Who is eligible to receive a loan through Utah Microloan Fund?
The UMLF is considered a “lender of last resort,” meaning we try to help business owners who aren’t able to receive bank financing because of poor credit, insufficient business history, insufficient collateral, etc. Our main focus is businesses that are located in underserved areas and individuals that earn low-to-moderate income.
How is the Utah Microloan Fund different from a bank loan?
If you can qualify for a bank loan we encourage you to start with our local partners who can give you a lower interest rate. Because we take on loans with higher risk our interest rates are typically 2-8% higher. Sponsors & Partners
Does the Utah Microloan Fund help startups?
Yes. Banks typically require at least two years of business financials to be considered for a loan, which makes it hard for start-ups to receive funding. We fill that gap. If you have previously been declined from a bank loan but have a great idea you may be a good fit for us! While we consider factors like credit score, collateral, and history, a lot of what we do is based on a solid business plan and your personal character.
What is the process for applying for a loan?
Applicants must first go through our online orientation slide deck to learn about the program and what the application steps are. Then they fill out a form to request access to our online application page.
What do I do if I need help with the business plan and/or cash flow projections?
We have basic instructions on how to fill both out. If you need additional assistance, we can connect you to one of several non-profit organizations throughout the state that can help at no cost (like The Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE, etc.)
Do I have to be a US citizen to receive a loan?
You must be able to legally work in the US. If your authorization expires in less than five years, we may ask for a co-signer that can legally work in the US for the length of the loan term.
Do I need collateral for a loan?
Not always, but having any collateral (a car, home, or other asset) will help. Especially with higher loan requests, the credit committee feels more comfortable approving loans where the owner has some “skin in the game.” Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. If the credit committee is not comfortable with the collateral offered, they may ask if the business can be started with less or request a strong co-signer who is willing and able to make the loan payment if the business and borrower are unable.
How long is the application process?
Loan applications are not processed until everything on the checklist is provided. Once the application is complete it usually takes 2-3 weeks before they are able to meet with the credit committee (see loan application page for deadlines).
How long does it take to get the loan?
Once your complete application is received, our Program Manager of Lending will determine whether or not you will move on to present your business plan in front of our loan committee. Our loan committees meet twice a month and you will typically know by the next day whether or not you will get your loan. If approved, we can often close the loan within 7-10 days.
Who decides whether or not I get the loan?
Our loan committee makes the final decision. Each committee is made up of 10-12 community volunteers who have a business or financing background. After you present your business plan to the committee, they immediately vote on whether or not you will get the loan.
How does the loan committee make its decision?
Our loan committees look at a variety of factors when deciding to approve a loan including credit scores, collateral, education, industry expertise, and a solid business plan. The foundation of the decision is based on whether or not you will be able to repay the loan.