With more than 3,000 SBA lenders nationwide, choosing the best SBA lender can be difficult. Some of the best lenders approve average SBA loan amounts ranging from $75K to $1.5 million, with rates averaging 6.5% to 9.4%. We’ve listed the top 100 SBA lenders, providing reviews for 10 of the best.
SmartBiz, our recommend SBA loan provider, offers a streamlined application process, and can match you with the SBA lender that will best meet your needs. They offer up to $350,000 for working capital and up to $5 million for commercial real estate, with funding in half the time of traditional banks. You can pre-qualify online in just a few minutes.
Top 100 SBA Lenders
|Average SBA Loan Amount for 2018||SBA Loans Approved for 2018||Amount of Approved SBA Loans for 2018|
Live Oak Bank
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association
The Huntington National Bank
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association
Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc.
Celtic Bank Corporation
U.S. Bank, National Association
TD Bank, National Association
Bank of Hope
KeyBank National Association
Seacoast Commerce Bank
Stearns Bank National Association
Bank of the West
Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC
First Home Bank
BankUnited, National Association
Readycap Lending, LLC
Commonwealth Business Bank
United Community Bank
First Financial Bank
Bank of America, National Association
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company
Pacific Premier Bank
United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association
First Bank Financial Centre
Metro City Bank
MUFG Union Bank, National Association
Zions Bank, a Division of ZB, National Association
Pacific City Bank
Pacific Western Bank
Atlantic Capital Bank, National Association
Midwest Regional Bank
Fifth Third Bank
First IC Bank
First Savings Bank
PNC Bank, National Association
Spirit of Texas Bank, SSB
Hana Small Business Lending, Inc.
Green Bank, National Association
The Bancorp Bank
Wallis State Bank
CenterStone SBA Lending, Inc.
East West Bank
New Millennium Bank
First National Bank of Pennsylvania
First Choice Bank
Bank of George
Capital One, National Association
State Bank and Trust Company
US Metro Bank
Fulton Bank, National Association
Five Star Bank
First Western SBLC, Inc.
Branch Banking and Trust Company
Republic First Bank dba Republic Bank
First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company
North State Bank
Touchmark National Bank
Citizens Bank, National Association
Webster Bank, National Association
CenterState Bank, National Association
Citizens Business Bank
Texas Capital Bank, National Association
Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB
Seacoast National Bank
Old National Bank
*Last Updated: January 2020
**Updated Quarterly via the SBA
Top 10 SBA Lenders Reviewed
While the list above reflects the 100 top SBA lenders, picking the best SBA lender to work with on your financing needs will depend on many factors, such as their location and specialty. It’s important to find a lender on the SBA preferred lender list that’s making loans in your geographic area, industry, and of the amount your business might need.
We chose the 10 top SBA lenders by considering both the number of SBA loans and total amount of SBA loans each lender approved in fiscal year 2018, based on SBA data. To make the top of our list, the lender needed to be one of the best SBA lenders both in terms of number and amount of small business loans. All the top SBA lenders we reviewed should be a good choice.
Top 10 SBA Lenders
|Provider||Total SBA 7a Loans Approved||Average Loan Amount||Average Interest Rates||Average Repayment Terms|
|Wells Fargo||$1,197,731,100||$307,268||0.0856||12 years|
|Huntington National Bank||$826,277,000||$178,539||0.067||9 years|
|U.S. Bank||$351,055,300||$153,567||0.08||8 years|
|Celtic Bank||$421,426,500||$347,425||0.073||12 years|
|TD Bank||$340,004,600||$80,114||0.094||9 years|
|Newtek Small Business Finance||$559,212,100||$729,091||0.074||14 years|
|Compass Bank||$357,782,700||$435,789||0.08||10 years|
|Byline Bank||$513,654,800||$1,131,398||0.071||15 years|
Source: Small Business Administration
The 10 best SBA lenders we reviewed are:
1. Wells Fargo SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Wells Fargo Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $1,197,731,100
- Total Number Approved: 3,898
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $307,268
- Average Interest Rates: 8.56% (6.0% on SBA 7(a) loans; 10% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 12 years (18 years on SBA 7(a) loans; nine years on Express loans)
As an SBA preferred lender, Wells Fargo SBA loans are offered nationwide, making Wells Fargo SBA Loans some of the best for most small businesses. In February 2019, Wells Fargo announced the appointment of a new head of its SBA division. The Wells Fargo SBA division is comprised of more than 400 employees, and manages an SBA loan portfolio of over $10 billion.
