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Finding the right Small Business Administration (SBA) lender can set your business up for success. Some can even
save you time by helping with the notoriously complicated SBA loan application.
When compiling our list of the best SBA loan providers, we first confirmed each lender’s legitimacy, business practices and website security. We then analyzed each lender based on the variety of SBA loans offered, range of loan amounts, rates and terms, and how easy it is to apply.
We also considered factors such as how much these lenders typically fund in SBA loans and if they specialize in SBA financing.Customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) factored into our decision as well. This list is regularly updated. Most recently, we added Wells Fargo as our pick for the best SBA loan from a bank.
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SmartBiz is one of the top SBA connection services and works with a wide range of lenders that offer 7(a) loans. You can prequalify in a few minutes and get your funds in as little as a week after finishing the application — though it can take longer for larger amounts. It charges a referral and packaging fee in exchange for finding your business a lender and doing some of the more time-consuming paperwork for you. While it might cost more, it takes less time.
|Loan amount||$30,000 – $5,000,000|
|APR||4.75% to 7%|
|Min. Credit Score||640|
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Main Street specializes in helping small businesses that struggled to qualify for an SBA loan in the past or didn’t think it was even an option. It works with you on improving your business’s finances and your own personal credit score to increase your chances of approval. This means it could take up to a year to get your SBA loan, though Main Street allows you to combine it with its bridge loans to keep your business afloat in the meantime.
|Loan amount||$5,000 – $1,000,000|
|Min. Credit Score||600|
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Lendio is an online connection service that partners with lenders that offer a slew of SBA financing options, including loans through the 7(a), 504 and Express programs. And while there is technically no cost to use Lendio to compare your business loan options, you may pay an origination fee to Lendio once your loan has been funded.
|Loan amount||$500 – $5,000,000|
|APR||Starting at 6%|
|Min. Credit Score||560|
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As a business loan connection and consulting service, Seek Business Capital specializes in connecting startups to funding — including SBA loans. It’s not for businesses that haven’t opened their doors yet, though. You’ll need to be up and running for at least six months to qualify. And it’s one of the slowest lenders on this list — it can take up to six months to get your funds.
|Loan amount||$5,000 – $500,000|
|APR||Varies by lender|
|Min. Credit Score||680|
Newtek is the only online lender that ranks in the top 10 list of the SBA’s most active 7(a) lenders. It offers financing up to $10 million with terms as long as 25 years. Instead of having business owners apply for an SBA loan specifically, it has you prequalify for a term loan, line of credit or commercial real estate loan. You then discuss your options with a loan specialist to decide if an SBA loan or other type of financing is the best fit. It’s not a good choice for startups, though: Your business must be around for at least two years to qualify.
|Loan amount||$1,000 – $15,000,000|
|APR||Starting at 6%|
|Min. Credit Score||650|
National Business Capital has a unique approach to SBA funding that cuts the turnaround from six months to as few as 45 days. And while you’re waiting for your government-backed loan to come in, it works with over 75 lenders to help you find bridge financing in the meantime. But you’ll need to have a credit score of at least 685 to qualify. And it’s not open to fledgling companies just getting off the ground.
|Loan amount||$10,000 – $5,000,000|
|Min. Credit Score||300|
Finder rating 4 / 5
Wells Fargo offers a wide range of SBA loan programs, including 7(a), 504 and express loans. It’s an SBA preferred lender and is one of the most active 7(a) lenders in the country. If you already have an account, you can also apply online.
|Loan amount||$5,000 – $100,000|
|APR||5% to 13%|
|Loan amount||$5,000 – $500,000|
You may not have heard of Celtic Bank, but this Utah-based provider consistently earns a top spot on the SBA’s list of most active 7(a) lenders. It offers up to $10 million for loans issued under the 504 program, and its 7(a) loans go up to $5 million. But if you want to visit a branch, you’re out of luck if you don’t live in Salt Lake City.
|Loan amount||$350,001 – $5,000,000|
A simplified application
A connection service that’s entirely SBA preferred lenders and offers loan packaging.
Main Street Finance Group
Businesses that have struggled to qualify
It works with borrowers to improve finances and credit to increase chances of approval.
Comparing multiple SBA lenders
It has a network of over 75 providers that makes it easy to compare offers from multiple SBA lenders.
Seek Business Capital
Startups and young businesses
A network that specializes in helping startups find financing, and that offers consulting services.
Online SBA loans
It’s the only online lender to make the SBA’s top 10 list of active 7(a) lenders.
National Business Capital
A quick turnaround
It funds SBA loans in as little as 45 days — and offers bridge loans to tide you over.
One of the most active SBA lenders and offers a range of options to businesses of all sizes.
Buying commercial real estate
Financing for up to 90% of the cost of your project with some of the highest 504 loan out there.
Funding large projects
It’s consistently one of the most active SBA 7(a) lenders in the country with an average 7(a) loan size close to $1 million.
These lenders offered more financing through the SBA 7(a) program than any other provider out there. Numbers are slightly lower this year, and doesn't include numbers from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — even though it's technically a 7(a) loan.
Live Oak Bank
Working with an industry specialist to a fund large project or refinance debt
Huntington National Bank
SBA loans on the smaller end — these start at $5,000
Newtek Small Business Finance
Online SBA loans
Online and offline expert assistance with the application
Lower-than-average collateral requirements, especially on large SBA loans
SBA funding from a national bank
The most active lenders aren’t necessarily the best choice for all small businessses. But they may be faster at processing applications, especially if you're looking for a loan closer to $5 million.
Ready to begin your search for an SBA lender? Here are some pointers to find the right one for your business.
SBA loans are known for being inexpensive. That’s because the SBA sets limits to how much lenders can charge in interest and fees. Within those limits, lenders have some flexibility. They can decide whether to offer your business fixed or variable rates and the exact rate you qualify for.
Read our page on SBA loan rates to find out what rates to expect with each program.
SBA loans are notoriously difficult to qualify for and may take months to fund. If your business doesn’t qualify — or if you simply need fast access to funds — consider these alternatives:
There’s no one best SBA lender for all small businesses. Banks could be a better choice for established businesses looking for a large amount of funds. But online lenders and connection services tend to be quicker and have more forgiving eligibility requirements. There’s also a chance that an SBA loan isn’t right for your small business at all.
You can learn more about your financing options by checking out our comprehensive guide to business loans.
These lenders are separate from the SBA loan program and offer private loans for businesses. For quick results tailored to your business, you may want to consider one of these lenders to bridge gaps in funding.
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