The SBA offers a service called ‘Lender Match’, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders. More than 800 lenders participate in the SBA program, throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories. While ‘Lender Match’ doesn’t guarantee you’ll get matched or be offered a loan, it can be a great way to find lenders in your community
Am I Eligible? Your business must be officially registered, and must be physically located and operating in the U.S. The business owners must show that they have invested their own time or money into the business, and that they cannot get funds from any other financial lender.
Before you start talking to lenders, take a look at the SBA’s checklist ,to see if you’re ready:
- Do You Have a Business Plan? Most lenders expect a business plan when you apply for funding. If you need to create one, the SBA offers a free guide.
- Do You Know How Much of a Loan You Want – and Why? Know in advance how much capital you need, and how it will help your business.
- Do You Understand the Loan Restrictions? There are certain restrictions on how you can use the loan, so take the time to understand them ahead of time.
- Do You Know Your Credit History? Lenders use credit scores to determine credit risk and interest rates. The SBA helps guarantee some loans that otherwise may not qualify.
- Do You Have Financial Projections?. Show you understand your business’ finances, how the funds will be used, and how you’ll pay back the loan.
- Can You Offer Collateral? Many lenders require you to use another asset to guarantee your loan. This can be a home, car, inventory, or other property you own.
- Do You Have Industry Experience? While industry experience isn’t required, it can be helpful. First-hand knowledge about your industry can make your lender feel confident about making a loan.