How Your Business Can Get an SBA Loan
Being a small business owner can be deeply rewarding — and challenging. Getting to be your own boss has many upsides; the creative freedom and vocational flexibility are a big plus in today’s rapidly changing economy. A major challenge is ensuring that there’s consistent money coming in, particularly as you begin to scale your business. Applying for and securing a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan can help bring more peace of mind and security. Here are some things to consider as you apply for an SBA loan.
Know Your Credit
Before doing anything else, make sure you’re aware of your credit score and history so that there won’t be any surprises as you go through the application process. When you communicate with a prospective loan officer, you’ll be required to provide specific numbers to demonstrate that you’re able to pay the loan back. Also, it’s best to refrain from taking on additional debt while your loan is application is processing.
Visit a Small Business Development Center
These days, a visit to a small business development center may be in-person or virtual. They’re funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in conjunction with state-run economic offices and are an essential resource for the small business owner, providing market research help, financial packing and lending assistance, business plan development, exporting and importing support, manufacturing assistance, healthcare guidance, and many other services.
Contact Lender Match
If you’d prefer not to visit a small business development center, you can use the SBA’s free online tool to match you with a lender. During times of economic change and travel restrictions, the SBA’s comprehensive online resources are invaluable.
Have Your Info Ready
To make your SBA loan application process go smoothly, be sure you have the following information readily available in addition to your credit history:
- Financial projections
- Business plan
- Evidence of industry experience within the field
- Amount of money you need, and how you intend to use it
Do Some Research
Get up to speed on the different types of SBA loans: 7(a) and 504. While 504 loans are geared toward the real estate market, 7(a) loans have more to do with standard business financing. Lenders vary — search for one who has experience lending to similar businesses and understands your unique needs.
SBA loans provide numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs. Keep these steps in mind as you explore options to keep your business viable.