There is a strong case to be made for lenders using SBA and USDA loan programs. We see the following as key reasons:
To the contrary, most small, for-profit businesses are eligible for SBA loans. They aren’t just for small start-ups! Primarily, eligible businesses must meet the following criteria:
VITAL provides lenders with complete eligibility guidance, and conducts a thorough borrower review up-front to save valuable time.
The USDA offers programs for businesses, not-for-profits, and public entities operating in rural areas. Rural areas are defined as having a population of less than 50,000 (size requirements vary by program) and not connected to a metro. As with SBA loans, VITAL provides lenders with complete eligibility guidance, and conducts a thorough review up-front to save valuable time.
Yes, as long as the borrowing entity is located in an area that meets USDA eligibility requirements. If your bank serves rural areas, participating in USDA community development programs can make you an important lifeline lender.
Any loan the SBA guarantees requires at least one personal guarantor and a personal guarantee from all owners of 20% or more of the borrowing entity. The USDA follows this guideline with a couple of notable exceptions, such as loans to co-ops or publicly-traded companies, but the exceptions are limited. Contact VITAL for more information about exempt situations.
Yes for the SBA, and no for the USDA.
For the SBA, the loan amount is determined by borrower need and the ability to repay the loan. The SBA will take all available collateral. If all available collateral is insufficient to secure the loan on a liquidated basis, the borrower can still obtain the loan.
For loans guaranteed through the USDA, the loan amount Is determined by the collateral as well as the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. The USDA will not guarantee a loan without sufficient collateral.
Regarding the SBA, if there isn’t enough collateral to secure the loan on a liquidated basis, the borrower will need to provide a secured personal guarantee. This means they will need to pledge personal real estate, but only to the extent that they are short on collateral.
USDA loans must have sufficient collateral to cover the requested loan on a liquidated basis to be eligible for a guarantee. The lender’s normal lending guidelines regarding collecting secured guarantees from borrowers will be the deciding factor.
Yes, for both SBA and USDA loans! Many banks use this strategy to produce noninterest income, and collect it in the same year the loan is sold. Banks with a high loan-to-deposit ratio can sell the guaranteed portion of loans as a method to manage their outstanding loan balances.
Yes, the SBA will still guarantee a loan to a borrower who is highly leveraged or has a negative net worth, provided a reasonable likelihood of repayment is established. The SBA has no leverage guidelines for borrowers.
The USDA has a requirement for the borrower to have a 10% tangible net worth if the business has been in operation for 24 months or more. If the borrower has had operations of less than 24 months, the tangible net worth requirement is 20%. Contact VITAL for a further explanation of the USDA requirements.
Up to 25 years for an SBA loan secured by real estate, 10 years on everything else. Up to 30 years for a USDA Business & Industry loan secured by real estate, up to 10 years for a loan secured with equipment, and up to 7 years for a loan secured by working capital assets. Other USDA programs, such as Community Facilities and 538 Multi-Family Housing can have longer terms, if the useful life of the project supports it.
The SBA sets maximum rates lenders can charge. The specific rate will be determined by the lender, not to exceed SBA maximums.
The USDA has no set benchmarks, but requires that the rate be “reasonable." At VITAL, we follow the SBA guidelines when pricing our USDA loans.
For the SBA, the pricing can adjust monthly, quarterly, annually, every 3 years, or every 5 years. All of the prior mentioned adjustment periods constitute a variable rate loan. A fixed rate loan is exactly that: fixed for the life of the loan with no rate adjustments possible.
The USDA will allow the adjustment period to be set by negotiation between the lender and the borrower.
For lenders interested in selling the guaranteed portion, the secondary market prefers a monthly or quarterly adjustment period.
The U.S. Small Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs to help small businesses with access to affordable credit when they don’t qualify for a conventional bank loan. There are a number of reasons small businesses may be unable to get a conventional loan, such as not having enough collateral, being a start-up without a proven business history, or needing to finance working capital.
