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How To Get An SBA Loan

Important Notice: For SBA Paycheck Protection Loans consider Fundera

Loan Amounts$5,000 to $500,000
APR RangeTerm Loans: 7% – 30%
Startup Loans: 7.9% – 19.9%
Repayment TermsTerm Loans: Up to 10 Years
SBA Loans: Up to 25 Years
Time to FundingVaries
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Fundera

Learn more about the SBA Payroll Protection Program

How do you get an SBA loan? If you are looking for the answer to this commonly asked question, you are in the right spot. Below, we will help you understand how to get an SBA loan, different kinds of SBA loans, when to use online lenders vs. banks and Microlenders, and so much more. To get us started, here are 6 easy steps you can follow to get any kind of SBA loan for your business:

  1. Decide if you are eligible for an SBA loan (requirements below)
  2. Select your SBA loan program
  3. Choose the best lender
  4. Gather documentation and information needed for the application process
  5. Submit your application
  6. Get approved and receive funds

When you are ready to apply for an SBA loan, visit PrimeRates online. PrimeRates can make it easy for you to secure the best SBA loan offer by delivering multiple personalized loan offers within seconds.  

Loan Amount:$30,000 – $350,000
APR Range:9.7% – 11.04%
Time To Fund:Typically take several weeks to fund, but can fund as quickly as within seven days.
Loan Term:Maximum loan term is 10 years.
Origination Fee:4.00%
How To Qualify:675+ Personal credit score
$50,000+ Annual revenue
Great Option For:Borrowers with good credit
SBA loans
Funding real estate purchases
Refinancing debt
Credit Check?Soft credit check and hard pull
Co-Applicants Accepted?No cosigners
Direct Pay-Off To Creditors?No
Click “Check Rates” to apply to SmartBiz

» MORE: SmartBiz SBA Loan Review

How hard is it to get an SBA loan? 

Getting an SBA loan can be very challenging but also very rewarding. In order to be eligible for an SBA loan you need to meet some of the basic requirements including:

  • Must be a registered for-profit business
  • Business must be operated and located in the U.S. 
  • No delinquent or default past government debts
  • Other financing options are not available and have been exhausted
  • Time and money has been invested into the business by the business owner
  • Business must meet the SBA’s definition of a small business

How to Get An SBA 7(a) Loan? 

Compared to SBA 504 loans, SBA 7(a) loans are only partially guaranteed by the SBA. This means that 50% to 85% of an SBA 7(a) loan is guaranteed. The percent guaranteed is determined by the size of the loan and the borrower’s qualifications. In the event the borrower defaults on the loan the SBA’s guarantee ensures that the lender receives their agreed percent (50%-85%) of the loan back. This decreases the risk for lenders and encourages them to approve more loans. Using an SBA 7(a) loan you can borrow up to $5 million and the funds can be used for a wide variety of business purposes. SBA 7(a) standard loans are best for business extension and working capital. The downside to SBA 7(a) loans is they can have a lot of fees and can be difficult to qualify for. 

The first step to securing an SBA 7(a) loan is to make sure you meet the requirements. Next, you should visit PrimeRates and submit an application online. Many borrowers prefer the online process for convenience but you may have other options as well. A little later on we will discuss when it’s better to use online lenders vs. banks and Microlenders. 

Let’s take a look at some of the SBA 7(a) loan requirements:

  • Good to excellent personal credit score
  • Solid business revenues and profits
  • Business plan
  • Collateral 
  • Must be for-profit business
  • Must meet SBA small business size standards (industry based)
  • Business must be located and operated in the U.S.
  • Sufficient time in business

Types of SBA 7(a) loans

There are different types of SBA 7(a) loans, let’s compare them…

  1. SBA 7(a) standard loan Can be approved for up to $5 million dollars and take 5-10 business days to fund. They are best suited for business extension and working capital.
  2. SBA 7(a) small loan – Can be approved for up to $350,000 and take 5-10 business days to fund. In most cases, they can be best suited for working capital.
  3. Express loan – Can be approved for up to $350,000 and take as little as 36 hours to fund. Hence to the name, express loans are typically best for time-sensitive financing needs.
  4. Export express loan – Can be approved for up to $500,000 and take as little as 36 hours to fund. Again, hence to the name, they can be best suited for small export businesses.
  5. Export working capital – Can be approved for up to $5 million and take 5-10 business days to fund. Typically they are best suited for small export businesses that need working capital.
  6. International trade loan – Can be approved for up to $5 million and take 5-10 business days to fund. These loans are typically best for businesses that need to compete with foreign entities.
  7. SBA CAPLines of credit – SBA CAPLines of credit can be approved for up to $5 million and take 5-10 business days to fund. Typically they are best for seasonal businesses, commercial builders, businesses that are fulfilling government contracts, and businesses with cyclical gaps in cash flow.

