Minority and Women’s Pre-qualification Programs for SBA Loans

If you are a woman or minority who owns or wants to start a business, The Minority and Women’s Pre-qualification Programs can help. Intermediaries assist you in developing a viable loan application package and securing a loan. On approval the SBA provides a letter of pre-qualification you can take to a lender. The women’s program uses only nonprofit organizations as intermediaries; the minority program uses for-profit intermediaries as well.

200602image2Once your loan package is assembled, the intermediary submits it to the SBA for
expedited consideration; a decision usually is made within three days. If your application is
approved, the SBA issues a letter of pre-qualification stating the agency’s intent to guarantee the loan. The intermediary will then help you locate a lender offering the most competitive rates.

Maximum Loan Amount
The maximum amount for loans under the women’s program is $250,000; under the minority program, it is generally the same, although some district offices set other limits. With both programs, the SBA will guarantee up to 75% (80% on loans of $100,000 or less).

Here are the eligibility rules for these programs.
Businesses at least 51% owned, operated and managed by people of ethnic or racial minorities, or by women.
Businesses with average annual sales for the preceding three years that do not exceed $5 million.
Businesses that employ fewer than 100, including affiliates.
Businesses that are not engaged in speculation or investment.

Intermediaries may charge a reasonable fee for loan packaging. These programs are available through a number of SBA district offices nationwide. To find out if these programs are available in your area, contact your nearest SBA district office.


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