How to Get an SBA Loan: Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks

| November 17, 2022 | By

If you’re a business owner trying to secure your first Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, you likely feel extra pressure bearing down on you. You need one of these loans to jumpstart your business, but you also want to be approved—and push the loan through—as fast as you can.

Wondering how to get an SBA loan as fast and easily as possible? There are a few insider insights that can help you land a small business loan quickly. Here are a few proven tips, tricks, and secrets to help you get an SBA loan. 

How to Get an SBA Loan as a New Business Owner

As a new business owner, obtaining an SBA loan can land you a substantial advantage right from the jump. SBA loans feature low down payments, caps on interest rates, and long repayment terms. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the business loan process and get an SBA loan:

1. Know your loan options. 

The better you know the options you can choose from, the easier it will be to pin down the best SBA loan to fit your new business. If you work with an SBA-approved bank, they’ll have a wide selection of business loans to sort through. Some types of small business loans you may benefit from include 7(a) loans up to $5,000,000, express loans, 504 loans, and more. 

Not sure what type of loan is best for your business? Don’t worry. If you work with a community bank that’s trustworthy, they’ll walk you through your best options. 

2. Assemble documents before you apply. 

Too often, a new business owner will rush into a loan underprepared, only to see the whole loan process slow to a crawl when unexpected document requirements pop up. The more you’re able to prepare documents before you start your application, the faster the whole SBA loan process will fly by. A top community bank will lay out what you need, but some common documents that are important include a business plan, tax returns, financial statements, and more. 

3. Partner with an SBA-preferred lender. 

When it comes to providing SBA loans, all banks aren’t all on equal footing. Broadly speaking, there are SBA-preferred lenders and there are non-preferred banks. 

4. Team up with the right bank. 

Not all lenders deliver the same level of care and expertise, and they may not all be prepared to help you secure an SBA loan. Here are a few questions to ask as you search for the right bank:

  • Does the bank provide the SBA loans that you need?
  • Does the bank have experience helping small businesses secure SBA loans?
  • Do they provide one-on-one service and will they work directly with you?
  • Do they understand the local community and your business market? 

How to Speed Up the SBA Loan Process

Especially if you’re a new business owner, you’ll likely want to race through the loan process and obtain loan proceeds as soon as possible. Fortunately, a little planning can push your business loan through faster. Here’s how to speed up the SBA loan process:

Work with an SBA-preferred lender. 

We’re bringing up this tip again because it’s a game-changer. SBA-preferred lenders are staffed with experts who review loan applications and can speed up your loan process. 

Navigate the process with your team.

You can avoid holdups by leaning on the help of experts, such as your bookkeeper, accountants, attorneys, and other people who are in the know about your new business. By coming together early and often, you can quickly clear any hurdles that come up. 

Keep financials up to date.

One of the biggest roadblocks loan hopefuls run into includes complications that rise out of outdated financial records. Before you apply, make sure you have the latest figures in hand. This boosts your chances of having your loan approved the first time, without major stops along the way. 

Uncover More Secrets to Securing a Business Loan

SBA loans can give your new business a major edge, and working with the right lender can improve your entire loan experience. By following a few best practices, you’ll be in the position to secure an SBA loan and propel your business plans forward. 

Looking for more ways to secure a small business loan successfully? Download the 5 Tips for Securing Business Loans Checklist to make sure you’re doing everything you can to set up a smooth loan experience.

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