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LowDoc

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Definition: A special SBA 7(a) loan promising quick processing for amounts less than $150,000 .

This loan program from the SBA makes applying for a loan of $150,000 or less somewhat easy. "LowDoc" stands for "low documentation," and approval relies heavily on your personal credit rating and your business's cash flow.

The LowDow Program was created in response to complaints that the SBA's loan application process for smaller loans was needlessly cumbersome for both borrowers and lenders that participate in the SBA's 7(a) General Business Loan Guaranty Program. The process tended to discourage borrowers from applying and lenders from making loans of less than $100,000.

LowDoc streamlines the loan application process for guaranteed loans under $100,000. The approval process relies heavily on a lender's experience and judgment of a borrower's credit history and character. The primary considerations are the borrower's willingness and ability to repay debts, as shown by their personal and business credit history, and by past or projected cash flow. No predetermined percentage of equity is required, and lack of full collateral isn't necessarily a determining factor.

Applicants seeking less than $50,000 are required to complete just a one-page SBA form. Those seeking $50,001 to $150,000 submit the same short form, plus supply copies of individual income tax returns for the previous three years and financial statements from all guarantors and co-owners of the business. Commercial lenders are likely to require additional paperwork to satisfy their own requirements. The SBA guarantees a 36-hour turnaround on these loan requests.