Frequently Asked Questions

SmartBiz® SBA Loans


What is a SmartBiz SBA Loan?

SmartBiz Loans is the leading online marketplace for SBA loans. An SBA loan is a small business loan that is guaranteed in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and typically made by a bank. SmartBiz® facilitates these loans through its marketplace of preferred SBA lending banks and helps increase approval rates by matching small businesses with the bank most likely to say “yes” to their loan. SmartBiz makes getting an SBA loan easy. Learn More


Why should I apply for an SBA loan?

SmartBiz SBA loans offer longer terms, great rates, and lower monthly payments than other loan options. The company’s advanced software streamlines the SBA loan application and origination process so small businesses can now apply online and get funds in as fast as 7 days while banks can make SBA loans more efficiently than ever before.


What are the advantages of an SBA loan?

Advantages include lower down payments and longer repayment terms than conventional bank loans, enabling small businesses to keep their cash flow for operational expenses and spend less on debt repayment.


What types of SBA loans does SmartBiz facilitate?

We facilitate SBA 7(a) loans for working capital, debt consolidation, and equipment purchases as well as SBA 7(a) loans for commercial real estate purchases or refinance.

SBA loans are considered the “gold standard” in small business lending because they have the lowest rates, low monthly payments and long 10-year terms with no pre-payment penalties. However, not every business owner initially qualifies and some businesses need funds more quickly than even our streamlined SBA process can provide. As a result, we worked with our bank partners to offer SmartBiz Loans® clients the next best loan option if you aren't quite ready for an SBA loan or need funds more quickly.


How does SmartBiz Loans protect my identity and data privacy?

One of our top priorities is keeping your data private and secure. We use the same high levels of security as the largest banks and financial services institutions. Your data is encrypted on our network using high-level encryption, and we monitor every step of each transaction.

We use GoDaddy Secure Site as a third party verification to confirm that all transactions on the site are protected with up to 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption.

To learn more about how we protect your financial information, please review our Privacy Policy.


Eligibility


What are the basic requirements?

Businesses that qualify for an SBA loan through SmartBiz typically have more than $100,000 in annual revenue. Most of our businesses are profitable and cash flow positive. All are able to show that they can afford to make our monthly loan payments. Learn More

SBA 7(a) Working Capital or Debt Consolidation Loans from $30,000 to $350,000

  • Minimum 2 years in business
  • U.S. based business owned by US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident who is at least 21 years old
  • Good personal credit score of 600 or higher
  • No outstanding tax liens
  • No bankruptcies & foreclosures in the past 3 years
  • No recent charge-offs or settlements
  • Current on government-related loans

SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate Loans from $500,000 to $5 million

  • The real estate must be majority owner-occupied. This means that at least 51% of the square footage of the property you’re buying must be occupied by and used by your business.
  • Time in Business: 2+ Years
  • Business owners must have personal credit scores above 660
  • Cash Flow: Sufficient business and personal cash flow to service all debt payments demonstrated by 3 years of tax returns and interim financial data
  • SBA Specific Requirements: No delinquencies and/or default on government loans
  • The rent replacement option requires a loan payment that does not exceed the current monthly lease expense

Do I need to personally guarantee the loan?

All business owners who own 20% or more of the business must provide a personal guarantee. Married couples who collectively own 20% or more of the business when their shares are combined, must both provide a personal guarantee.


What industries are eligible?

From a hair salon to an online retailer to an accounting firm – there are many small businesses that are eligible for a SmartBiz SBA Loan and most industries are eligible. Industries that are excluded include gambling, lending, life insurance, religious teaching, primarily political and lobbying activities, oil wildcatting, mining, mortgage servicing, real estate development, bail bond, pawn or private clubs, among others.


What can I use my funds for?

Need new equipment? Is it time to hire another employee? Would you like to purchase or refinance commercial real estate? You can use your funds in a variety of ways depending how much you're borrowing. Learn More

  • $30,000 to $350,000 : Loans of this amount can be used for working capital (such as operational expenses, marketing, hiring, etc.), new equipment purchases, and to refinance existing business debt not secured by real estate (such as cash advances, business loans, and equipment leases).

  • $500,000 - $5 million: Loans of this amount can be used for the purchase or refinance of commercial real estate. To qualify, the real estate must be majority owner-occupied. This means at least 51% of the square footage of the property being purchased must be occupied by and used by your business.

