Beneficial National Bank, with only eight offices serving the New Castle, Delaware area, is offering quick on-line loans to America in the first truly interactive service of its kind in the country. Consumers can access the bank's site through CompuServe, click on "Two-Minute Loan," fill in a loan application that appears on the screen and hit "Send." Since credit scoring is nearly instantaneous, the customer can receive loan approval within two minutes and the check goes into the mail the next business day.

While other banks offer on-line loan access, those services are for regular bank customers only, and waiting periods range from two hours upward. Beneficial National's service offers unsecured two- to five-year loans of up to $10,000 at 9.9 percent or higher, depending on credit information, to anyone on-line. "Most banks don't focus on the credit side of PC banking," says Beneficial National Bank president Robert Pierce. "They are more home-banking oriented. PC loan applications are printed out and just looked at as part of the bank's normal underwriting process."

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