Where to Go When the Banks Turn You Down

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2015)

Q: Are there loans available to small businesses that can’t qualify for bank loans?

A: If you are a small business owner or even an entrepreneur with an idea, you may qualify for a loan from ACCION Texas-Louisiana. They provide credit and service to small and startup businesses that have little or no access to loans from banks and other commercial sources.

ACCION is a registered nonprofit organization committed to empowering small businesses with limited access to traditional sources of credit. It contributes to economic development in Texas and Louisiana by providing microloans and other services to their borrowers.

It typically helps small businesses and microenterprises to which banks cannot lend because the borrowers are considered to be too risky or without sufficient business experience or the amount of the loan is too small for the bank to consider.

Individual business loans range from $500 to $100,000 with terms from 5 to 120 months. Loans are at a fixed rate which allows you to lock in the current low interest rates for the life of the loan. Business lines of credit range from $5,000-$25,000 for established businesses with two years of financial history.

Collateral is normally required to secure the loan, however ACCION is more flexible than banks in the type of collateral accepted. They will consider vehicles, business equipment, jewelry, inventory, real estate as long as it is not your home, as well as Certificates of Deposit and other financial assets.

ACCION has helped a broad variety of small businesses including car lots, hair salons, restaurants, barbershops, builders, daycare centers and service companies. ACCION’s loans help buy equipment, supplies, and other essential services and materials, as well as build the credit scores that would enable them to be “bankable” as they grow larger.

To be eligible for loans you must be over 21 years of age, live and have your business in Texas, not be in bankruptcy and have your collateral in Texas or Louisiana. They will also examine your financial ability to repay, personal character, commitment and motivation to improve your business and credit, payment history, available collateral, and your bankruptcy history. Startups must have an alternate source of income. The loan process takes about 15 days.

ACCION works with the SCORE SMART Squad to provide technical assistance to borrowers to develop business plans and help them avoid pitfalls that result from inexperience.

To learn more visit the ACCION website at http://www.acciontexas.org, call (866) 312-3774, or email houston@acciontexas.org.

 Where to Go When the Banks Turn You Down