SBA 7(a) Loans

If you’re looking for a borrower-friendly loan with great rates, you should seriously consider an SBA Loan for your financing needs. The SBA is a government agency dedicated to helping small business owners receive access to crucial funding and loans guaranteed by the SBA are considered the gold standard in small business lending


The SBA 7(a) loan is the most popular of all the options provided. They have maximum amounts of $5,000,000 and have rates equal to prime+. The payments are made monthly, with terms lasting up to 10 years. There are no prepayment penalties on SBA 7(a) loans, allowing you to save money on interest by making extra payments whenever possible.


While these loans provide many benefits, they also have limitations that you should be aware of. The main issue is the timeline. After submitting your application, you can get pre-approval within 48 hours. But final approval and funding may take as long as 3-4 months.


Given this lengthy application process, you’ll need to carefully consider your needs prior to applying. If you have time to wait for the funds, an SBA 7(a) loan can be an incredible funding opportunity. But if you’re facing pressures that demand faster action, you should consider a more expedited form of financing.

What Is an SBA 7(a) Loan?

An SBA loan is structured differently than just about any other type of financing. First of all, the SBA doesn’t provide the funding for the loan. They instead serve as a mediator between the borrower and a network of third-party lenders.


The SBA advocates on the borrower’s behalf by guaranteeing a portion of the loan. So if you were to default on the loan, the SBA will pay off that portion. Because this guarantee lowers the risk to lenders, they have a greater incentive to approve your application. It also means that SBA loans typically come with great interest rates and repayment terms.


As long as you have the time to wait for the longer-than-average processing time of an SBA loan, they can be an amazing option for your small business.



Using an SBA 7(a) Loan

Some small business loans are engineered for specific purposes. For example, equipment financing is for equipment-related needs and commercial mortgage financing helps you with property related expenses.


An SBA 7(a) loan, however, can be used for a wide range of business expenses. Possible uses include:


  • Refinancing existing debt
  • Fixing existing equipment
  • Purchasing new equipment
  • Hiring additional employees
  • Adding inventory
  • Making upgrades to technology


If you ever have questions regarding uses, it’s advisable to check with your lender.

Applying for an SBA 7(a) Loan

As with any bank loan product, an SBA loan is a full-doc application process and collateral is typically required. You should expect to submit documents including; 2 years of business and personal tax returns, to-date financials, detailed description of the use of funds, personal financial statements, a debt schedule among others.


Typical qualifications are:


  • Credit score of 680 or higher (above 700 is preferred)
  • Must operate as a for-profit business
  • Must be owned by an American citizen or permanent resident
  • Sufficient real estate collateral
  • Adequate net income to meet the new SBA loan debt obligation
  • Haven’t defaulted on other government loans
  • Meets the SBA’s size requirements


You should also have a strong business plan to include with your submission. When you are organized and can show clear strategies, you’ll make yourself a more likely candidate for approval.

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