I’ve been turned down by my bank before. Can I still get a SmartBiz SBA loan?

Yes. We have helped many small businesses obtain an SBA loan through our bank partners even after they have been turned down by other banks.


Can I get a second SmartBiz SBA loan?

Yes, many customers get a second SmartBiz SBA loan as their business grows and needs additional capital. If you receive approval for more than one SBA loan within 90 days of each other, the loans will be treated as if they were one loan for purposes of determining the amount of the SBA guarantee fees, if any.


What if I’m not eligible or don’t qualify for an SBA loan through SmartBiz?

Low rates, low monthly payments and long terms make SBA loans the “gold standard” in small business lending. However, not every small business initially meets the requirements for an SBA loan. As a result, we also offer non-SBA term loans through our bank partners for small business owners that don’t immediately qualify for an SBA loan or need funds more quickly than even our streamlined SBA process can provide.

And if your small business can’t qualify for an SBA or non-SBA term loan, we still won’t leave you hanging! SmartBiz Loans works with non-bank lenders as well. We’ll work to help you find another type of loan that may be a good fit for your needs.


Pricing


What will my interest rate be?

Interest rates for SBA 7(a) loans are variable and depend on the loan amount:

SBA 7(a) Working Capital and Debt Consolidation / Refinance

  • 7.75% (Prime Rate plus 2.75%) for loans $50,000 - $350,000
  • 8.75% (Prime Rate plus 3.75%) for loans $30,000 - $49,000

SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate Loans

  • 6.50% to 7.75% (Loans have a fixed rate of Prime Rate plus 2.00% to 2.75% *or a variable rate of 1.50% to 2.75%) for loans $500,000 - $5 million*
*The rate is fixed in 5-year increments

Non-SBA Loans

  • Fixed Interest Rate - 7.99% - 24.99% (based on borrower’s business credit and financial profile as well as the term of loan)

Are there fees or other costs?

  • SBA 7(a) Working Capital or Debt Consolidation / Refinance Loans:  We charge a one-time referral fee of no more than 2% of the loan amount and a one-time packaging fee of no more than 2% of the loan amount. The SBA charges a guarantee fee. For loans of $125,001 to $150,000, the SBA guarantee fee is 2% of the guaranteed portion OR 1.7% of the loan balance. For loans of $150,001 to $700,000: SBA guarantee fee is 3% of the guaranteed portion OR 2.25% of loan balance. For loans of $700,001 to $5,000,000: 3.5% of the guaranteed portion up to $1,000,000 plus 3.75% of the guaranteed portion over $1,000,000. For loans $125,000 and less, the SBA guarantee fee is waived.

    Bank closing costs typically add about another $450 and include standard bank fees though additional 3rd party report charges may apply.

  • SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate Loans:  For SBA commercial real estate loans over $500,000, SmartBiz Loans charges a one-time referral fee of no more than 0.5% of the loan amount and a one-time packaging fee of no more than 0.5% of the loan amount. The SBA charges a guarantee fee. For loans between $500,000 - $700,000, there is a 3% guarantee fee or 2.25% of the loan balance paid to the SBA. For loans of $700,001 to $5,000,000: 3.5% of the guaranteed portion up to $1,000,000 plus 3.75% of the guaranteed portion over $1,000,000.

    Bank closing costs typically add about another $5,000 and include standard bank fees, appraisal, and title fees and an environmental search fee though additional 3rd party report charges may apply. SmartBiz fees are usually deducted from loan proceeds so you get the net amount when your loan is funded.

  • Florida Stamp Tax:  In addition, if the business owns commercial real estate in Florida and is matched with a lender from our marketplace based in Florida, there will be an additional Stamp Tax that is $0.35 cents per $100 of the total amount of the loan. A Stamp Tax is an excise tax imposed on certain documents executed, delivered, or recorded in Florida. All Florida based businesses receiving a loan financed by a Florida based bank are required to pay this tax that is taken out of loan proceeds by the lender to pay the tax before proceeds are distributed.

    Even after fees, SBA loans are vastly cheaper than the majority of alternative financing and alternative lender options.

  • Non-SBA loans: Non-SBA term loans through a SmartBiz bank partner include a 3% referral and 3% packaging fee. Bank closing costs are estimated to be between $200 and $300. At 3%, referral and packaging fees for non-SBA loans are more expensive than our referral and packaging fees for SBA loans because non-SBA loans are typically smaller than SBA loans and we need to cover our fixed costs. You’ll find that SmartBiz Loans’ non-SBA referral and packaging fees are similar in cost to the origination fees that online medium term lenders charge.

