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What Is The Sba 7a Loan Program

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Sba Express Bridge Loan

What Is an SBA 7(a) Loan?

If you already have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender, then a new Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program offers a quick turnaround on up to $25,000 to help bridge the gap until your SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan is approved. Bridge funds can be paid in full or in part with proceeds from your EIDL once it is approved.

What Is An Sba 7 Loan

The 7 loan program is the SBA’s primary method of assisting small businesses in the U.S. When you apply for an SBA 7 loan, you work with a lender and the SBA participates by guaranteeing a portion of the loan amount. This guarantee from a government agency helps businesses acquire funds, even if they may not have otherwise qualified for a business loan.

Running a small business can be tough, especially in times of uncertainty and loss of revenue. One port in the storm could be an SBA loan. In times of hardship, this “do everything” loan could help you get back on your feet. These loans can be used to acquire business essentials like real estate, equipment, working capital, and inventory.

The term “7 loan” is a catch-all term that refers to more than half a dozen different types of SBA 7 loans. Each loan is designed to meet a different need. Since they address different needs and businesses, 7 loans vary in their loan amounts, SBA guarantees, and other term details.

What Documents Are Needed For An Sba Loan

Necessary documents may vary depending on what your needs are. Its a good idea to go through the SBA Lender Match site and follow their instructions to get matched.

Having these documents available when applying for a 7 loan will make you more credible in the eyes of potential lenders:

  • Borrower information form

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How The Sba 7 Loan Program Works

The SBA guarantees 7 loans, but it doesnt operate as the lender. Instead, the SBA has put forth guidelines that lenders follow when issuing these loans. To obtain an SBA 7 loan, you will need to visit an SBA lender. This could be a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. Some online lenders also offer SBA 7 loans.

Its important to note that not every lender will have the same criteria for qualifying for SBA 7 loans. However, all lenders must abide by the SBAs guidelines, which caps interest rates and prohibits lenders from charging excessive fees.

If you meet all criteria set forth by the lender, you can proceed with filling out an application and submitting the necessary documentation. If approved, youll sign your loan contract and receive funding.

New Changes To Sba 7a Loans

Franchise Financing: What Is an SBA 7a Loan? [Infographic]

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 . Section 501 of the Recovery Act authorizes SBA to reduce or eliminate certain fees on 7 and . The purpose of this Notice is to announce the implementation of fee eliminations in the 7 Loan Program and the 504 Development Company Program. A notice on this subject will also be published in the Federal Register.Fee Eliminations7 Loan Guarantee Fee Eliminations: For 7 loans approved by SBA on or after February 17, 2009, SBA will temporarily eliminate the Small Business Act section 7 fees for all eligible loans, including those made with higher SBA guarantees as provided in section 502 of the Recovery Act. For eligible loans approved between February 17, 2009 and the date of this notice, the Agency will make funds available to refund payments for these fees. The Agency is developing a refund mechanism. SBA expects to be able to begin issuing refunds by approximately May 1, 2009. If borrowers have already paid lenders for the fee on eligible loans, lenders must reimburse the borrowers from the SBA refund.

Consistent with the prioritization for fee eliminations or reductions in the Recovery Act, the on-going guaranty fee set forth in section 7 of the Small Business Act will continue to apply. In addition, SBAs ¼ point guaranty fee set forth in 13 CFR 120.220 for loans with maturities of 12 months or less will continue to apply.

Prohibition on Use of Funds

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Use Of The Sba 7 Loan

In order to get approved for an SBA 7 loan, youll need to prove that your plans for the funds are appropriate. While the specific allowable uses depend on the amount you want to borrow, you can generally use SBA 7 funds for operational expenses, refinancing certain high-cost debts, hiring employees, purchasing new inventory or equipment, supporting marketing costs, or even purchasing land and commercial real estate. SBA 7 loans are never permitted to reimburse owners for equity, nor to repay delinquent taxes or funds that should be held in trust or escrow.

Sba 7 Loan Requirements

SBA 7 loans arent the easiest loan program to qualify for. They require a credit score of at least 650 and a gross annual revenue of $100,000 or more. Youll also need to be in business for at least two years. Businesses with recent bankruptcies, foreclosures, or tax liens will most likely be denied funding. To speed up the approval process, round up the following documents:

  • 2 years of business tax returns
  • 2 years of personal tax returns
  • YTD profit and loss statement
  • YTD balance sheet
  • Debt schedule

When it comes to qualifying for a business loan, theres no one-size-fits-all answer. Most lenders take a number of factors into consideration. If youd like to learn more about how to get approved for a business loan, we encourage you to explore the most important business loan requirements.

Browse hundreds of loan options, custom-tailored to your business and budget needs, from a single, simple platform.

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Where To Apply For The Ppp And Sba 7 Program

One thing that PPP loans and traditional SBA 7 loans have in common is where you apply. Neither PPP nor 7 loans are delivered directly through the SBA. Instead, they are distributed via lenders, credit unions, and fintech companies, such as alternative lender Funding Circle.

