10 Banks Making the Most SBA Loans

10 Banks Making the Most SBA Loans

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When small businesses in America are ready to take their next step, a Small Business Administration loan is often on the top of their list of financing options. In fact, if you combined the loan amounts of the top 100 most active SBA lenders in just the fourth quarter of 2016, you’d have a sum total of over $4 billion.

If you want to get an SBA-backed loan in 2017 and get that most-coveted distinction — funded — you need to know where to start looking.

New data from the SBA identifies the top 100 most active SBA 7(a) lenders in the last quarter of 2016. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be more than a list of banks, institutions and dollars, but with a critical eye, there’s actually a lot to learn here.

First, let’s look at the top 10 lenders, based on total loan approval amount to small businesses.

Lending institution Total loans
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association $458,930,900
Live Oak Banking Company $362,614,300
The Huntington National Bank $163,840,500
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association $149,339,900
Celtic Bank Corporation $139,972,100
U.S. Bank National Association $132,923,500
Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. $96,090,500
Byline Bank $79,743,000
Pacific Premier Bank $70,585,400
KeyBank National Association $65,171,800

 


We’re starting with these banks because this is how the SBA ranked their top 100 — according to total loan amounts. It may impress you to discover that you may not recognize all 10 lenders here, even though they cracked the top 10.

Here’s where things start to get interesting. The SBA report only sorted the lenders according to the total amount loaned. We thought we could dig a little deeper and see what would happen if we sorted that same list according to different criteria.

So let’s take a look at the top 10 SBA lenders based on total number of loans.

Lending institution Total loans
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 1,554
The Huntington National Bank 837
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association 735
U.S. Bank National Association 489
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company 360
Celtic Bank Corporation 360
Compass Bank 341
Live Oak Banking Company 281
TD Bank, National Association 228

 

Once again, Wells Fargo topped the list, with totals nearly double that of second place Huntington National Bank (who placed third on the previous list). Last year, 5,401 businesses were able to secure loans from these 10 lending institutions. If you crunch the numbers even more, you’ll see that the total number of loans issued by the top 100 SBA lenders was 9,154, meaning more than half of those loans were made by these 10 banks.

For the next list, we’re using the same report, but filtering it to reveal the top 10 SBA lenders based on average loan amount:

Lending institution Average loan
Savoy Bank $3,013,000
Green Bank, National Association $2,598,389
First Western SBLC, Inc $2,347,000
Texan Bank, National Association $2,025,143
Plains State Bank $2,014,250
Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC $1,913,828
Texas Citizens Bank, National Association $1,838,889
Pacific Enterprise Bank $1,833,333
United Business Bank, F.S.B. $1,762,313
Royal Business Bank $1,760,786

 


Pretty interesting that none of these appeared on the first two lists, right? These institutions chose to lend more money (on average) to fewer borrowers.

What does this mean for your business? Make sure you do your homework before applying for a loan, and make sure your shortlist of lenders aligns with your goals.

Which bring us to our final top 10: SBA lenders with the lowest average loan amount in the last quarter of 2016.

Lending institution Average loan
Eastern Bank $71,855
Independence Bank $96,183
Citizens Bank, National Association $96,380
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company $149,766
TD Bank, National Association $149,819
Compass Bank $158,755
PNC Bank, National Association $191,853
The Huntington National Bank $195,747
Berkshire Bank $198,047
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association $203,184

 


Not every lender is looking to fund massive projects — they’re looking for Main Street businesses, too. Over a third (3,190) of the loans from these 100 top lenders fall into this category, which suggests that there’s a huge opportunity for businesses who are looking to borrow less than $200k from SBA lenders. This means that no matter what stage you’re in or how you’re hoping to expand your business, there are lenders who want to work with you.

Finally, we have have two more figures that might surprise you. In 2016, the SBA guaranteed 67,914 loans to small businesses, or an average of slightly more than 1,350 in each and every state in America. When totaled, these borrowers were able to secure a total of $27.8 billion. That’s a staggering sum, which makes the future of small businesses seem even brighter.

The money is out there — you just need to learn how to qualify for it.

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How to Get an SBA 7(a) Loan

Before you head to one of these top SBA lenders, you first need to get a few documents together. According to Gerri Detweiler, Nav’s Head of Market Education, here’s what you’ll need to gather up to start the process:

  1. Your SBA loan application (SBA Form 4)
  2. Personal background and financial statement
  3. Business financial statements
  4. Ownership and affiliations
  5. Business certificate/license
  6. Loan application history
  7. Income tax returns
  8. Resumes for each principal owner
  9. Business overview and history
  10. Business lease
  11. Items for purchasing an existing business

 

That list may seem like a lot, but it’s absolutely essential if you’re going to tap into the world of SBA lending. You’ll also need a good business credit score to qualify for an SBA loan. The FICO SBSS Score is the scoring model used to qualify borrowers for SBA 7(a) loans, so if your score falls below a minimum set by the SBA, it greatly decreases your likelihood of getting approved. You can sign up for a free Nav account to learn what your business credit profile currently looks like, and you can check out your FICO SBSS Score with a Nav Premium Plus account.

Ready to see your credit data and start building better business credit? Check Your Personal and Business Credit For Free (No Credit Card Required).

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About the Author — Josh is a Copywriter at Nav, a free site giving business owners access to their business and personal credit scores, and tools that match them to the best financing and services. Josh has been a professional writer for nearly a decade, and spends his time writing novels, screenplays, and playing the guitar. His dream is to learn how to surf in Australia.

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