    In the event you decide to refinance with an SBA loan through SmartBiz within 6 months of obtaining the first non-SBA loan (and you are able to obtain an SBA loan from a SmartBiz bank partner), we’ll credit back all of the referral and packaging fees from your first, non-SBA loan, towards the referral and packaging fees for your SBA loan to the extent these fees do not exceed the packaging and referral fees for the SBA loan.

Is a deposit required for third party closing costs?

For working capital loans, no deposit is required. If you are purchasing commercial real estate, a deposit will be required.


How much down payment or equity do I need to have for an SBA CRE loan?

If you apply through SmartBiz for an SBA commercial real estate loan over $500,000, a first lien on the real estate is required. Based on the appraised value, you must have at least 10% - 20% equity in the real estate for a refinance or put 10% - 20% down for a purchase of the real estate. If you qualify for the rent replacement option with minimal down payment, your loan payment cannot exceed the current monthly lease expense.


What are the repayment terms?

SmartBiz SBA 7(a) loans have far better repayment terms compared to many available alternatives. Our SBA 7(a) working capital loans have a 10 year term. SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate loans have a repayment term of 25 years. Our long repayment terms result in very low monthly payments. There are no balloon payments with a SmartBiz SBA 7(a) commercial real estate loan.

Non-SBA term loans through our bank partners have a term of 2 - 5 years.


Are fees deducted from loan proceeds?

Yes. The one-time referral, packaging, and guarantee fees as well as closing costs are deducted from your loan proceeds at the time of funding. However, fees for other services, if any, are not deducted from loan proceeds.

For Commercial Real Estate (CRE) SBA 7(a) loans, packaging, referral, and SBA Guarantee fees can be rolled into the loan amount (if cash flow and loan-to-value allow for it).

For non-SBA term loans, fees are deducted from loan proceeds.


Process


Will applying affect my credit score?

You can pre-qualify for a SmartBiz SBA 7(a) loan without impacting your credit score. To determine if your business is pre-qualified, SmartBiz reviews a soft pull of your credit report. This does not impact your credit score.

When your loan application proceeds to funding, SmartBiz Loans and its lenders request a hard pull on your credit, which appears as an inquiry on your credit report. This only happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is highly likely to fund your loan.


What information about my business do you need?

We collect both financial information and specific business documentation. Typical financial information we collect are bank balances, a current income statement, current balance sheet, past net income, and outstanding loan information among other financial data. The larger the loan size, the more financial data is required.

Typical documentation usually required for an SBA loan include: Articles of Incorporation and Certificates of Good Standing; proof of insurance; lease agreements and landlord subordination among others that can be specific to your business type.


Do I need to provide collateral?

A lien on business assets is required for SBA loans, but there is no minimum requirement for the value of those assets.


What is the process to sign my loan package?

We’ll either put you in touch with a notary after all documents have been reviewed or you will be able to e-sign your closing documents.


How long does it take to get my funds?

After completing the application, you can receive your funds in as fast as 7 days. Most loans only take a couple of weeks from application completion to funding. SBA 7(a) loans above $150,000 and SBA 7(a) commercial real estate loans up to $5 million typically take a bit longer, from 4-6 weeks. The faster you provide us your supporting documentation, the faster your loan can be funded. With your help, the process moves very quickly.


Non-SBA Loans


What is a SmartBiz non-SBA Loan?

Non-SBA loans offered by SmartBiz bank partners are fixed-rate, term loans with shorter repayment terms and a faster, less document intensive alternative to a traditional 10-year term SBA loan.

Why should I apply for a non-SBA loan?

A non-SBA term loan can be a good option if you don’t initially meet the eligibility requirements for an SBA loan. It can also be a good option if you require funds more quickly than even our streamlined SBA process can provide.

There’s only one streamlined, application to complete whether you are applying for an SBA loan or decide to opt in to a non-SBA option.


What are the advantages of a non-SBA loan?

