How can banks participate in the SBA 504 Loan Program?
Participating SBA loan lenders including banks, savings, and loan associations, and credit unions interested in partnering with BFC are required to execute a third-party lender certification as part of the loan closings.
Banks are eligible third-party SBA loan lenders in the 504 loan program. Banks that are interested in participating in the 504 loan program simply need to contact their local SBA district offices.
Typically for the loans that each provides, banks and CDCs, perform underwriting for loans separately but simultaneously. A Certified Development Company (CDC), such as BFC, is a nonprofit organization certified by the SBA to provide 504 loans to small businesses. When analyzing 504 loan applications, banks and CDCs examine traditional underwriting criteria such as cash flow, management, operating trends, and collateral.
Both the bank and BFC will underwrite the loan concurrently to meet borrower deadlines. While the terms and conditions of the bank and BFC loan may differ, they are coordinated to meet the needs of the borrower.
The third-party lender certification executed by the bank will then serve as confirmation that 504 loan program requirements have been met.
What are the benefits for the lenders?
The SBA 504 loan program helps open a new market to banks by adding a healthy, growing, business client base that may not meet conventional underwriting criteria. A bank’s first mortgage on the loan is 50% loan to value, minimizing collateral risk and exposure. In some circumstances, SBA 504 loans used for owner-occupied real estate are not counted in commercial real estate concentrations.
With SBA 504 financing, smaller banks can handle bigger projects and bigger banks can limit their exposure to certain industries. 90% financing also means that the majority of the customer’s funds remain on deposit. Hence, the bank can earn fees and interest on the interim loan and also generate income from sale premiums and loan fees. This is because the lenders’ first-lien loans are salable on the secondary market, providing lenders greater liquidity.
Finally, by making 504 loans, banks may qualify for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration.
How does the 504 loan program help banks meet community credit needs?
Through the SBA 504 loan program, banks can offer long-term financing to small businesses that may otherwise encounter difficulties with conventional financing. The SBA considers the 504 loan as a great option for new and growing businesses because of the low down payment required, fixed below-market interest rates, and long payment terms.
Banks participating in the 504 loan program may qualify for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration. Loans of $1 million or less may qualify as small business loans and may be evaluated under the CRA lending test for banks of all sizes. As such, smaller banks may choose to grant small business loans of one million dollars or less.
For additional information on SBA loans’ benefits for bankers, please contact us!
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