How to Apply

Confused About VA Small Business Loans?

There are many benefits afforded to military members past and present but sometimes navigating through them can be a monumental task. Identifying which ones that you qualify for and how to apply can and will prove daunting. Today we are going to address small business loans that are available to veterans and how to ask for them.

Know What’s Available

There two types of loans that are available which are the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative and the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan or MREIDL. Regardless of which one you choose or qualify for, it is essential to understand that they are not loans provided by the Veterans Affairs (VA) Administration or Small Business Administration (SBA). In actuality, they are a guarantee provided by the VA and SBA to reputable private lenders.

How to Apply

The first step in applying for VA Small Business Loan is to identify which one of the two loan types you qualify for. If you are a reservist who has been called to active duty then you will be applying for the MREIDL, everyone else will be applying to the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative which we will be looking at first.

The Patriot Express Pilot Initiative was set to expire in 2010, but its rate of success extended the benefit through 2013. There are also options for spouses and windows to take advantage of this type of loan if they are interested in starting a small business. Applying can be as simple as finding out if you are qualified and filling out the appropriate paperwork. If you have been discharged other than honorably or less, you do not qualify for this loan. Keep in mind that the credit is provided from a bank or financial institution, not from the VA or SBA.

The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan or (MREIDL) is an excellent benefit offered to reservists who are currently small business owners. It often becomes difficult for a reservist to live a healthy life and care for their business if the threat of immediate deployment is lurking right around the corner. Fortunately, the government understands the financial hardship that this causes. This loan does not end the day you return from deployment either; it continues for up to one year after the member is released from active duty to ensure that they recover from any financial loss. Evidence showing the need for this loan will be required, and if it is found that the individual has the necessary funds to provide for their recovery, the use of an MREIDL may not be approved.

Final Thoughts

Whichever loan is chosen, they are both significant benefits afforded to our military and military spouses. Applying for these loans should begin by visiting the Small Business Administration’s website which can be found at www.sba.gov.