How does the SBA 7(a) loan program compare to a conventional bank loan?
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has many resources for business owners. Money is one of them – certainly enticing for anyone looking to start, scale or shift directions in their business.
The SBA 7(a) loan program allows lenders to provide loans within the SBA’s guidelines. The SBA guarantees the repayment of these loans.
The SBA’s website explains, “When a business applies for an SBA loan, it is actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements with an SBA guaranty.”
Compared to a conventional bank loan, SBA guaranteed loans offer longer terms, require less collateral and are structured to drive growth.
Take a look at the chart below for a deeper comparison.
|SBA guaranteed bank
loan – 7(a)
|Conventional bank loan|
|Loan Amount||Up to $5 million||Any amount|
|Interest Rate||Prime + 2.75% (or less)||4-7%|
|Term*||Up to 10 years||Usually 3-5 years|
|Covenants||None required by SBA||At bank’s discretion – usually significant|
|Business Collateral||Fixed assets**||Fixed, personal and
|Guaranty||Full personal guaranty||Depends on terms & assets|
|Uses||Equipment, working capital,
|As allowed by bank|
|Debt to Equity Ratio||75:25***||25:75|
|Debt Service Coverage Ration (DSCR)||1.4 to 1||1.2 to 1|
*Assumes that the loan is not made for the purchase of real estate
**The SBA collateralizes term debt with fixed assets only because it allows current assets to remain unencumbered for use in securing a revolving line of credit
***This is a guideline and can vary depending on DSCR; higher DSCR (i.e. better debt service coverage) enables higher debt to equity ratios (i.e. weaker balance sheet)
SBA 7(a) loans play a part in over half of our transactions. Securing an SBA loan can be a tricky endeavor. Throughout our 14 years in business we’ve learned how to walk through the process successfully and gathered tips to make it easier for others.
We’ve recently shared some of those tips on the Axial Forum:
|Picking the right bank for your SBA financing is vital. Here are two insider tips for making that decision a good one.|