Patriot Express Small Business Loans for Veterans and Military Entrepreneurs
The Patriot Express Loan program is no longer active, but it was a loan program through the Small Business Administration that guaranteed easy access to small business loans and funding for veterans and military entrepreneurs.
In this article, we’ll discuss the Patriot Express Loan program, why it is important to provide small business loans to veterans, benefits of the program, who qualifies, requirements, and even compare this program to others out there. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What Is a Patriot Express Loan?
The Patriot Express Veterans Small Business Loan program was meant to provide veterans with the financing to start or expand their own businesses. Though this program no longer exists, there are other programs like it available currently. We’ll go over the benefits of programs like Patriot Express Loans.
Benefits of Patriot Express Loans
In general, small business loans for veterans feed the whole economy. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners for 2012 showed the following:
- 2.52 million businesses in the U.S. are majority-owned by veterans
- Veteran-owned firms employed 5.03 million people
- 9.1 percent of all U.S. businesses were veteran-owned, with specific industries like mining, finance, and insurance showing higher-than-average veteran ownership
We know veterans own a lot of our businesses in this country. But what does this all mean and why should we allocate financial funding to exclusively veteran and military entrepreneurs?
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and veterans are a big part of those small business owners and entrepreneurs, creating jobs that pay hard-working citizens. But it’s very hard to get a business loan to finance a company, and many veterans are relying on personal and family savings to fund their small businesses.
SBA loans, specifically, are some of the best financing options out there, with low interest rates and fees, long terms, and a variety of options including loans that support veterans.
Who Qualifies for Patriot Express Loans?
The Patriot Express Loan program was designed specifically for veterans that served honorably, service disabled veterans, active duty military members and reservists. It provided up to $500,000 in small business funding with low interest rates and low fees — or no fees at all.
The funds from this program could have been used for inventory, equipment, real estate purchases, starting the business, or refinancing existing debt. The program’s goal was to make it as easy as possible for our service members to receive funding for their business ventures.
How to Apply for Patriot Express Loans
A loan through the SBA is usually a great option for any borrower, but the application process is lengthy and you might be waiting a while for your funds. Some main SBA loan requirements include:
- Your business must be for-profit, U.S. based, and in an eligible industry.
- Your business must be “small” according the the SBA specified measurements: number of employees, business revenue, and net worth (all measurements are depending on your industry).
- Verifying a lot of personal information like previous addresses, criminal record, and citizenship status.
- Providing a resume proving your business background and experience in the industry.
- Providing a business plan as well as a business credit report and business income tax returns.
- Providing a personal credit report and personal income tax returns.
- And you might be asked how long you’ve been in business to help determine how risky it will be to approve the loan.
Requirements for a loan application will vary slightly depending on your specific lender and the type of loan you wish to acquire. Some other requirements might include business financial statements, a debt schedule, bank statements, collateral and possibly more. It takes a lot of work to run a small business and that’s not any different for securing funds. But the Patriot Express Loan program was meant to make this process easier and quicker for veterans and military members.
Cash For Patriots Program
You might have heard of President Trump’s Cash for Patriots program, and thought it would be a nice alternative to a small business loan, or maybe you’re hoping this program will supplement your retirement savings. The truth is, most of that money goes to corporations and shareholder pockets; Cash for Patriots is a private program, not a government-backed initiative to benefit veterans.
Be wary of anyone that promises easy cash from the government, especially if it costs money to get access to the program. Salespeople promising that the federal government is going to pay your bills are scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Most government assistance programs involve these nuances:
- You must apply for the assistance program with each program employing specific eligibility requirements; a fee usually isn’t one of the requirements.
- Cash payments are rare. If a cash payment is part of the assistance program, there are probably extra conditions and limitations.
- Most government assistance programs provide help through job training, nutritional assistance, education, health care and other needs.
The SBA Patriot Express Veterans Small Business Loan program was a real program guaranteed by the Small Business Association. You can see the stark differences in these programs if you look critically and know how to identify and avoid scams.
The Patriot Express program is guaranteed by a well-known organization, the SBA. It’s also a small business loan and takes an application and approval process to be eligible for the loan. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of these “cash for x” programs — just know the facts of the program and consider better alternatives.
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Tylene is a freelancer in Boise, Idaho. She's a self-taught personal finance hacker with zero debt. She eats avocado toast for breakfast.
This post was updated June 21, 2018. It was originally published June 23, 2018.