of financing, allowing them to continue participating in the market. This is intended to keep the existing secondary market in place so that private investors can replace the government as the purchaser of these securities when market conditions return to normal.
2. Temporarily Raise Guarantees to Up to 90 Percent in SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program
The purpose of the 7(a) loan program is to provide a government guarantee that reduces the risk lenders face when they make loans to borrowers who cannot find credit elsewhere. But during the current recession, the guarantees — up to 85 percent for loans at or below $150,000 and up to 75 percent for larger loans — have not been large enough to give banks the confidence they need to lend. As part of its implementation of the Recovery Act, the SBA today announces:
— An Increase in Maximum Loan Guarantees to 90 Percent: Beginning today, any lender who participates in the 7(a) program can request a guarantee from the SBA of up to 90 percent for each eligible loan. This temporarily available increase in guarantees will help provide banks with the greater confidence they need to extend credit during the current recession.
— A Confidence Boost Lenders Need to Extend Credit: Combined with Treasury’s efforts to unlock secondary markets, higher loan guarantees will ensure that lenders have both greater safeguards against possible credit losses and assurances that there will be an active secondary market to purchase their loans and provide the liquidity they need to keep lending.
3. Temporarily Eliminate SBA Loan Fees to Reduce the Cost of Capital
— Elimination of Borrower and Lender Fees for 504 Loans: On any new eligible 504 applications submitted beginning today, SBA will temporarily eliminate the Certified Development Company (CDC) processing fees charged to borrowers and the third-party participation fees charged to lenders. As a temporary provision authorized by the Recovery Act, these measures will reduce costs to both borrowers and lenders participating in the 504 program, which has a demonstrated record of supporting community development and creating jobs.
— Elimination of Up-Front Fees for 7(a) Loans: For any new eligible 7(a) loan, the SBA will temporarily eliminate the up-front fees that lenders pass along to borrowers. These fees — which go up to 3.75 percent for larger loans — increase the cost of borrowing for small businesses and make it more difficult for them to access the credit they need to expand or make new investments.
— Rebates for Fees Paid Since February 17th: For borrowers or lenders charged any of these fees on loans approved on or after February 17th, the SBA will provide a refund, to ensure that Recovery Act provisions create the maximum possible economic stimulus.
— A Pledge to Quickly Turn Around Loans: To maintain a high level of service to potential borrowers and lenders alike, the SBA also pledges that complete loan applications will be turned around quickly by the SBA — usually in as little as two to three days.
4. Call by Secretary Geithner for New Reporting