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- CCLF does not make emergency loans. The process for loan approval generally takes six to eight weeks after the application is submitted.
- CCLF does not make grants. All loans must be repaid, with interest, regardless of the viability of the project.
- Loan fees of 0% to 2% of the loan amount will be charged to all borrowers. There is an application fee of $250 for for-profit borrowers and $150 for nonprofit borrowers.
GUIDELINES FOR LOAN APPLICATION
1. Initial Screening
Before submitting an application, you must discuss your project with a member of CCLF’s Lending Team by workshop [at] cclfchicago [dot] org (emailing us) or calling our offices to set up a telephone inquiry. This will help you to avoid spending a lot of time filling out the application if the project does not meet the CCLF’s guidelines. If the screening indicates your project is eligible, CCLF will mail you an application packet. In instances when timing is critical and eligibility is clear, you may be asked to submit the entire application immediately.
Fill out the application and return it, with the requested attachments, to CCLF.
The Loan Committee meets up to twelve times a year. CCLF must receive a completed application at least four weeks prior to the meeting date in order for it to be considered at the meeting. Receipt of the completed application within this time frame does not guarantee that the loan will be reviewed at the Loan Committee’s next meeting. Generally, loan applications are considered in the order in which they are received. An incomplete loan application will delay review.
3. Follow Up
During the weeks following receipt of your application, we will visit your project, clear up unresolved issues, check references and obtain any other information needed to present your application to the Loan Committee.
4. Loan Committee Approval
CCLF's staff sends the loan application and a recommendation to the Loan Committee about a week before their meeting. At the meeting, a decision will be made to either reject the applicant, table the discussion pending more information, or approve the loan, generally with conditions. You will be notified of the Loan Committee’s action shortly after the meeting.
5. Board Approval
Some loans recommended by the Loan Committee may require approval from the Board of Directors, if they are unusually large or risky loan requests. Board meetings are generally held quarterly.
If financing is approved, you will be notified with a Commitment Letter. This letter will state the specific terms and conditions of the credit. You must return the letter to CCLF within the time period noted in the letter.
7. Closing Documents
Upon receipt of this signed Commitment Letter, CCLF will instruct our lawyers to prepare all loan closing documents and filings. You will receive various documents, including, but not limited to, a promissory note, security and collateral agreements and escrow instructions for review. Once the agreements are acceptable to all parties, the loan can be closed and the funds disbursed.
8. Certificate of Secretary
You will also receive instructions for submitting a Secretary’s Certificate, which certifies that your Board of Directors has authorized acceptance of the loan and indicates who may sign loan documents. The Certificate must be returned to CCLF with articles of incorporation and organizational by-laws included.
Disbursement follows the above procedures, and the timing is dependent on how quickly the borrower fulfills conditions set out in the Commitment Letter and loan documents, the complexity of documents and other factors.
10. Repayment and Monitoring
Typically, you will be required to make monthly interest and principal payments to CCLF, and submit certain periodic reports and financial statements. These requirements will be detailed in the Commitment Letter and loan documents. We will keep in touch with you via email, telephone, and in person site visits throughout the life of the loan.