SBAExpress lenders grow

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The U.S. Small Business Administration announced changes in the SBAExpress pilot program that will allow about 2,400 lenders already delivering other SBA loan products to participate. The SBAExpress program provides simplified access to SBA loans. The agency also is opening the program to lenders experienced in small-business lending that have not previously participated in SBA loans.

Under the program, lenders may use their own forms and processes to approve loans guaranteed by SBA. Minimal paperwork is required for SBA, and the agency generally provides an immediate response on most SBAExpress applications.

SBA is trying to expand the program for both smaller and larger loans. It is offering incentives to lenders to increase availability of smaller loans, especially loans of $50,000 or less. At the same time, SBA is raising the maximum limit of an SBAExpress loan to $250,000, from $150,000.