WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has set the borrower upfront fee to zero for all veteran loans authorized under the SBA Express program up to $350,000, the organization reports, which will take effect Jan. 1 and continue through the end of the fiscal year.
“Our nation’s veterans are highly skilled and highly trained leaders in their communities,” says acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit. “This initiative will set fees to zero for SBA Express loans to veterans up to $350,000, and is part of SBA’s broader efforts to make sure that veterans have the tools they need to start and grow a business.”
Of all SBA loans that go to veterans, 73% are $350,000 and below, the organization says, adding that the SBA Express Loan program, which supports loans under $350,000, is its “most popular” loan delivery method, “with nearly 60% of all 7(a) loans over the past decade being authorized through the program.”
Coupled with its recent announcement that for the current fiscal year, fees on loans for $150,000 and under are set to zero, the SBA adds, “This policy announcement means that veteran borrowers will no longer have to pay an upfront fee for any loan up to $350,000 under the SBA Express program. … This will make the loans cheaper for the borrower, another way SBA is looking to serve small-business owners as they look for ways to access capital.”
The new measure was announced during the SBA’s National Veterans Small Business Week, an initiative to reach out to veteran entrepreneurs and business owners.
“SBA provides veterans access to business counseling and training, capital and business development opportunities through government contracts,” the organization says. “In FY 2013, SBA supported $1.86 billion in loans for 3,094 veteran-owned small businesses, and since 2009, the dollar amount of SBA lending support to veteran-owned firms has nearly doubled.”