No credit score cutoff, no collateral needed: Nonprofit lender making big changes to expand small-business loans on South and West sides

A nonprofit community lender is taking a new approach to small-business lending in Chicago: It will no longer consider credit scores or collateral in deciding whether an applicant should get a loan.

The decision to drop two standard lending metrics is part of an overall strategy change at Allies for Community Business, formerly known as Accion Chicago, which lends $500 to $100,000 to small businesses that struggle to get traditional bank financing.