October  2005      Vol. 14, No. 9  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
  << NEWSLETTER MENU  10/05      

REAP Launches Innovative Online Lending System
Creating and Implementing New Approaches for Reaching Today’s Rural Entrepreneurs

BY JEFF REYNOLDS, REAP PROGRAM CO-DIRECTOR

How many times have you heard the phrase, “Technology is great – when it works”? I have to be honest with you. I am one of those people who remembers when we didn’t have computers, cell phones, and other modern day conveniences. At times I long for the ‘simplistic’ days of years gone by and not having to deal with things like email or people talking on cell phones while driving, etc.

Even so, time does not stand still, and we now live in a very technological and mobile world. All signs point to technological change becoming even more rapid and dominant in the decades ahead. Programs like REAP either adjust and adapt to an ever-changing society, or programs like REAP run the risk of becoming obsolete, leaving entrepreneurs who need assistance unserved, becoming incapable of meeting the needs of a changing society, or simply not reaching full potential at all levels.

New Loan System Operational
REAP has long been known as a cutting-edge program, one that strives to meet the needs of startup and existing entrepreneurs in rural Nebraska. To this end, we are very proud to announce the launch of a new and innovative system in applying for REAP loans.

The new REAP Online Lending System was recently installed on the REAP website. The new system can be accessed on the web by going to http://www.cfra.org/reap  and clicking on “Online Lending System” or potential borrowers can go directly to the REAP Online Lending System entry page at www.cfra.org/reap/rapidloan_entry.htm .

It is important to note that the new online lending system is simply one way to apply for a REAP loan. Entrepreneurs can also download the application and fill it out manually or they can continue to receive the information from REAP staff as in the past.

Features of Online Lending
Some of the links and features in the new REAP Online Lending System are provided below, with a brief description of each.

http://www.cfra.org/reap/ - REAP home page link. The online lending system link is below the “Loan Programs” button. 

http://www.cfra.org/reap/loan_programs.htm - REAP Loan Programs page. There are links to the new system on this page.

 http://www.cfra.org/reap/rapidloan_entry.htm - Entry page for the online lending system. The entry page contains step-by-step instructions on using the online lending system. 

 https://secure.cfra.org/login.asp - Takes the applicant to the secure site where they enter their user name/password and begin their application. The application does not need to be completed at one time. The applicant can save changes on the system and return multiple times until the application is complete before submitting. 

New REAP Rapid Loan
REAP is also unveiling a new loan product called the “REAP Rapid Loan.” The REAP Rapid Loan concept incorporates an online application and is a loan product with a $5,000 maximum limit. REAP will continue to offer the “REAP Direct Loan” which is a loan product with a $25,000 maximum limit.

The new loan product and loan system will help in expediting the loan process through less paperwork. The entire application for a REAP Rapid Loan can be completed online.

What Do You Think?
If you have a chance, please check out the new REAP Online Lending System and let us know what you think of the new system. If you know of someone that is looking to start or expand a small business and is looking for financing, please mention the REAP Online Lending System to them as a possible option.

Also, keep in mind the full range of services that REAP provides including lending, training, networking opportunities, technical assistance, and loan packaging services for startup and existing microenterprise (businesses with five or fewer employees).

The REAP program is your program. REAP is committed to providing superior business development services and increasing our outreach in the rural areas of Nebraska on a statewide basis. Let us know how these new initiatives are working for you, and continue to let us know what you need from REAP. As always, we will continue to adjust and enhance the program to meet your needs and your expectations.


Contact: Jeff Reynolds, 402.656.3091 or jeffr@alltel.net for more information.
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