Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights
As part of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, Small Business Majority helped launch the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights–the first-ever consensus on responsible small business lending practices.
The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights was designed to foster greater transparency and accountability across the small business lending sector. It outlines six key rights the Responsible Business Lending Coalition believes all small business borrowers deserve:
1. The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms: A borrower has the right to have the cost and terms of any financing being offered presented to them in writing and in a form that is clear, complete, and easy to compare with other financing options, so they can make the best decision for their business.
2. The Right to Non-Abusive Products: A borrower has the right to expect that the financing products offered by a lender will not trap his/her business in an expensive cycle of re-borrowing.
3. The Right to Responsible Underwriting: A borrower has the right to expect a lender is offering financing based on underwriting practices that assess the ability of the borrower’s business to succeed and repay.
4. The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers: A borrower has the right to honest, transparent, and impartial communications with a broker regarding loan options, conflicts of interest, fees, and the financing options available.
5. The Right to Inclusive Credit Access: A borrower has the right to fair and equal treatment when seeking a loan including protections guaranteed under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
6. The Right to Fair Collections Practices: A borrower has the right to be treated fairly and respectfully throughout a collections process and the right to protections like those guaranteed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Any small business lender, broker, or marketplace can stand up for small businesses by attesting that they abide by all aspects of the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights on a form signed by their CEO. This form and the names of organizations that have become signatories are online at www.responsiblebusinesslending.org. Organizations that are not lenders, brokers, or marketplaces can simply visit the website to become endorsers of the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.
To learn more about the Borrowers' Bill of Rights, visit www.responsiblebusinesslending.org.
Based on the principles in the Borrowers’ Bill of Rights as a guide, we developed a series of questions you can ask of lenders and brokers to learn more about your loan offer. View checklist »