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Short Term Lending Program

U.S. Department of Transportation > Short Term Lending Program


Program Description:

To help small businesses gain access to the financing they need to participate in transportation-related contracts, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Businesses Utilization (OSDBU) Financial Assistance Division manages the Short-Term Lending Program (STLP). STLP provides certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and other certified small businesses short term working capital financing at competitive interest rates for Department of Transportation (DOT) or DOT funded contracts and subcontracts.

How It Works: Funds are to be used to meet the short-term costs of performing the contract(s) being financed.

Lines of credit are managed by OSDBU through cooperative agreements between DOT and Participating Lenders. The final loan approval is made by both the Participating Lender and DOT.

The interest rate of the loan is a variable rate tied to the Wall Street Journal Prime Interest Rate.

The line of credit covers a one-year period. The applicant can request a renewal (up to five years), as long as they remain eligible.

Applicant submits an application fee of $150 to the Participating Lender along with a complete application.

Loan processing and servicing is performed by the Participating Lenders.

The funds are borrowed and advanced to the borrower against each invoice of the contract(s) being financed ¨C up to 85 percent of the invoice total. Each invoice is paid directly to the Participating Lenders (otherwise referred to as ?°assignment of funds?±) by the Project Owner or Prime Contractor with a two-party check addressed to the Lender and the Borrower. The borrower re-pays the Principle and Interest, and the bank releases the balance to the borrower.

Prohibited Use of Funds: The loan guarantee may not be used for:

  • Contract mobilization
  • Equipment purchases or other long term uses
  • Refinancing of existing debt
  • Payment of taxes
  • Distribution to investors or stock holders


General Program Requirements:

Who Can Apply: All applicants must meet the STLP eligibility requirements to be considered for a line of credit guaranteed by USDOT. The eligibility requirements are designed to ensure that all recipients of DOT financial assistance are currently performing on a USDOT federally-assisted transportation-related contract.

All businesses that are considered for financing under the DOT/OSDBU loan program must fit all the requirements:

  1. Certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) by an agency applying DOT certification guidelines (49 CFR, Part 23 & 26) or by the Small Business Administration in one of the following categories:
    • 8(a) Business Development Program
    • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)
    • HUBZone
  2. The business must already have been awarded a DOT federally funded, in whole or in part, transportation-related contract, i.e., maintenance, rehabilitation, restructuring, improvement, or revitalization of any local, state, or federal mode of transportation.
  3. The business should have an established track record ¨C this is not for start up companies.
  4. The business is current on all federal and state taxes.





Loan Terms:

The term is a line of credit used for short-term working capital needs, specifically the carrying of accounts receivables generated by transportation-related contracts and subcontracts. The maximum loan amount is $750,000.


Application Process:

To apply for this program, please contact your local DBE office at:


Program Contact Information:

For more information about this program, please call 1-800-532-1169 or visit:


Managing Agency:

U.S. Department of Transportation

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