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Tight-Lipped Banks

Are SBA loans a big secret?

This story appears in the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: I recently applied for a loan to expand my building. My banker suggested an SBA loan, but didn't answer my questions about government loans and didn't have the program available. Can you help me?

A: If your banker says an SBA loan might be better for you but can't offer the program, quite frankly it could be a polite way of saying no. Many banks use this line when they don't feel comfortable lend-ing to you but still wish to maintain a relationship because of your deposits or the referrals you send its way. It's an easy out for them. It means you'll have to seek financing elsewhere.

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