Linda McMahon, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has announced the launch of Lender Match, the SBA’s online referral tool connecting small-business borrowers with participating SBA lenders. Lender Match is an upgrade to LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), introduced as a pilot in 2015.
“The SBA’s mission to help small businesses grow, create jobs and help our economy thrive is strengthened by the new Lender Match tool,” McMahon said. “It essentially serves as a matchmaker, making it easier for small businesses to find lenders. I want to help get more capital in the hands of small-business owners and entrepreneurs, and I encourage them to tap into the SBA’s resources for start-up and growth solutions.”
The free online tool allows small-business owners to fill out a quick online form without registration and then connects them with lenders within 48 hours. There are now fewer, more relevant questions, and lenders are now able to better filter the referral they are sent resulting in more viable matches. Lenders can now optimize their search criteria to identify specific types of borrower referrals for particular lines of business or specialized financing.
Lender Match is a much more user-friendly and intuitive platform for entrepreneurs and it provides better guidance on how to be prepared for the loan application process, the SBA says. It has been streamlined from start to finish, providing better access to on-screen information.
After lenders have reviewed the information submitted to them by entrepreneurs, those who express interest in the loan are to respond within two days. In addition, borrowers will receive counseling information and resources from the SBA within their local area.
Lender Match is available to all SBA 7(a) and 504 lenders nationwide, including nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in micro-lending, loans in SBAs Community Advantage program and the SBA’s CDC/504 loan program. One must be an approved SBA lender in good standing to receive borrower referrals.
Lender Match follows the SBA’s new digital media design with its clean and modern look, refreshed for easy use. It also contains a checklist of items for borrowers, including a business plan, credit history, collateral and financial projections. Prospective borrowers can go to sba.gov/lendermatch to get matched with any number of institutions.
More than 800 lenders are in the SBA’s lending programs that participate in Lender Match in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
To date, the online tool has made more than two million lender referrals, and lenders have followed up with more than 70,000 referrals.
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