Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBAExpress Eases Access to Capital, Credit

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBAExpress Eases Access to Capital, Credit

Article excerpt

For America's small business owners, getting access to capital and credit has just gotten easier.

Traveling the country for the last two and a half years, women have repeatedly told me that what they want most is not a loan, but revolving credit, the ability to access money when they need it -- when seasonal expenses hit, when downturns occur, when their businesses take off and require cash to expand.

The cyclical money that never seems to be available when they need it most is also what they want most. Now the Small Business Administration is making that revolving credit a reality: On Sept. 18, President Clinton and SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez announced major revisions -- and a new name -- to one of the SBA's pilot programs. SBAExpress (formerly FA$TRAK) now makes unsecured revolving lines of credit up to $25,000 more readily available to small businesses. Effective Oct. 1, SBAExpress began making loans up to $150,000 available through a cadre of SBA lenders who are authorized to use mostly their own forms and procedures to process and service SBA- guaranteed loans. And here's the good news: for loans up to $25,000, if the lender determines it is appropriate, no collateral is required. For loans over $25,000, lenders use their own established collateral policies. In its initial test phase, this program proved very successful: during Fiscal Year 1997, the 18 original SBAExpress pilot participants approved about 4,100 loans for $191 million. The president also announced improvements to the popular SBALowDoc Program, which is also now available for loans up to $150,000. It uses a one-page SBA loan application to report summary financial and eligibility data to the SBA. For both programs, loans will be processed in highly efficient processing centers that will turn around applications in less than 36 hours. SBAExpress and SBALowDoc represent major advances for all small businesses, but they will be of special benefit for women business owners, who have long needed these kind of loan programs. …

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