SBA Loan Requirements: Credit Scores

If you’re considering applying for an SBA loan, like the SBA 7(a) loan, having good credit is a must. However, not every SBA loan requires a borrower to the same credit score, or range of scores, to be eligible. In this article, we’ll pick apart the most popular kinds of SBA loans and the credit scores and borrower will likely need to have to get approved.

SBA 7(a) Credit Score Requirements

SBA 7(a) loans, which are the most popular kind of SBA guaranteed financing on the market, typically require borrowers to have a minimum credit score of 640. However, since SBA 7(a) loans can be difficult to qualify for, most borrowers will likely find much greater success if they can boost their credit score into the 680+ range. Standard SBA 7(a) loans have a maximum loan amount of $5 million and can be used for both commercial real estate and working capital, making them one of the most flexible kinds of small business loans available.

SBA 7(a) Express Loans

SBA 7(a) Express Loans have pretty much the same credit requirements as Standard SBA 7(a) loans, which usually means a minimum credit score of 640, with an ideal credit score of 680+. Unlike Standard 7(a) loans, SBA 7(a) Express Loans have a loan limit of $350,000, but can be approved in a much shorter period of time, making them ideal for businesses that need a quick source of financing.

SBA CAPLines

The SBA CAPlines program, which provides revolving lines of credit to small businesses who need it, generally requires a minimum credit score of 660, slightly higher than the minimum for SBA 7(a) loans. In most cases, CAPlines can be collateralized with unpaid client involves and other forms of short-term collateral.

SBA Export Loans

SBA Export Loans, which include SBA Export Working Capital Loans provided by the SBA Export Working Capital Program (EWCP), SBA Export Express Loans, and SBA International Trade Loans, also have a minimum credit score requirement of 660.

SBA Microloans

Unlike most other kinds of SBA loans, SBA Microloans have somewhat less stringent credit requirements, with a minimum credit score of between 620-640 typically required. Microloans can be issued in amounts up to $50,000, and, while the credit requirements might be less strict, collateral is still required.

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 loans, which are intended for the purchase and construction of owner-occupied commercial real estate (and typically can’t be used for working capital), often have significantly lower interest rates than SBA 7(a) loans. However, they have the strictest credit requirements of any SBA loan, with a minimum credit score requirement of 680.


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