ARTICLE FROM VETREPRENEUR MAGZINE (November/December 2016 Issue, p. 94)
(Distributed and shared throughout by National Veteran Owned Business Association at the National Veteran Small Business Engagement event, Minneapolis, Minn. Nov. 04, 2016 and at the NVOBA Vetrepreneur of the Year Award Ceremony)

Special Report: SBA loan fee waiver for small businesses and its impact on vetrepreneurs

Earlier this year, the U.S Small Business Administration implemented a new measure aimed at helping improve access for veteran small business loans. Currently, SBA Express loans of $150,001 to $350,000 have an up-front guaranty fee of 3%. The new measure removes all of those veteran borrower upfront fees.
As well under the Veterans Advantage program the up-front guaranty fee for 7(a) loans (other than SBA Express) of $150,001 up to and including $5,000,000 for qualified veteran small businesses has been reduced by 50%
The most important question for vetrepreneurs is how does it impact their access to capital?
Upfront it should also be emphasized that any relief in costs for vital veteran business financing or capital is a welcome and applauded change. Helping and supporting veterans should be a national priority.

First a few caveats for context should be understood.
* It must be emphasized that the SBA is not a direct lender in any form to small business (veteran or otherwise). SBA programs only provide credit enhancements or loan guarantees.. Any and all direct lending by definition can only occur through or by commercial banking or other commercial lending institutions.
* As such any and all loan decisions for any veteran borrower will always lie singularly with those commercial banking or other lending institutions. SBA has no direct input or control whatsoever respecting those commercial lender decisions. Whether any veteran enterprise borrower is or is not qualified for a loan lies solely with the commercial lender.
* Whether any SBA lending program might or might not be utilized by any commercial lending institution is a singular decision by that entity. From the lending institution side of the equation the invariable questions will always be:
* whether the program increases bank “quality lending” opportunities;
* actually fits the institution’s lending culture and/or market segment; and
* internal costs, both monetary and human resource, to incorporate the SBA credit enhancement program(s)?
* Note, that although flow through fees to veteran borrow candidates might in some fashion indirectly weigh in the balance in any of the above noted factors, there is no cost impact to the bank (SBA fees are 100% borrower related).

Given so many factors in play at any given point or period in time within US small business lending operations, qualitatively measuring economic elasticity between SBA veteran guarantee lending fees and increased veteran lending would be a highly difficult undertaking (even assuming cost benefit made that a prudent undertaking).
It is suggested that even without a detailed study the logical answer would be in the resounding negative. Why?
In the real world of banking/lending and related inter relationships with government programs that might impact or affect, there exists no such thing as a “single silver bullet”. Commercial banking/lending is in fact a highly intricate and interlaced system of variable economic factors with innumerable types of lenders. Any and all those factors can and usually do impact veteran borrower access to capital.
If a genuine increase veteran access to capital was to be the focus, it would require far more involved and intricate changes within the national lending systems. A change in SBA program fees for veterans, although welcome and helpful, would not in itself increase veteran access to capital.

(Author Profile: Woodrow D. Wollesen, recognized national small business financing expert, military veteran; former US SBA Small Business Financing Champion, (8 years) Board Member, Executive Officer, Instructor with the prestigious National Women’s Business Center, Washington, DC; NWBC 2005 Man of the Year, founder/chairman of Operation Veteran Empowerment (Ultimate Financing Guide – the encyclopedia of business financing) See ; see also more extensive background profile at;

Have a blessed day
Woodrow D. Wollesen
President, Execunet, Inc. / 770-435-0880
Nationally Recognized Business Financing Expert, Taekwondo 4th Dan/Master, Two Time National Champion, National Record Holder
Founder/Chairman – Ultimate Financing Guide/ Operation Veteran Empowerment
Also further background profile at:
Operation Veteran Empowerment

Scholarship America

Scholarship America has worked with Wells Fargo, who committed $1 million over the next four years, to establish a scholarship program for people with disabilities. Applications for the new program have just launched and we want to make sure this information gets to the right people.

The Wells Fargo Scholarship Program for People with Disabilities is designed to help people with disabilities obtain the education or training necessary to succeed in the career path of their choice.

To apply, applicants must:

  • Have an identified disability (defined as someone who has, or considers themselves to have, a long-term or recurring issue that impacts one or more major life activity).
  • Be high school seniors or graduates who are planning to enroll (or who are already enrolled) in full- or half-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent.

The deadline to apply is January 17, 2017 or until 700 applications are submitted, whichever comes first. 

Bank of America is Hiring!

At Bank of America, we honor and respect where you’ve been, and want to help you get to where you want to go. We’re connecting our nation’s service members, veterans and their families to the training, education and resources that put you on the path to financial stability and career opportunities. That includes a commitment to hire 10,000 active duty, guard and reservists, as well as veterans over the next few years, and tools and resources to assist with a successful transition to civilian life.

Working with our partners at, we created a series of courses designed just for military members seeking to enhance their business and communications skills as they enter the job search, or change their career. Known as “Military Learning Pathways,“ the courses are relevant, timely, and built based on feedback from our own employees who recently made the transition.

