Santander Bank business loans review
Small business loans to manage working capital or cover a large expense.
finder.com’s rating: 2.8 / 5.0
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
What makes Santander Bank business loans unique?
Santander bank business loans are geared toward moderate-to-large business expense and 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 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, and 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. Santander offers lines of credit from $10,000 to $750,000. Credit lines of $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.
Compare Santander to more business loan providers
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 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.
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.
How do I apply?
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, Santander 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.
Frequently asked questions
Business loan ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We rate business loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.
Read the full methodology of how we rate business loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.