WASHINGTON (5/19/09)—Credit unions are among the lenders that may participate in a new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan program, one that features interest-free loans and deferred payments of up to $35,000. The SBA announced Monday that its new program, America’s Recovery Capital(ARC), will begin June 15. It was created under the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act. ARC will provide no-interest, deferred payment loans to help small businesses that have a history of good performance, but which are struggling to keep up with payments because of the tough economy. The ARC loans will be disbursed over a six-month period. The funds may be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debt including mortgages, term and revolving lines of credit, capital leases, credit card obligations and notes payable to vendors, suppliers and utilities. Repayment is not required until 12 months after the loan’s final disbursement. After the 12-month deferral period, borrowers will pay back the loan principal over a period of five years. ARC loans will be made by commercial lenders, not the SBA directly. The loans are 100% guaranteed by the SBA, and have no SBA fees associated with them.