Small Loan Lenders in Oklahoma Now Have To Be Licensed and Bonded

Published: Apr 30, 2019
oklahoma small loan lenders

 

A new bill introduces a regulatory framework for Oklahoma small loan lenders. Senate Bill 720 was enacted at the end of April 2019 and is referred to as the Oklahoma Small Lenders Act.

According to the new law, small loan lenders in Oklahoma now have to obtain a state license in order to operate legally. This process entails fulfilling a number of licensing criteria, among which one is providing financial security in the form of a small loan company surety bond, or an irrevocable letter of credit. In this way, state authorities ensure that licensees will adhere to Oklahoma rules and regulations.

You can find out more details about the new licensing and bonding requirements below.

The licensing process set in Oklahoma Small Lenders Act

The new Oklahoma Act sets the framework for operations of small loan lenders in the state. It creates definitions for important terms, including for the term small loan lending. It represents a written contract between a licensee under the Act, and a customer for creating a credit plan. The payments on the credit have to be unsecured and should be made within 60 days to twelve months.

In order to obtain a license as a small loan lender, you have to apply with the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit. It is the authority in charge of regulating the activities of lending companies in the state. The applications for licensure have to be done as of January 1, 2020. No small loan lender can operate without a license after August 1, 2020.

The requirements that you have to fulfill in order to obtain your license include:

  • Providing proof of a minimum net worth of $50,000
  • Business records
  • Audited financial statement
  • Criminal background checks
  • Personal information for owners and key personnel
  • Payment of relevant fees – $700 filing fee, $500 license fee and $700 supervision fee
  • $25,000 surety bond for each business location

When you apply with the Department with a complete set of paperwork, it will consider your suitability for obtaining the license. If you meet all requirements, you will be issued a one-year license that has to be renewed annually if you want to continue your operations.

Getting bonded as a small loan lender

oklahoma small loan lenders

According to the new licensing procedure for Oklahoma small loan lenders, you need to provide a financial security of $25,000 for each location that you want to open. The amount can go up, according to the number of locations, but cannot exceed $200,000. The bond also has to be in place at least three years after your licensure has ended.

The security can be provided in the form of a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit. Oftentimes, applicants choose the bonding option, as it is easier and cheaper to obtain.

The purpose of the bond is to protect the interests of the state and of your customers. It safeguards them against fraud, misrepresentation, contract breaching, financial failure and other legal violations you may engage in. If such a case is proven, the harmed party can file a claim against your bond to seek fair reimbursement. The Act allows direct actions on the bond, with liability up to the bond amount posted.

To get bonded, you need to pay a small percentage of the bond amount that you have to obtain. It is based on your personal credit score, business finances, and other financial factors. The stronger your overall profile is, the smaller your bond cost would be. The typical rates for applicants with a good credit score are between 1% and 5%. Thus, for a $25,000 bond, you may pay as little as $250 to $1,250.

Looking for more information about the new licensing and bonding requirements for Oklahoma small loan lenders? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 877.514.5146.

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.