What is an
An SBA loan is a long-term, low-interest small business loan partially guaranteed by the government.
What Do I Need to Qualify?
2+ years in business
640+ credit score
$100,000+ in annual revenue
Disclaimer: These are general qualifications. Other information might be considered during your application.
HOW DO I APPLY?
There are many large and local banks that offer SBA loans, but for an easier and quicker process, you can apply online through companies like SmartBiz below.
SBA Loans at a Glance
Under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s various “SBA loan” programs, you can borrow money for nearly any business purpose—including adding to working capital, purchasing inventory or equipment, refinancing other debts, buying real estate, or even funding the acquisition of other businesses.
maximum loan amount
5,000 to 5 Million
5 to 25 years
Starting at 6.5%
As little as 3 weeks
Pros and Cons of an SBA Loan
Lowest down payments
Longest payment terms
Reasonable Interest rat
Suitable for many purposes
Longer approval times
May require collateral
SBA Loan Qualifications
Obtaining an SBA loan is no easy task....
So how do you get an SBA loan?
Although more difficult to obtain - many businesses including small businesses and startups can qualify for an SBA loan. The greatest impact when getting approved will be your credit score. Only business owners with very strong borrowing histories will typically qualify for funding.
Be prepared for a lot of time and energy preparing documents and getting your business into full compliance to qualify.
This is not the type of loan you want to go for if your needing funding fast within a few days as it can take months to secure most SBA loans.
However with an SBA loan, You are typically given the best rates available, its great to refinance other higher interest debts, and a very good option to grow your business.
It may be difficult to obtain an SBA loan if your credit score isn't very good or your business hasn't yet established a good track record. If your not yet in the position to obtain this type of loan, its a good idea to look at other options for startups and those with bad credit first.
Most Customers who qualified had
Time in Business
Over 4 years
What documents will I need to apply?
Voided Business Check
Profit and Loss Statements
Business Tax Returns
Personal Tax Returns
Business Debt Schedule
How does an SBA Loan Work?
An SBA loan is known as the Ultimate type of business loans so almost every small business owner is interested in how to qualify.
This is because an SBA loan is by far one of the most affordable loan types in the lending industry.
Although they are very sought after they aren't completely impossible to get approved for.
We work with companies that have helped thousands of small business owners successfully qualify for an SBA loan. This gives us the know how and experience to show you exactly what you need to do to apply and have the best chance of getting approved.
The secret to qualifying is knowing the exact eligibility requirements before you apply.
The worst thing you can do is start applying for loans that your business is not yet ready to qualify for.
Each lender may also have different criteria on how to qualify. If you would like to know what it takes to qualify for each lender individually you can check out our Lender Criteria Page.
SBA Loans: The Fundamentals
The fist question you might ask yourself is "Where does an SBA loan come from?"
The Small Business Administration is a U.S government agency formulated in 1953 established to bolster and promote the US economy by providing assistance to small businesses.
One of the benefits of the SBA is the ability to give small business owners better access to small business loans.
Most people think the SBA is an agency that lends money to small businesses.
This is only partly true as the SBA doesn't directly loan money to businesses in most instances.
If the SBA doesn't do the lending, then who does?
The banks are the actual lenders of the money. What the SBA does is uses federally insured money to guarantee a percentage of the loan taken from the bank. This gives the bank more confidence to lend money to small businesses that need funding.
In a nutshell, The SBA protects a portion of the banks loan leading to less risk for the lenders giving banks the ability to service customers they normally wouldn't due to strict credit criteria.
What to expect when applying for a loan
SBA loans are very cost effective options but you have to remember your still working with a bank, and we all know that banks can be very slow.
At most major banks obtaining an SBA loan can be a very long drawn out and complex process.
Lenders will want to look over your credit and financial statements and many expect you to have collateral to back up the loan. Although SBA loans are federally guaranteed, many small business owners don't end up qualifying for funding.
If you do qualify then expect to wait months to process the entire application.
