Liberty SBF SBA 504 loans review
This non-bank lender can walk you through the process of getting a commercial real estate loan.
finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0
Bottom line: Liberty SBF’s specialization in 504 loans could make it a good choice for large real estate purchases for small businesses new to the government-backed program. But businesses looking to finance small projects or equipment should consider another lender. Read our full review or get our 30-second take.
- Work with a specialist from start to finish
- Up to $15 million in financing
- Up to 90% LTV
- No online application
- No equipment 504 loans
- Potential prepayment penalty
Our take on Liberty SBF
Liberty SBF could be a good choice if you’re looking for an SBA 504 lender for purchasing or refinancing property or real estate. This lender only provides commercial loans and specializes in 504 funding. It offers a hands-on funding experience that can help you come up with a loan that makes sense for your business.
But it’s not right for everyone — even some small business owners looking for a 504 loan. It has strict underwriting criteria and doesn’t allow you to prequalify online. It also doesn’t offer 504 funding for other uses, such as equipment.
Rates fees and terms are set by the SBA
Liberty SBF doesn’t advertise interest rates on its 504 loans, but the SBA caps interest rates on non-CDC funded portion of the loan at the Wall Street Journal Prime rate + 6%.
That means if the Prime rate is 3.25%, the maximum interest rate would be 9.25% for an SBA 504 loan.
In addition to interest, Liberty SBF also charges the following fees:
- Processing fee of $1,500
- Expense deposit of $15,000
- Prepayment penalty during the first 60 months of the term
While the SBA charges a guarantee fee of 0.5% for 504 loans, that only applies to the CDC-funded portion of the loan. Since Liberty SBF provides the non-CDC part of a 504 loan, it doesn’t charge that fee.
Other products available through Liberty SBF
In addition to SBA 504 loans, Liberty SBF offers a few other commercial real estate financing products.
- Conventional real estate loans up to $5 million with a term of 10 years and 30-year amortization.
- Bridge loans starting at $1 million with 12-month terms of interest-only payments with the LIBOR rate + 7.99%. After you receive a conventional or 504 loan, you can refinance the balance with the new loan.
While Liberty SBF has an option for SBA 7(a) loans on its application, this appears to be a new addition. Aside from the application, there’s no mention of SBA 7(a) loans on its website. Since non-real estate expenses are outside of Liberty SBF’s area of expertise, you may want to consider another 7(a) lender for working capital or equipment financing.
Liberty SBF reviews are mostly positive
|BBB customer complaints||2 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 2 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||01 November 2021|
Liberty SBF gets mostly positive customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot. While it received an F from the Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to two customer complaints, that isn’t consistent with most customer’s experiences.
Reviewers mention Liberty SBF’s quality customer service and support through the application process as reasons for high marks.
Reach out to see if you qualify
Liberty SBF doesn’t advertise specific requirements for its SBA 504 loan program.
In addition to meeting the SBA’s general 504 loan requirements, owners must meet the lender’s credit, liquidity and net worth standards — though you’ll have to speak with a provider to see if you meet those specific criteria.
Types of properties that are eligible
Liberty SBF also only funds specific types of properties, including the following:
- Owner-occupied real estate
- Hospitality real estate
- Multi-use property
- Special-use property
You can use the funds to purchase new real estate or refinancing commercial real estate existing debt.
Start your application online or over the phone
You can apply for an SBA 504 loan by filling out a short form on the Liberty SBF website with basic information about yourself and the type of financing you’re looking for. You can also call 888-504-8259 if you want to speak to a loan specialist immediately.
Typically SBA 504 loans take at least a month to fund. Since these are large, complex loans from two lenders, it often takes more work than your average real estate loan.
Customer service sets this lender apart
Liberty SBF could be what you’re looking for if you want to work with a specialist. It only offers SBA loans for commercial real estate and works with borrowers in person from start to finish. You can’t even get prequalified online — you’ll have to reach out to a team member to find out if you qualify and learn about potential rates and terms.
Liberty SBF is a legitimate lender
Like all SBA lenders, the federal government has vetted Liberty SBF before allowing it to participate in this government-backed loan program. Its team offers a combined 50 years of lending experience — especially commercial real estate.
While the F-rating from the BBB might give some readers pause, a failure to respond to two complaints on a third-party review site shouldn’t be a big-enough red flag to deter you from working with this lender.
Liberty SBF alternatives
These online business loan providers may offer faster financing with fewer credit requirements than Liberty SBF. Fill out the form to see results that your business might qualify for. Also visit our guide to business loans to learn about other financing options.