504 Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? No sweat! Here are some answers to a few commonly asked q’s.

What is the 504 loan program?
The SBA 504 Loan Program assists small business owners looking to expand their businesses through the purchase of commercial real estate or capital equipment. NEDCO works in conjunction with lenders to provide up to 90% financing for commercial property purchases and construction.
How does the program work?
NEDCO provides up to 40% of the total project cost with a 10 or 20 year loan, which has a fixed rate of interest for the life of the loan. The lender finances 50% of the project and the borrower puts down as little as 10% equity into the project.
Sample Project
SourcePercentageProject AmountLien Position
Financial Institution50%$500,0001st
NEDCO / SBA40%$400,0002nd
Business Owner10%$100,000
100%$1,000,000

* Start up properties require 15% equity, special purpose properties require 15% equity, and properties that are both a start up and special purpose require 20% equity.

What are the permitted uses of 504 Loan Proceeds?
  • Acquisition of vacant land for construction of a building
  • Acquisition of land and building
  • Leasehold improvements
  • Renovation of, or addition to a building
  • Construction of a building
  • Acquisition of a commercial fishing vessel or party boat
  • Acquisition of heavy duty machinery or equipment (such as a printing press)
  • Associated soft costs: title searches and insurance, appraisals, environmental reports, architects, permits, surveys, installation of machinery, points on bridge loans, a small amount of furniture and fixtures, etc.
  • Otherwise not permitted, refinancing can be undertaken through the temporary 504 Debt Refinance Program. For more information, please see the For Lenders page or contact Ted Rowan.
What are the unpermited uses of 504 loan proceeds?
  • Unpermitted uses include: working capital, mortgage broker fees, points on permanent financing, moving expenses, legal fees, payroll, taxes, inventory, hazard or life insurance, etc.
What are the economic development requirements?

The SBA 504 is a community lending program designed to improve the locality through helping small businesses make an impact on the community. Thus, eligibility requires that one of the following economic development goals be met:

Job Creation and Retention
  • One full-time equivalent job for every $65,000 borrowed from NEDCO

Public Policy
  • Revitalize a business district of a community with a written revitalization or development plan
  • Expand exports
  • Aid rural development
  • Change necessitated by federal budget cutbacks
  • Change required by mandated standard (health, safety, or environmental laws)
  • Increase productivity and competitiveness (retooling or modernization)
  • Expand minority-owned business development, ownership must be 51% or more
  • Expand woman-owned business development, ownership must be 51% or more
  • Expand veteran-owned business development, ownership must be 51% or more
Community Development
  • Help to improve, diversify, or stabilize the economy of the locality
  • Stimulate other business development in the community
  • Bring new income into the community
  • Assist manufacturing firms
  • Assist businesses in a labor surplus area
What are the minimum and maximum amounts of a 504 loan?

Signed into law on September 27, 2010, the “Jobs and Lending Bill” (H.R. 5297) included numerous provisions that removed the ceilings on lending amounts for specific economic development requirements previously set forth by the SBA. No longer having such limits, NEDCO may lend up to 40% of the project cost with a new dollar cap of $5.0 million for all projects.

Additionally, NEDCO may increase the dollar cap to go as high as $5.5 million for SBA financing on eligible manufacturing businesses. Projects that incorporate energy saving technologies for sustainable design have also become eligible. Such examples include:

  • The project has plant, equipment and process upgrades of renewable energy sources, such as the small-scale production of energy for individual buildings or communities’ consumption. These renewable sources could include solar, wind, or geothermal energies.
  • Small businesses wishing to purchase, construct, or retro-fit facilities that incorporate energy saving technologies that result in a 10% decrease in energy consumption.

Regarding a minimum loan amount, an SBA 504 loan must be at least $50,000. However, under good cause shown, SBA may permit a 504 loan as small as $25,000.

What are the rates and terms of a 504 loan?

The interest rate on the SBA 504 loan is set when the SBA sells the bonds (debentures) to fund the loan. When determined, the rate is then fixed for the duration of the loan in a self-liquidating arrangement. Current and historical SBA 504 rates can be found by clicking here.

Due to the 504 debentures being fully amortized securities, there are no balloon payments of any kind. However, because of the debenture funding, there is a premium for prepayment during the first half of the loan term.

The terms of a NEDCO loan may only be 10 or 20 years. For NEDCO to do a 10 year loan, the lender must have at least a seven year term or balloon of not less than seven years on the 50% first mortgage. Similarly, for NEDCO to do a 20 year loan, the lender doing the 50% first mortgage must have at least a ten year term or balloon of not less than ten years.

The rate on the 50% first mortgage can be adjusted at anytime of the lender’s choosing. However, that lender may have a longer payout as some lend for a 10-20 year term and have a payout of 20-25 years.

What are the collateral requirements?
NEDCO takes a subordinate (second mortgage) position to secure its 40% portion of the financing, and a security interest in all assets financed. A life insurance condition is generally not required unless there is no succession plan in management. Further assets of the business or principals are generally not required, unless: the company is a start-up, the credit is unusually risky, or the assets being financed are considered “single purpose” or don’t appraise high enough.
How are fees assessed and payments handled?

The promissory note for the loan will be signed for the 40% of project costs plus all associated origination fees. Furthermore, the borrower’s monthly payments will include program fees and a loan loss subsidy fee that are also financed and amortized over the loan term.

Once the 504 loan closes, payments are made through an ACH debit of the borrower’s designated checking account on the first of each month. Payments on the 504 loan are made separately from the payments on the 50% first mortgage loan with the lender.