SBA 504 Refinancing Program Update

The Small Business Administration made a major announcement about the SBA 504 Refinancing Program. After waiting almost a year for the SBA finally introduced some new rules to add very significant benefits to this financing program. It is very exciting news for small businesses because it has the potential of stimulating the economy and to aid small businesses in refinancing their debt.The SBA 504 Financing Program provides $7.5 billion to use over the next eleven months for small businesses to refinance their debt. You may recall that back in 2010 the Small Business Jobs Act was passed into law and it had provisions that the SBA 504 Loan Program was to be used by small businesses to refinance existing debt. Up to that time the program was used exclusively for the purchase of assets like commercial real estate or new equipment. The legislation then allowed funds to be use only to refinance existing debt on commercial real estate and major equipment. The big change is that the SBA is now allowing small businesses to refinance other depth as well. Now as long as 85% of the loan amount was used for refinancing of assets like commercial real estate and equipment, the other 15% could be used for other purposes.The business owner can now use the remaining 15% to access working capital for eligible business expenses. This “cash-out” can be used for refinancing of eligible business expenses such as salaries, rents utilities, inventory and other obligations that the business had incurred up to the point of application or that may be coming due within 18 months.The key features of this loan program include allowing funding for up to 90% of the appraised value of the assets used as collateral where previously cash-out was typically limited to only 60 or 65%. That’s an additional 25%, and in some cases 35%, more equity you can use pay off existing debt and cash-out for working capital. Other benefits are long-term financing typically 20 to 25 year amortization, no balloon payments and the lowest interest rates in the markets. These rates are fixed so there is no worry about when interest rates finally start go up.There are a few qualifications you must meet in order obtain this financing. This is for owner-occupied properties only so the business must occupy at least 51% of the building. This is not for investment properties like multi-family or other investment type properties Another criteria is that you must be current on your payments. The SBA’s definition of current is no more than 30 days late for the past 12 months.

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