Wells Fargo SBA Lending Reviews
We considered reviews from around the web and found that Wells Fargo as a company has a combination of positive and negative reviews. Some customers like the ease of accessing funds and its national footprint. Other customers are concerned with past business scandals and the customer service experience. Despite the mixed reviews, which are not related to Wells Fargo SBA loans, Wells Fargo is a solid option. Read more on our Wells Fargo reviews page.
2. Huntington National Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Huntington National Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $826,277,000
- Total Number Approved: 4,628
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $178,539
- Average Interest Rates: 6.7% (7.0% on SBA 7(a) loans; 6.6% on Express loans)
- Average Term: Nine years (13 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans; eight years on Express loans)
Huntington National Bank ranks first in the number of SBA loans approved, even though it only offers SBA lending in eight states (Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). If you live in the upper Midwest, Huntington is the best SBA lender, based on the number and amount of SBA loans it approves. Having one of the best SBA lenders that’s also local can sometimes make all the difference.
Huntington National Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We looked at reviews from around the web and found Huntington National Bank as a company has a mix of negative and positive reviews. Huntington National Bank has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Customer service is a common topic amongst the negative reviews we found, but Huntington still gets high remarks on the application process and the ease of navigating their website. Read more on our Huntington Bank reviews page.
3. Chase SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Chase Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $605,073,900
- Total Number Approved: 2,604
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $232,363
- Average Interest Rates: 7.9% (5.7% on SBA 7(a) loans; 8.3% on Express loans)
- Average Term: Nine years (15 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans; eight years on SBA Express loans)
Chase Bank is an SBA preferred lender with approximately 5,100 branches in 23 states. Unlike some of the other big banks, Chase Bank has revealed plans to expand its consumer and small business presence into about 15 to 20 new markets over the next five years. This will include an expansion of small business lending, and so more business owners will have access to Chase SBA loans.
Last year, Chase Bank launched a loan program in partnership with our recommended short-term business loan provider, OnDeck, to target small businesses that have unfulfilled credit needs. Programs like these should make business owners very comfortable in partnering with Chase Bank, as Chase is one of the best SBA lenders for small businesses.
Further, Chase small business loans are great for startups and newer businesses. While many SBA lenders require at least two years of business history to make an SBA loan, Chase SBA loans are good for any small business regardless of how long it’s been operating. This makes Chase one of the top SBA lenders for startup businesses.
Chase Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We considered Chase Bank reviews from around the web, and determined the reviews for the company overall are a mix of positive and negative. Responsive bankers who take the time to understand and respond to business owners’ needs was a high point of the Chase Bank reviews. Interestingly, some of the negative Chase reviews focused on the overall customer service (not specifically related to SBA loans). Read more on our Chase Bank reviews page.
4. Live Oak Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Live Oak Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $1,268,746,600
- Total Number Approved: 858
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $1,478,726
- Average Interest Rates: 6.5% (6.4% on SBA 7(a) loans; 8.1% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 17 years (17 years on SBA 7(a) loans; 10 years on Express loans)
Live Oak is an SBA preferred lender known for providing an efficient SBA lending process to small business owners nationwide. Live Oak Bank is also known for having specific industry expertise. As a business owner, it can be much easier to qualify for an SBA loan (particularly larger loans) if you work with a lender that specializes in and is familiar with your industry.
Some of the industries in which Live Oak Bank has specific industry expertise are:
- Accounting and Tax Firms
- Automotive Care
- Franchise Restaurants
- Wine and Craft Beverages
Live Oak Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We scoured the web for Live Oak Bank reviews and found that very few reviews exist. This is notable given the reported SBA lending volume. The few reviews we could find noted a confusing SBA loan process and quick loan declines by Live Oak Bank. It’s notable that quick declines could actually indicate that Live Oak Bank has an efficient lending process.
