SmartBiz Reviews: A One-Stop Shop for SBA Guaranteed Loans

SmartBiz Reviews: A One-Stop Shop for SBA Guaranteed Loans
Eric Goldschein
on March 19, 2020
Read in 4 min

You may be searching SmartBiz reviews to determine if it’s possible for you to acquire a guaranteed loan to use towards working capital, startup financing, or commercial real estate.

Well, you’ve come to the right place, as this SmartBiz review is packed with details about getting guaranteed loans through the popular online lender.

SBA loans are simply the friendliest and easiest to payback of almost any loan you can receive, and they’re partially backed by the federal government.

Obtaining a low-interest loan from the SBA isn’t as simple as writing a letter to SBA head Linda McMahon and crossing your fingers.

If you want an SBA loan, one of the first steps you should consider taking is to get in touch with SmartBiz.

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The SBA doesn’t actually disburse the loans itself but offers to guarantee SBA-approved banks that they’ll pay a percentage of your loan if you default.

To qualify for an SBA loan, your business has to meet some pretty stringent requirements, as well as the requirements of the institution providing the loan.

Rather than approaching SBA-approved banks and applying yourself, only to find you don’t meet the requirements, a platform like Smartbiz will make the connections for you.

SmartBiz Reviews: What to Expect

SmartBiz offers two kinds of financing:

SBA Working Capital and Debt Refinancing Loans & SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate Loans.

As mentioned above, it’s hard to beat SBA-guaranteed loans—they’re considered the best in the small business lending game.  

Though each SBA-approved lender has specific rates and terms unique to them, the SBA has established maximums that the banks cannot exceed.

SBA Working Capital & Debt Refinancing Loans via SmartBiz

For a working capital loan, which typically runs from $30,000 to $350,000, loan rates range from  6.75% to 7.75% over a 10-year term.

In order to work with SmartBiz, you’ll be charged two fees: a referral fee of no more than 2% of the loan amount, and a packaging fee of no more than 2% of the loan amount for non-commercial real estate loans.

There are also bank closing costs, typically around $450, and additional third-party report charges.

Additionally, the SBA collects a 2.25% guarantee fee for working capital loans between $150,000 and $350,000.

SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate Loans via SmartBiz

For a commercial real estate loan, which typically runs from $350,000 to $5 million, rates are 5.50% to 6.75% over a 10-25 year period.

SmartBiz’s fees are a one-time 0.5% packaging fee of the loan amount.

Then the SBA collects a guarantee fee of 2.25% to 2.76%, and banking closing costs that include fees, appraisal, and title fees typically add another $5,000.

Comparing SmartBiz Loans to Other Options

Compared to other lending options, an SBA loan through Smartbiz is a really good deal.

Their loans have an APR (annual percentage rate, which is the interest rate plus all other fees) ranges from 5.85% to 8.95%, with a funding process that can wrap up in under a week.

Peer-to-peer lenders, on the other hand, have APRs ranging from 9% to 36%, with a much shorter loan term of 1-5 years, which can mean much larger monthly payments.

Cash advance providers are tougher still:

They charge 20% to 100% on the APR and often require you to pay back the advance in under a year. Your typical payment for a $100,000 loan here is $12,000 (compared to just over $1,000 for Smartbiz).

Your typical payment for a $100,000 loan here is $12,000 (compared to just over $1,000 for Smartbiz).

SmartBiz Reviews – How to Apply

Part of what makes SmartBiz such a good low-cost option for business owners is they make clear their needs upfront, which streamlines the funding process.

That means when you are ready to apply for a loan, be prepared with the following paperwork, which you can upload directly to SmartBiz’s site:

  • Three previous years of personal and business tax returns
  • A personal financial statement from each individual owning at least 20% of the company
  • A profit and loss statement that shows all revenue and expenses over a given period
  • A balance sheet that shows liabilities and equity, equaling assets
  • Collateral, such as inventory, fixed assets, or the property you are financing or purchasing.
  • Other documents including businesses licenses, Articles of Incorporation, commercial leases, or franchise agreements

SmartBiz Reviews – Minimum Requirements

For either type of SBA loan detailed here, you and your business both need to be financially sound.

Businesses or even personal history that is marked by bankruptcy, foreclosure, or bad financial decisions will likely mark you ineligible.

For a Smartbiz SBA Working Capital and Debt Refinancing Loan (up to $350,000), your eligibility will depend on the following:

  • 24 months in business
  • Must be either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • Must have a personal credit score(s) of 650 or higher
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the prior three years
  • No open tax liens or outstanding collections
  • Sufficient history of cash flow that demonstrates you’ll be able to make all monthly payments
  • No delinquencies or defaults on government loans (this is an SBA requirement)

For an SBA 7(a) Commercial Real Estate Loan (with a minimum of $350,000), some of the requirements are the same, but there are a few other real estate-specific stipulations:

  • 24 months in business
  • Must be either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • Must have a personal credit score(s) of 650 or higher
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the prior three years
  • No open tax liens or outstanding collections
  • Sufficient history of cash flow that demonstrates you’ll be able to make all monthly payments
  • The real estate must be majority owner-occupied
  • The rent replacement options require a loan payment that won’t exceed the current monthly lease expense

SmartBiz Reviews – Looking Forward

If you do get an SBA loan, you can use it any number of ways:

Just make sure you make your payments and stay in good financial standing.

If you ever need another SBA loan, doing well on your first go-around will make re-upping a lot easier.

Browse Our Alternative Lender Reviews

If you want to compare APR and lender terms, then these links are for you:

If you’re ready to connect with a lender, you can get started with LendGenius’ easy online form:

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Eric Goldschein Finance Journalist

Eric Goldschein is a freelance journalist who covers entrepreneurship, small business trends, emerging technologies, culture and sports.

He was previously the managing editor of SportsGrid.com, and has written for Business Insider, Trep Life, the Huffington Post, Fundera and more.
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