As the lockdown measures ease around the country and businesses open their doors again, the economy expects to begin rebound. As the economy continues to expand, business loans like those offered through Funding Circle including the SBA 7 program are there to grow with you.

Sba Business Expansion Loans

SBA 7a Loan – The Best Business Loan!

The disaster-related loans referenced above are made with funds appropriated or guaranteed by Congress. SBA business expansion loans are commercial loans, structured according to SBA requirements, with an SBA guarantee. Small business owners and borrowers who have access to other financing with reasonable terms are not eligible for this type of SBA-guaranteed loan. Guaranteed loan programs from the SBA include the following:

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How Does It Work

Small businesses apply for the SBA 7a loan with a local bank. Any bank with SBA approval can help you get the loan.

The SBA guarantees the funds between 50 85 percent depending on the type of loan and amount borrowed. Lenders underwrite the loan and determine if you qualify. If they take on the risk and your loan qualifications meet the SBA guidelines, the SBA will pay the lender back if you default.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Targeted Advance Refresh

The Targeted EIDL Advance program, which is more restrictive than its predecessor, is authorized under the CAA and makes up to $10,000 available to applicants located in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of program funding.

If you previously received a partial EIDL Advance , then the SBA will reach out to you first by official email to determine your eligibility and provide instructions.

If you are in this group, then you may qualify if you:

  • Are located in a low-income community, as defined in section 45D of the Internal Revenue Code and
  • Can demonstrate that you suffered a more than 30% reduction in revenue during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later. You will be asked to provide proof of the more than 30% revenue reduction.

If you previously applied for an EIDL Advance but did not receive one due to a lack of funds, then you are next in line to be contacted by the SBA.

To qualify in this group, you must meet the qualifications above plus:

  • Have no more than 300 employees.

If your business is otherwise eligible for the EIDL programincluding if you are a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or private, nonprofit organizationand you meet the qualifications above, then you are eligible for consideration for the targeted advance. Agricultural enterprises are not eligible.

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Sba Loan 7 Loan Program Application Checklist

So, how do SBA 7 loan applications work? The process can be lengthy but is mostly straightforward. First, you must fill out an online form describing your businesss needs. The SBA will then match you with lenders that can help. From there, you can speak with lenders to find the right fit and formally apply for their specific loan.

What Is An Sba 7a Loan

Guide To Special SBA 7a Loans

The SBA 7a loan, or Small Business Administration Loan is a guaranteed business loan for small businesses. The SBA doesnt underwrite or fund the loans, instead, they guarantee the funds for lenders who offer the loans. If a business defaults, the SBA pays the lender back up to 85 percent of the loan amount.

Small businesses may borrow up to $5 million for up to 25 years. Interest rates vary but are usually prime rate plus a margin starting at 2.25%.

Businesses can use SBA 7a financing for startup costs, money to expand, debt consolidation, equipment purchase, and/or buying land.

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A Flexible Commercial Finance Product

The SBA 7 Loan Program is one of the most flexible commercial finance products available today. Proceeds can be used for a wide variety of business purposes, including purchase of owner occupied real estate, leasehold improvements, equipment, working capital, business acquisition, partner buy outs and business startup expenses.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

SBA Coronavirus Disaster assistance loans are designed to help businesses recover from the economic effects of COVID-19. Disaster assistance loans of up to $500,000 with maximum terms of 30 years are available. Small business owners in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories are eligible to apply.

Loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cant be paid due to the impact of COVID-19. The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75%. Nonprofits pay just 2.75%.

On March 24, 2021, the SBA announced that starting April 6, 2021, it would raise the EIDL limit from $150,000 covering six months of economic injury to $500,000 for 24 months of economic injury.

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A Breakdown Of The 7 Loan Program For Small Businesses

Phil is the CEO of Global Financial Training Program, a broker training program that teaches clients how to become commercial loan brokers.


The Small Business Administration, also known as the SBA, is most famous for its popular 7 loan program. The 7 loan is a government-backed loan that allows small businesses to obtain working capital for short- or long-term use. It can be used for debt restructuring, and most famously, it is a great option for someone looking to purchase a business or real estate.

In 2020, our world took a hit, and the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on everyone, especially on small businesses. Many businesses disappeared overnight, while some just tried to stay afloat, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Since small businesses create more than half of the jobs in the country, Congress came in and passed legislation that would help stimulate the economy and, in turn, create new jobs by helping these small businesses. This legislation ensured that small businesses had access to capital with incentives to borrow and invest in themselves. These incentives would include three months of payment relief, temporarily waiving fees, and guaranteeing the loan up to 90%.

