When banks and other lenders are unable to provide a small business loan, a referral enables CIFI to consider the request. Initial one-to-one counseling with the customer helps CIFI determine what loan barriers exist and what will be necessary to develop a strong CIFI loan application.
Bank partners recognize that a customer referral to CIFI is preferable to a loan turn down. Banks are subject to stringent underwriting requirements due to federal and state banking regulations, which means some customers will not meet certain requirements because regulations prohibit the bank from taking a particular risk.
While not all referrals become eligible for CIFI loan products, the customer will get a better understanding of what is needed to qualify for a loan in the future. The bank referrals to CIFI start with a quick assessment of the customer’s business financing objectives. Customers receive direct counseling from CIFI staff and may be referred to the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) and or SCORE for more extensive business planning assistance.
CIFI strives to meet the business’s financing needs when bank financing is not accessible. It also supports the business owner’s plan to build credit and capacity; first, as a CIFI customer and also for the purposes of accessing future lending from the bank. While repaying a CIFI loan, we assist and support the customer’s efforts to build capacity and a sufficient track record to graduate back to bank financing.
An active bank referral network connects small businesses with CIFI and serves as a blueprint for broader engagement with small business owners accessing capital that they need to grow a business, create jobs, and invest in their communities. A customer referral begins by contacting a CIFI team member at 317-960-3710 or completing the online form below.