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From Lawyers To Documents: What To Expect During Your SBA Loan Application Process As A First-Timer

Is this your first time applying for a business loan? Even veteran business people get confused about what to expect from the SBA loan application process.

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From Lawyers To Documents: What To Expect During Your SBA Loan Application Process As A First-Timer

What To Expect During Your SBA Loan Application Process

Is this your first time applying for a business loan? Even veteran business people get confused about what to expect from the SBA loan application process sometimes.

SBA Loan Application

Your business is picking up and you want to expand, upgrade your equipment or move to a better location or your startup is starting to get some traction and you need funds to get finance the next great idea.

Regardless of why your business needs funds, the important question is where you will source the funds.

Not everybody has a fat bank account or unlimited access to cash, so you need help to fund these upgrades. For small businesses, the best way to acquire these funds is by applying for an SBA loan.

While the SBA loan application may be intimidating, it’s similar to applying for a loan from the bank. It’s advisable that you understand the application process as this will make the application easy.

What You Should Know About the SBA Loan Application Process

Applying for SBA loans is becoming increasingly difficult as times get tougher. Not only do these loans require more paperwork they also take longer than typical loans.

It gets even tougher if you don’t know the application process. This is why you are advised to know the SBA loan requirements. Below are the business loan requirements:

1. Personal Background Statement

The first SBA loan qualification is that you are required to provide a written statement that clearly details your personal background.

The written statement will include details like criminal records, previous addresses, educational background, and names you’ve used. It’s like a biography that contains all personal information that is verifiable from outside sources.

2. Resume

SBA lenders will often request your professional resume, as it will help them understand your business experience. Here you get to describe your business expertise and make expound on why you are qualified to run the business.

This is why you are advised to learn how to qualify for a small business loan. Your resume becomes your pitch and if you really need that loan, you get to show the lenders that you’re prepared to use the loan accordingly.

3. Credit Report & Score

SBA lenders will typically look at the credit history of the business. However, small businesses often have no borrowing history and the lenders rely on your personal credit history to better understand your debt repayment habits.

Before you apply for a small business loan, request for your credit reports from any of the major credit agencies. Take your time to go through your credit report and check for any errors that might downgrade your credit score. Ensure that all the errors are corrected before you submit the SBA loan application.

4. Personal Tax Returns

SBA lenders will want to look at your personal tax returns as a way of analyzing whether you are fiscally responsible. You will be required to provide personal tax returns for at least two years.

Ensure that your tax returns are up to date. If you are not up to date, request an extension and a written explanation of why you needed the extension.

5. Business Credit Report

SBA lenders will have to look at your business credit report regardless of whether you have ever borrowed or not. Ensure that you go through your credit report before you apply for the SBA loan. Check for any errors or incorrect information and contact the agency to rectify the errors before you apply for the loan.

6. Legal Documents

The legal documents required will vary depending on the lender but it’s advisable that you compile all the business documents just in case the lender requests for some. Such documents include:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Franchise agreements
  • Registrations and business agreements
  • Leases for equipment and commercial real estate
  • Contracts with third parties such as suppliers and clients

To have all the legal documents, don’t shy away from seeking the services of an SBA legal attorney.

7. Business Plan

Since you are seeking a loan to either grow your business or upgrade premises and equipment, the SBA lender will need to see your business plan. The business plan should clearly detail your cash flow projections, future sales, and projected profit margin. It should also explain how the loan will help grow your business.

8. Use of loan

This is where you get to convince the lender that your business is a good investment. You get to explain how you intend to use the funds to grow your business and how you intend to pay it. This will help you get a loan program that matches your needs. Also, know the dos & don'ts of SBA loans

9. Financial Statements

Every business has a balance sheet that shows the financial health of the business for a full year. SBA lenders will need balance sheets for the last 2 years. These balance sheets should clearly indicate your assets and liabilities.

The lender will use your balance sheet to check your creditworthiness. Other requirements include profit & loss statements, bank statements, income tax returns, and collateral

Determine How Much You Need

Before you apply for a loan, take time and figure out how much you need to fund your business. Figure out how much your business will generate if your loan application is successful. This will help you understand if the business will generate enough to pay back the loan in time.

Take time to reflect whether the reasons you are seeking a loan are sound and feasible.

If you intend to change locations, shop around for a better location that is within your budget estimates. If it’s an equipment, shop around and compare the prices. Getting a loan is an investment, you want to get the best out of it.

SBA Loan Application Best Practices

Now that you have prepared everything from the legal documents to the business plan, it’s time for that SBA loan application.

Before you do, ensure that you are thorough in everything from compiling your paperwork to calculating the funds you need. Do enough research even when shopping for lenders, you want an SBA lender whose rates are favorable.

Be upfront about how you intend to use the money and how the current financial situation is affecting your business.

Lenders prefer working with people who are trustworthy and honest. Also, be honest with yourself, don’t borrow too much money that will only hurt you in the long term. Borrow only what you need.

What To Do If You Default On Your SBA Loan

Despite all your best efforts, your business fails.  Often, factors beyond your control negatively affect your business.  But your problems are just starting - the SBA now looks to you and your personal guarantee to pay the amount due on the defaulted SBA loan.  At this point, you need experienced, assertive legal counsel  to represent you in front of the SBA.

In case you are having trouble with your SBA loan, contact us for real solutions to your loan problems.

Why Hire Us to Help You with Your Treasury or SBA Debt Problems?

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Millions of Dollars in SBA Debts Resolved via Offer in Compromise and Negotiated Repayment Agreements without our Clients filing for Bankruptcy or Facing Home Foreclosure

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Millions of Dollars in Treasury Debts Defended Against via AWG Hearings, Treasury Offset Program Resolution, Cross-servicing Disputes, Private Collection Agency Representation, Compromise Offers and Negotiated Repayment Agreements

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Our Attorneys are Authorized by the Agency Practice Act to Represent Federal Debtors Nationwide before the SBA, The SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Treasury Department, and the Bureau of Fiscal Service.



Clients personally guaranteed an SBA 7(a) loan.  The SBA referred the debt to the Department of Treasury, which was seeking payment of $487,981 from our clients.  We initially filed a Cross-Servicing Dispute, which was denied.  As a result, we filed an Appeals Petition with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals asserting legal defenses and supporting evidence uncovered during the discovery and investigation phase of our services.  Ultimately, the SBA settled the debt for $25,000 - saving our clients approximately $462,981.



Client personally guaranteed an SBA 7(a) loan to help with a relative’s new business venture.  After the business failed, Treasury was able to secure a recurring Treasury Offset Program (TOP) levy against our client’s monthly Social Security Benefits based on the claim that he owed over $1.2 million dollars.  We initially submitted a Cross-Servicing Dispute, but then, prepared and filed an Appeals Petition with the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals (SBA OHA).  As a result of our efforts, we were able to convince the SBA to not only terminate the claimed debt of $1.2 million dollars against our client (without him having to file bankruptcy), but also refund the past recurring amounts that were offset from his Social Security Benefits in connection with the TOP levy.



Clients personally guaranteed SBA 7(a) loan balance of over $300,000.  Clients also pledged their home as additional collateral.  SBA OIC accepted for $87,000 with full release of lien against home.

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