Last year nearly 20,000 companies across the United States managed to get bank loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. The guaranteed loans enable less established borrowers to obtain longer-term financing for real estate and equipment, and provide lenders with an exceptional opportunity to earn a good return with minimal risks.

SBA Lending Made Easy (American Bankers Association, 800-338-0626, 1991, $69) is written for bankers who may not be familiar with the SBA's intricate lending criteria, but it's instructive for would-be borrowers as well. Besides providing information on the SBA's restrictions regarding company size and use of proceeds, it teaches you about the underwriting areas where bankers have some leeway. The text is 60 pages long, but the book contains more than 100 pages of appendix material -- everything from addresses and phone numbers for SBA field offices, to sample loan applications and guaranty agreements. -- Bruce G. Posner

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