WASHINGTON (5/09/08)—The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Thursday announced that in the 10 months since it has launched it Patriot Express Program, it has produced 1,304 guaranteed loans to the military community. More than 15% of the $135 million in loans were dispersed to military spouses. The SBA used the fact that May 9 marks National Military Spouse Day as its springboard for the announcement reminding service families of the program. Others eligible for the loans are veterans, service-disabled veterans, service members leaving active duty, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, and the surviving spouse of a servicemember who died while serving or of a service-connected disability. Since June 2007, credit unions and other lenders could start submitting applications for funds under the SBA’s Patriot Express pilot program. The program features a streamlined loan product based on the agency's SBA Express Program, but with enhanced guaranty and interest rate features. The loans may be used for most business purposes and have been approved in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. They currently range from $5,000 to $375,000 in individual loan amounts, but can be approved for up to $500,000.