The SBA does not directly provide funding. Instead, it partners with lenders to offer a “guarantee” to offset the additional risks.
Most small, for-profit businesses are eligible for SBA loans. VITAL will provide borrowers with eligibility guidance, but primarily, a business must meet the following criteria:
Yes, the SBA offers several different financial programs with different criteria. The most commonly used is the SBA 7(a) program. You can read more about SBA programs on our Loan Programs page.
SBA loans offer businesses some important advantages that include:
Yes, one of the key advantages of SBA loans is the ability to fund the day-to-day activities of your business, such as rent, raw materials, inventory, payroll and marketing. An SBA loan requires less collateral than a conventional business loan.
Where a conventional business loan is typically secured with property, equipment, equity, or personal assets, an SBA loan can have lower collateral requirements because of the backing from the U.S. government. The amount of collateral required is ultimately determined by the lender. With an SBA loan, a business will still need to demonstrate it has “skin in the game.”
Yes. Many businesses use SBA loans to restructure their debt because the combination of longer terms and competitive interest rates often significantly lower their monthly payments and improve cash flow. After refinancing with the SBA, many businesses are actually able to pay for more things with cash going forward and avoid overextending credit. A business can consolidate and refinance existing debt in conjunction with a new loan, or just refinance existing debt at more favorable terms.
The SBA requires a minimum down payment of 10%. The final amount of the down payment will also be determined by the requirements of the lender making the loan.
Any loan the SBA guarantees requires at least one personal guarantor and a personal guarantee from all owners of 20% or more of the borrowing entity.
The SBA doesn’t lend money directly to businesses; instead, it partners with lenders. A business must apply for an SBA loan through an experienced lender. VITAL is a “lender service provider” that carries out the SBA lending process on behalf of a network of reputable community banks experienced in making SBA loans. To learn about starting an SBA application, please contact us for an initial consultation.
Underwriting SBA loans follows a process similar to conventional business loans, and includes items such as reviewing a business plan, collecting financial documents, and conducting a credit analysis. Because VITAL specializes in SBA loans, we have developed a smooth and efficient process. You can learn more at the SBA loan process for borrowers.
A borrower can receive multiple SBA loans as long as they don’t exceed the SBA lending limit of $5 million at any given time.
Similar to the SBA, loan programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture are designed to provide access to affordable credit, but with a specific focus on rural areas. The USDA has different programs for businesses of all sizes, not-for-profits, and public entities. Like the SBA, the USDA partners with lenders to offer a loan guarantee. For some purposes, borrowers may also be eligible to receive grants or low-interest direct loans from the USDA.
VITAL will provide borrowers with eligibility guidance, but generally, a business must:
Yes, the USDA offers financial programs for businesses, not-for-profits, and public entities operating in rural areas. You can read more about different USDA programs that may applicable to you on our Loan Programs page.
While the benefits of USDA financing can vary by program, common benefits include:
USDA loans typically require collateral equal to the loan amount.
All business owners, partners, and shareholders with a 20% or greater interest in the business are required to personally guarantee the loan.
For businesses, the first step is to contact a lender that understands USDA guaranteed loans. VITAL can connect you with an experienced lender that is the right fit for your needs. We’ll guide you through the process from there.
For public entities and not-for-profits, most USDA programs require an eligible borrower to complete an application to begin the process. VITAL will work with you and the appropriate state USDA officials to provide guidance, ensure accurate completion of the application, and save valuable time.
USDA programs are designed to help small and rural communities with specific community development challenges, such as water and wastewater systems, constructing public facilities, housing, broadband, and renewable energy. The financing options have many attractive features, including longer terms that offer manageable debt repayment.
Sometimes, combining USDA financing with other funding sources produces the most cost-effective solution. A consultation with VITAL can help to determine the smartest approach for your specific needs. Contact us any time to discuss your project.