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Easier Money

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Need to borrow $100,000 or less? Skip the lengthy loan applications and weeks of waiting for an answer. The Small Business Administration's (SBA) LowDoc Program reduces paperwork to one page and cuts response time to as little as two days.

Upon receipt from lending institutions, the simple applications are processed quickly by the SBA, usually within two or three days. Best of all, the decision process relies heavily on the strength of the borrower's character and credit history.

"In essence, we've developed a character loan," says Mike Stamler of the SBA. "LowDoc is an ideal vehicle for any small business that needs to borrow less than $100,000 with minimum effort."

The minimum loan amounts are established by individual lenders, not by the SBA, Stamler says. The SBA, which guarantees up to 80 percent of the loan, requires start-ups to submit comprehensive business plans with LowDoc applications; existing businesses need not.

Since the program's inception in 1994, banks and other lenders have made more than 76,000 LowDoc loans totaling nearly $4.3 billion. For more information about LowDoc loans, contact your local lender or the SBA office nearest you.

Paul DeCeglie is a former staff reporter for Journal of Commerce and American Banker. He can be reached at

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