Bill introduced in House to give veterans better access to loans

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A bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would exclude veterans’ loans from the statutory credit union member business loan cap.

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The Veterans Member Business Loan Act that would also amend the Federal Credit Union Act to exclude extensions of credit made to veterans from the definition of a member business loan. This would have the impact of increasing veterans’ access to loans for small business purposes from a credit union.

“It is important to create economic opportunities for veterans and increase access to capital for small business formation,” Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), one of the bill’s sponsors, said. “I am proud to join Congressmen Cook and Young and Congresswoman Gabbard to expand loan opportunities for our nation’s veterans. I thank the Credit Union National Association for lending their support and ensuring that the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces are successful after service.”

The legislation would cover loans to any veteran who served on active duty and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

“It is critical that our servicemembers are equipped with the tools they need to find success in their transition to civilian life,” Rep. Don Young (R-AK), another bill sponsor, said. “Starting a successful small business is a dream for many of our veterans. The Veterans Member Business Loan Act helps empower our veterans to pursue their goals of entrepreneurship by eliminating arbitrary caps on the business loans they need to enter the marketplace. I am proud to partner with Representatives Gonzalez, Cook, and Gabbard on this important effort to provide economic opportunity to our veterans – not only in Alaska – but across the nation.”

Reps. Paul Cook (R-CA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also sponsored the bill.

“In 2018, the national unemployment rate for military veterans was 3.5 percent. We can and must do more to empower our veterans as they transition from military to civilian life,” Gabbard said. “The Veterans Member Business Loan Act will create opportunities for more veterans to start their own businesses and help reduce unemployment among their fellow veterans as well as in the communities in which they live.”

The bill has the backing of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

“This thoughtful legislation will provide credit unions the opportunity to provide more help to veterans and their small business needs,” Jim Nussle, president and CEO of CUNA, wrote in a letter to the lawmakers. “The bill will make the decision for credit unions to offer veterans access to capital much easier and provide more veterans opportunity.”

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