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  • Writer's pictureChris Marshall

The CFPB's New Rule on Small Business Lending, And Its Impact on Real Estate Investors

Updated: Jan 25

A bronze statue of a blind folded women holding weighing scales

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was created to provide a single point of accountability for enforcing federal consumer financial laws and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace, has recently finalized a rule that aims to increase transparency in small business lending, that would include the lending to most real estate investors projects.

This rule is a significant development that will affect a wide range of lenders and borrowers, including those in the real estate investment sector. So in this blog post I wanted to take a look into the types of lenders affected, why this is crucial for real estate investors who are often considered small businesses, and how can help in this new lending landscape.

The Importance of Transparency in Lending

Transparency in lending is not just a buzzword; it's a necessity for economic development. The CFPB rule aims to bring this transparency by requiring lenders to disclose various data points about their lending practices. In the same way the fair housing laws and truth in lending act brings transparency to the average consumer. This will help in identifying any discriminatory practices and ensure that loans are being distributed fairly across all demographics.

The CFPB Rule: A Closer Look

The CFPB's new rule is designed to promote economic development and combat unlawful discrimination. It will require lenders to collect and report information about small business credit applications, including geographic and demographic data, lending decisions, and the price of credit. The rule will also work in concert with the Community Reinvestment Act, which mandates that financial institutions meet the needs of the communities they serve (something that I have taken quite a bit of advantage of in securing some great loans for my real estate investments).

Types of Lenders Affected

The rule will affect a broad spectrum of lenders, including banks, credit unions, and non-depository financial institutions. Specifically, it covers lenders making over 100 covered small business loans per year, accounting for more than 95% of small business loans by banks and credit unions. This means that hard money and private money lenders who make over 100 loans per year will also be affected. The rule also covers online credit products and merchant cash advances, which are particularly impactful for minority entrepreneurs.

Real Estate Investors as Small Businesses

Real estate investors often fall under the category of small businesses. This makes the new rule highly relevant for real estate investors who rely on various forms of credit to finance their projects. For the investors it should mean less discriminatory practices when dealing with the various lenders and also more transparency around the actual cost of the capital that we borrow to get our deals done.

For the lenders and working with them as an investor the process might actually take a little longer now as there are certain things that many lenders will be required to report on.

The Community Reinvestment Act and Its Synergy with the CFPB Rule

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been a cornerstone in ensuring that financial institutions serve the needs of their local communities. However the CRA has faced criticism despite its good intentions. Many believe that the CRA was responsible for contributing to financial crises by encouraging loans to high-risk borrowers. Critics argue that the CRA's requirements may have played a part in the foreclosure crisis, as many low- and moderate-income borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, leading to a loss of homes and ruined credit.

The CFPB's new rule aims to bring more transparency and data-driven decision-making into the lending process. By requiring lenders to collect and report detailed information on small business loans, the rule could help mitigate some of the criticisms leveled against the CRA. For example, the data could be used to identify whether loans are genuinely high-risk or if they are being unfairly categorized as such due to factors like location or demographics.

Both the CRA and the CFPB's new rule aim to make financial institutions more accountable to the communities they serve. However, the CFPB rule takes it a step further by adding layers of data collection and reporting, which could serve as a check against the potential pitfalls of the CRA. This could lead to a more balanced and equitable lending landscape, benefiting both lenders and borrowers, including real estate investors.

Timing of the Law

The rule will be phased in, starting with the largest lenders first. Lenders that originate at least 2,500 small business loans annually must start collecting data by October 1, 2024. Those that originate at least 500 loans annually must start by April 1, 2025, and those with at least 100 loans annually must start by January 1, 2026.

The Future Landscape of Small Business Lending

With the implementation of the CFPB rule, the landscape of small business lending is set to undergo a significant transformation. This will open up new opportunities for real estate investors and other small businesses to access credit more easily and transparently.

How Can Help, a comprehensive Real Estate Investment Platform, can play a pivotal role in this new regulatory environment. By connecting investors and lenders, can facilitate more efficient and fair lending practices. The platform can also serve as a centralized hub for data collection and reporting, aiding lenders in complying with the new CFPB requirements. This is particularly beneficial for hard money and private money lenders who are part of the ecosystem.


The CFPB's new rule is a landmark development that aims to make the lending landscape more transparent and equitable. It has far-reaching implications for various types of lenders, including those crucial to real estate investment. Real estate investors, often considered small businesses, stand to gain significantly from this rule. Platforms like are uniquely positioned to leverage these changes, offering a more streamlined and fair lending process for all parties involved.

For more information on how can help you navigate this new lending landscape, feel free to reach out to us or visit


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