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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
Min. Amount$30,000
Max. Amount$5,000,000
Loan Term10 to 25 years
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

Aliyyah Camp

Review by

Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.

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.

Best of 2020
Finder experts pick SmartBiz as a 2020 best pick for business 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 7(a) loans, which have historically low rates after the Federal Reserve cut rates to near 0%. But you can sign up on its website to be notified as soon as the new SBA Paycheck Protection Loan is available — and find a lender through SmartBiz.

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, Debt Refinance and Working Capital. 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.

    SmartBiz will also start connecting businesses with Paycheck Protection Loans once they’re available.

    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.

    For working capital 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

    For commercial real estate:

    • 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:

    Business loan calculator

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    Fill out the form and click on “Calculate” to see your estimated monthly payment.


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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 businesses, cashflow history and the credit scores and personal assets of all owners with a 20% stake in the company or more.

    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 b e at least 51% owner-occupied
    • Enough business and personal cash flow to cover all debt payments with by three years of tax returns and interim financial data
    • 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 visiting our guide to SBA loan requirements.

    What other types of financing does SmartBiz offer?

    SmartBiz also can 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 over 640 for all owners, US citizen or permanent resident, cashflow 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

    Updated April 3rd, 2020
    Name Product Filter Values Min. Amount Max. Amount Requirements
    First Down Funding business loans
    Varies by type of loan
    Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
    Operate a business in the US or Canada, have a business bank account and have a personal credit score of 675+.
    Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 75 legit business lenders.
    600+ personal credit score, 1+ years in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
    A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
    Kabbage Small Business Line of Credit
    1+ years in business, $100,000+ annual revenue or $4,200+ monthly revenue over last 3 months
    A simple, convenient online application could securely get the funds you need to grow your business.
    650+ 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
    Get funding for your small business with a government-backed loan and extended repayment terms.

    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 loans, including non-SBA loans.

    Does SmartBiz get good customer reviews?

    SmartBiz is well-liked among its borrowers as of April 2020. Customers are pleased with how seamless the SmartBiz team made the SBA loan application process. Many mentioned they had been frustrated with the hassle of applying to borrowing directly from a bank or other lender.

    How do I apply?

    1. If you’re approved, complete the application by providing information about you and your business’s finances, and 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 that you can start negotiate the terms of your real estate deal with your property seller or current lender.
    3. For commercial real estate loans, coordinate with your SmartBiz Relationship Manager to set up a valuation of the property.
    4. 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 a debt refinance or working capital loan. Commercial real estate loans typically take at least 30 days.

    How do repayments work?

    SmartBiz SBA loans come with monthly repayments, which 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 repayment 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 visiting 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)

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        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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