The SBA offers a variety of financing options for small businesses.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the largest source of longterm small business financing in the nation. In order to determine whether you qualify for, or if an SBA business loan best suits your financing needs, please read this material carefully. If you have further questions, please contact your banker, one of the active SBA guaranteed lenders, or an SBA loan officer.
The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program
The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program is the SBA’s primary loan program. The SBA reduces risk to lenders by guaranteeing major portions of loans made to small businesses. This enables the lenders to provide financing to small businesses when funding is otherwise unavailable on reasonable terms.
The eligibility requirements and credit criteria of the program are very broad in order to accommodate a wide range of financing needs.
When a small business applies to a lending institution for a loan, the lender reviews the application and decides if it merits a loan on its own or if it requires additional support in the form of an SBA guaranty. SBA backing on the loan is then requested by the lender. In guaranteeing the loan, the SBA assures the lender that, in the event the borrower does not repay the loan, the government will reimburse the lending institution for a portion of its loss. By providing this guaranty, the SBA is able to help tens of thousands of small businesses every year get financing they would not otherwise obtain.
To qualify for an SBA guaranty, a small business must meet the 7(a) criteria, and the lender must certify that it could not provide funding on reasonable terms except with an SBA guaranty. The SBA can then guarantee as much as 85 percent on loans of up to $150,000 and 75 percent on loans of more than $150,000. In most cases, the maximum guaranty is $1 million. Exceptions are the International Trade, DELTA and 504 loan programs, which have higher loan limits. The maximum total loan size under the 7(a) program is $2 million.
How it Works
There are no balloon payments, prepayment penalties, application fees or points permitted with 7(a) loans. Repayment plans may be tailored to each business.
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