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Frequently asked questions

General questions

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SBA Loans

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Bank Term Loans

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Custom Financing

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General questions

What does SmartBiz do?
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SmartBiz is the leading online bank network for SBA loans. We assist small businesses to apply for these loans through its network of preferred SBA lending banks and help increase approval rates by matching small businesses with the bank most likely to say "yes" to their loan. SmartBiz makes successfully applying for an SBA loan faster and more efficient and helps with loan application preparation.

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How does SmartBiz protect my identity and data privacy?
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One of our top priorities is keeping your data private and secure. We use the same high levels of security as the largest banks and financial services institutions. Your data is encrypted on our network using high-level encryption, and we monitor every step of each transaction.

We use GoDaddy Secure Site as a third-party verification to confirm that all transactions on the site are protected with up to 256-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.

To learn more about how we protect your financial information, please review our Privacy Policy.

How do I learn more about SmartBiz?
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We have information on our vision, mission, values, and history located on our company page. You can also visit our careers page to learn more about our job opportunities.

SBA Loans

What is an SBA loan?
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An SBA loan is a small business loan that is guaranteed in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and typically made by a bank. Specifically, SmartBiz offers the SBA 7(a) Loan, which is the SBA’s most common loan program. SBA 7(a) loans ranging from $30,000 – $350,000 from banks in the SmartBiz network can be used for:

  • Working capital that includes operational expenses, marketing, hiring, etc. 
  • New equipment purchases
  • Refinancing existing business debt not secured by real estate

Eligibility is based on many factors related to industry, time in business, credit history, and more.

Learn more about SBA loans

SBA Loan Approval
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SmartBiz helps you assemble your SBA loan application before it is sent to one of our preferred SBA banks for review and funding. Here is an overview of the basic steps involved in obtaining an SBA loan from a bank in the SmartBiz network.

Learn more about SBA loan process and approvals

SBA Loan Rates & Fees
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Loans offered through banks in the SmartBiz network have a variable interest rate based on the Prime rate plus 1.5% to 3.75% depending on the size of the loan

Learn more about SBA Loan Rates and Fees 

SBA Use of Funds
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Lenders can have slightly different guidelines when it comes to use of funds from an SBA loan. Because SmartBiz works with multiple banks, we match you with the lender most likely aligned with the use of SBA loan proceeds you are seeking. An SBA loan from a bank in the SmartBiz network is a smart solution to help you reach your unique business goals and you can use the proceeds to save money and build your small business.

Learn more about SBA use of funds

I've been turned down by my bank before. Can I still get an SBA loan?
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Yes. We have helped many small businesses obtain an SBA loan offered from a bank in the SmartBiz network even after they have been turned down by other banks.

What if I'm not eligible or don't qualify for an SBA loan through SmartBiz?
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Low rates, low monthly payments, and long terms make SBA loans the "gold standard" in small business lending. However, not every small business initially meets the requirements for an SBA loan. As a result, Bank Term loans are also offered from banks in the SmartBiz network for small business owners that don't immediately qualify for an SBA loan or need funds more quickly than even our streamlined SBA process can provide.

And if your small business can't qualify for an SBA or Bank Term loan, we still won't leave you hanging! SmartBiz works with non-bank lenders as well. We'll work to help you find other financing options that may be a good fit for your needs.

Can I get a second SBA loan?
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Yes, many customers get a second SBA loan as their business grows and needs additional capital. If you receive approval for more than one SBA loan within 90 days of each other, the loans will be treated as if they were one loan for purposes of determining the amount of the SBA guarantee fees, if any.

What is the SBA E-Tran Score?
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E-Tran is the SBA's proprietary scoring system lenders use to determine if the SBA will allow them to lend. Banks in the SmartBiz network must run this score when deciding to approve an SBA loan of $350,000, and less.

If your E-Tran score is insufficient for an SBA loan right now, we may still be able to help your business access a fixed-rate, Bank Term loan. Please check with your Relationship Manager. 

You can also take steps to improve the E-Tran score of your business over time. If your E-Tran score isn't meeting requirements, we encourage you to apply again for an SBA loan once you've made those improvements.

Will applying affect my credit score?
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No, you can pre-qualify for an SBA 7(a) loan offered through a bank in the SmartBiz network without impacting your credit score. To determine if your business is pre-qualified, SmartBiz reviews a soft pull of your credit report. This does not impact your credit score. 

When your loan application proceeds to funding, the bank will request a hard pull on your credit, which appears as an inquiry on your credit report. This only happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is highly likely to fund your loan.

Do I need to use an agent to apply for an SBA Loan?
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No, the SBA does not require the use of an Agent for Packaging Services or to refer a loan application in order to apply for an SBA loan. SmartBiz clients choose to hire SmartBiz for a variety of reasons including making the application process more efficient and increasing the likelihood of finding a bank that says 'yes'. In fact, many of our clients are turned away by a bank or simply turned off by how long the typical process takes them. We also find many clients take on an expensive loan from an alternative lender and save money by refinancing with an SBA loan.

What information about my business do you need?
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We collect both financial information and specific business documentation. Typical financial information we collect includes:

  • bank balances
  • a current income statement
  • current balance sheet
  • past net income
  • outstanding loan information among other financial data. 

The larger the loan size, the more financial data is required. Typical documentation usually required for an SBA loan includes: 

  • Articles of Incorporation and Certificates of Good Standing
  • proof of insurance
  • lease agreements and landlord subordination among others that can be specific to your business type.

Bank Term Loans

What is a bank term loan?
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Term loans offered by banks in the SmartBiz network have fixed rates with shorter repayment periods and a faster, less document-intensive alternative to a traditional 10-year term SBA loan.

Learn more about bank term loans.

Why should I apply for a bank term loan?
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A Bank Term loan can be a good option if you don't initially meet the eligibility requirements for an SBA loan. It can also be a good option if you require funds quickly or you want a fixed interest rate with stable monthly payments.

There's only one streamlined application to complete whether you are applying for an SBA loan or decide to opt into a bank term option.

What can I use my funds for?
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A Bank Term loan from a bank in the SmartBiz network can be used in a variety of ways to build your business and save money.

Read more about term loan use of funds

Custom Financing

What types of financing are available to fund my business?
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SmartBiz is here to help you get the right funding at the right time to strengthen your business. We've worked with non-bank lenders to offer customized financing tailored for your unique situation. Options include: 

  • Business lines of credit
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Equipment loans
  • Invoice factoring
  • Business credit cards
Why should I apply for this type of financing?
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Often, this financing can be secured much faster than loans from banks in the SmartBiz network. These options may also be a good fit if you've been in business for less than two years. Other types of financing offered can help you shore up cash flow, purchase equipment, and fund other short-term initiatives. Give us a call for more details about how you can use funds to strengthen your business.

I've been turned down for an SBA loan or Bank Term loan. Can I still qualify for other financing options?
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Yes! We understand that not every business owner will initially qualify for an SBA loan or a Bank Term loan. So we work with a variety of select partners to get you these more customized options.

What will these other types of financing options cost?
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The pricing of these options will depend on your credit and financial profile along with the specific terms of the financial product you choose.

Don't see the answer you need?
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Give us a call at 1.844.385.7038 or email us at support@smartbizloans.com.

Have 5 minutes? Apply online

See if you pre-qualify without impacting your credit score.1

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1. We conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, in processing your loan application, the lenders with whom we work will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and happens after your application is in the funding process and matched with a lender who is likely to fund your loan