It’s official – ICA is a signatory to the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is an initiative of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition founded on the premise that “entrepreneurs deserve financial products that put their interests first”. We couldn’t agree more. and we believe that our mission to close the racial and gender wealth gaps goes hand-in-hand with the Borrower Bill of Rights’ work to protect small businesses from predatory lenders and ensure that entrepreneurs are know their rights.
We have long supported the work being done as part of the Borrower Bill of Rights and we are happy to join many of our partners and friends in the field – like Working Solutions, Pacific Community Ventures, Opportunity Fund, and CDC Small Business Finance – who are already signatories.
The six rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are:
- The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms: A borrower has the right to have the cost and terms of any financing being offered presented to them in writing and in a form that is clear, complete, and easy to compare with other financing options, so they can make the best decision for their business.
- The Right to Non-Abusive Products: A borrower has the right to expect that the financing products offered by a lender will not trap his/her business in an expensive cycle of re-borrowing.
- The Right to Responsible Underwriting: A borrower has the right to expect a lender is offering financing based on underwriting practices that assess the ability of the borrower’s business to succeed and repay.
- The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers: A borrower has the right to honest, transparent, and impartial communications with a broker regarding loan options, conflicts of interest, fees, and the financing options available.
- The Right to Inclusive Credit Access: A borrower has the right to fair and equal treatment when seeking a loan including protections guaranteed under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
- The Right to Fair Collections Practices: A borrower has the right to be treated fairly and respectfully throughout a collections process and the right to protections like those guaranteed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Borrowers’ Bill of Rights also provides detailed practice standards that outline key items under reach right. You can read more here.