The lengthy processing times can make some small business owners turn away and look for other options but for those willing to put in the time and energy needed to obtain this kind of loan will be well rewarded in the end.
Sure it may take an extra month or two but you will save thousands of dollars in interest payments and be given more time to pay back the loan.
I'm ready to get an SBA Loan, Whats the application process like?
If you'd like to reap the benefits that come with an SBA loan then you must be willing to complete a very extensive loan application.
You'll be providing financial statements, collateral information, description of your business, statement explaining how you'll use the money and much more.
The most important factor will be your credit or borrowing history, having a good business plan, and being able to show the ability to repay the loan.
Not all SBA Loans are Created Equal
Not all SBA loans are created equal
Many people dont know, but there are actually a couple different types of SBA loans to choose from.
Depending on the size of your business, age, and overall goals this will determine the type of SBA loan you should apply for.
For example a small business or new business just starting out can obtain a loan for under $50,000 under the Microloan program.
A more established business would be better of opting for the most known SBA 7(a) loan which can be used for many general business purposes.
If your looking to purchase commerical real estate or a major asset like equipment then your better of going with the CDC/504 loan.
If your not sure about what type of option is best for your business Lendook can help look over your options and choose the best program for your business needs.
If your not quite eligible yet, We can also work with you to establish your business to the point of being able to obtain an SBA loan.
What is the cost of an SBA loan?
The reason most business owners opt for SBA loan is to keep the actual cost as low as possible. The natual question is, "How much will it cost?"
The answer to depends on which of the SBA loan choices you decide to go with.
Heres a quick breakdown of the interest rates, fees, and repayment terms of each SBA program available.
7(a) SBA Loan Program
Fees: A guaratee fee, based on the loans maturity and dollar amount guranteed, this may be included in the total cost of the loan.
The SBA isn't a direct lender, so it does not guarantee 100% of the banks loan, this is why dollar amount guarateed and total loan amount are both different.
The bank will originally pay the guarantee fee to the SBA, but it may also pass that expense on to the borrower. The fees can range from 0% for loans under $150,000 to 3.5% for loans of more then $700,000.
For amounts over 1 million there is also an additional 0.25% on any guarateed portion of the loan.
Although these fees may seem overwhelming.
They are a much cheaper option then anything else available in the lending industry.
Interest: How much will this loan cost?
There are two different types of interest rates associated with the 7 (a) SBA loans, fixed or variable. You lender will decided which type it will offer.
In order to help protect the borrowers, the SBA caps loan rates by limiting the spread a bank is allowed to apply on top of the loans base interest rates.
Basically, the SBA restricts how much the bank can make from your SBA loan.
For loan terms of 7 years or less, the spread limit will be at most 2.25%. While for longer loans the spread increases to 2.75%.
All together you'll end up paying a rate between 6 - 13% total.
Repayment: How does this affect your businesses cash flow?
You should expect monthly payments of:
real estate: 25 years
equipment: 10 years
working capital: 7 years
Remember: These are the longest payment terms available in the lending industry, this should give you plenty of time to find a way to pay each payment.
CDC/504 SBA Loan Program
Fees: 504 SBA loan fees usually come out to about 3% of the loan amount and can sometimes be financed as part of the loan.
Beware: You will also be required to put around 10% of your purcahse down to secure funding.
Interest: The SBA 504 loan program is one of the most complex financing options available.
The 504 loan program actually involves 2 seperate loans - one coming from the bank which is 50% of the total loan amount and the other coming from a Certified Development Corporation which is usually 40% of the loan.
The process is complicated but what you need to know is that your loan terms should come out to around 5-6% after everything is said and done.
Repayment: Loan terms range from 10 to 20 years with the 504 SBA loan program.
Interest: Rates range from 8-13%
Repayment: This depends on the loan amount, how the funding is to be used, and other criteria determined by the lender. The maximum repayment term for an SBA microloan is 6 years. This can be paid monthly over the course of your loan.