While nearly all small businesses seeking capital want loans in the $10,000 – $100,000 range, traditional lenders struggle to make these loans profitably, and thus meet only a fraction of demand. Increasingly small businesses turn to alternative lenders, whose online processes provide accelerated response times – but at a hefty cost to borrowers.

Community lender Excelsior Growth Fund launched its EGF SmartLoanTM program to fill this crucial gap for small business borrowers in New York State. They wanted to match alternative lenders’ accelerated loan response times, at much more affordable cost to borrowers – while maintaining optimal loan quality, risk controls and security.

The Mirador Implementation:

With minimal in-house technology resources, the EGF team knew from the beginning that finding the right technology partner would be crucial to success. Led by the CEO and senior management team, EGF detailed the SmartLoan project requirements. EGF required a technology partner who could provide a secure, hosted web application that would enable them to compete with digital marketplaces on speed, reliability, transparency and borrower costs. The solution needed to implement their credit-policy logic in a way that meshed with existing processes and required minimal training. Their online loan application needed to be highly intuitive to borrowers and match the EGF brand. Post-launch, they wanted to evaluate the program based on ongoing data analysis and fine-tune the credit policy with minimal effort. They found a near-perfect match for their needs in Mirador, and started implementation in summer 2015.

First, EGF worked with Mirador to establish their overall credit policy for this brand-new borrower base. This included specific credit parameters for immediate pre-approval for qualifying loans. Like most traditional lenders, EGF’s loan analysis relied mostly on time-consuming manual processes. To match the 24-48 hour responses times of alternative lenders while beating their borrowing rates, EGF SmartLoan needed to automate more stages of loan analysis, particularly the earliest stages. This meant evaluating and adapting current back-office workflows as well.

Together Mirador and EGF automated the lenders’ desired credit parameters in a sophisticated online process that dramatically accelerated loan response times at much lower costs. While EGF expected to harness technology to reduce loan origination costs, they were pleasantly surprised to realize that the Mirador platform could help them introduce efficiencies at every stage in the lending process.  From decision to implementation took several weeks, and the EGF SmartLoan program launched to the public in August 2015.

The Results:

Using the Mirador platform, EGF has realized extraordinary time- and cost-savings compared to traditional lending models:

> Reduced loan origination costs by 25-50%, thanks to the streamlined application process and more efficient loan analysis

> Vastly improved efficiencies on declined loans. Declined applications used to accounted for 30-40% of loan officers’ time. Mirador has reduced this to virtually zero.

> Matched alternative lenders’ speed, at much more attractive prices to borrowers with greater transparency in lending terms.


EGF SmartLoan borrowers have realized remarkable benefits as well. Borrowers:

> Saved an average of $6,800/mo in cash flow, refinancing their original loans from expensive marketplace lenders with a responsible EGF loan

> Reduced their “loan shopping” time by 20 hours per loan. This was particularly true of borrowers who found a financing fit with EGF early in their loan search.

> Accessed capital more swiftly and conveniently.