SBA Loans 101: A Beginner's Guide

SBA Loans 101: A Beginner's Guide


If you're an entrepreneur with a great business idea and need financing, or if you want to expand your company, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has several loan programs that can help you get funding for your dream. This guide will show you how to find the right SBA loans for your business needs, apply for them and use them effectively so that you can start or grow your enterprise successfully.

What is a SBA Loan?

  • What is a SBA loan?

A SBA loan is a type of financing that can help you start or grow your business. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers several different types of loans, including:

  • 7(a) Loan Program - The most popular type of SBA-backed financing, this program is used by more than 90% of all borrowers who receive an SBA-guaranteed loan from banks and other lenders in their communities. This program offers fixed interest rates for both long-term (up to 30 years) as well as short-term (up to seven years) loans;
  • 504 Loan Program - Designed for smaller projects such as purchasing equipment or real estate improvements, these unsecured loans typically have lower interest rates than those found under the 7(a) Program;
  • Microloan Program - Created with the goal of helping small businesses succeed while providing opportunities for people who might not otherwise be able to access capital through traditional channels like banks or credit unions because they lack sufficient assets or collateral but still need funding to start up their own business venture;

SBA Loan Programs

There are several SBA loan programs. The most common, and therefore the easiest to get approved for, is SBA 7(a) Loan. This type of loan is for small business owners who need capital to start or grow their businesses but don't have enough personal assets or collateral to secure traditional bank loans.

An SBA loan can be used for almost any purpose: purchasing real estate or equipment; building out a store front; hiring new employees; paying off existing debts--the possibilities are endless!

To qualify for an SBA 7(a) Loan your business must meet certain criteria:

  • You must have been in operation for at least one year prior to applying for financing through this program.
  • Your company must also be generating revenue from operations that exceeds its operating expenses by at least 20% on an annualized basis (or 5% monthly).

SBA 7(a) Loan

SBA 7(a) Loan is the most popular loan program. It's a long-term, fixed rate loan that can be used for working capital and to purchase equipment or machinery. The SBA sets the maximum amount you can borrow at $5 million, but there are exceptions to this rule if your business has experienced significant revenue growth or if it has been in operation for less than two years.

The SBA 7(a) Loan Program offers many benefits:

  • Low interest rates - As low as 2% fixed rate with no points or origination fees (1).
  • Fast application process - You may apply online or by phone; approval decisions will be made within 48 hours (2).

SBA Loan Requirements

SBA loans are available to businesses large and small. You don't have to be a Fortune 500 company to apply for an SBA loan. In fact, the majority of lenders who offer SBA loans do so because they want to help small businesses get started--not just the big ones!

SBA loans are also available in all industries: manufacturing, retail, service industries (restaurants), name it! If you have good credit and need money for your business, then chances are there's an SBA lender out there willing to help you get started with financing options that work within your budget while also getting results fast!

You may be asking yourself "What if my credit isn't so great?" Well don't worry; this doesn't mean that you won't qualify for financing through one of these lenders either! As long as your personal finances aren't currently at risk due to high balances owed on several credit cards or other obligations such as student loans or car payments then there's no reason why they wouldn't approve yours either!

How to Apply for an SBA Loan

To apply for an SBA loan, contact your local SBA office and ask for more information about their program. You can also complete an online application at

Once you've got all the required documents together (see below), submit them to your local SBA office along with a $100 application fee or 5% of total requested amount, whichever is greater (this goes toward funding). Then wait until they give you final approval before sending in all of your paperwork once again so they can send it off to Washington D.C..

Interest Rates on an SBA Loan

The interest rate on an SBA loan is based on the borrower's creditworthiness and, therefore, varies by industry.

The SBA offers loans of up to $5 million for most businesses or real estate projects. The maximum amount available for each type of project depends on its size and complexity; for example:

  • A small business may borrow up to $1 million from the SBA if it has fewer than 500 employees and annual revenues under $21 million. In addition, there are limits on how much you can borrow based on your net worth (your assets minus liabilities) or personal guarantee(s). For self-employed borrowers who want financing for equipment purchases or working capital needs, this program may also be a good option because it does not require collateral other than personal guarantees from owners/partners who own more than 20% interest in the company--which means that many start-ups qualify!

Repayment Terms on an SBA Loan

The repayment term on your SBA loan can range from five to 25 years, depending on the type of business you are starting and your credit score. The longer the term, the lower your monthly payment will be.

The interest rate is fixed and low, which means that it won't fluctuate with market rates or inflation. This makes planning for your business's cash flow easier because you know exactly how much each month's payment will be for as long as you have that loan out there in the world (and once again: at least seven years).

You can get the financing you need to start or grow your business.

SBA loans are available to all businesses, whether they're start-ups or established. You can use an SBA loan to fund any number of business needs, including:

  • Starting a new venture. If you're in the process of launching a business and need cash to get it off the ground, SBA loans make excellent funding options.
  • Expanding your existing operations. If you've already built up some momentum with your current business model but still want room for growth and improvement, an SBA loan could help bring those ideas into reality without breaking the bank or putting too much strain on existing resources like capital reserves or equity investors (who may not want their money tied up indefinitely).
  • Purchasing equipment or real estate property needed for operating at full capacity--or even just getting back on track after suffering damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes/tornadoes/floods etc., if applicable!


Getting the financing you need to start or grow your business is just a few clicks away! You can apply for an SBA loan online, and it only takes about 30 minutes. The application process is easy to understand, so there's no reason not to apply today. If you have any questions about how this process works or what kind of financing might be right for you, contact us at [email protected]

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