5. U.S. Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by U.S. Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $351,055,300
- Total Number Approved: 2,286
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $153,567
- Average Interest Rates: 8.0% (6.4% on SBA 7(a) loans; 8.4% on Express loans)
- Average Term: Eight years (17 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans; six years on Express loans)
U.S. Bank SBA loans are offered to businesses nationwide. Some of its advertising focuses on quick loans, featuring a streamlined SBA express application and fast approvals. It is not clear just how quickly U.S. Bank SBA loans are funded and approved. However, based on the average U.S. Bank SBA loan amount, SBA express loans are probably what’s driving the U.S. Bank SBA loan volume. This makes U.S. Bank SBA loans a great option if you need a small loan amount.
U.S. Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We considered U.S. Bank reviews about the company in general from across the web and found it has a B+ rating with the BBB. We found quite a few negative U.S. Bank reviews, many of which seem to be related to customer service and account servicing issues. However, offsetting the negative comments are some positive U.S. Bank reviews related to friendly staff and the ease with which its services can be accessed.
6. Celtic Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Celtic Bank during FY 2018 to 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $421,426,500
- Total Number Approved: 1,213
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $347,425
- Average Interest Rates: 7.3% (7.3% on SBA 7(a) loans; 7.5% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 12 years (12 years on SBA 7(a) loans; three years on Express loans)
Celtic Bank offers SBA loans nationally. Unlike many of the other top 10 SBA lenders, Celtic offers an online application process. This is a differentiator that could potentially speed up the process. While Celtic Bank offers SBA loans to a wide range of industries, it also has specific expertise in industries such as healthcare and car washes. This industry expertise is part of what makes Celtic one of the top SBA lenders.
Celtic Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We compiled Celtic Bank reviews from around the web and found that Celtic Bank reviews are a mix of positive and negative ratings. Some customers were impressed with the company’s customer support team, while others complained that rates were not as the company advertised. Read more on our Celtic Bank reviews page.
7. TD Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by TD Bank during FY 2018 to 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $340,004,600
- Total Number Approved: 4,244
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $80,114
- Average Interest Rates: 9.4% (6.4% on standard 7(a) loans; 9.4% on Express loans)
- Average Term: Nine years (17 years on standard 7(a) loans; eight years on Express loans)
TD Bank offers SBA loans in 16 states and has more than 1,300 locations, mostly in the northeastern region plus South Carolina and Florida. If you live in these locations, TD Bank is one of the best SBA lenders, as it’s nice to have a local banker available to walk you through the process. TD Bank is transparent about what it takes to qualify for an SBA loan, and provides a lot of tools for you to use as you’re considering all your business loan options.
Additionally, TD Bank gives you the opportunity to chat with an SBA expert online, which is a differentiator when compared to the other SBA lenders. Not only that, but TD has an online community where their team members actively review and respond to questions from their customers. This is an exceptionally supportive approach to SBA lending.
TD Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We considered reviews from around the web and found that TD Bank as a company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and generally positive reviews online. Customer service is a common theme amongst the TD Bank reviews, with many reviewers calling out an exceptional experience and a few noting customer service problems. Read more on our TD Bank reviews page.
8. Newtek Small Business Finance SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Newtek Small Business Finance during FY 2018 to 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $559,212,100
- Total Number Approved: 767
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $729,091
- Average Interest Rates: 7.4% on standard SBA 7(a) loans
- Average Term: 14 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans
Newtek is an SBA preferred lender providing online SBA loans to small businesses nationwide, with a primary focus on standard SBA 7(a) loans. While Newtek provides financing to a wide range of industries, some of its specialties include manufacturing, wholesaling, services, retailing, and certain types of construction. Working with a lender, such as Newtek, that specializes in your industry might improve your chances of getting approved.
Newtek Small Business Finance SBA Lending Reviews
We searched the web for Newtek Small Business Finance reviews and very little information was available. Newtek is interesting because it provides many different types of business services, including loans, payroll solutions, web services, and healthcare, amongst others. This could be good or bad for businesses, depending on how well it’s organized. The SBA loan volumes reported for Newtek are telling in that it’s one of the top SBA lenders in the nation.
