SBA Loan FAQs

SBA Loan FAQs

KeyBank is an SBA Preferred Lender with the authority to make lending decisions on behalf of the SBA, meaning the process moves more quickly. Plus, our SBA specialists are available to help you throughout the process. We know you may have questions about an SBA loan, so we’ve put together answers to frequently asked questions to provide you with information you may find helpful.

How does the SBA program work?

A lender provides the actual loan to the borrower. The SBA guarantees a portion of the loan (between 50%-85% depending on the program) acting much like a co-signer. This helps lenders be more comfortable with a loan that they might otherwise not approve, such as a loan for a start up, or a borrower that has less collateral than a bank requires.

Why should I consider an SBA loan?

There are many reasons why an SBA guaranteed loan should be considered, including:

  • Longer terms (up to 7 years for working capital; up to 25 years for real estate)
  • Flexible repayment options
  • Lower down payments
  • Improved cash flow, so you can use your cash in your business
What types of loans are available through the SBA?

The SBA offers many types of loans, catering to certain business needs, including the SBA Express Term Loan, 7(a) Regular Business Loan and 504 Development Company Loan.

How do I qualify for an SBA loan?

A bank would expect you to be able to repay the loan from the cash flow of the business. You must be of good character and never convicted of a felony. The SBA typically looks for management capability, collateral pledged and owner's equity contribution as part of the deal. If you own 20% or more of the company, you will be required to personally guarantee the loan. There are some industries that are not eligible for an SBA loan.

What other requirements does the SBA place on borrowers?

Each SBA loan program has different requirements. Learn more about the program requirements to determine which loan would be best for your business.

How do I apply for an SBA loan?

Contact Key's local SBA specialist in your area. Learn more about the information needed to apply by reviewing our application checklist.

What is an SBA Preferred Lender?

As an SBA Preferred Lender, the SBA has authorized KeyBank to make lending decisions on their behalf. Loan proposals do not need to go to the SBA for approval, which means the process moves more quickly.

Why should I go to KeyBank for an SBA Loan?

The SBA process does have more requirements and paperwork than a standard bank loan. However, KeyBank has SBA specialists in each of our markets, focused solely on SBA lending. Our specialists are able to dedicate their time to you, helping you understand what to expect throughout the process and helping you determine what is your best loan option.