credit criteria.
Micro-Loans: These loans are provided to startups, newly established, or growing small business concerns by nonprofit intermediaries who receive funds from the SBA. The amount of money, that can be provided as a micro-loan, cannot exceed $35,000. On an average, the money lent to a borrower is to the tune of $13,000. The borrower is expected to submit applications to the local intermediary who decides on the prudence of advancing money to the aspiring entrepreneur.
504 Certified Development Company Loans: These loans are meant for expanding small business enterprises by offering long-term, fixed-rate financing for the purchase of fixed assets, viz. land, building, machinery and equipment. The borrower brings with him/her a small amount of equity while the remaining portion is shared between the bank/primary lender and a certified development company(CDC). The portion of the loan from the CDC comes with a SBA guarantee for loans not exceeding $4 million.
SBA backed loans are generally provided to services, retail, accommodation, food, construction and manufacturing industries. These loans are geared towards helping minorities and women owned businesses become self sufficient and successful enterprises that benefit the society by generating employment.
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