Lenders FAQ

Lender FAQ

Basic FAQ information about the 504 can be found here

Understanding Eligibility

Companies that are eligible for 504 programs include:

  1. Eligibility for the 504 program includes financing for loan acquisition, building acquisition or construction, renovation or expansion, machinery and equipment (with a useful life of 10yrs or more), soft costs (appraisals, survey, architectural work)
  2. For profit corporations, partnerships, proprietorships, businesses whose net worth does not exceed $15 million.
  3. After tax profits (net) average less than $5 million during the previous two years.

Entities that are not eligible for 504 programs include:

  1. Nonprofit institutions
  2. Lending or investment firms
  3. Rental property held primarily for sale or investment
  4. Speculation

What is eligible for financing?

  1. Renovation or expansion
  2. Land acquisition
  3. Building acquisition or construction
  4. Machinery and equipment with a useful life of 10 or more years
  5. Soft costs such as appraisals, general surveying, architectural work, installation, etc.

Understanding Refinancing and the 504 loan program

When is a commercial mortgage considered eligible for refinancing under the new rules?

  1. The loan must have funded at least 2 years ago
  2. 85% of the loan proceeds must have been used to acquire real estate or equipment
  3. The property must be at least 51% owner-occupied
  4. The loan cannot be a federally guaranteed loan (an SBA 7a, 504, first trust to a 504 or a USDA loan)
  5. The loan must have been current for the last 12 months

What happens if one or two loan payments were made a few days after the due date?

If no loan payments were made more than 30 days beyond the due date, the loan is considered to have been current for the 12 month period.

Can a bank refinance it’s own conventional loan through the new 504 refinancing program?

Yes! The lender must provide an inception to date payment history of the loan and the lender must certify that it has no knowledge of any default or indication of a pending default. Additionally, the TPL cannot sell the first trust into the secondary market.

In the 7a program, there must be a “substantial benefit” to the borrower. Is such a test required for the 504 refinancing?


How will the refinancing dollars be split between the bank, Business Finance Group and the borrower?

  1. The bank will fund at least 50% of the appraised value
  2. Business Finance Group will fund up to 40% through the 504 program

The borrower will contribute 10% in cash, existing equity in the asset, or through equity in additional collateral

Can closing costs be included in the transaction?

Yes, closing costs can be included.

Can an expansion or improvement of the existing facility be included in the refinancing application?


If the appraised value is less than the total of the new financing (90% of FMV), how is the remaining loan balance handled?

The borrower can provide additional collateral. If the equity in the additional collateral reduces the total LTV to 90%, no cash contributions are required. The bank’s loan amount will be based on 50% of the appraised value of all assets in the collateral pool.

  1. The lender can forgive the excess debt
  2. The borrower can pay the difference in cash
  3. The lender can finance the difference in 3rd trust position

Is there an additional equity requirement for special use assets (i.e., hotels, car washes, etc.) or start-up businesses?

No. A business must have been in operation for 2 years in order to be eligible for the refinancing program. The additional down payment requirement for special use assets only applies to regular 504 loans.

What are the job requirements for the refinancing program?

If economic development goals of the 504 program other than jobs are not met, then we look at retention of the existing jobs as the economic development impact of the 504 involvement.

Are there any differences in the application processes between the refinancing program and the regular 504 program?

  1. There are several differences. First, as an appraisal will be required at the time of application to establish the Fair Market Value and allocate the loan amounts between the lenders.
  2. The SBA guarantee fee (included in the interest rate the borrower pays) will be slightly higher at 1.043% versus 0.74% for regular 504 loans
  3. The bank will provide additional certifications to SBA:
    1. the original use of proceeds for the loan was for eligible fixed assets
    2. The SBA 504 participation is essential to the entice the lender to participate in the financing
    3. The lender is not aware of any prior or pending defaults

Does the bank pay the 1/2 point SBA fee on the first mortgage?

Yes, we will collect the 1/2 point bank fee at the 504 closing.

Are there any differences in the closing and funding process?

A very important change is the term of the SBA Authorization for Debenture Guarantee (commitment document). The term is only 6 MONTHS versus the 48 month term for a regular 504 loan. Extensions will not likely be granted! It is very important that the 504 portion CLOSE IN TIME TO FUND BEFORE THE 6 MONTH TERM EXPIRES!

*An appraisal will be required to establish the Fair Market Value of all the assets

Lenders should note that the SBA commitments will have only a 6-month term, thus prompt CDC closings are essential. Business Finance Group has an experienced closing staff of four and seven designated attorneys to help move loans through to funding in a timely manner.

More questions? Need more information? Email or call us 800-305-0504, we are happy to assist you!