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The early or initial growth of businesses relies on access to capital. And this is true for many entrepreneurs. There are two well-known, prominent financing options fit for entrepreneurs, namely, SBA loans and conventional bank loans. 

The question is, which is the right option for your situation? Keep in mind that using the proper funding option can significantly influence your business in its developmental stage. Thus, it’s important to choose the right one for you. 

For a little help, here are some points to consider that’ll help you decide which funding option is suitable for you. 

Easy SBA Loan Requirements For Startups

For both SBA and conventional loans, lenders or creditors will assess a potential borrower through the five Cs of credit: collateral, conditions, capital, capacity, and character. With regards to conventional loans, eligible businesses or companies are typically well-founded with a robust, reliable business credit history, as well as established revenues. 

On the other hand, SBA loans are backed up by the US Small Business Administration. It means that the US government will repay a fragment of the loan if the debtor fails to pay it back. 

This guarantee or pledge aids lenders to reduce some risks and permits more young businesses to be eligible. That said, if your business or company has just been up and running for one or two years, then an SBA loan may be a more practical and better option.

SBA Loans Have Lower Interest Rates And Longer Terms

For the most part, conventional loans might have loan periods of between ten to twenty years for real estate. On the other hand, it has repayment terms of between three to five years for working capital and equipment. 

What’s more, interest rates will differ, relying upon the kind of loan you are applying for. However, the average range is between five to ten percent. For SBA loans, they usually have longer terms compared to conventional loans.

Take the SBA 7(a) loan, for example. This popular loan can have terms at least twenty-five years for real estate, at least seven years for working capital, and ten years for equipment. Also, the SBA allows a sensible and rational max interest rate that’s deemed affordable and low-cost for a business loan.

Moreover, interest rates differ by the creditor and are influenced by the term, prime rate, loan amount, and circumstantial factors like the borrower’s industry and personal credit. Due to the longer terms and competitive interest rates, monthly payments on the loans might be more inexpensive and permit significant cash flow for surfacing businesses.

Traditional Loans Require Greater Collateral Qualifications

Five million dollars is the max loan amount an entrepreneur can borrow for an SBA loan. For conventional loans, banks don’t usually impose caps on the amount a startup can borrow. However, with conventional loans, lenders, or commercial lending platforms might require your startup to hand over further collateral or consent to further loan covenants.

That said, it might require you to fulfill or carry out particular circumstances or steer clear from actions considered as high-risk by the lender. Most developing businesses or startups can have trouble meeting these requirements for traditional loans. For this reason, SBA loans become a more attractive and better option for businesses and companies that are still establishing their inventory and assets.

SBA Loan Application Needs More Careful Consideration

Since SBA loans are supported or aided by the US government, you can expect more processes and regulatory rules that need to be carried out by lenders. With that said, it could take more time for borrowers to meet these certain requirements.

However, for most businesses or companies, the best rates and terms outweighs or be greater than the approval time. Also, you can reduce the approval time by working hand-in-hand with an SBA-approved lender. 

These lenders are given authority or power by the SBA to make well-informed credit decisions, helping borrowers trim their SBA loan application process. Moreover, if you believe that an SBA loan is favorable for your business, then start the application process early by consulting a seasoned banker. An experienced banker could make a huge difference in evaluating the needs of your business.


Both SBA and conventional loans are excellent funding options for startups and developing businesses. With these loan options, borrowers can get more affordable interest rates and flexible repayment terms. However, which one is better? Which option can give you the upper hand? 

If you want longer repayment terms, lower interest rates, and higher amounts, then SBA loans are for you. On the other hand, if you want a loan with fixed rates and terms, then conventional loans are ideal for you. Despite these things, applying for both loans means a cumbersome and lengthy process. Thus, you better prepare.