Small business loans to manage working capital or cover a large expense.Bank loans are the holy grail for business owners: Most want them, few get approved. But if you’re more comfortable getting financing from a bank — and are located in the Northeast or Florida — Santander might be a good place to start.
While banks can be tight-lipped about the rates and terms that come with their loans, Santander is just a bit more open. It’s also friendly to relatively young businesses and even has a startup program. It’s not a great option if you want to make a thorough comparison or need funds quickly — you can’t get a great idea of your eligibility or rates until you apply, in person.
|Product Name||Santander Bank Business Loans|
|Min Loan Amount||$10,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||$750,000|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Minimum Loan Term||3 years|
|Maximum Loan Term||10 years|
- At least 13 months in business, though at least two years preferred
- Located in a eligible state
Do I qualify?
Santander only has two hard eligibility requirements:
- Your business must be at least 13 months old.
- Your business must be located in an eligible state.
Eligible states include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania or Rhode Island.
What types of business financing does Santander Bank offer?
Santander Bank offers the basics of business lending, including term loans, lines of credit and equipment loans. It also offers financing through the SBA loan program, which might be a good place to start if your business hasn’t been around for 13 months or otherwise has trouble getting financing. For its non-SBA loans, businesses generally can’t qualify for more than 10% of their annual revenue.
Business term loan
Santander Bank’s business term loans start at $10,000 and are designed to help your business cover the costs of large projects, purchases or to refinance debt. They come with fixed interest rates that stay the same while you pay it back, so you don’t have to worry about unpredictable repayments. Loan terms range from three to seven years, though there’s no penalty for paying it off early.
Business line of credit
Santander’s lines of credit are designed to help cover your business’s daily expenses when you don’t have a steady cash flow. It works by giving your business access to a certain amount of cash, which you can withdraw from at any time. Businesses can use a line of credit to buy more inventory, cover payroll expenses or other small, unpredictable costs during a seasonal slump.
Santander offers lines of credit from $10,000 to $750,000. Credit lines $150,000 or less are unsecured. To qualify for a limit over that amount, your business needs to provide collateral and submit a financial statement.
Unsecured lines of credit come with a variable APR of prime plus 0% to 3.5%. Secured lines come with an introductory APR of prime plus 0% to 3%. Once the introductory rate expires, you’ll get a rate of prime plus 0.5% to 8%. Both lines of credit also come with a $250 origination fee and a $250 annual fee.
Business equipment financing and leases
Though it’s not clear from the name, small businesses can use this option to cover the cost of buying or leasing both equipment and vehicles. Businesses between 13 months and two years old can qualify for financing starting at $50,000 and up to 80% of financing costs, including taxes, training, warranties, software and any other related expense. Have a business that’s older than two years old? It can qualify for 100% of financing costs. Loan terms range from 3 to 10 years.
Can I get a real estate loan through Santander Bank?
Yes, Santander offers owner-occupied commercial real estate mortgages on top of its traditional business loan offerings. Businesses can use this loan to buy new property, expand property it already has or refinance an existing real estate loan. They start at $50,000 and can go up to as much as 80% of the real estate’s purchase price or appraised value — whichever is less. Loan terms are as long as 25 years.
What makes Santander Bank business loans unique?
Santander bank business loans are geared toward moderate-to-large business expenses. You might not want to go to this bank if you need a microloan to buy extra hops for your brewery. But it could be a great resource for expanding an established business.
Don’t have a well-established business? Santander is an Small Business Administration preferred lender and could be a good resource for younger businesses that need to get their hands on larger sums of cash available through SBA loans.
What are the benefits of getting a Santander Bank business loan?
- Equipment financing can cover 100% of all costs. This can include taxes, training, installation costs and more.
- SBA preferred lender. SBA loans can be easier for younger businesses and startups to get the financing they need.
- No prepayment penalties. Your business can save on interest by paying off its loan early without any extra fees.
Santander's inclusive communities plan
In 2017, Santander US CEO Scott Powell unveiled a five-year plan to bring more financing opportunities to underserved communities — including $1.9 billion in small business loans. The plan was drawn up in collaboration with over 100 community-based organizations and also includes tripling its contributions to charitable grants and providing $4.2 billion in mortgages for low- and moderate-income families. Santander will also open 10 new branches in underserved areas to make it easier for members of these communities to apply for financing.
What to watch out for
- Only available in the Northeast and Florida. And not all of the Northeast, either. Santander doesn’t have branches in Vermont or Maine.
- High minimum amount. With a $10,000 minimum on lending products, Santander isn’t a great resource for smaller financing needs.
- Hard to get information. While Santander might have more information available online than some other banks, we still weren’t able to get a range of APRs for its term and equipment loans after multiple calls and email exchanges.
Compare Santander to more business loan providers
How do I apply?
First, confirm you meet the eligibility requirements.
Your business must be at least 13 months old and located in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania or Rhode Island to meet Santander’s most basic eligibility requirements. However, the bank gives preference to businesses that are two years or older for most business loans, though startups can potentially get financing through the SBA program.
This doesn’t mean that other factors won’t come into play. While Santander doesn’t reveal exactly what factors it considers when considering your business’s application, you’re likely to get approved if you and other business owners have good credit and positive cash flow. SBA loans also come with their own set of requirements, such as proof that your business has exhausted all other sources of financing.
Steps to apply
Santander doesn’t have an online or over-the-phone application for its business loans, so the only way to apply is in person. Follow these steps to set up an appointment at your local branch.
- Go to Santander Bank’s website.
- Click on Business in the top navigation bar.
- Hover over Borrowing in the main navigation bar and select the type of business loan you’d like to apply for.
- Hit Get in Touch.
- Fill in the required fields and hit Submit.
- Wait for Santander to reach out to your business by phone or email.
What documents do I need to apply?
The documents you need to apply vary depending on factors like your loan type, size and amount. You might need to provide the following documents and information:
- Your personal credit score
- Personal and business tax returns
- Three months of business bank statements
- A business plan
- A financial statement
I got a Santander business loan. Now what?
Ask your point of contact about your loan’s repayment options. If you can set up automatic repayments, consider doing so to have one less thing to keep track of each month.
Watch your account for any unusual charges and to make sure your repayments go through on time — otherwise you might pay a late fee. If you notice anything strange, you’ll have better luck calling or even visiting your local branch. Or, you can reach out to Santander’s toll-free customer service line at 877-768-1145.
Santander Bank business loans might be best for more established businesses that need at least $10,000 in funds to grow. It could also be a good resource for SBA startup loans, though it doesn’t make the SBA’s list of Top 100 Lenders. Like with other bank loans, you’ll need to spend some time on this application — don’t expect the kind of 24-hour funding you might find with some online lenders.
Before you reach out to Santander, check out our business loans page to compare other lenders and learn how it all works.