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Top SBA Lenders for 2021

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Last editedJun 20212 min read

An SBA loan, or Small Business Administration loan is one of the most popular ways for small businesses to boost their finances. But there’s more to getting your hands on an SBA loan than simply approaching the SBA themselves. The SBA works with lenders all around the country to help provide small businesses with the funds they need. Here’s a quick rundown of the best SBA loan lenders for 2021, depending on your borrowing circumstances.

Best overall SBA lenders: Live Oak Bank

As the biggest SBA 7(a) lenders in the country, it’s probably no surprise that Live Oak Bank is the best overall option for securing your business loan. Live Oak covers every state and is highly experienced across multiple industries. The bank does not offer consumer loans, only business-based loans. They are also SBA-approved lenders, meaning you can expect your application to be resolved more quickly than it would be with non-SBA-approved lenders. The downside is that Live Oak is 100% online, so you won’t be able to have an in-person meeting if that’s your preference.

Best SBA lenders for speed: Funding Circle

Funding Circle gets the process going with one easy online application and aims to deliver a decision as quickly as possible, sometimes as soon as 24 hours. As with all SBA approved lenders, Funding Circle enjoys quicker turnaround times than lenders who aren’t SBA preferred. Funding Circle offers multiple types of business loans and financing that owners might be interested in. Beyond its funding tools, the site is crammed full of handy resources. Those looking for larger loans may be left disappointed, as Funding Circle’s SBA loans max out at $500,000. They also won’t lend less than $25,000. Funding Circle doesn’t cater to Nevada businesses and has brick and mortar offices in San Francisco and Denver.

Best for small loans: United Midwest Savings Bank

As with Funding Circle, other SBA 7(a) lenders won’t consider applications for smaller amounts. This isn’t the case for United Midwest Savings Bank. Covering all 50 states, United Midwest Savings Bank offers loans of $150,000 or less, with applications completed securely online. As it specializes in small loans, this bank can have loans secured within 10 days. As with many SBA loan lenders, in-person offices are thin on the ground, with branches in Ohio only.

Best SBA PPP lenders: Blue Vine

A PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan is a special kind of SBA loan, created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A PPP loan aims to help businesses make it through these trying times, offering amounts of up to $2m. Blue Vine doesn’t offer any in-person offices but it does provide an easy online application process. Plus, you’ll get a decision on your loan within minutes. SBA PPP lenders all offer the same terms, so there’s no need to shop around hoping for a better offer. When you’re applying for this government program, the ease-of-use and speed offered by lenders is key.

Do any SBA loan lenders have in-person offices?

Most SBA lenders offer a blended experience of online services and offline branches. Unfortunately, most of their offline branches are few and far between, or exclusive to a single state. If it’s important to you to meet your SBA 7a or SBA express lenders in person (after all, it’s a significant decision), then JP Morgan Chase might be your best bet. JP Morgan Chase has branches in 38 states and has a longstanding reputation as a safe and reliable bank. They’re also SBA express lenders. The downside is that – given Chase’s reputation and wide availability – you might face more competition for funding.

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