According to a press release dated June 28, 2007 the SBA has begun accepting applications from lenders on behalf of military community entrepreneurs. The Patriot Express program was designed to provide assistance to service men or women who wish to start or expand businesses. Patriot Express is available to military community members including veterans, service-disabled veterans, service members leaving active duty, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, and the widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service, or of a service-connected disability.
Interest from the lending community is strong. More than 150 banks have already been approved to participate in Patriot Express, including many of SBA’s largest lenders, even though the program was announced only two weeks ago. SBA has many more lenders in the approval process and continues to receive more applications from lenders to participate every day. Loans are available up to $500,000 and qualify for SBA’s maximum guaranty of up to 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less and up to 75 percent for loans over $150,000 up to $500,000. For loans above $350,000, lenders are required to take all available collateral to secure the loan and may obtain collateral for smaller loans depending upon individual bank requirements. Interest rate maximums for Patriot Express loans are the same as those for regular 7
(a) loans: a maximum of prime + 2.25 percent for maturities under 7 years; prime + 2.75 percent for 7 years or more. Interest rates can be higher by
2 percent for loans of $25,000 or less; and 1 percent for loans between $25,000 and $50,000.
Lets hope this program actually helps our veterans who deserve our support and help for the sacrifices they make for all of us.