With more than 3,000 SBA lenders nationwide, choosing the best SBA lender can be difficult. Some of the best SBA lenders approve average loan amounts of about $75,000 to more than $1.5 million, with interest rates averaging around 6.4 percent to more than 9.2 percent. We’ll show you the 100 top SBA lenders per current SBA data, and review 10 of the top SBA lenders.
Our recommended SBA lender is SmartBiz. Their clients are often funded in half the time of traditional banks and they offer up to $350,000 for working capital and up to $5 million for commercial real estate. If you’ve been in business two or more years, are profitable, and have a credit score above 680, you can pre-qualify online in just a few minutes.
Top 100 SBA Lenders
|Live Oak Banking Company|
|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|
|Bank of Hope|
|TD Bank, National Association|
|Stearns Bank National Association|
|Bank of the West|
|Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC|
|KeyBank National Association|
|Seacoast Commerce Bank|
|First Home Bank|
|United Community Bank|
|Commonwealth Business Bank|
|First Financial Bank|
|BankUnited, National Association|
|Readycap Lending, LLC|
|Bank of America, National Association|
|Pacific Premier Bank|
|Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company|
|First Bank Financial Centre|
|United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association|
|Pacific City Bank|
|Zions Bank, a Division of ZB, National Association|
|Pacific Western Bank|
|Metro City Bank|
|MUFG Union Bank, National Association|
|Atlantic Capital Bank, National Association|
|Hana Small Business Lending, Inc.|
|First Savings Bank|
|First IC Bank|
|Fifth Third Bank|
|Spirit of Texas Bank, SSB|
|Midwest Regional Bank|
|PNC Bank, National Association|
|Green Bank, National Association|
|CenterStone SBA Lending, Inc.|
|US Metro Bank|
|East West Bank|
|Capital One, National Association|
|Five Star Bank|
|The Bancorp Bank|
|First National Bank of Pennsylvania|
|Bank of George|
|Republic First Bank dba Republic Bank|
|Citizens Bank, National Association|
|Wallis State Bank|
|Fulton Bank, National Association|
|Branch Banking and Trust Company|
|State Bank and Trust Company|
|North State Bank|
|First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company|
|Touchmark National Bank|
|First Western SBLC, Inc.|
|Old National Bank|
|New Millennium Bank|
|Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB|
|Webster Bank, National Association|
|Texas Capital Bank, National Association|
|First Colorado National Bank|
*Last Updated: February 2019
**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 has 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 loans. All the top SBA lenders we reviewed should be a good choice.
For those looking into SBA 7(a) loans, we recommend the loan provider SmartBiz. Not only does their streamlined application process result in much faster funding times, they can also help get you funded for up to $350,000 on a working capital loan or up to $5 million if you’re financing a commercial real estate project. You can pre-qualify online in minutes.
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 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $926,898,000
- Total Number Approved: 2,859
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $324,204
- Average Interest Rates: 8.4% (5.9% on SBA 7(a) loans; 9.8% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 12 years (18 years on SBA 7(a) loans; 9 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 June 2018, Wells Fargo announced plans to sell all of its branches in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to Flagstar Bank in late 2018. You will still be able to get Wells Fargo SBA loans in those states, since Wells Fargo plans to maintain its business lending presence.
Wells Fargo 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.
How to Apply for Wells Fargo SBA Loans
To apply for an SBA loan with Wells Fargo, you’ll need to go into a branch location and talk to a business banker. Wells Fargo will collect documentation from you to determine if you meet the SBA’s eligibility and qualification requirements. The process typically takes between 30 and 60 days, if all documentation is accurate and provided upfront.
2. Huntington National Bank
The SBA loans approved by Huntington National Bank during FY 2018 through 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $628,563,700
- Total Number Approved: 3,484
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $180,414
- Average Interest Rates: 6.6% (6.9% on SBA 7(a) loans; 6.5% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 9 years (13 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans; 8 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 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.
How to Apply with Huntington National Bank
With an SBA preferred lender like Huntington National Bank, you can get SBA loans from $5,000 to $5 million. You’ll begin the application process by reaching out to an SBA Specialist in your area. Huntington did not provide any details on the application process and funding time other than to say it’s in line with standard SBA loan timelines, and will generally fund within 60 days.
3. Chase SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by Chase Bank during FY 2018 through 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $472,327,000
- Total Number Approved: 2,014
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $234,522
- Average Interest Rates: 7.7% (5.6% on SBA 7(a) loans; 8.1% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 9 years (15 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans; 8 years on 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 SBA 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 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.
How to Apply for Chase SBA Loans
To apply for Chase SBA loans, you’ll need to meet with a business banker at your local Chase Bank branch. The funding speed for Chase SBA loans varies by the branch at which you apply, and is sometimes delayed at busier branches. You can expect Chase SBA loans to close in about 45 to 60 days.
4. Live Oak Banking Company
The SBA loans approved by Live Oak Banking Company during FY 2018 through 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $628,563,700
- Total Number Approved: 691
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $1,494,963
- Average Interest Rates: 6.4% (6.3% 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 Banking Company 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.
How to Apply with Live Oak Banking Company
With Live Oak Banking Company, you’ll apply for an SBA loan online. Live Oak has a team of SBA lending experts available to provide guidance and support, should you need it. You’ll often get a loan proposal within 24 hours of submitting all the necessary documentation. While specific funding speeds aren’t available, 45 to 90 days is likely a reasonable expectation.
