Q: What is the application process?
A: Below is information about the loan application process and what to expect.
- Inquire – The first step is to fill out a simple online expression of interest and tell us more about the financing you need. It’s easy and takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Filling out an inquiry starts the process and will get you in touch with one of our Community Navigators.
- Work with us – Once the expression of interest is complete, a Community Navigator will contact you to get your questions answered, help you understand the process, and describe what it takes to have a successful application. If your needs align with what we can offer, you will be sent an application to fill out and return.
- Apply – Complete our application and provide the documents we ask for, which may include:
- Last two years of tax returns, both personal and business (if applicable)
- Recent pay stubs that show continued employment (if applicable)
- Profit and Loss statement or information for an existing business
- Business lease agreement or Letter of Intent (if applicable for brick and mortar businesses)
Once an application is received, it is reviewed and questions are asked pertaining to the supporting documentation and business plan. We will also pull your credit report and ask you any questions that come up regarding your financials and credit history.
Approval times are varied. Larger amounts of around $15,000 and up, in addition to complex applications, are approved through a Loan Committee. Your Community Navigator will keep you informed of progress and anticipated approval timing. Once your loan has been approved your Community Navigator will meet with you to sign loan documents, provide detailed information, and answer your questions.
Q: How long does it take until loan approval?
A: Once an application is received, loans are generally approved or denied within 3-6 weeks. If you are prequalified for a smaller Credit Builder Loan ($1,000 or $2,500 from completion of specified Mercy Corps Northwest classes), you can expect a decision within two weeks.
Q: Are there any businesses you cannot fund?
A: Due to the organization’s policies and procedures as well as requirements of its funders, Mercy Corps Northwest is not able to fund the following types of businesses:
- Adult entertainment
- Cannabis-related businesses (due to Federal restrictions)
- Liquor or tobacco sales
- Political or Religious businesses
- Passive real estate investments
- Pyramid business structures
- Businesses involved with lending or speculative investment
- Non-profit businesses (other than child care)
Q: What is the range of loan amounts that are considered?
A: Our maximum loan size is $50,000. Our minimum loan size is $500.
Q: What are the allowable uses of funds?
A: The loans we offer are a great fit for equipment and vehicle financing. We fund costs related to launching and/or expanding a business. Other loan uses may be considered.
Non-allowable loan expenses include:
- Real estate
- Lease or rental costs
- Salary or payroll
- Refinancing certain debt
- Payment of delinquent taxes
- Related party transactions such as the sale of a business from one family member to another
- Operating deficits
- Pre-venture research