Today, Accion and other small business lending industry leaders gathered in Washington D.C. for the launch of the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights (BBoR), a list of the fundamental financing rights that we at Accion believe all small business owners deserve.
For thousands of small business owners, vast lending options, unclear terms and misleading information result in a debt spiral. “They make it sound so simple and affordable, stated Catarah Hampshire, co-owner of Southern Girl Desserts. “You just don’t know who to trust.” With the BBoR, the industry hopes to step up and self regulate by complying with fundamental values such as inclusion and simplicity.
“The Borrowers’ Bill of Rights gives a voice to small businesses and draws a line,” said Gina Harman along side industry leaders from both nonprofit and for profit lenders. “It creates a standard for borrowers and for lenders and borrowers. Are you on the side of small business owners or are you not?”
The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights was designed to foster greater transparency and accountability across the small business lending sector. It outlines six key rights:
- The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms,including a right to see an annualized interest rate and all fees
- The Right to Non-Abusive Products, so that borrowers don’t get trapped in a vicious cycle of expensive re-borrowing
- The Right to Responsible Underwriting, so that borrowers are not placed in loans they are unable to repay
- The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers,so that borrowers are not steered into the most expensive loans
- The Right to Inclusive Credit Access,without discrimination
- The Right to Fair Collection Practices, to prevent harassment and unfair treatment
Learn more about the BBoR and how to become an endorser alongside Accion, Opportunity Fund, MultiFunding, Funding Circle, Lending Club, Fundera and more at ResponsibleBusinessLending.org