How to Get An SBA CDC/504 Loan?

Are you looking to finance real estate or other fixed assets? If so, you should look into an SBA CDC/504 loan because it’s specifically designed for financing real estate and other fixed assets. Although they can be tough to qualify for, like any SBA loan, SBA CDC/504 loans often have some of the lowest interest rates. 

Similar to securing an SBA 7(a) loan, you should make sure you meet the minimum requirements before applying for an SBA CDC/504 loan. If you do and are ready to take the next step you should visit PrimeRates and submit an online application. You can receive multiple personalized offers within seconds. Simply, select the best offer and just like that you are on your way to being approved for an SBA CDC/504 loan. 

Let’s take a look at some of the requirements for an SBA 504 loan:

  • Must meet SBA small business size standards (industry based)
  • Net worth should not exceed $15 million
  • Average net income below $5 million or less after federal income taxes for a minimum of two year prior to application
  • Fulfill owner occupancy requirements
  • Public policy goals must be supported or jobs must be created or retained by the project
  • For-profit businesses only (no operating in a passive industry)
  • 10%-20% down payment

How To Get An SBA Microloan?

If you have an average credit score or are a startup you should look into an SBA Microloan. Applications are not reviewed for creditworthiness. Using an SBA Microloan you can borrow up to $50,000. Similar to SBA 7(a) loans, SBA Microloans require collateral. However, due to more lenient requirements, SBA Microloans typically have higher interest rates.

Just like any other SBA loan, you should make sure you meet the minimum requirements before applying. When you are ready to apply you should visit PrimeRates and submit an online application. This will allow you to receive and compare multiple personalized offers and select the best one. 

Let’s take a look at some of the requirements for an SBA Microloan:

  • Must be a for-profit business
  • Must meet SBA small business size standards (industry based)
  • Average credit
  • Ability to repay the loan
  • Business plan
  • Collateral
  • Personal Guarantee
  • Demonstrate good character

Use Banks When:

Short-term microloans, SBA 7(a) loans, and disaster loans can be offered by traditional banks. While it can take longer to be funded using a bank, they are usually your lowest-APR option. Most bank SBA microloans take between two to six months to fund. You should use a bank for an SBA Microloan when…

  • You have collateral to provide
  • Fast cash is not needed
  • You have good credit

Use Microlenders When:

Compared to an SBA Microloan through a bank, Microlenders typically have higher APR and much smaller loan amounts. Microlenders usually lend short-term loans that are less than $35,000. Even though the loan amounts are usually lower, the application process can still be lengthy. In most cases, Microlenders require a detailed business plan, summary of what the funds will be used for, financial statements, and more. In general, Microloans can be a good option for startups or business owners with poor personal credit history or a lack of collateral. You should use a Microlender for an SBA Microloan when…

  • Your company is too small to secure a traditional loan

» MORE: SBA Loans For Startups

Use Online Lenders When:

SBA loans and Microloans can be secured using online lenders.  APR rates can vary depending on the lender, type and size of the loan, terms, personal credit history, and down payment or collateral. Compared to banks, online lenders can struggle with beating APR rates. However, online lenders usually have a much higher approval rate with faster funding. Some online lenders can fund approved loans as fast as 24 hours. In order to get the best possible APR rate using online lenders it’s important to compare offers and do your due diligence. PrimeRates is a secure platform that can make securing the best SBA Microloan much easier. PrimeRates partners with reliable and top-rated lenders, forcing them to generate more competitive offers. Borrowers can simply submit one application online through PrimeRates and receive multiple personalized offers within seconds. You should use an online lender for SBA Microloans when:

  • You lack collateral
  • You are a startup or new/newer business
  • Fund are needed quickly

Alternatives If You Can’t Get An SBA Loan

Although SBA loans are one of the best options for small businesses, they are hard to qualify for and lenders can be selective. If you are denied an SBA loan you can work on improving your business and personal credit and business financials for a few months and reapply – or you can explore alternatives. Personal loans, business credit cards, invoice financing and more can all be an alternative to SBA loans. You can explore various types of alternative loans at PrimeRates.

Compare SBA Loans

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