9. Compass Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Compass Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $357,782,700
- Total Number Approved: 821
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $435,789
- Average Interest Rates: 8.0% (5.4% on standard 7(a) loans; 9.0% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 10 years (19 years on standard 7(a) loans; seven years on Express loans)
Compass Bank provides small business loans through its network of 672 bank branches located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas. If you’re located in any of these states in the Sun Belt region of the U.S., Compass Bank is one of the best SBA lenders. This is because working with a local banker can be helpful when applying for an SBA loan.
Compass Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We scoured the web for general Compass Bank reviews and found a mix of negative and positive reviews. On the positive side, some Compass Bank reviews highlight a good customer service experience from specific bankers. On the other hand, negative Compass Bank reviews seem to be related to account servicing problems and, interestingly, broad customer service issues. Read more on our Compass Bank reviews page.
10. Byline Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Byline Bank during FY 2018 through 09/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $513,654,800
- Total Number Approved: 454
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $1,131,398
- Average Interest Rates: 7.1% (7.2% on standard 7(a) loans; 7.2% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 15 years (15 years on standard 7(a) loans; nine years on Express loans)
Byline Bank is an SBA preferred lender that provides business loans in California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. This makes Byline Bank one of the best SBA lenders for business owners living in Southern California or the Midwest. You’ll be paired with an SBA expert who will work to find a creative solution to meet your financing needs.
Byline Bank SBA Lending Reviews
We searched the web for general Byline Bank reviews and found a mix of positive and negative reviews. A focus of some of the positive Byline Bank reviews was on friendly, local customer service, which is great if you want an SBA loan. Some of the negative Byline Bank reviews were related to servicing issues and difficulties with Byline’s online platform.
How to Qualify for an SBA Loan
Qualifying for an SBA loan isn’t easy. The requirements generally parallel what you would need for a conventional bank loan, and each lender’s qualifications are nearly identical. SBA loans provide financing for established small businesses, startups, and minority owned businesses. The major factors considered relate to your credit score (680+), cash flow (DSCR of at least 1.25x), collateral (you need some), and equity (10% to 20% is typically required).
You typically need the following to qualify for an SBA 7(a) loan:
- Credit Score: Good personal credit score of 680+ (check your credit score).
- Ability to Repay: Your business needs to have positive cash flow or (for startups) positive cash flow projections, typically translating to a Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) of at least 1.25x.
- Collateral: The loan may not need to be 100% collateralized, but you should have some collateral (business and/or personal).
- Equity: You’ll need a 10% to 20% down payment if you’re starting a new business or if you are acquiring a business or real estate.
These requirements are on top of the SBA’s eligibility requirements. Keep in mind that every lender will require a personal guarantee from the primary business owners, and you’ll be required to submit a personal financial statement through SBA Form 413 or your lender’s form to show what assets you have to backup that guarantee. Check out our SBA loan calculator to estimate your payments, rates, and qualifications.
How to Apply for an SBA Loan
The process of applying for an SBA loan will vary by lender, although there will be some commonalities. You’ll begin by completing an application and then submit quite a bit of paperwork. To make the application process easier, you can refer to the SBA’s loan application checklist to find out what information you will need to provide. Also, check out our article on How to Apply for an SBA Loan for tips on how to get a small business loan from the SBA.
Bottom Line: Best SBA Lender
Wells Fargo is our recommended SBA lender as it will likely be able to help the most small businesses nationally. Wells Fargo routinely gives out the most money and approves the most SBA loans. Huntington is a great option if you live in the upper Midwest, and Chase SBA loans are good alternatives if you’re a startup. Most of the 10 top SBA lenders will be good funding options and are worth checking out.
For businesses intimidated by the SBA loan process, SmartBiz is an SBA loan provider with a simplified application process and the ability to connect you with a lender that will best meet your needs. SmartBiz offers up to $350,000 for working capital and up to $5 million for commercial real estate. If you’ve been in business two years, are profitable, and have a credit score above 680, you can pre-qualify online in just a few minutes.