5. US Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by US Bank during FY 2018 through 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $263,529,400
- Total Number Approved: 1,717
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $153,482
- Average Interest Rates: 7.9% (6.3% on SBA 7(a) loans; 8.3% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 8 years (18 years on standard SBA 7(a) loans; 6 years on Express loans)
US 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 US Bank SBA loans are funded and approved. However, based on the average US Bank SBA loan amount, SBA express loans are probably what’s driving the US Bank SBA loan volume. This makes US Bank SBA loans a great option if you need a small loan amount.
US Bank Reviews
We considered US 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 US Bank reviews, many of which seem to be related to customer service and account servicing issues. However, offsetting the negative comments are some positive US Bank reviews related to friendly staff and the ease with which its services can be accessed.
How to Apply for US Bank SBA Loans
To get the SBA loan process started with US Bank, you can contact an SBA specialist online, speak with someone in a branch, or speak with someone on the phone. For SBA loans under $250,000, US Bank advertises a quick loan process with reduced paperwork via an SBA express loan. While approval and funding times aren’t readily available, 45 to 60 total days is likely.
6. Celtic Bank
The SBA loans approved by Celtic Bank during FY 2018 to 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $324,011,600
- Total Number Approved: 998
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $324,661
- Average Interest Rates: 7.2% (7.2% on SBA 7(a) loans; 7.5% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 11 years (12 years on SBA 7(a) loans; 3 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 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.
How to Apply with Celtic Bank
With Celtic Bank, you’ll start by completing an online application. You’ll specify the amount you want to borrow and for what purpose, along with basic information about your business, such as how long you’ve been operating and your estimated credit score. Celtic Bank says its process is quick, but there aren’t details on just how quick. An estimate of 45 to 60 days to fund is likely.
7. TD Bank SBA Loans
The SBA loans approved by TD Bank during FY 2018 to 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $243,131,800
- Total Number Approved: 3,116
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $78,027
- Average Interest Rates: 9.2% (6.2% on standard 7(a) loans; 9.3% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 8 years (18 years on standard 7(a) loans; 8 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 your 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 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.
How to Apply for a TD Bank SBA Loan
If you’re applying for an SBA loan of $100,000 or less, you can apply for an SBA loan with TD Bank in a branch or via an online application. For all other SBA loans, you’ll complete a paper application and bring it to your nearest TD Bank location. The amount of time it takes for TD Bank to process your SBA loan is unclear, but 45 to 90 days to fund is a reasonable expectation.
8. Newtek Small Business Finance
The SBA loans approved by Newtek Small Business Finance during FY 2018 to 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $402,215,600
- Total Number Approved: 531
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $757,468
- Average Interest Rates: 7.2% 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 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.
How to Apply with Newtek Small Business Finance
You’ll start the Newtek SBA loan application process by submitting a form with basic information about you and your business. You’ll be assigned a lending specialist who will work with you through the whole process. Newtek will complete the application documents for you, and you’ll get pre-qualified in 48 hours. Funding times aren’t published, but 45 to 90 days to fund is likely.
9. Compass Bank
The SBA loans approved by Compass Bank during FY 2018 through 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $251,337,200
- Total Number Approved: 669
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $375,691
- Average Interest Rates: 8.0% (5.2% on standard 7(a) loans; 8.8% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 10 years (19 years on standard 7(a) loans; 7 years on Express loans)
Compass Bank provides SBA 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 Company 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.
How to Apply with Compass Bank
Applying for an SBA loan with Compass Bank starts by submitting an online form with basic information or speaking with a banker in a branch or by phone. Compass Bank will collect an application and the required documentation from you after it’s learned about your needs. Compass’ turnaround times are unclear, but you should expect at least 45 to 90 days to fund.
10. Byline Bank
The SBA loans approved by Byline Bank during FY 2018 through 06/30/18 are:
- Total Amount Approved: $403,998,500
- Total Number Approved: 348
- Average SBA Loan Amount: $1,160,915
- Average Interest Rates: 7.1% (7.1% on standard 7(a) loans; 7.0% on Express loans)
- Average Term: 15 years (15 years on standard 7(a) loans; 9 years on Express loans)
Byline Bank is an SBA preferred lender that provides SBA 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 Company 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 Apply with Byline Bank
With Byline Bank, you’ll begin the SBA loan application process by completing an online form with some basic information about your business. In a few days of the form being submitted, someone from Byline Bank’s team will reach out to you to discuss your financing needs. Its application and funding timeline isn’t readily available, but 45 to 90 days to fund is likely.
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. The major factors considered relate to your credit score (680+), cash flow (DSCR of 1.25x+), collateral (you need some), and equity (10 percent to 20 percent 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 for free).
- 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 percent collateralized, but you should have some collateral (business and/or personal).
- Equity: You’ll need a 10 percent to 20 percent 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 will submit quite a bit of paperwork. To make the application process easier, we’ve developed a comprehensive SBA loan documentation checklist. Also, check out our article on How to Apply for an SBA Loan in Four Steps for tips on how to get a small business loan from the SBA.
We recommend SmartBiz for the most streamlined SBA loan process. SmartBiz eliminates the need to deal with complicated SBA forms. SmartBiz offers SBA working capital loans up to $350,000 and commercial real estate loans up to $5 million, with loan terms of 10 to 25 years and rates starting at 5.75 percent. You can get pre-qualified online in minutes and funded in 30 days.
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 some of 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.
Our recommended SBA loan provider is SmartBiz. In fact, Smartbiz is the one Fit Small Business used for our own SBA loan! 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 or more years, are profitable, and have a credit score above 680, you can pre-qualify online quickly and easily in just a few minutes.