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Special Purpose Credit Programs for Small Businesses

ABA supports banks of all sizes as they consider creating Special Purpose Credit Programs, including programs that support underserved small business owners.

Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCPs) are authorized by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B, to help for-profit creditors meet special social needs and benefit economically disadvantaged groups. SPCPs are encouraged by regulators and industry advocates as additional tools to address inequities in access to capital for consumers and small businesses.


Although SPCPs have been permitted for more than 40 years, and are available for all types of credit products, very few lenders have implemented them to support underserved small business owners in part because there was little information about these programs. As a result, ABA has curated these resources to support lenders in creating SPCPs.


  • Allow revised pricing or credit underwriting requirements in order to extend credit to a class of persons who customarily might be less likely to receive credit, or who would receive it on less favorable terms
  • Require a written plan that identifies the class of persons the program is designed to benefit
  • Set forth the standards for extending credit under the program

 Review regulatory guidance on SPCPs.

Resources by Population

Spread the Word About SPCP

If you have a Special Purpose Credit Program for small businesses, please share your story with ABA's Kitty Ryan.

Tell Us Your Story
*References to the OCC and Project REACh in this resource do not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of the ABA, its members, or their findings by the OCC. Participants in Project REACh, with the support of the ABA, worked together to articulate their findings; the information in this resource does not constitute an endorsement by the OCC and does not necessarily reflect the complete positions of the institutions that REACh working group members represent.

Our Experts

Ginny ONeill

Ginny O'Neill

Executive Vice President, Regulatory Compliance and Policy

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Kitty Ryan

Kitty Ryan

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Compliance and Policy

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Press Contact

Mike Townsend

(202) 663-5471

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