So, what does this mean for business leaders, especially those who might not have a full understanding of this program? Until September 30, 2021…

Can You Use A 7a Loan To Buy Commercial Real Estate

What is an SBA 7a Loan – Loans for all types of Small Business Activities

Yes, this is possible.

However, the 7a option would be more expensive as it relates to the SBA guarantee and SBA fees.

Also, banks are not supposed to finance those fees with the loan proceeds, so there is a much more expensive up-front cost with 7a loans.

Heres a hypothetical situation:

For projects where the property price combined with tenant improvement exceeds $775,000 the dollar-cost difference is dramatic.

In this case, the fee for the 504 loan would be 1.2 percent of the total loan compared to 2.9 percent for the 7a loan.

Whats more, if the 7a loan is financed at 90 percent loan to value , there is usually a lien on the home, the business , or both.

SBA 504 loans do not require any liens on personal residences.

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Do I Qualify For An Sba 7 Loan

If youre thinking about applying for an SBA 7 Loan, youre in good company the 7 is one of the SBAs most popular programs. It can feel like youre being held back without access to more working capital, so the SBA offers small business owners support when you havent been able to find funding elsewhere. Just because youre lacking cash flow history or a pristine credit score doesnt mean you must automatically give up on your dreams! If you apply and are approved, the SBA will guarantee a loan from an SBA-approved lender for up to 90% percent of your loan amount quite a sweet deal for startups or small businesses if youre looking to make a leap in your growth.

Details About The Different Sba 7 Loan Programs

The SBA 7 loan is one of several government-backed loans offered through traditional lending institutions. Small business owners can be eligible for several types of loan programs, but each is designed to fit a specific need as well as promote growth among small American businesses. To see how each loan stacks up against the other, check out our SBA loan comparison page.

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Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

The loan terms for the PPP are quite generous and lend themselves to the financings rescue nature. Nowhere is this more obvious than it pertains to loan forgiveness, exclusive to the PPP loans. To qualify for loan forgiveness, the borrower must direct the proceeds toward certain expenses, including:

  • Payroll costs
  • Rent
  • Utilities

However, keep in mind that more than half or 60% of the free money must have been directed toward payroll.

What Are The Differences Between An Sba 504 And 7a Loans

Barbara Johnson Blog: The Roadmap to an SBA 7(a) Loan ...

An SBA 504 loan is commercial real estate financing for owner-occupied properties. These loans require only a 10 percent down payment by the small business owner and funding amounts range from $125,000 to $20 million.

On the other hand, SBA 7a loans can be used to buy a business or obtain working capital. The maximum loan for an SBA 7a loan amount is $5 million.

A 504 loans interest rate is fixed, and no outside collateral is required. Also, fees are lower compared to a 7a loan.

Currently, 504 loans are amortized over 20 years, and as of April 2018 they began accepting applications for 25-year term SBA 504 loans.

The interest rate on a 7a loan, however, can be adjustable and tied to the prime interest rate. Collateral is required, at 90 percent. These loans are amortized over 25 years.

Heres some history and more specifics on each program: The SBA 504 loan program was designed for small businesses to finance commercial real estate or large equipment for use in business operations.

The 7a loan program was originally designed for higher-risk loans for things like the acquisition or starting of a business, working capital, or furniture and fixtures and leasehold improvements.

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Good Credit Score & History

You will need also need a good credit history. The SBA will use your credit score to evaluate risk and determine interest rates. Dont worry if your history isnt outstanding the SBA does help guarantee some loans that you may not qualify for otherwise. If you want to check your score, you can use one of Merchant Mavericks preferred free credit score services to do so. In general, to obtain an SBA loan, youll need a credit score of 660 or higher.

The Types Of Sba 7 Loans

The most common SBA 7a loan is the Standard Loan. Businesses can borrow up to $5 million. Loans less than $25,000 dont require collateral, but any loan over $25,000 requires traditional collateral. Businesses usually receive an answer within 10 business days.

The SBA 7a Small Loan is the next most common SBA financing option. Its similar to the Standard Loan except as the name suggests, its for small loan balances up to $350,000. If you pass the initial prescreen, the lender can fast track your loan. If you pass the initial screening, youll get your funds in a few days. If not, youll go through the same underwriting process as the Standard Loan.

Other SBA 7 Loan Options

Besides the two most common Small Business Administration Loans, they offer:

  • Express Loan This is a version of the SBA 7a Small Loan but businesses get approval in 36 hours or less. The SBA only guarantees 50 percent of the loan, though, so its riskier for lenders.
  • Export Working Capital Exporting companies can borrow up to $5 million for export working capital if they use their export inventory as collateral. Underwriting takes up to 10 business days and has a 90 percent SBA guarantee.
  • Export Express Loan This version of the Export Working Capital Loan provides funding up to $500,000 with a 36-hour turnaround and up to 90 percent SBA guarantee.
  • SBA CAPLines These loans are lines of credit that last for 5 to 10 years, which businesses can use for a variety of purposes.

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