A non-SBA term loan has fewer requirements than an SBA loan. It’s a reasonable option for some businesses to get the funds needed to grow. The non-SBA term loan offers a fixed rate and low monthly payments. In addition, there are no pre-payment penalties if you decide to refinance with an SBA loan later. In the event you decide to refinance with an SBA loan through SmartBiz within 6 months of obtaining the first non-SBA loan (and you are able to obtain an SBA loan from a SmartBiz bank partner), we’ll credit back all of the referral and packaging fees from your first, non-SBA loan, towards the referral and packaging fees for your SBA loan to the extent these fees do not exceed the packaging and referral fees for the SBA loan.

Even though we need to do additional work to package the SBA loan, SmartBiz credits back fees because we believe it is the right thing to do for our clients.


What types of non-SBA loans does SmartBiz facilitate?

SmartBiz currently offers the following non-SBA loans through its bank partners for working capital, debt refinance and new equipment purchase:

  • $30,000 to $200,000 loan amounts
  • 2 -5 year repayment terms
  • Fixed interest rate from 7.99% to 24.99%*
  • Monthly repayments
  • No pre-payment penalties

Non-SBA term loans can be a reasonable alternative financing option when you don’t qualify for an SBA loan immediately or need funds more quickly than even our streamlined SBA process can offer.

* Interest rate depends on loan term, business borrower credit score and financial profile.

Eligibility


What are the basic requirements for a non-SBA term loan through SmartBiz Loans?


YES

  • 2+ years in business
  • Business owners must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • Business owners must have personal credit scores above 640
  • Cash flow to support loan payments

NO

  • Bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last 3 years
  • Outstanding tax liens

Do I need to personally guarantee a non-SBA term loan?

Business owners who own 20% or more of the business must provide a personal guarantee.


What industries are eligible?

Most industries are eligible for a non-SBA loan. Industries that are excluded are similar to those excluded for SBA loans, include gambling, lending, life insurance, religious teaching, primarily political and lobbying activities, oil wildcatting, mining, mortgage servicing, real estate development, bail bond, pawn or private clubs, among others.


What can I use my funds for?

There are many ways you can use proceeds from a non-SBA term loan including:

  • Working Capital

Get funds to hire additional staff, increase marketing or replenish inventory.

  • New Equipment

Buy new equipment to improve productivity.

  • Debt Refinance

Pay off high-cost debt and increase your monthly cash flow.

I’ve been turned down by my bank before. Can I still get a loan through SmartBiz?

Yes. We have helped many small businesses obtain both SBA and non-SBA loans through our bank partners even after they have been turned down by other banks.


Can I get a second loan through SmartBiz?

Yes, you can get a second loan through SmartBiz. In the event you decide to refinance with an SBA loan through SmartBiz within 6 months of obtaining the first non-SBA loan from a SmartBiz bank partner, we’ll credit back all of the referral and packaging fees from your first, non-SBA loan, towards the referral and packaging fees for your SBA loan to the extent these fees do not exceed the packaging and referral fees for the SBA loan. Even though we need to do additional work to package the SBA loan, SmartBiz will credit back fees because we believe it is the right thing to do for our clients.


Pricing


What will my interest rate be?

Interest rates for non-SBA loans are fixed and range between 7.99% and 24.99%. The final interest rate offered depends on the credit profile of the business owner(s), the financials of the business, and the term of the loan.

Are there fees or other costs?

Non-SBA term loans through a SmartBiz bank partner include a 3% referral and 3% packaging fee. Bank closing costs are estimated to be between $200 and $300. At 3%, referral and packaging fees for non-SBA loans are more expensive than our referral and packaging fees for SBA loans because non-SBA loans are typically smaller than SBA loans and we need to cover our fixed costs. You’ll find that SmartBiz Loans’ non-SBA referral and packaging fees are similar in cost to the origination fees that online medium term lenders charge.

In the event you decide to refinance with an SBA loan through SmartBiz within 6 months of obtaining the first non-SBA loan (and you are able to obtain an SBA loan from a SmartBiz bank partner), we’ll credit back all of the referral and packaging fees from your first, non-SBA loan, towards the referral and packaging fees for your SBA loan to the extent these fees do not exceed the packaging and referral fees for the SBA loan.


Is a deposit required for third party closing costs?

No out of pocket costs or deposits are needed.


What are the repayment terms?

Non-SBA term loans through our bank partners have a term of 2 - 5 years with monthly payments.


Are fees deducted from loan proceeds?

Yes. For non-SBA term loans, fees are deducted from loan proceeds.


Process


Will applying affect my credit score?

