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SmartBiz SBA loans review

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Get funding for your business up to $5,000,000 with extended repayment terms.’s rating: 4.38 / 5.0


  • Best for getting quickly matched with SBA lenders and application assistance.
  • Pick something else if you want minimal fees.


Min. Amount


Max. Amount


Product NameSmartBiz business loans
Min. Amount$30,000
Max. Amount$5,000,000
Loan Term10 to 25 years
Min. Credit Score650
APR4.75% to 7.00%
Requirements650+ personal credit score, US citizen or permanent resident, 2+ years in business, $50,000+ annual revenue, no outstanding tax liens, no bankruptcies or foreclosures in past 3 years
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Expert review

Anna Serio

Review by

Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 950 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.

Expert review

SmartBiz is a connection service that can help your business find an SBA lender and navigate the SBA financing process. It only works with preferred lenders, which can approve your application without waiting for approval from the SBA. And it can help you fill out paperwork, cutting the process time from months to weeks.

The downside is that you’ll have to pay referral and packaging fees for these services. If your business can’t qualify for an SBA loan or needs funding faster, it can also connect you with non-SBA bank loans.

Can I get a loan through SmartBiz during the coronavirus outbreak?

Yes, you can still apply for SBA loans and standard bank loans through SmartBiz. Currently, it’s focused on connecting borrowers with SBA 7(a) loans. It previously it helped borrowers apply for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), before applications closed on June 30, 2020. While the deadline for PPP loans was extended to August 8th, SmartBiz hasn’t shifted its focus back to the program.

SmartBiz can’t help you if you’re looking for an SBA disaster loan, however. You can only apply for disaster loans through the SBA directly.

What are SmartBiz SBA loans?

Through SmartBiz, you can get three different types of SBA loans: commercial real estate loans, debt refinancing and working capital loans. All three are technically SBA 7(a) loans, but can be used for different purposes. Click on the accordions below for more information on each.

How much will a SmartBiz SBA loan cost me?

SmartBiz SBA loans come with APRs from 4.75% to 7% and terms of 10 to 25 years, depending on the product.

It also comes with several fees, depending on the type of loan.

Working capital loans and debt refinancing

  • One-time referral fee of no more than 2% of the loan amount
  • One-time packaging fee of no more than 2% of the loan amount
  • SBA guarantee fee of 2% to 3.75% of the guaranteed portion, depending on the loan amount
  • Bank closing fee, typically $450
  • Additional third-party report charges may apply

Commercial real estate loans

  • One-time referral fee of no more than 0.5% of the loan amount
  • One-time packaging fee of no more than 0.5% of the loan amount
  • SBA guarantee fee of 2% to 3.75% of the guaranteed portion, depending on the loan amount
  • Bank closing costs, typically around $5,000
  • Additional third-party report charges may apply

SmartBiz fees are usually deducted from loan proceeds, so you get the net amount when your loan is funded.

You can use the calculator below to calculate how much you’ll pay per month and the total interest cost:

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How it works

SBA fees generally depend on the amount you’re borrowing and your loan term. Larger amounts and longer terms come with higher fees. The rate you get depends on factors like your time in business, cashflow history and the credit scores and personal assets of all owners with at least a 20% stake in the company.

Generally, lower fees go to borrowers with better credit, stronger finances and more than the minimum time in business.

How SBA guarantee fees work

What do I need to qualify?

SmartBiz SBA loan eligibility varies by loan amount. In general, you’ll need to have been in business for at least two years and be profitable on your tax returns.

Loans of $30,000 to $350,000

To meet SmartBiz’s minimum requirements for a loan of this amount, you or your business must:

  • Have a 650 credit score or higher
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be over 21
  • Have no outstanding tax liens
  • Have no bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past three years
  • Have no recent charge-offs or settlements
  • Be current on all government-related loans, including student loans

Loans of $350,000 to $5 million

Loans of this amount are only available for purchasing commercial real estate. To qualify, you or your business must meet the following requirements:

  • Credit score of 675 or higher
  • Business must be at least two years old
  • All real estate must be at least 51% owner-occupied
  • Enough business and personal cash flow to cover all debt payments — with three years of tax returns and interim financial data to prove it
  • No delinquencies or default on government loans

Note that the 100% financing option requires a loan payment that does not exceed the current monthly lease expense on a commercial loan.

What do I need to apply?

To apply for an SBA loan with SmartBiz, you’ll need to provide:

  • Income tax returns. Personal and business income returns will need to go back three years.
  • Personal financial statements. Statements are required for those who own 20% or more of the company.
  • Profit and loss statement. You’ll also need to provide your company’s balance sheet.
  • Business debt schedule. SmartBiz needs a list of your business’s debt obligations to evaluate your application.
  • Proof of collateral. Depending on your loan amount, collateral is the lien on either your business or real estate.

What industries does SmartBiz work with?

