How it Works

Fair Lending Policy

The Contractor Loan Fund is an equal opportunity lender, considering loan applications without regard to national origin, religion, age, marital status, disability, receipt of public assistance, or other factors. Underwriting standards will be applied fairly and consistently permitting access to credit for a broad range of customers. The loan committee will make eligibility determinations on a case by case basis for applicants with a history of bankruptcy or other derogatory credit history, or prior negative legal actions.

CLF is an equal opportunity lender

Loan Criteria & Process

Eligibility Requirements

  • The company must be a City of St. Louis certified M/WBE. If you are not, you can apply online at Click on the Register and Apply Online link on the left side of the home page.
  • The borrower’s primary place of business must be located in the St. Louis MSA.
  • The loan proceeds must benefit economic activity in the St. Louis MSA.
  • The borrower and business must meet the underwriting criteria.
  • During the loan application process the applicant’s business will be evaluated to determine if business assistance would be helpful to insure loan repayment. If it is determined that such assistance is required, the borrower must agree to participate as a condition to receive a CLF loan.
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Company Structure

CLF borrowers may be new or existing for-profit corporations, partnerships, and / or sole proprietorships engaged in the general construction industry.

CLF Company Structure
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Underwriting Criteria

Loan decisions will be primarily based on the owner’s personal credit and employment history. The ability of the applicant to repay the loan, employment history, credit history, and assets will be evaluated.

CLF Underwriting Criteria
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Use of Loan Proceeds

CLF loan funds may be used for the following purposes:

  • To fund working capital to expand the core capacity of the company.
  • To support awarded business contracts.
  • To finance the purchase of fixed assets used in the ordinary course of business, including the renovation or expansion of facilities.
  • To provide financing for the costs of training, licensing, marketing and professional fees necessary to establish, build and manage the business.
  • To pay for other costs approved in the loan approval process.
CLF Use of Loan Proceeds
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Borrowing Limits

The maximum loan commitment to any borrower, or borrowers related by common ownership, may not exceed $1,000,000 at any time, unless approved by the Board of Directors.

CLF Borrowing Limits
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Loan Approval Authority

The CLF Board of Directors establishes lending authority. Loan commitments of $100,000 or less may be approved by the Loan Service Provider. Loan commitments in excess of $100,000 are approved by the CLF loan committee. All loan commitments in excess of $500,000 also must be approved by the CLF Executive Committee. All loan approvals will be ratified by the board of directors at its regularly scheduled meetings.

CLF Loan Approval Authority
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Loan Service Providers

An applicant will submit an application to one of the following “Loan Service Providers”:

  • justine PETERSEN (for loans less than $100,000)
  • Eagle Bank and Trust (for loans greater than $100,000)
  • Midland States Bank (for loans greater than $100,000)

All information submitted to the CLF will be confidential and held in strict confidence.

CLF Application
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Business Assistance

Business assistance will be recommended as deemed appropriate and will be provided to help borrowers develop skills and manage their repayment obligations. Each borrower will be assessed by the lender and business service providers for business assistance needs as part of the application process using the following evaluative criteria:

Financial Capacity:

  • Effective accounting system in place
  • Owner’s understanding of financial reporting
  • Outside CPA / Accountant
  • Ability to accurately forecast cash flow

Ability to Estimate:

  • Owner’s / Management’s industry knowledge and experience
  • Successful recent examples of completed jobs and estimates

Project Management Skills:

  • Owner’s / Management’s capabilities and experience
  • Staff capabilities and experience - results of completed jobs

Business Development:

  • Owner’s / Management’s contacts and capabilities
  • Owner’s vision and prospects – sales & marketing plan

Contract / Legal Literacy:

  • Owner’s / Management’s Understanding of Key Contract Elements
  • Outside Attorney / Owner’s Ability to identify key components (i.e. clauses with risk, indemnity, dispute resolution, etc.)

Business AssistanceProviders

Should it be determined during the loan application process that business assistance is required, the area(s) and extent of assistance will be made part of the conditions of the loan documents.

Business assistance will be made available from one or more of the following:

  • Regional Union Construction Center
  • Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
  • justine PETERSEN
  • Small Business & Technology Development Center
CLF Application
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