The Best SBA Loan Providers for Small Businesses Explained
We’ve covered some of the top SBA lenders in our table above. In this section, we go into each one in a little more detail so you know what to expect when you apply.
Credibly has focused its service on helping those with bad credit and while eligibility criteria for SBA loans are usually fairly strict, the platform does its best to help customers out.
- Discounts for paying early
- Simple application process
- Workarounds for those with bad credit
- Financing built around business growth
- An origination fee of 2.5%
- Long approval times
Credibly has the highest borrowing limit on our list, extending to an impressive $20 million for those looking for real estate loans. Plus, those with bad credit may find they can access funding by offering up assets to secure the loan. Rates are kept very low, between 5% - 8%, but it can take some time to receive your funding, sometimes up to three months.
Credibly is one of the more flexible lenders on our list, and while it’s still quite tough to get an SBA loan, it’s worth contacting the customer service team to discuss your options. Read full Credibly review.
Fora Financial is an alternative online lender that provides small business loans and merchant cash advances to startup or expanding businesses. In comparison to other online lenders, it offers a broad range of funding amounts and has some great advantages such as affordable rates and early payoff discounts.
- Fast approval and application
- Discounts for early payoffs
- Financing consideration for businesses with credit scores that are moderate
- Factor rates can be relatively expensive
- Origination fees might be high
- High monthly revenue is needed to qualify
Fora Financial Features
Fora Financial boasts lenient credit requirements, yet you will have to meet its monthly sales and minimum time in business requirements. For merchant cash advances, you will have to make a minimum of $5,000 in credit card sales every month. Small business loans are not connected to your credit card receipts, so you are able to earn any variation of payment types, provided you make over $12,000 per month in total.
Fora Financial is a top means of funding if you have sufficient monthly revenue to make the repayments and to meet their application criteria.
Fundera is a loan marketplace that promises access to SBA funding in as little as 14 days. The platform has been operating since 2014 and it’s snapping up more and more market share every year.
- Speedy and simple application process
- Multiple types of SBA loan available
- Long lending terms
- Strong reputation and good customer support
- Tough eligibility requirements
- A small pool of lenders when compared to other marketplaces
Rates start at a very respectable 5.5% and terms can go up to 25 years. However, you’ll need to have been in business for at least four years, have a credit score of 680, and an annual income of $180,000 which might exclude some businesses.
Fundera is an incredibly reliable platform that consistently delivers great service. Its eligibility criteria might be strict, but for those that can meet them, it means a high approval rate. Read full Fundera review.
Lendio is a business loan marketplace that matches you to SBA providers right across the country. It currently has more than 300 partner organizations which greatly increases your chances of being approved.
- Most types of SBA loan are offered
- More than 300 partner lenders with different eligibility criteria
- Startups are welcome
- More lenient borrower qualifications than the banks
- Fast prequalification
- Loans can take up to two months to disburse
- Interest rates aren’t disclosed before you apply
Lendio covers most types of SBA loans for small businesses and allows borrowers to access funding up to an impressive $5 million. Terms range between 10 - 30 years and the majority of loans under $325,000 will be offered unsecured. Anything above this amount and you’ll usually need some kind of collateral.
With so many partner lenders, Lendio is reluctant to disclose any information on rates, however, all loan products will start at the prime rate of 3.25% and it’ll be at the discretion of each lender what additional rates are charged.
Lendio is an excellent first stop for anyone looking for an SBA loan. Applications are welcome from those with bad credit and only a soft pull will be made to your rating when you apply. It’s worth submitting an application to see what kinds of loans you’ll be eligible for, and with 300 lenders to choose from you’re sure to find something that works. Read full Lendio review
Kapitus, formerly known as Strategic Funding, underwent a complete rebrand and business model overhaul in 2018. It’s now built a reputation as a reliable business lender. It serves a wide range of industries and offers two types of SBA loans: An SBA 7 (a) and an SBA express loan.
