Top SBA Lenders For MicroLoans, SBA 7(a) Loans, CDC/504 Program

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Best SBA Lenders

Using a connection service, such as PrimeRates can help you find the best SBA lender for your business. PrimeRates is a trusted online platform that can connect you to a wide variety of lenders. Simply submit one application online to receive pre-qualified offers from lenders that can help your small business secure financing.

SBA Lender Questions

  • How did we decide these lenders are the top SBA lenders?

We have decided that the lenders below are top SBA lenders based on their reputation, loans approved, and total loan amounts.

  • What is an SBA Preferred Lender?

SBA Preferred Lenders can expedite the process and help borrowers secure funds faster. If a financial institution or bank has “Preferred Lender” status they have the power to make final credit decisions on SBA loans. If a financial institution or bank does not have “Preferred Lender” status they must submit loans to the SBA for approval. 

  • Who is the largest SBA lender?

Wells Fargo Bank, Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc, JPMorgan Chase, and Live Oak Banking Company are some of the largest SBA lenders. Newtek is a Preferred Lender with a minimum credit score of only 600. Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Live Oak are also SBA Preferred Lenders. 

  • Is it hard to get approved for a SBA loan?

Getting approved for an SBA loan can be difficult, but worth the challenge. Prior to applying for an SBA loan you should make sure you meet the minimum requirements including…

  • U.S. based business
  • Must operate in an eligible industry
  • Business must be officially registered
  • Business must be operating legally
  • Other financing options must be exhausted (This does not mean you should apply for all loans and get denied. It simply means that you will need to prove that other financing options are not available for you.)

List of the Best SBA Lenders for SBA 7(a) and MicroLoans

Top Online SBA Lenders / Connection Services for SBA 7(a) Loans 

  • Smart Biz:

SmartBiz is a Preferred Lender that partners with a wide range of lenders to help your business find the right lender. SmartBiz can save you time by taking care of some of the paperwork for you, but the time-savings comes at a cost. The borrower is required to pay a referral and packaging fee in exchange for the extra services. In some cases, the time-savings may justify the extra cost. Using SmartBiz you can qualify for an SBA loan within minutes and receive funds in as little as one week after applying. However, if you are seeking a larger loan amount you may want to expect a longer approval and funding period. SmartBiz offers an online application process with a minimum credit score requirement of 650. The company focuses on smaller SBA loans with an average loan amount size of around $200,000 and interest rates between 4.75% to 7.00%. 

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

  • Live Oak Bank:

Live Oak Banking Company focuses solely on business loans and is based in Wilmington, North Carolina. While they do not have physical branches, you can utilize their sophisticated, user-friendly, and secure online platform. Live Oak offers a streamlined electronic online application for SBA loans and is a Preferred Lender.

Currently, Live Oak is one of the top lenders for SBA 7(a) loans - proving their methods and systems work. Live Oak has a minimum credit score requirement of 650 and an estimated APR between 5.50% and 8.25%. They are praised for their faster application process, lower interest rates, and average SBA loan size of about $1.2 million. Live Oak has approved 250 SBA loans with a total amount of $347,271,200 approved. 

However, only certain industries can qualify through Live Oak. Each industry is assigned a financial professional that you will work with after applying. This can improve your experience and increase your chance of approval. Industries that can qualify include:

  • Accounting and tax firms
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Educational services
  • Funeral homes and cemetery
  • Insurance
  • Self storage
  • Senior care
  • Veterinary
  • Lendio

Similar to SmartBiz, Lendio partners with a wide range of SBA lenders that offer SBA 7(a) loans, MicroLoans, SBA 504 loans, SBA Express Loan programs, and more. However, Lendio is not a Preferred Lender and their minimum credit score is slightly higher. Lendio offers a free online application process with a minimum credit score requirement of 675. Using Lendio you can secure SBA 7(a) loans ranging from $50,000 to $5,000,000. In addition to SBA loans, Lendio also offers…

  • Business line of credit
  • Startup loan
  • Merchant cash advance
  • Business Acquisition loan
  • Business credit card
  • Accounts receivable financing
  • Equipment financing
  • ACH loans
  • Commercial mortgage

Top SBA Bank Lenders for SBA 7(a) 

  • Wells Fargo 

Wells Fargo is one of the most active SBA Preferred Lenders offering SBA 7(a) loans, SBA Express loans, and SBA CDC/504 loans. Wells Fargo has approved 692 loans with a total amount of $144,769,600 approved. They lend more money to small businesses than just about any other U.S. bank. In addition to SBA loans, Wells Fargo can offer a variety of financing options for small businesses. However, Wells Fargo typically only approves the most qualified small business borrowers. If you do not currently have any accounts or connections to Wells Fargo you can still apply for a loan through them. In most cases, Wells Fargo offers rates between 6%-13% for SBA 7(a) loans. 

  • JPMorgan Chase 

Similar to Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase is a traditional bank that is actively offering and approving SBA loans. JPMorgan Chase is an SBA Approved Lender that has approved 472 loans with a total amount of $91,328,900 approved. In addition to offering SBA loans, JPMorgan Chase also offers competitive business credit cards and traditional loans. One advantage to working with Chase compared to Wells Fargo is that Chase can be friendlier to younger businesses. 

  • Newtek Small Business Finance

Newtek Small Business Finance specializes in loans for small businesses - in fact, they only work with small businesses. In addition to SBA loans, Newtek also offers traditional loans and lines of credit. They have approved 253 SBA loans with a total amount of $205,579,500 approved. Newtek is an SBA Preferred Lender that requires a minimum credit score of 600.To get started with Newtek you can submit an application online. After you submit your initial application you should be connected with a specialist who will assist you with the rest of the process.

  • Celtic Bank

Celtic Bank is a top-rated financial institution with a fully online process. Similar to Live Oak, Celtic Bank has no physical branches. Doing everything online allows Celtic Bank to move the process along faster. They have approved 142 SBA loans with a total amount of $114,060,900 approved.Celtic Bank offers competitive interest rates starting at 5.5%. SBA 7(a) loan amounts start at $350,001. 

Top SBA Lenders for the CDC/504 Program 

If you are looking for an SBA CDC/504 Program, here are some of the top lenders.

  • CDC Small Business Finance Corp.

The CDC Small Business Finance Corp. is a reputable non-profit that provides SBA loans in California, Arizona, and Nevada. They have approved 250 loans with a total amount of $298.93 million.

  • Mortgage Capital Development Corp.

Mortgage Capital Development Corp. assists small businesses and startups with financial support. They specialize in mortgage financing services. They have approved 213 loans with a total amount of $238.23 million.

  • Empire State Certified Development Corp.

Empire State Certified Development Corp. provides SBA loans for small businesses in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. They have approved 204 loans with a total amount of $213.63 million.

Compare SBA Loans

How PrimeRates Works

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