The Small Business Administration has recently made some changes to their SBA 504 program that allows financial institutions, such as AVANA CUSO and credit unions, to expand their lending solutions to more small businesses.  

Recently, the federal government has made it clear that lending to small businesses plays an important role in the post-pandemic economic recovery. In response, they launched the SBA 504 Express Program in late June 2022. This is in addition to other value-added enhancements made to the SBA 504 program in recent years. 

Here we dive deeper into these recent changes, plus what credit unions and other lenders can expect from the program moving forward.

What is the SBA 504 Express Program?

The SBA 504 Express Program expands the abilities of participating Certified Development Companies (CDC) so they can more quickly approve and close on SBA 504 loans. These expedited loans must be less than $500,000, helping to fund smaller projects, such as real estate and equipment purchases, solar panels and machine upgrades. 

Covered projects can now be up to:

  • $1,210,000 with 90% financing
  • $1,382,000 with 85% financing
  • $1,610,000 with 80% financing

A large reason behind this recent change to the SBA 504 program comes from the fact that 504 loans are becoming incredibly popular. So, the SBA 504 Express Program offers lenders the opportunity to fund more SBA loans and in less time. All this also provides economic benefits on local and national levels.

Currently, the SBA 504 Express Program is set to expire on September 30, 2023, though there is a potential it will become permanent. That said, it’s important lenders act fast in leveraging the benefits of the program. 

The SBA 504 Refinance Program

In addition to the SBA 504 Express Program, there were some valuable changes made to the SBA 504 Refinance Program in July 2021. This update made it so lenders could help more business owners save money and refinance existing conventional loans, SBA 7a loans and SBA 504 debentures. 

Before this refinance program, qualified debt had to be at least two years old before it could be considered for an SBA 504 refinance. However, that has been reduced to six months. Plus, there was a previous limit that no more than 50% of the project costs could be refinanced, but that also changed. That limit was increased to 100% of the project costs.

There are other qualifications for the SBA 504 Refinance Program expansion that applicants must meet, though the general goal of these changes was to make it more accessible to business owners via their preferred lender. In turn, this allows lenders to serve more small business customers and help them refinance their debt to access cash for expansion efforts. 

The SBA 504 Program: Continuing to Evolve for the Better

Between the SBA 504 Refinance Program and the SBA 504 Express Program, there have been many enhancements made to the loan product in recent years.

Oftentimes, the ability of a small business to grow hinges on its access to working capital. Thankfully and wisely, the SBA’s recent changes to the 504 Loan Program expand lenders’ abilities to aid small business owners, fuel job creation and uplift the economy. 



Established in 1998 and headquartered in Simi Valley, CA, AVANA CUSO is one of the most seasoned credit union service organizations (CUSO) focused on commercial loans, including SBA 504 loans. We partner with credit unions and brokers to connect them to commercial investors across the United States. For decades, we have offered competitive and collaborative loans and uniquely support and guide our partners through the entire lifecycle of our loans. AVANA CUSO is a proud member of the AVANA Family of Companies.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an AVANA CUSO partner.