Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan

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SBA Loan

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency with the main purpose of helping small businesses get the funding they need to grow.  During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they stepped in to facilitate the PPP loan.  Compare the best SBA loan options with Upwise.


What is an SBA Loan?

SBA loans are business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.  SBA guaranteed loans can range from small to large and can be used for most business purposes. With their multiple SBA funding programs, this government agency provides SBA loan guarantees of up to 85% of the loan amount provided through an SBA-approved lender— such as Upwise.  The SBA agency reduces risk and enables easier access to capital for small business owners across the United States. The three main SBA loan programs let you borrow money for nearly any business purpose—including working capital, purchasing inventory or equipment, refinancing other debts, or buying real estate—through these SBA-guaranteed loans.  Take into account that some SBA loan programs set restrictions on how you can use the funds, so make sure to check with your Upwise SBA loan specialist.

What is considered an SBA loan? The SBA stands for the Small Business Administration (SBA) and is the government agency that partially guarantees SBA loans and this agency was founded in 1953 to support small business owners financially across the United States.  Here we will go over the costs, qualifications, use of proceeds, underwriting process, timeline to funding and more to help you determine whether this type of loan is the best option to finance the growth of your small business.

SBA Loan Details

Maximum loan amount

$5K - $5 Million

loan term

3 Months - 2 Years

interest rates

9.99% - 24.99%


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SBA Loan Pros vs Cons



How Does an SBA Loan Work?

SBA loans are originated by a bank and the SBA provides a guarantee on the loan, promising to reimburse the bank for a certain percentage of the loan in the event of a default.  The SBA agency does not typically make direct loans which is a common misunderstanding amongst small business owners. The guarantee by the SBA lowers the risks to lenders, encouraging them to offer these loans to more American small businesses. Upwise has partnered with many banks and other financial institutions that offer SBA loans, but their process, requirements, and fees can vary.

Who Qualifies for an Small Business Administration Loan?

Securing an SBA loan for a small business is no easy task, but our team at Upwise is here to guide you through every step of the process.  Many businesses, including small or newer businesses, can qualify for an SBA loan.

Take into account that the most important factor will be your credit score, the SBA requirement is a minimum of 620 FICO SCORE from ALL three credit bureaus.  If you are a new business the SBA loan program has specific loans for starting a new business or acquiring an existing business.

Be prepared for the process: SBA loans usually require a lot of documentation, time, and energy.  The underwriting process can be long if you are looking for more than $350k. Upwise offers an expedited SBA for any borrowers looking for a loan under $350k.  For larger loan amounts the process from beginning to end is usually 30-45 business days depending on the borrower’s motivation to move quickly.

Don’t believe any broker or lender who promises to provide SBA loans in as fast as 1-2 business days.  SBA loans take time to get approved and usually require the business to be showing a profit on the most recent business tax return.  

Applying for an SBA loan can be difficult to qualify for if your company has a limited track record of paying off-trade lines or has a poor business credit score.  After all, credit and trade line payment history is the most important aspect when the SBA-approved lender evaluates a borrower’s reliability.

Do not worry, Upwise capital has secured many SBA loans for clients in the past and can easily navigate your business through the SBA process to a successful funded SBA loan.

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SBA Loan Requirements

Annual revenue

Over $200K

Credit Score

Over 650+

Time In business

2 Years +


Over 10% Profit Shown on Tax Returns

* Note: These SBA Loan requirements are based on previous Upwise customers and is just an average.

Types of SBA Loans

Maximum Loan Amount:  $5 Million

Maximum SBA Guarantee: 85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for loans greater than $150,000

Interest Rate:  Lenders and borrowers can negotiate the interest rate, but it may not exceed the SBA maximum

Eligibility Decision:  By the SBA. Qualified lenders may be granted delegated authority (PLP) to make eligibility determinations without SBA review.

Revolving Lines of Credit:  Up to 10 years (Permitted only under CAPLines submission. See below)

SBA Turn Around Time: 5-10 business days

Forms: SBA Form 1919 and SBA Form 1920 are required for every loan (other SBA Forms may be required)

Collateral:  Lenders are not required to take collateral for loans up to $25,000. For loans in excess of $350,000, the SBA requires that the lender collateralize the loan to the maximum extent possible up to the loan amount. If business fixed assets do not “fully secure” the loan the lender may include trading assets (using 10% of current book value for the calculation), and must take available equity in the personal real estate (residential and investment) of the principals as collateral.

Credit Decision:  By the SBA. Qualified lenders may be granted delegated authority (PLP) to make credit decisions without SBA review.

What Does an SBA Loan Cost?

SBA loans tend to be the least expensive financing options available to small business owners.  SBA rates can vary depending on the lender that you work with, but all interest rates must be within SBA guidelines.  

The SBA establishes the minimum and maximum amount that can be charged for these loans. SBA loans from Upwise marketplace banks can have fixed or variable interest rates and depend on the loan amount, lender and SBA loan type.  SBA interest rates are based on the Wall Street Prime Rate + anywhere from 2.25 – 4.25% depending on the loan product.  

How to get an SBA Loan

We make it easy, simply apply online and we’ll be in touch to go over your options.

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Documents You'll Need to Apply

  • Completed Application
  • Driver’s License
  • Voided Business Check
  • Business Bank Statements (Last 6 Months)
  • Credit Application
  • Balance sheets
  • Profit & Loss Statements
  • 2 Years Business Tax Returns
  • 2 Years Personal Tax Returns
  • Account Receivables Report (if securing AR)
  • Inventory List (if securing inventory)
  • Equipment List (if securing equipment)
  • Collateral Information

*See above for SBA loan requirements. 

SBA Loans

can be used for 
SBA Loans

SBA loans are the best loan options available to small business owners in the marketplace.  SBA loans are government-backed loans that will come in at the best interest rate available and are considered the gold standard of loans for small business owners looking to expand their business in a variety of different ways.

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