Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 2, 2012

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government branch that guarantees business loans, which enables borrowers to more easily qualify for commercial financing.

While the SBA does not lend money themselves, they partner with both large and local lenders alike to provide communities across the nation with affordable and accessible business loans.

[loansform]The SBA offers three primary loan programs, each of which offers a different product meant to meet different needs:

  • The 7(a) Loan Program
  • The Microloan Program
  • The 504 Loan Program

The largest and most popular of those three options is the 7(a) Loan Program. SBA 7(a) loans grant long terms, large amounts, and can be used for the acquisition of entire businesses, real estate, and equipment. They’re perfect for for-profit businesses that need less than $5 million.

Microloans are much quicker and easier to qualify for, but their uses are slightly more limited than 7(a) loans. These smaller agreements are designed for companies that need between $5,000 and $350,000, but who don’t mind paying slightly higher interest rates. The rates for microloans tend to be between 4.5 percent and 7 percent

Finally, 504 loans are designed for businesses looking specifically to expand their operations and acquire more land. These come with long terms and negotiable interest rates.

For more information on each of these different business loans, please read our articles, news stories, and frequently asked questions.