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Active and expert lenders qualify for the SBA's Certified and Preferred Lenders Program. Participants are delegated partial or full authority to approve loans, which results in faster service.

Certified lenders are those that have been heavily involved in regular SBA loan-guaranty processing and have met certain other criteria. They receive a partial delegation of authority and are given a three-day turnaround on their applications (they may also use regular processing). Certified lenders account for 10 percent of all SBA business loan guarantees. Preferred lenders are chosen from among the SBA's best lenders and enjoy full delegation of lending authority. This authority must be renewed at least every two years, and the lender's portfolio es examined by the SBA periodically. Preferred loans account for 18 percent of SBA loans. A list of participants in the Certified and Preferred Lenders Program may be obtained from your local SBA office.