It's been two years since the SBA moved its credit union lender approval process from Washington to its district offices and the shift has produced some notable increases.
In August 2008, the SBA made the adjustment to streamline procedures and process CU lender applications faster, according to David Donner Chait, policy associate with the SBA's Office of the Administrator. The most current data showed that the number of active credit unions lenders increased by 31% between March 2008 and March 2010. The number of loans and dollars outstanding held-the SBA's share-increased by 55% and 53% during the same period, respectively. The number of the agency's active CU lenders also increased from 194 to 254.
"SBA had listened to the needs of the credit union industry for timelier processing of applications for 7(a) participation. We streamlined our procedures to place the final decision with our local offices to compress the decision time for an SBA response. This would invite others that were leery of bureaucratic down time to sign in directly and begin guaranteed lending sooner," Chait said.
In addition to wanting to streamline the approval process, the SBA was prompted to make internal changes in its procedure because of increased MBL activity. Generally, SBA lender applications can be evaluated within 30 days receipt of an application request. If the applicant can provide evidence of prior small business lending experience at the time of making initial application such as through MBL data from regulatory call reports, the evaluation can go smoothly, Chait said.