Telling new small business owners to use SBA loans is almost a cliche at this point, but there is a reason the advice is among the most given to new entrepreneurs. It’s because the SBA’s 504 loan program is one of the most accessible ways to finance both the equipment and the space you need to start working. The only issue is long approval times, but there are a few ways to make those go quickly.
1. Make Sure Your Information Is Complete
Incomplete lists of collateral and incomplete income disclosures are two of the leading causes of application delays and rejection, and not just for SBA loans. They are especially easy errors to make for multi-asset loans like those offered through the 504 programs, though, so it’s important you make sure all your collateral is listed in the application and that you only buy listed collateral with the loan proceeds once the paperwork closes. Similarly, it is absolutely vital that a business that’s currently operating and making money shows its income stream to help substantiate the company’s health. Of course, startups will need to show the owner’s income instead to cover the same bases.
2. Have Your Down Payment Money Ready
It’s one thing to know you will have the money on closing day, but it’s another thing to show the money is ready and waiting. If you do not have your capital in an accessible account and ready to be used as the down payment, lenders may require you to show those financial statements before you can finalize approvals. Even if it is a couple of weeks between approval and closing, the lender wants to know the money is there and that it will still be there.
3. Use Preferred SBA Lenders Whenever Possible
The reason SBA loans are notorious for long wait times is simple. The lender and the Administration both need to check out each application and vet it for their own requirements. That means once you wait through one approval, you wait through the next. They do not happen simultaneously. It also means you can only have one application in the queue at a traditional participating lender.
If you use preferred lenders who can approve their own loans without oversight, then you not only eliminate the wait for a second approval, you open up the opportunity for multiple applications at once to different preferred lenders. That makes things go a lot more quickly.