Insights into the world of small business lending and development

Time for Online Lenders to Get Serious About Disclosure Boxes

Since 2000, the so-called Schumer box has been to credit cards what nutrition labels are to food. Instead of listing calorie and carbohydrate counts, the summary table requires disclosure of basic numbers like the interest rate and annual fee at the top of credit card solicitations. Named for legislation by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (now New York's senior Democratic senator), the box has a useful purpose, allowing a consumer who doesn't wish to pay high annual fees to easily toss aside expensive offers.

Yet when that same consumer applies for a small-business loan, he or she is left in the dark.

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