Intermediary Lending Pilot Program

The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Section 1131) established a three year pilot program to provide direct loans to eligible non-profit intermediaries for the purpose of making small business loans of up to $200,000. SBA partners with experienced intermediaries to assist small business concerns in areas suffering from a lack of credit due to poor economic conditions or changes in the financial market. SBA’s Intermediary Lending Pilot (ILP) Program aims to help business owners start and grow successful enterprises.

The ILP Program anticipates meeting the needs of small business borrowers that face significant gaps in the credit market. ILP addresses current financing gaps such as:

  • Limited availability of commercial loans of $200,000 or less
  • Borrowers with declining collateral values or lower credit scores due to the economic downturn
  • Commercial lenders with less funding available for loans and lower appetites for risk leading to tighter underwriting standards
  • Certain populations remaining underserved

Find an ILP Intermediary

To apply for a loan from an ILP Intermediary, you must work with an SBA approved intermediary in your area.  Approved intermediaries make all credit decisions.  For more information, contact your local SBA District Office or view the list of approved ILP Intermediaries.

Why partner with SBA?

SBA’s Intermediary Lending Pilot Program provides:

  • Flexible, low-cost capital:
    • Intermediaries receive up to $1 million in SBA debt financing, with up to $500,000 available in the first disbursement.
      • SBA’s interest rate to the Intermediary is 1% with a 20 year term
      • Payments on loan to SBA are delayed until two years after first disbursement
      • SBA will not charge any fees to Intermediary
      • Intermediary is not required to provide any collateral for ILP loan
    • Loans provided by the Intermediary may be:
      • Up to $200,000
      • Used for working capital, real estate, and the acquisition of materials, supplies and equipment
      • Used by borrowers that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere

Who can be an SBA ILP Intermediary?  

  • Organizational status:
    • Private non-profit organizations (501c status) such as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Community Development Corporations, SBA Certified Development Companies (CDCs), or agencies established by Native American tribal governments are eligible.
  • Organizations must have at least one year of lending experience:
    • Making and servicing loans to startup, newly established or growing small businesses
      • SBA Microlenders are not eligible to become ILP Intermediaries; however, their affiliates which have been established for at least one year may be eligible
  • SBA will run a competition to select the most qualified applicants to become ILP Intermediaries and receive an ILP Loan.
    • SBA will select 20 ILP Intermediaries through a competitive application process in fiscal year 2011 and another 20 ILP Intermediaries through a second competitive application round in fiscal year 2012, for a total of 40 ILP Intermediaries.
    • SBA currently has funding to make ILP loans only in 2011 and 2012. If additional funds are appropriated for the ILP program, SBA will select another 20 ILP Intermediaries in fiscal year 2013, for a maximum of 60 intermediaries.
  • Due to limited funds and in order to maximize program effectiveness, organizations will need to demonstrate a proven capacity and ability during the application selection process.

How to become an SBA ILP Intermediary

The SBA has only a limited amount of funds available to make loans to ILP Intermediaries. In order to select the most qualified Intermediaries, the SBA will conduct a competitive selection process. If you are interested in becoming an ILP Intermediary you may contact your Lender Relations Specialist at the local SBA District Office for more information. To find your local SBA District Office visit If you have questions regarding the application process you may email them to

ILP Intermediaries
ILP Procedural Guide
ILP Federal Regulations


ILP Intermediary Application Materials 

ILP Application
ILP Forms
ILP Notice of Funds Available
ILP Program Announcement
ILP Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
ILP Public Forums
ILP Information Briefing from Public Forums
Attachments Size
ILP Federal Regulations 195Kb
ILP Public Forums 28Kb