The SPARK team
Release Notes Application/Intake Applicant Portal General Updates

SPARK 7.8 Release Notes and Webinar


On February 12, 2022, we released SPARK 7.8. This update includes major changes to the applicant-facing SPARK portal and Information Requests.

Please read on to learn more about the changes included in this release, or watch the recording of the SPARK 7.8 Release Webinar.

What's New

Updates to the Applicant Portal and Information Requests

Gathering documents, acquiring necessary information, confirming package details - Information Requests are often the best and fastest way to communicate with applicants throughout the origination process. And with the release of SPARK 7.8, Information Requests have gotten even better, with significant upgrades to their look and feel, more flexible tools for lenders, and a more intuitive process for applicants. Read the SPARK Product Update - Smarter Information Requests for details about these changes.

Use a Preferred Name

Both lender and applicant SPARK users can now be identified by an optional preferred name. The new Preferred Name field is available from the user profile, individual management, and contact management screens. If a preferred name is provided, it will appear in place of the user's first name:

  • On all notifications

  • On all SPARK screens

  • On all of SPARK's dynamic PDF forms (e.g., commitment letters and letters of interest)

View the Applicant Portal

You can use the new View Applicant Portal feature to see a package as your applicants do. This action is available from the global Actions menu, the Authorized Users page, and the Actions menu for a specific Information Request.


Use SOFR Index Rates

In December, we released an update to support the addition of the SOFR Index and the SOFR 30-day average. You can now use the SOFR Index and the SOFR 30-day average as interest rates for your packages as long as you configure your product to support the new rate(s). For more information, contact your Customer Success Manager.

Subscribe to SPARK Product Updates

You can now manage subscriptions to SPARK product update notifications. By default, all users are subscribed to all SPARK update notifications. To manage your subscriptions, go to your user profile > Notifications. Administrators can also manage subscriptions for internal users on the existing internal user management screens.


What's Changed

Enhanced Support for Classifying Businesses as Startup, New, or Existing

Our existing Business Age field has been updated to include a classification for "New" businesses - businesses that have been in business for 2 years or less. This change was made to align with the SBA's business age classification, SBA Forms, and E-Tran submission. Historically the business age was calculated automatically based on the date the business was established.

Improved Address Lookup

The address lookup in all address fields has been improved to include both USPS mailing addresses and over 15 million non-postal addresses. As a result, address recommendations are more accurate and only include valid addresses.

Add Details to Personal Financial Statement for IRA or Other Retirement Accounts

The Personal Financial Statement now allows you to document the details of an individual's IRA or other retirement accounts to more closely align with SBA Form 413.

Assign Partner Users to Internal Information Requests

You can now assign partner users to internal Information Requests, and assigned partner users can now complete internal Information Requests.

Select Multiple Races

SPARK users can now e now select multiple races in demographic information. When multiple races are selected, they will be included on SBA Form 1919 and sent to the SBA via SPARK's E-Tran integration. Because race is a field used in SPARK's standard extracts for NLS and TEA, we will continue to include one race in the export files. In API integrations, we still support the existing race field along with a new field that returns multiple selected races.

Add SBA Submission Date Column on Dashboard Package Lists

You can now include the SBA Submission Date as a column in your personal dashboard package lists.

Download Documents to Zip File and Partner Users

In document listings, partner users can now download all documents in the current view to a zip file.

Add U/W and Pre-Screen Score / Risk Rating Sections in Dynamic PDF Forms

You can now include pre-screen risk rating and underwriting risk rating scores in dynamic PDF forms (e.g., commitment letters and letters of interest).

Debt Schedule and Automatic Payment Calculation

SPARK no longer automatically calculates the payment amount in the debt schedule.

New Debt Schedule Totals in Credit Memos

The debt schedule section in credit memo templates now includes totals for the original balance, current balance, and payment.

Read-only Electronic Signatures Page for non-DocuSign Users

Non-DocuSign users can now view the list of Electronic Signature envelopes for a package. Users are still required to connect their SPARK account to DocuSign in order to interact with envelopes.

PPP Navigation

The PPP navigation item is no longer visible if your organization's PPP product is disabled.

Add Lender Name to External-facing Disbursement Completed Email

SPARK administrators can now include the name of the lender in the subject or body of the Disbursement Completed notification.

Images Pasted into Rich Text Editors must be Less Than 200KB

To improve SPARK performance, images larger than 200 KB can no longer be pasted into rich text fields (e.g., Project Summary).

Collateral API and PackageId

The collateral API endpoint now includes the PackageId (/api/v2/collateral).

Contact Packages API

The contact packages API endpoint now shows the packages for an "external" contact instead of "lender" contacts (api/v2/contact/[contactId]/packages).

What's Been Fixed

  • A hotfix was deployed to address an issue with the package export page used for LaserPro, NLS, and TEA exports.

  • The following "copy package" bugs were fixed:

    • Unable to select a stage when copying a package

    • Exclude copying the team when copying to a product with a different team configuration

    • Exclude copying the guaranty % and amount when copying to a non-guaranteed product

  • Shortly after the updated SBA Form 159 was released, we deployed a hotfix to use the SBA Location ID instead of the FIRS ID.

  • We've improved the error handling for document analysis requests that include password-protected PDFs.

  • We've improved how SPARK handles two-factor authentication when the text messaging provider is down.

Find Out More

Stay tuned for the latest features and subscribe to your favorite categories. If you have any feedback or questions about this release, please reach out to your favorite CSM, or email us at Your feedback will help us make SPARK the best loan origination software in the market!

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