Are you a woman small business owner who needs financing to expand your business? If so, now is the time to consider applying for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan
SBA loans aren’t easy to get, but they are worth the effort for two reasons. First, banks are often more willing to make SBA loans to entrepreneurs than other types of loans. This is because the SBA guarantees a percentage of the loan, so lenders face less risk of loan default than with standard business loans.
Second, SBA loans typically have far lower interest rates than other types of business financing. For example, the SBA’s most popular loan program, the 7(a) loan program, currently charges between 5.5 and 6 percent interest.
Why is now the time to apply for an SBA loan? In fiscal 2015, the SBA made a record amount of loans to small businesses — $23.6 billion worth overall — which is an increase of 23 percent from the previous year. What’s more, loans to women-owned businesses increased by 18 percent during the same time.
What do you need to know before applying for an SBA loan?
The SBA does not directly make loans; rather, it guarantees the loans up to a certain percentage.
Not all banks make SBA loans. Contact your local SBA district office for a list of SBA-approved lenders in your area.
The SBA offers several types of loans for different purposes.
There are other SBA loan programs for specific purposes; learn more here.
If you need help getting your business or business plan in shape, or preparing your loan application, one great place to get help is through the SBA itself. The agency’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership has locations nationwide to help women start and grow their businesses.