Military members or veterans should consider the SBA’s Patriot Express loans

Jessica SarterSmall Business Lending

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes a point of offering some of its small business loan programs to specific borrowers. If you're a veteran or active duty member of any branch of the U.S. armed forces, ranging from the Marine Corps to the Coast Guard and every department in between, you might want to check out the SBA's Patriot Express Loan Program.

For those who are eligible, Patriot Express loans may be your best bet for several reasons. The low interest rates are one of the most important. Although the specific total varies based on the amount and term of the loan, you can expect interest between 2.25 and 4.75 percent over prime.

You can meet many business needs with Patriot Express loan funds. Some of these include covering basic start-up costs, buying equipment, real estate or inventory, expanding your business and supplying it with working capital.

Additionally, these loans are particularly ideal for active military personnel, who may have to leave their home abruptly to complete their duties. You can use the money to get your business' affairs in order so it'll remain in good shape while you're away, or to set it up so you can sell directly to the U.S. government.

All veterans are eligible to apply for Patriot Express Small Business Loans. The program favors those with disabilities to a certain extent, in accordance with the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program.

Active duty military personnel eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program (TAP), reservists and National Guard members can all take advantage of Patriot Express' small business loans. If you're married, your spouse can also benefit from this program, as can the widows and widowers of military members and veterans who've died in the line of duty or as a result of a disability they acquired while serving.

To begin your search for a Patriot Express SBA loan, check the site for your state or region's local SBA office. Here, you can find a list of lenders close to you who provide SBA loans, and you may be able to determine which lenders have distributed more of these funds than others. Once you find banks that look promising, call or visit in person to compare and contrast their offers.

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