In early 2013, getting small business administration loans became easier when the government streamlined the lending process and changed some features of the SBA’s popular loan programs. After complaints that the average SBA loan application was too complex and lengthy, the government decided to reduce the paperwork required to help expand upon the number of businesses with access to a loan or commercial mortgage. Some of the most difficult financing steps a business will face are the loans necessary at the startup phase. Getting initial funding for small business administration loans has been nearly impossible for some business owners, particularly because of the collateral and credit history requirements used in the past.
One of the biggest changes to the SBA 7(a) and 504 loan programs has been the elimination of the personal resource test. Before this change, applicants would need to undergo a complex process to determine how much collateral might be required for a particular loan application. This change has benefited businesses seeking the commercial loan rates offered through SBA loans, particularly when conventional loans have been out of reach. In addition, the rule changes surrounding business affiliation have made it possible for certain companies to qualify for small business administration loans despite having a financial connection to larger companies with significant revenue.
One of the biggest hurdles for qualifying for SBA loans has been the size requirement. The reason why the rules on affiliation were changed is because a large company with ties to a small company that was applying for an SBA loan wouldn’t benefit from trying to get a government-backed loan. Large companies have been able to qualify for conventional loans with rates lower than traditional SBA loan rates. However, loan limits were changed in 2010 to accommodate larger small business administration loans, as well as businesses with net income up to $5 million. This means that a company with $100 million in sales with only $5 in net income could actually satisfy SBA loan requirements.
The recent changes were made to help small businesses, but overall the modifications have made it easier for larger businesses to get SBA loans, too. One of the ways in which SBA loans haven’t changed is the requirement for collateral. Despite changes to the personal resource test, business owners have still had the opportunity to put their personal assets into the application as collateral. Placing a personal home up as collateral for an SBA loan has remained a standard part of building a business from the ground up. Fortunately, the SBA has allowed applicants to use collateral not owned by the business to satisfy SBA loan requirements.
Before deciding upon which loan to apply for with a local lender, a business borrower should figure out which SBA loan program would offer appropriate funds. Different loan programs available through lenders include CDC/504 loans for real estate and equipment, general SBA loans through the 7(a) program, and micro loans. The government even offers disaster loans that homeowners and renters can use. The variety of available small business administration loans ensures most small business owners can find an appropriate type.
The economic recovery has helped make it easier to qualify for small business loans, and with the rule changes in effect, it has been the government’s hope that there would be additional businesses applying for SBA loans. When seeking a small business loan, it’s important for business applicants to research a variety of lenders to determine which offers the best opportunity for approval. Small business administration loans do have some eligibility requirements, but many businesses can meet those requirements by finding a lender who specializes in small business loans.