SmartBiz Loans is a unique combination of an online SBA loan marketplace and a bank enabling technology platform.
SmartBiz has found a way to combine the expediency of online loan offers with the reliable (and much sought after) Small Business Administration loan (SBA). This can be one option to look towards should you look to expand your business.
They only offer one type of loan which simplifies their offered products and they even simplify the types of applicants that will have the best chance to be accepted. This loan is offered in three ways: Working Capital, Debt Refinance, and Commercial Real Estate. The only variation occurs with the real estate loan, which harbors lower interest rates with a 25 year repayment.
SmartBiz looks to appeal to customers with their transparency. Most of the information about the company and its practices can be found online on their main website. SmartBiz can work with a wider variety of businesses than most long-term lenders, but they do have restrictions against businesses that have filed for bankruptcy or have too low of a credit score.
|SmartBiz creates a faster way to get an SBA loan||Not for businesses with poor credit|
|Can help with business growth for healthy companies||Newer businesses might not be able to meet revenue requirements|
|Can work with a wide variety of business types||The SBA still has to approve your loan request through SmartBiz|
|Simplified pay structure and fee system||The entire process can take a long time to complete, delaying your loan arrival|
|Looking for paperwork can be painstaking and tedious work|
Just as the product offering is simple, so too is the pricing. The interest rates run between 2.75% and 3.75% in addition to the reported prime rate (which is currently 4%). Depending on the size of the loan your interest rate will change. The greater the loan, the higher the interest fee.
At the time of this post, SmartBiz could have a total interest rate of anywhere between 6.75% and 7.75% (the interest rate combined withthe prime rate). While this makes for a simplified method to charge for the loan, it also almost guarantees that your interest payments would increase over time.
SmartBiz does not charge a prepayment fee or penalty, but there are some other fees to take note of. Aside from the variable interest rate, you would have to account for bank closing costs (around $317 charged by the bank), referral/packaging fees (4%), APR (between 7.73% and 8.44%), an SBA guarantee fee for loans over $151k (2.25%) and any necessary collateral required.
This information is made available on the SmartBiz website. Once you have agreed to terms you will receive online statements to keep track of your business loan. There is no penalty for early repayment if you want to pay back the loan before schedule.
From start to finish, the process of acquiring a loan from SmartBiz is simple and fast. Within moments of filling out their online application, SmartBiz can determine whether you are eligible for a loan. You have the ability to pre-qualify for a loan, effectively sparing your credit record from a hard inquiry. Should you be approved for the process, you’ll be assigned a personal account manager to usher you through your loan acquisition.
Depending on the size of your loan, SmartBiz will require a certain amount of paperwork. Other lenders might not require as much paperwork and larger the loan the more documents SmartBiz may require. If you are organized then procuring the documents won’t be a hassle.
It is important to note that the amount of time it takes to procure the loan will be directly related to how quickly you compile the proper documents. The longer it takes to compile the paperwork, the longer it will take to receive your funds.
Being a loan service, it warrants mention that SmartBiz doesn’t cater well to businesses in poor credit standing. Without an excellent credit score, you won’t get very far in qualifying for a loan.
Alternately, if your company does extremely well, procuring a bank loan directly might be the better option. SBA loans can end up costing you more in the long run due to their interest rates.
One aspect of SmartBiz that may turn away borrowers is the lofty revenue requirements. While this might not be much of an issue for established businesses, newer businesses may find it hard to meet the requirements set by SmartBiz. The revenue requirements are only one potential tripping point, as the business itself needs to be in good standing with no bankruptcies
The quickness and ease of use with SmartBiz sets it apart from its competitors, especially with their level of fee and practice transparency. It is all displayed prominently on their website, eliminating the confusion that often accompanies loan acquisition.
As mentioned before, you will be paired with a dedicated associate who will accompany you throughout your dealings with SmartBiz. The site also has a Frequently Asked Questions section that is extensive for clients.
SmartBiz also makes sure that it handles any negative remarks swiftly, which means if you have a problem you can either find the answer online or receive the solution from your dedicated associate. Either way, you’ll have all the access to answers you need.
A potential turn off from this process would be the sheer amount of paperwork you would have to complete and produce in order to qualify for a loan. Not everyone will have the patience or the means to gather the necessary documents.
Due to the time it takes to gather documents, receive approval and subsequently your money, the length of time might not be to your liking. Small businesses tend to take out loans when they have an immediate need for money. While SmartBiz does its part to speed up the process, you would still need to have the approval of the SBA lender.
Since most of the interaction between a business owner looking for a loan and SmartBiz is online, the website tries its best to cram as much information onto its pages. For those who need a physical presence, you will be given a personal account manager that will guide you through the application process and answer whatever questions you may have.