- Fast application process
- Generous borrowing limits
- Lengthy terms
- No restrictions to lending purpose
- Good credit needed - Minimum score of 685
- There are no startup loans
Kapitus offers low starting rates at just 6.25%, generous borrowing limits, up to $5 million, and terms up to 25 years. We really like that they have the option to apply for an SBA express loan too, which Kapitus is usually able to fund within 14 days, making it much quicker than other platforms.
If you have a good credit score, 685 or above, we’d highly recommend Kapitus. There’s an excellent chance you’ll get a reasonable rate, and the fast funding process can help you out in a pinch. However, startups and those with poor credit will need to look elsewhere. Read full Kapitus review.
SmartBiz is our second loan marketplace and it makes the list because it has a simplified SBA application process. The platform has built an extensive network of relationships with SBA lenders across the country which takes a lot of the stress out of your application.
- Large network of lenders
- Simplified application process
- No minimum revenue requirements
- Three types of SBA loan offered
- Some lenders have expensive fees
- High credit rating needed
SmartBiz has some impressive interest rates, starting at just 6%. It’s not surprising either given that the platform has some of the strongest relationships with SBA lenders in the business. It’s nice to see real estate loans are also offered here alongside standard SBA 7 (a) options. Furthermore, borrowing limits between $30,000 and $5 million mean businesses of all sizes are welcome.
Eligibility criteria are fairly strict at SmartBiz. You’ll need a credit score of 640 and a minimum of two years in business, but if you’re able to meet these requirements we’d recommend submitting an application to access some great rates and terms. Read full SmartBiz review.
Funding Circle has one of the most straightforward applications and approval processes on our list. Borrowing limits aren’t as generous as other providers, but customer service is excellent and you’ll be assigned your own personal SBA loan specialist throughout the process.
- Low rates
- No prepayment penalties
- A free guide to SBA loans
- You’re assigned a personal loan advisor
- The borrowing limit is $500,000
- Annual revenue of $400,000 required
Funding Circle Features
Funding Circle only offers SBA 7 (a) loans, but there are no restrictions to what you can use your funding for. Plus, rates are low and the application process is straightforward. However, you’ll need to meet some pretty strict criteria to apply, including having a credit score of more than 650, annual revenue of more than $400,000 and to have been in business for two years or more.
Despite needing to meet some tough eligibility criteria, Funding Circle is an excellent choice for small businesses. They won’t conduct a harsh inspection of your credit rating if you just wish to take a look, so it’s always worth seeing what you might get. Read full Funding Circle review.
Main Features of the Top SBA Lenders
Our experts combed the industry to find the top SBA loan providers and summarized the best in the table below. You can apply for SBA funding at both banks and alternate lenders; however, we’ve only covered online lenders below. We’ve found the process much faster and smoother when applying online as opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar lenders.
No minimum stated, but borrowing limits can reach $20 million on SBA real estate loans
5% - 8%
A minimum credit score of 620 and above
No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the previous three years
On offer are SBA loans for debt consolidation, working capital, equipment purchase, and real estate
Fora Financial review
Loan amounts from $5,000 to $500,000
10% APR up to 50% APR.
Credit score of at least 500, at least 6 months in business.
merchant cash advances (MCAs) and short-term small business loans
No minimum stated. Maximum of $5 million
5.5% - 13%
Some SBA loans may require collateral
You can use your funding for general business expenses, purchase of fixed assets, and startups
No minimum stated. Maximum of $5 million
Prime rate of 3.25% plus an additional undisclosed amount
No maximum disclosed
Loans over $325,000 require collateral
Can be used for buying land, construction costs, refinancing, and more
No minimum stated. Maximum of $5 million
Minimum of two years in business and a credit score of 685 and above
Used as all-purpose financing
$30,000 to $5 million
4.75% to 7%
Minimum of two years in business and a credit score of 640 and above
Funding can be used for debt refinancing, working capital, or commercial real estate
Funding Circle review
$25,000 to $500,000
All loans start from 6%
You must have been operating a minimum of two years and a minimum annual revenue of $400,000
Only SBA 7 (a) loans are on offer