Short-term loan rates are taking a nosedive in the United States, freeing up financing to businesses and consumers, but another loan rate abroad may make it even easier for Americans to secure loans.
Many U.S. banks use the London interbank offered rate as a base for loans, Reuters reports, and so a lower Libor could increase loan activity in the United States. But it may take a while before the British rate declines, the news service reports. In the meantime, the U.S. Small Business Administration is working to help business owners, and recently launched a temporary program for commercial real estate refinancing. The SBA will be able to approve up to $15 billion in loans throughout 2011 and 2012, the administration reports. But there's no way to get a loan if a business owner can't find a bank nearby. As technology and automation gain popularity over brick-and-mortar branches, banks may be forced to shutter more branches in the future. Fewer banks opened branches than closed them in 2010, The New York Times reports, with many of the branch shutdowns occurring in poorer areas. Those closings can leave consumers with fewer options when it comes to financing. However, small business owners and consumers can get quick access to cash via a short-term loan, such as those offered by auto-title and short term lenders.