Best of all, the Military Learning Pathways can be accessed day or night, from around the world, without any sign-up requirement or fee. To access the Pathways, go to our Military Transition and Careers web site ( and select “Transition Resources.” From there you’ll be directed to our Military Learning Pathways on
• Entry Level- Communication and Business Skills
• Entry Level- Personal Development
• Advanced- Communication and Business Skills
• Advanced-Personal development
• Finances: Manage Your Money

Also available on our Military transition and careers site is a Military Transition Action Timeline ( which puts in one place the critical items to consider starting at 18 months prior to your transition. The timeline offers details for securing a civilian or government job, starting your own business and going back to school. We have Self-Study Guides to help develop your workplace and business knowledge, including tips on resumes, interviews, office etiquette — and much more. Also available is information on our great military and veteran service organization partner which offer additional resources for transitioning military and their families.

Working together, protecting your fellow soldiers was your way of life. Returning to civilian life can be difficult without a team to support you. With thousands of veteran employees among us, you can find the support you need with our team. In addition to our transition resources, our Military Support and Assistance Group is a nationwide community of veterans, employees with family members serving in the military, and supporters which offers mentoring, networking, as well as volunteer events to give back.
Learn more about joining us at Bank of America at our Military transition and careers web site. We thank you for your service and our entire company stands behind you!

VFW-SVA 2017 Legislative Fellowship Program

The application deadline for the 2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship has been extended to October 28, 2016. First held in 2015, the program mentors 10 student veterans as they research policy areas affecting veterans and the military. Once their research is completed, the fellows will advocate for legislative and regulatory fixes related to their selected issues. Part of that advocacy includes attending the VFW’s National Legislative Conference in March where fellows will join more than 500 VFW members in promoting the VFW’s legislative agenda by meeting with members of Congress. Last year, fellows also briefed staffers from the White House and both the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees. The program, with all travel expenses covered, is for VFW members who attend a college or university with a Student Veterans of America chapter. For more information, including the topics for research and the application link, click here:

Student loan forgiveness programs

Student loan forgiveness programs

Student loan forgiveness programs seem too good to be true. How do you qualify?

Student loan forgiveness programs are the Holy Grail for student loan borrowers. Everyone wants free money to pay off their loans, but these programs can be hard to find. Yes, there are some programs being offered by the Department of Education, but what many borrowers don’t realize is that there are a lot of specialty student loan forgiveness programs available.

It’s estimated that over 50% of student loan borrowers qualify for some type of student loan forgiveness. While not all programs may pay off the full loan balance, any amount helps. Here are ways to locate student loan forgiveness programs.

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

The Department of Education maintains several different student loan forgiveness programs. The most popular one is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which offers student loan forgiveness to individuals that serve the public for at least 10 years. However, there are other popular student loan forgiveness programs that borrowers may be able to qualify for as well.

Along with the stand-alone programs, the Department of Education also combines student loan forgiveness into several student loan repayment plans. These “secret” student loan forgiveness programs offer student loan forgiveness at the end of the repayment term, for any remaining balance on the loan. For example, the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Plan offers loan forgiveness at the end of 20 years of payments. Income based repayment offers loan forgiveness after 25 years for existing borrowers and 20 years for new borrowers.

State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Beyond the Federal student loan forgiveness programs, almost every state in the United States offers various student loan forgiveness programs. There are currently over 120 different student loan forgiveness programs in 45 of the 50 states, and in the District of Columbia. These student loan forgiveness programs cover a variety of borrowers, but focus mainly on specialty professions – such a healthcare fields, legal services, and more.

Some states, like Kansas, have very few restrictions – including one program where you simply must live in a designated county and you can receive loan forgiveness regardless of your career choice.
However, it can be tough to locate all of the different state-sponsored student loan forgiveness programs. Luckily, there is a great resource to connect borrowers with student loan forgiveness programs. The free tool is: Student Loan Forgiveness Programs by State. Simply go to the tool and click on your state, and you can see all of the student loan forgiveness programs that your state offers.

School-Based Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Many colleges and universities have started offering student loan forgiveness programs as well. These programs are typically designed to help alumni while also fulfilling a public good.

For example, Columbia Law School offers a generous student loan forgiveness program where the university will gradually repay the student loan debt of graduates who remain in the public service for at least three years. Harvard offers a similar program for medical students who completed their residency and are pursuing a career in public service health care.

Most schools don’t typically advertise these programs, and the amount of funds they have are usually limited. For students interested in these programs, contact your alumni office or your financial aid office. The programs are typically handled out of one of these offices, based on where the funds are coming from.

Other Options

Finally, some counties also offer smaller student loan forgiveness programs tailored to the specific needs of the community. These programs are designed to bring college graduates or professionals with certain skills into the community. When moving into an area, especially a rural area with a need of a special skill set (such as dentistry or nursing), check with your local county offices and see if they offer any student loan forgiveness or incentive programs.

Sometimes these programs fall under a different name as well. Make sure you are checking for student loan forgiveness, student loan assistance, and student loan repayment programs. All of these variations are essentially free money to help you pay down your student loan debt.