SmartBiz does not lend to the following types of businesses:

  • Gambling
  • Lending
  • Life insurance
  • Religious teaching organizations
  • Political or lobbying organizations
  • Mining
  • Mortgage servicing
  • Real estate development
  • Bail bond companies
  • Pawn shops
  • Private clubs

Generally, SmartBiz only works with industries that are eligible for SBA funding. You can find out if your business makes the cut by reading our guide to SBA loan requirements.

What other types of financing does SmartBiz offer?

In addition to the SBA 7(a) program, SmartBiz offers PPP loans through its partners and non-SBA term loans.

PPP loans

  • Loan amounts: Up to $10 million
  • Rates: 1% APR
  • Terms: 2 years — plus 6 months of deferment
  • SBA guarantee: 100%
  • Requirements: No more than 500 employees or meet SBA size standards for your industry; nonprofits and faith-based organizations can also qualify

These SBA loans are meant for small businesses that are struggling to stay open during the coronavirus outbreak. You can borrow up to 2.5 times your average monthly payroll costs and could qualify for up to 100% forgiveness, depending on your payroll costs. You’ll pay off the rest of the loan over a two-year term, after repayments kick in.

Non-SBA term loans

SmartBiz can also connect you with its bank partners for non-SBA term loans. This program is designed for small businesses that might not qualify for an SBA loan.

  • Loam amounts: $30,000 and $350,000
  • Rates: 6.99% to 23.99% APR
  • Terms: 2 to 5 years
  • Requirements: At least 2 years in business, personal credit score of 640+ for all owners, US citizen or permanent resident, cash flow to support loan repayments, no bankruptcies in the past 3 years or outstanding tax liens

You can apply for both SBA and non-SBA loans with the same application — just indicate that you’re interested in non-SBA funding.

Pros and cons

Here’s how your business can benefit from SmartBiz and why you might want to consider other options.


  • Shortens SBA loan turnaround time
  • Spend less time filling out forms
  • Prequalify in minutes without affecting your credit
  • Non-SBA funding also available


  • Larger loan amounts can take up to 30 days
  • Charges packaging and referral fees on top of other SBA loan fees
  • Prepayment penalties during first three years of the loan term

See other top business loan options

Data indicated here is updated regularly

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
First Down Funding business loans
$5,000 – $300,000
Fee Based
At least 1 year in business, an annual revenue of $100,000+, and a minimum credit score of 400
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
OnDeck small business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 9.99%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Rapid Finance small business loans
$5,000 – $1,000,000
Fee based
Steady flow of credit card sales, bad credit OK

Compare up to 4 providers

Is SmartBiz legit?

Yes, SmartBiz is a legitimate connection service. It doesn’t offer loans itself, but works with lenders that the SBA has worked with enough to earn Preferred Lender status. And it’s transparent about the costs and fees associated with all of its loan products, including non-SBA loans.

SmartBiz reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 4.68 out of 5 stars, based on 28 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 6 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on 1,105 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 12 October 2020

SmartBiz customers are pleased with how seamless the SmartBiz team make the SBA loan application process. Many mention they had been frustrated with the hassle of applying and borrowing directly from a bank or other lender, and SmartBiz made it easier to find a lender that would work with their business.

How do I apply?

  1. If you’re approved, complete the application by providing information about yourself and your business’s finances, then upload any required documents. You have 10 days to complete this step.
  2. If you’re applying for a commercial real estate loan, accept a letter of intent so you can start to negotiate the terms of your real estate deal with your property seller or current lender. You’ll also need to coordinate with your SmartBiz relationship manager to set up a valuation of the property.
  3. Carefully read your loan’s terms carefully before signing the promissory note.
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What happens after I apply?

After you apply, wait for your funds to be disbursed. It can take as little as seven days to get your loan after you’ve been approved for debt refinancing or a working capital loan. Commercial real estate loans typically take at least 30 days.

How do repayments work?

SmartBiz SBA loans come with monthly repayments that go directly to your lender — not SmartBiz. You can find the information about when repayments are due in your loan contract. Try to hold off on making extra repayments until you’re at least three years into the loan — otherwise you’ll have to pay a prepayment penalty of up to 5% of the loan balance.

Have any questions? Reach out to your lender as soon as possible by contacting customer service.

Find out how SmartBiz stacks up to other lenders by reading our guide to business loans.

Frequently asked questions about SmartBiz

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.

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  1. Default Gravatar
    September 24, 2018

    when applying for loans, is LIMITED credit pretty much in the same category as having BAD credit? (I have 1 thing on my report TOTAL. & THAT is being disputed rn bc I NEVER received the item(s) I ordered)

    • Default Gravatar
      September 25, 2018

      Hi Winzday,

      Thank you for reachong out to finder.

      No Limited and Bad Credit are different from each other. Limited Credit is having few account/ information listed under your name which does not cover all the major categories. You may try requesting for a loan though you need to meet the eligibility requirements of the Lender before submitting your application.

      Before applying for a loan, please ensure that you have read the relevant PDS/ T&Cs before making a decision. After which, consider whether the product or option is right for you and your needs.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions.


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