To inform you about whether your business is pre-qualified, SmartBiz reviews a soft pull of your credit report. This does not impact your credit score.

When your loan application proceeds to funding, SmartBiz Loans and its lenders request a hard pull on your credit, which appears as an inquiry on your credit report. This only happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is highly likely to fund your loan.


What information about my business do you need?

SmartBiz collects both financial information and basic entity documentation. Typical financial information we collect includes two years of business and personal taxes, bank statements, current year financials in the form of income statement and balance sheet, and current outstanding debt (or loan) information.


Do I need to provide collateral?

A lien on business assets is required for non-SBA term loans, but there is no minimum requirement for the value of those assets.”


What is the process to sign my loan package?

After reviewing, you will be able to e-sign your closing documents.


How long does it take to get my funds?

After you complete the application and your loan is approved, you can receive funds in as fast as 3 to 7 days. The faster you provide SmartBiz your supporting documentation, the faster your loan can be approved and funded by one of our bank partners. With your help, the process moves very quickly.


SmartBiz® Advisor


Getting Started


How do I get started?

Simply answer a few simple questions about your business and then upload your most recent business tax return. SmartBiz automagically analyzes your tax return in seconds and gives you key insights on your loan readiness.


Which business tax return year do I upload?

You should upload the most recent business tax return you’ve filed in order for SmartBiz to give you your most accurate analysis. It needs to be saved as a PDF file.


Do you need my Federal or State tax return?

We need your Federal business tax return. Your Federal business tax return will be filed on one of the following forms: 1120S, 1040 with Schedule C, 1065, or 1120. 


How do I find my business tax return?

Many small businesses receive a copy of their filed tax returns from their accountants. If you file taxes yourself, your tax return is simply the copy of the document you submitted to the IRS.


Why do I need to provide my business tax return?

Your business tax return is an important document lenders use to analyze your business income, profitibility and strength over time to determine if its ability to pay back a new loan. Our intelligent platform analyzes the key financial data from your business tax return to calculate your personalized Loan Ready Score and show you where you stand on each of 7 key criteria. The Loan Ready Score is for educational purposes and is not the same as scores used by lenders for credit decisions.


Will signing up for SmartBiz Advisor impact my credit score?

Signing up does not impact your credit score and does not show up as an inquiry on your credit report. To determine your Loan Ready Score, SmartBiz Advisor conducts a soft pull of your credit report. Later down the line if you decide to start a loan application, SmartBiz and its lenders request a hard pull on your credit, which appears as an inquiry on your credit report. This only happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is highly likely to fund your loan.


Personalized Insights


How do you determine my Loan Ready Score and personalized insights?

To calculate your personalized Loan Ready Score, our Intelligent CFO™ platform compares your credit and financial information to thousands of other small business loan applicants.

We then show you where you stand on each of 7 key criteria that make up your Loan Ready Score and provide you with actionable insights to help you effectively present your business in the best light. The Loan Ready Score is for educational purposes and is not the same as scores used by lenders for credit decisions.


How long will it take to get my Loan Ready Score and personalized insights?

After uploading your business tax return, you’ll get an initial Loan Ready Score in seconds. We’ll also ask for a few more pieces of information, such as your Profit & Loss Statement, to make sure your personalized insights are as accurate as possible. As you provide more information, you’ll get more accurate insights on where you stand in the key criteria our bank partners use to determine SBA Loan approval.


How do the personalized insights help me?

With your Loan Ready Score and your actionable insights, you are empowered with knowing where you stand to get approved for a low-cost SBA loan today, or how to improve your likelihood of getting approved in the future. The Loan Ready Score is for educational purposes and is not the same as scores used by lenders for credit decisions.


Security & Privacy


How can I be sure my information with SmartBiz Advisor will be secure and kept safe?

We take your privacy seriously and use bank-level, 256-bit encryption to protect your personal data.


Do you keep my information private?

We don’t sell your information for marketing purposes. For more information, please review our Privacy Policy https://www.smartbizloans.com/privacy-policy


Pricing


Is there a cost for signing up for SmartBiz Advisor?

There is currently no cost for signing up for SmartBiz Advisor. However, if you decide to apply for an SBA loan through SmartBiz Loans bank partners, normal fees will apply. For more information, please review the Pricing section in our FAQs.

Don't see the answer you need?
Give us a call at  1.844.385.7038 or email us at advisor@smartbizloans.com. Thanks!


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