Nov 28, 2019

Which Banks Provide Small Business Loans?

As the economy continues to grow, banks are also growing their portfolio of loans available for small business owners. More banking companies than ever before have pledged to provide funding for small businesses, which is good news if your business is relatively young.

Every year, the Small Business Administration (SBA) presents a ranking of the banks that approved the most money in loans for SBA 7(a) loans, a common term loan offered through many banks and backed by the federal government. The ranking offers a sense of how banks are lending to small businesses.

Wells Fargo

According to the SBA, Well Fargo Bank was second in terms of amounts of SBA loans in 2018, having approved a total of $619.5 million in SBA loans with an approval count of 2,316. Wells Fargo has made a name for itself for term loans, too, and the bank bills itself as “America’s leading small business lender.” In 2014, the bank pledged to lend $100 billion to American small businesses within 5 years and the company is close to reaching that goal. The Wells Fargo Unsecured Business Loan is popular because the application, available online, is only 1 page long.

Bank of America

Bank of America is gaining ground among small business owners. The bank said that small business loans generated $4 billion in revenue for Bank of America in 2017 and the company has loaned out some $30 billion to small businesses in recent years. The firm offers a Business Advantage Line of Credit, which is a revolving line of credit in case your business runs into cash flow issues. The interest rates start as low as 6.75%, which is one of the best interest rates available for business lines of credit available from large nationwide banks.

JPMorgan Chase

Chase has some 5,000 physical locations around the United States, and the bank has really pushed into the small business lending arena over the past decade. The SBA said that JPMorgan Chase approved 1,428 SBA loans in 2018 and funded a total of roughly $361.5 million in these loans. Chase requires small business lenders to already be a Chase customer and to apply for the loans at a physical branch of the bank, but this requirement is made a bit simpler because there is probably a Chase bank somewhere close to you. The bank’s business credit cards are also used by millions of small business owners across the country.

TD Bank

TD Bank is one of the most respected small business lenders in the US. Even though the bank’s branches are mostly located on the East Coast, the SBA notes that TD Bank is one of the biggest small business SBA loan lenders in the country, providing over 2,000 loans totaling about $193.7 million in 2018. You have to make an appointment at a physical branch to apply for a loan, but they offer term loans, small business lines of credit, and commercial mortgages.

US Bank

Like TD Bank, US Bank is limited in terms of location—the bank only has branches in 25 states. Unlike TD Bank, though, these locations are located mostly in the West and Midwest. Still, it is one of the largest SBA small business lenders. One favorite lending product offered by US Bank is its Quick Loan for Business, which earns the name because it has a simple online application and a speedy credit check. Additionally, the bank offers a similar quick loan for commercial vehicles. US Bank is known among small business owners because its requirements are a little less stringent than many other large-scale banks.

Huntington National Bank

The SBA said that Huntington National Bank approved 2,731 SBA loans in 2018—more than any other bank in the US that year—for a total approval amount of more than $500 million. Huntington Bank has been a Midwest staple for over 150 years, but it does not have a huge footprint outside of the region. Although it offers term loans and lines of credit, the bank is famous for its SBA loan offerings, which include SBA 7(a) loans, SBA 504 loans, and SBA Express loans. If you’re a Midwestern business and you are seeking an SBA loan, Huntington Bank has options for a range of business sizes and ages.

Live Oak Bank

You may have never heard of Live Oak Bank, but the North Carolina-based firm was the leading lender of SBA loans in 2018, approving 692 of these loans for a total of more than $1 billion—a figure that’s hundreds of millions more than any other bank. This amount might be because Live Oak focuses on SBA loans and offers them for small businesses in certain industries that often find it hard to secure funding. Live Oak prides itself on offering loans to businesses in fields like hotels, agriculture, wine, health care, self-storage, and others.

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About the author

Barry Eitel
Barry Eitel
Barry Eitel has written about business and technology for eight years, including working as a staff writer for Intuit's Small Business Center and as the Business Editor for the Piedmont Post, a weekly newspaper covering the city of Piedmont, California.

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