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  • Writer's pictureLori N. McCausland

New Year, New Beginnings


As 2020 has wound down, many lenders are still reeling from the unprecedented year in the world of SBA Lending. While we’re sure everyone is happy to get 2020 behind us, Lenders are gearing up for what is likely to be another whirlwind year. We’ve got the PPP’s 2nd round, additional Cares Act payments to be implemented, as well as new SBA lending opportunities on the horizon. In addition, new budgets planned for this year need to be put into motion. With a plan in place, success is absolutely achievable for any Lender. Here is a five-point checklist that will help put things in motion.

1 - Establish your institution’s SBA lending goals and prepare your hiring and outsourcing strategy

As you’ve built your SBA department’s budget for the upcoming year, have you also considered whether you have the staffing needed to support your goals? Or is your staff already stretched to the limit based on the whirlwind year that has just ended? From PPP to the Cares Act 1112 payments, to the unexpected cracks in your seasoned SBA portfolio, how are you doing, really? Whether you choose to hire additional staff or outsource the overflow of workload you’re likely to encounter in the upcoming year, building the foundation is crucial. Outsourcing to SBA professionals is a great way to assist in getting you up and running quickly, providing the much-needed support your staff needs.

2 - Compile and organize your SBA forms and checklists to ensure that they are all up to date with SBA’s latest SOP requirements

Do you have a process for ensuring your SBA forms and checklists are all up to date with SBA’s latest SOP and program requirements? Intuitive organization is imperative to an SBA Lender. And we know that new SBA forms and program updates are on the horizon, so Lenders need to have a process in place for obtaining the information needed to ensure forms and checklists are kept up to date. We all know that paperwork errors and omissions can compromise the success of the loan and even put the guarantee in jeopardy.

3 - Review your SBA Policies & Procedures for compliance with SBA’s current SOP’s

Compliance is everything in SBA lending. Every lending institution has its own loan policies and they may need to be refined in order to comply with SBA requirements. Many processes are also regulated by the SBA and must be within their designated order and content rules. Having a regular schedule for reviewing new SOP’s and Notices is mandatory for the success of any SBA program.

4 - Create your SBA staff training schedule

To maintain compliance, staff training is essential and ongoing. Outsourcing to an experienced LSP is often the best way to not only get your staff the most up to date training, but it also encourages the exchange of ideas and new opportunities. Proven strategies, processes and checkpoints to ensure SBA compliance are only possible with a partner who has decades of SBA expertise to bring into play. Experienced SBA trainers create solid departments with the skills needed to maintain healthier portfolios.

5 - Arrange for your annual third-party SBA Loan Review

Fresh eyes can zero in on potential SBA loan glitches before they become larger problems. Scheduling a 3rd party review of your SBA Loan portfolio plays a critical part in ensuring the integrity of your SBA portfolio. An LSP can review your SBA portfolio in detail and make suggestions that may enhance the quality of the portfolio. Think of a third-party loan review as an annual doctor’s visit. Confidence is so important and a clean bill of health for your SBA portfolio can make the new fiscal year a smooth, compliant and lucrative one.

Contact LRM Lender Consultants at 877-576-0819 and let’s talk about how LRM can be a key resource for all of your SBA lending needs.


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