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House bill proposes SBA tweaks for CUs
WASHINGTON (3/14/12)--Legislation that could increase credit union participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) lending program by simplifying some aspects of the application process and increasing coordination between the SBA and the National Credit Union Administration has been introduced in the U.S. House.

staff met this week with SBA representatives to discuss the SBA loan programs credit unions are eligible to participate in, and how CUNA and the SBA can best ensure that credit inions are aware of those options.

The SBA backed $30.5 billion in loans to small businesses and start-ups in fiscal 2011, setting a yearly record. Eligible credit unions are currently able to participate in the SBAs Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage programs, which are aimed at increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities.

The guaranteed portion of SBA loans does not count toward the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap.

The MBL cap is currently 12.25% of a credit union's total assets, but legislation that would increase this cap to 27.5% of assets is active in both the House and Senate.

CUNA and credit union efforts are focused on adding the Senate version of that legislation, S. 509, to a Senate jobs bill. CUNA and credit union leagues have encouraged supporters to contact their legislators through a credit union action call, notes Ryan Donovan, CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs.

CUNA has estimated that increasing the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets would inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy, creating as many as 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers.


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