How to Qualify for an SBA Loan (2023)
If you are a small business owner, you will find our discussion on How to Qualify for an SBA Loan.
SBA stands for Small Business Administration Loan given to small business owners so that they can be used for multi-business purposes including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory, or real-estate purchases. There are things you need to know about SBA Loan Application before you apply.
How to Qualify for an SBA Loan
When you are out of options on how to fund your small-scale business, the alternative is to get a business loan. However, getting a business loan comes with perceived stress which makes many business owners not consider it.
But for those interested to take the SBA Loan but have no idea regarding the prerequisites, this informative piece is for you.
You must get all the steps right so that you won’t get your business loan application denied. For this reason, we have compiled vital steps you can take to qualify for and get an SBA loan.
1. Your Business Must Meet the Basic Requirements
You must know SBA does not give out a loan. Strange, but true! What they do is collaborate with “Individual Lenders” to distribute loans to small businesses by setting guidelines in line with the guidelines of its partnering lenders and community development organizations.
Now you know how it works. That is why our first recommendation is for you as a small business owner to meet these guidelines so that you can qualify for an SBA loan.
Other requirements include businesses should be for-profit, a business must be based in the United States, and importantly it must be a small business start.
Business owners are expected to have invested their resources and time into the business. Also, they must have exhausted other lending options, as well as established the ability to repay the loan over a reasonable period.
In addition, a business owner must have invested time and money into the business, exhausted other lending options, and demonstrated the ability to repay the loan over a reasonable period.
2. Build your Credit Score
The next step you need to consider is to build your credit score be it personal or business-wise. SBA will ask to see your credit score so that they have an idea of how you manage debt.
To pass this test, you must try and retrieve a copy of your credit report and crosscheck for any inaccuracies, better still ensure you pay bills on time and in full to improve your credit score over time before applying for SBA Loan.
3. Gather Financial and Legal Documents
Going further in our discourse on How to qualify for an SBA loan, you also need to get all financial and legal documents that will support your application and give you an edge over others.
The reason has been that SBA like other lenders will require a wide range of paperwork when you apply for a small-business loan. As such, you must prepare all the necessary financial and legal documents that you will need for a small-business loan.
1. A copy of your driver’s license
2. A resume showing relevant management or business experience
3. Copy of Articles of incorporation
4. Balance sheet and income statement
5. Business licenses
6. Commercial leases
7. Financial projections if you have a limited operating history
8. Personal and business bank statements
9. Personal and business income tax returns
4. Prepare Everything on The Loan Submission Checklist
Applying for a business loan is a serious business and you must prepare everything on the loan submission checklist so that your application is not sidelined. SBA requires business loan lenders to complete an extensive loan application, a credit memo, a cash projection document, and other important documentation.
However, the requirement differs depending on the amount of the desired loan, how old the business is, or the number of borrowers on the loan application. Therefore, you need to find out which checklist is appropriate for your business loan.
5. Develop a Strong Business Plan
Another step you need to take is to come up with a strong business plan. It may sound awkward but the fact remains that SBA lenders are interested to know how you intend to use the money that will be loaned to you, and importantly seeing that you have a strong ability to repay.
For this reason, they will require you to present a solid business plan which provides details of the purpose of the loan and how you expect it to boost your business and increase profits.
You don’t want any mistakes and want the SBA to have confidence in your business, so your business plan should capture and demonstrate that you have the sufficient cash flow to cover ongoing business expenses as well as the new loan payments.
6. Provide Collateral
As we come to the end of our discussion, the last step we will ponder on How to qualify for an SBA Loan is to provide collateral. Taking loans of any kind comes with risks. One such risk is to provide collateral should in case you default in making a payment.
Offering collateral is one of SBA’s strong requirements meaning you have to offer some type of collateral to secure a loan. Collateral can be assets such as real estate or office equipment, accounts receivable, inventory, etc.
Read Also: What is a Conventional Business Loan
I believe you have acquired the necessary information you need on How to qualify for an SBA Loan. The steps may seem tedious or demanding but it is sure worth the try if you are desperate for funding for your business.
Make sure you read through the methods provided above so you can qualify for an SBA loan to improve your business.