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SBA To Keep Lid On Loan Program

WASHINGTON-The U.S. Small Business Administration said it plans to retain the lower cap on loans made through its 7(a) guarantee program for the balance of the year, as the federal agency continues with record demand for the loans.

Because of a tight budget, the SBA lowered the ceiling on the 7(a) loans to $750,000 from $2 million last month in hopes of spreading the available funds around to more borrowers.

"We're willing to keep it in place as long as necessary," Mike Stamler, a spokesman for the agency, told The Credit Union Journal. "The (lower cap) was needed to allow us to meet the demands of the most possible borrowers with the least available funds."

Meantime, the SBA said it has approved 140 credit unions for the 7(a) program, more than double the number approved a year ago when the program was opened to all federally insured credit unions.

Navy Plans Business Loan Program

VIENNA, Va.-Navy FCU said its board has approved a program to offer member business loan services.

The program will include member business loans, as well as business checking accounts and other services aimed at assisting small businesses, a spokesperson at the nation's largest credit union, told The Credit Union Journal.

In order to facilitate the program, Navy Fed has applied to the U.S. Small Business Administration to participate in its 7 (a) guaranteed loan program and expects to be approved in the next few weeks.

Indirect Loan Program For RVs

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.-Digital Dialogue, a provider of 24/7 call center and online lending services, and Financial Underwriters Network (FUN), a marine and RV finance firm, have entered into a partnership to provide credit unions with the means to finance members' boat and RV purchases, around-the-clock, online or by telephone.

Howard Hoeman, VP-sales and marketing with Digital Dialogue, said credit unions will also have the option of developing an indirect program with marinas and RV dealers in their area.

"Just as credit unions of all sizes can offer mortgages through various referral, sales, and servicing options, they now can offer their members the higher-dollar boat and RV loans needed to finance purchases, or assist them in refinancing their existing boat or RV loan," he said.

Fannie Mae Sees Broader Market

WASHINGTON-Fannie Mae joined with nine major lenders to work to broaden the secondary market for manufactured home loans, a market that has been plagued by high delinquencies and foreclosures.

Fannie will work with the lenders to provide access to 30-year mortgages with down payments as low as 5%, and establish new guidelines for the secondary market for loans for manufactured homes.

The nine lenders are: AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, GMAC Manufactured Housing, Huntington Mortgage Group, Oregon Financial, RBC Mortgage, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and Washington Mutual.

MPCSCU Supports Local Schools

Salem, Ore.-Marion and Polk County Schools Credit Union said it has donated more than $2,000 to area schools since the inception of its new VISA credit card program last May.

The credit union has pledged to donate an amount equal to 1% of VISA cardholders' qualifying purchases to the public or private school of their choice.

So far, 86 schools and school districts have received donations under the program.

Mobiloil FCU Eyes New HQ

BEAUMONT, Texas-Mobiloil FCU said it plans to build headquarters on the west side of town.

The 30,000-square-foot structure will house a full-service branch, as well as the $170-million credit union's administrative offices.

Construction is slated to begin later this month and be completed in less than a year. The 79-year-old credit union has expanded its field of membership in recent years to encompass five local counties: Jefferson, Hardin, Orange, Jasper and Newton.

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