Frequently Asked Questions
About SmartBiz SBA Loans
What is a SmartBiz SBA Loan?
SmartBiz makes getting an SBA loan easy. 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. Through online automation, SmartBiz shrinks the typical SBA lending process from months down to weeks. SmartBiz SBA loans offer longer terms, lower rates and lower monthly payments than other loan options.
How do you 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.
What can I use my funds for?
Need new equipment? Is it time to hire another employee? You can use your funds in a variety of ways depending how much you're borrowing.
- $30,000% to $150,000 loans can be used for working capital (such as operational expenses, marketing, hiring, etc.), new equipment purchases, business acquisition, and to refinance existing business debt not secured by real estate (such as cash advances, business loans, and equipment leases)
- $151,000 to $250,000 loans can be used for working capital, new equipment purchases, business debt refinancing including debt secured by real estate, real estate purchases, and business acquisition (loan proceeds for real estate refinancing and real estate purchases can only be used when the business occupies at least 51% of the premises)
- $251,000 to $350,000 loans can be used for working capital, new equipment purchases, business debt refinancing, and business acquisition, and real estate purchases.
What are the income requirements for small businesses?
Businesses that qualify for a SmartBiz SBA loan typically have $50,000 to $5 million in annual revenue, and 1 to 40 employees. 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.
Who is eligible for a SmartBiz SBA Loan?
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. Most industries are eligible though there are exceptions. Here are some basic requirements:
- 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
- No outstanding tax liens
- No bankruptcies & foreclosures in the past 3 years
- No recent charge-offs or settlements
- No criminal record other than minor vehicle violations
- Current on government-related loans
What types of industries are not eligible for SmartBiz loans?
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.
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, 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 for a SmartBiz SBA loan?
We won’t leave you hanging! SmartBiz works with non-SBA lenders too. We’ll work to find you another type of loan that’s a good fit for your needs.
What will my interest rate be?
Interest rates are variable and depend on the loan amount:
- 6.25% (Prime Rate plus 2.75%) for loans $50,000 - $350,000
- 7.25% (Prime Rate plus 3.75%) for loans $30,000- $49,000
Are there fees or other costs?
We charge a one-time referral fee of 2% of the loan amount and a one-time packaging fee of 2% of the loan amount. For loans $151,000 and higher, there is a 2.25% guarantee fee paid to the SBA. Bank closing costs typically add about another $317 and include standard bank fees though additional 3rd party report charges may apply.
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.
Do I need to provide collateral for a SmartBiz SBA loan?
Collateral depends on the loan size. If you apply for a SmartBiz loan of $30,000 or more, a lien on business assets is required, which includes assets such as accounts receivable or inventory, as well as fixed assets such as new equipment purchased with loan proceeds or commercial real estate owned by the business. The value of these assets does not need to equal the loan amount you are requesting.
What are the repayment terms?
SmartBiz loans have far better repayment terms (10 years!) compared to many available alternatives. Our long repayment terms result in low monthly payments, and you can always repay the amount early with no penalty.
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.
Will applying affect my credit score?
You can pre-qualify for a SmartBiz 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 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 type of business financial information do you need to apply?
We collect 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.
Is a subordination from my landlord required for loans $30,000 and higher?
Yes. You will be required to get your landlord to sign a subordination release that we’ll provide when you’ve uploaded required documents. You will also be required to obtain an annual option to renew your lease if you do not already have one or if your lease term doesn’t match the loan term.
Is a business valuation required for business acquisitions?
We will perform a business valuation if you are acquiring a business with loan proceeds.
What are your insurance requirements?
For loans $30,000 and higher, SBA lenders require certificates of insurance policies. The lender will also need to be named as a Lender's Loss Payable on your policies.
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.
Is a deposit required for third party closing costs?
If you are purchasing commercial real estate or acquiring a business, a deposit for costs such as appraisals or business valuations may be required.
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 weeks from application completion to funding. Loans above $150,000 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.