For Owner User 

Types of SBA 7(a) loans

Although “7(a) loan” is sometimes used as an all-encompassing term, the SBA 7(a) loan program consists of several different loan types.

The best SBA 7(a) loan for your business will depend on the amount of funding you need, how you intend to use the funding and how quickly you need it.

SBA 7(a) loan type

Maximum loan amount

Maximum SBA guarantee

Application turnaround time from SBA

Purpose

Standard 7(a) loan

$5 million.

85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for loans greater than $150,000.

Five to 10 business days.

Funding working capital, equipment and supplies purchases, and real estate and business expansion.

7(a) small loan

$350,000.

85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for loans greater than $150,000.

Five to 10 business days.

Funding smaller financing needs.

Express loan

$500,000.

50%.

Within 36 hours.

Expedited funding for smaller loan amounts.

Export express loan

$500,000.

90% for loans of $350,000 or less and 75% for loans more than $350,000.

24 hours.

Expedited funding to enhance a business’s export development.

Export working capital loan

$5 million.

90%.

Five to 10 business days.

Funding working capital to support export sales.

International trade loan

$5 million.

90%.

Five to 10 business days.

Long-term funding to expand export sales or modernize to contend with foreign competitors.

CAPLines of credit

$5 million.

85% for lines up to $150,000 and 75% for lines greater than $150,000.

Five to 10 business days.

Finance short-term and seasonal working capital needs.

CAPLines offers four different SBA lines of credit but generally adheres to the same requirements as the standard 7(a) loan.

In general, SBA 7(a) loans larger than $25,000 require the borrower to provide collateral, though specific requirements may vary by lender. Anyone who owns more than 20% of the business must provide a personal guarantee.

Pilot loan programs: SBA Community Advantage

The SBA pilot loan programs also fall under the larger umbrella of the 7(a) program. The SBA tests these programs for a limited time before deciding whether to extend them, make them a permanent part of the loan program or let them expire.

Currently, the SBA Community Advantage loan program is running through Sept. 30, 2022. This program focuses on providing financing to small businesses in underserved markets.

SBA 7(a) loan terms

The maximum term lengths for SBA 7(a) loans depend on the use of loan proceeds:

  • 25 years for real estate.

  • 10 years for equipment.

  • 10 years for working capital or inventory loans.

There are two exceptions to this: CAPLines of credit have a maximum term length of 10 years, and the Builders line of credit cannot exceed a term of five years.

The SBA sets general guidelines for the 7(a) loan program that lenders must abide by, dictating maximum loan amounts, term lengths and interest rates; however, you'll receive the specifics of your SBA 7(a) loan from your participating lender.

SBA 7(a) loan rates

SBA 7(a) loan interest rates are set based on the prime rate — a benchmark used by banks to dictate rates on consumer loan products, which changes based on actions by the Federal Reserve Board — plus a spread that is negotiated between you and your lender.

The spread may be fixed or variable, but it is subject to SBA maximums, which are determined by the term length, or maturity, and the size of your loan.

Here are the current maximum SBA 7(a) loan rates:

SBA loan size

7(a) loan paid off in under 7 years *

7(a) loan paid off in over 7 years *

$25,000 or less

7.50%.

8.0%.

$25,001 to $50,000

6.50%.

7.0%.

More than $50,000

5.50%.

6.0%.

*Rates calculated with the current prime rate of 3.25%. Updated October 2021.

It’s important to note that the interest rate is only one part of the overall cost of a 7(a) loan. Although the SBA restricts the fees lenders can charge, most SBA 7(a) loans will have a guaranty fee, which ranges from 0.25% to 3.75% based on the size of the loan.

SBA 7(a) loan requirements

Regardless of the type of 7(a) loan, you'll have to meet a standard set of requirements laid out by the SBA, as well as any requirements from your lender in order to qualify for financing.

General SBA 7(a) loan eligibility criteria include:

  • Must be a for-profit business operating in the U.S.

  • Must be a small business, as defined by the SBA.

  • Must have, as a business owner, invested your own time and money into your business.

  • Must have sought out other forms of financing before turning to an SBA loan.

  • Must be able to demonstrate the need for a loan and show the business purpose for which you’ll use the funds.

  • Cannot be delinquent on any existing government loans.

Certain types of businesses — such as real estate investment firms, religious organizations and gambling businesses — are not eligible for SBA 7(a) loans.

Additionally, although the SBA doesn’t designate numerical minimums for evaluating a borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay a loan, lenders will typically want to see a good personal credit score (690 and above), solid annual revenue and at least two years in business.


For Investors and owner user 



If you are a owner user, but can not meet SBA loan guidelines, or if you are an investor( Yes, SBA loan is for owner user only), there are bank loans available as well

Traditional bank term loans are the most common form of financing for small companies. A traditional term loan is financing provided a bank that provides financing that is paid back incrementally over a fixed period of term. The term associated with a bank loan is generally set between 1-25 years (depending upon use) with repayments made monthly. Term loans can be offered as a secured business loan and also on an unsecured basis (although an unsecured business funding requires better credit and cash-flow than secured financing).

Documents needed for Term Loans

  • Business tax returns
  • Income statements
  • Balance sheets
  • A/R and A/P aging schedules
  • Debt schedule
  • Main operating bank account statements

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