As a small business owner, you deserve protection against mistreatment from lenders. Opportunity Fund worked together with a coalition of other responsible small business lenders to create a Small Business Borrowers Bill of Rights to protect your interests.

Small Business Borrowers Bill of Rights Checklist

  1. The Right to Transparent Pricing And Terms – Lenders are expected to communicate clearly and be upfront about any fees and penalties.
  2. The Right to Non-Abusive Products – You have a right to lending options that will not pressure you, penalize you for prepayment, or trap you in a debt cycle.
  3. The Right to Responsible Underwriting – Lenders are responsible for ensuring that borrowers are capable of paying off appropriately-sized loans instead of maximizing profit from defaulted loans and fees.
  4. The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers – You have the right to transparent and honest fees, results, options, and conflicts of interest from brokers.
  5. The Right to Inclusive Credit Access – You have the right to non-discrimination from lenders on the basis of any protected class such as gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.
  6. The Right to Fair Collection Practices – Lenders are expected to treat small business owners with respect and provide fair treatment, responsible oversight, and accurate information throughout the debt collections process.

 

Why the BBOR is Important For Your Business

When the financial crisis of 2008-2009 hit small businesses, business owners were suddenly strapped for cash. Alternative lenders started gaining popularity as a quick way to get working capital. However, some of these alternative loan options—such as MCAs,read more on those in our blog post here—are irresponsible and take advantage of small business owners’ need for fast cash.

Opportunity Fund and other members of Responsible Business Lending Coalition decided that business owners need a way to protect themselves from irresponsible lenders. The Small Business Borrowers Bill of Rights was born. The BBOR protects business owners, enables economic growth and opportunity, encourages responsible lending, and fosters investment into local communities.

For more information about the details of the Small Business Borrowers Bill of Rights and which lenders have signed, check out the official Small Business Borrowers Bill of Rights website.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


 

Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $50M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org