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Alaska Small Business Loans

Making up over 99% of Alaskan businesses, small businesses present an integral part of Alaska’s economy. However, finding the best option for Alaska small business loans can be challenging. In this article, we are going to cover the best traditional and alternative loan options for small business...

Alaska
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

At a glance: According to the most recent Small Business Administration statistics, Alaska is home to approximately 73,298 small businesses, which make up 99.2% of all state-based businesses. The state widely supports local business owners: over the last noted financial year, Alaska-based lending institutions have granted 14,166 small business loans under $100,000, totalling $217.7 million.

Top Four Alaska Small Business Loan Options

First National Bank Alaska

First National Bank Alaska is the Alaska 504 Loan Lender of 2020 due to their Small Business Administration 504 loan program. This program issued loans totaling approximately $12 million. They’re well known as a preferred lending partner, which means they can process your application faster than lenders that are not part of the SBA Preferred Lender Program.

Their Small Business Administration 504 loan program provides financing of up to $5 million. Financing may be used to buy fixed assets like real estate, buildings, or machinery. The program offers rates below the market rate and various repayment options.

The loan amount is distributed across three entities. The applicant or owner provides a minimum of 10%. A selected conventional lender like a bank provides 50%, and a Certified Development Company, which is a non-profit organization, provides 40%. The owner, therefore, gains more working capital to grow their business.

Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1960, Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union (FCU) is the largest locally-owned and operated credit union in Fairbanks.

Spirit of Alaska is a certified SBA lender and offers several types of competitively-priced small business loans, including automotive loans, secured loans, business lines of credit, and specialty loans. These loans come with competitive interest rates, as well as flexible terms and repayment options, - so you will surely find the financial product to suit your small business needs.

Spirit of Alaska FCU even offers solar panel loans, should you wish to lower the long-term energy costs of your business by installing solar panels.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

This is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial services cooperative. They were founded in 1948 with branches in Alaska and other states in the USA.

Alaska USA offers a full range of financial services and SBA Loan programs:

  • SBA 7(a) loan program for buying real estate, constructing buildings, renovation or expansion of buildings, purchasing machinery, equipment, inventory, and providing working capital. It’s a longer-term financing option with a minimum of $50,000.
  • SBA 504 loan program for buying fixed assets, construction, expansion, or renovation of land and buildings, or buying long-life equipment. It’s a longer-term financing option with a minimum of $250 000.
  • Express loan program for loans from $25,000 up to $350,000.

Interest rates and fees may differ based on the loan program selected, borrower credit score, and loan amount and term. Loan eligibility criteria also differ based on the loan program selected.

Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc.

Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc. is a non-bank lending company based in Anchorage, Alaska, and has been appointed SBA Community Lender of the Year nine times. It was founded in 1997 to promote economic development and job creation. They offer loans, investments, and managerial assistance to businesses.

AGC provides a varied range of small business loan offerings. The average loan size is $1.2 million, and a typical loan size ranges from $500,000 to $10 million for companies with $1 million to $100 million in revenue.

Niche solutions are available for:

  • Borrowers that don’t meet traditional bank requirements
  • Growth companies with limited collateral and adequate cash flow
  • Businesses in the rural markets

They offer loans for:

  • Long-term working capital to support growth
  • Acquisition or change of control
  • Equipment or real estate purchase
  • Refinancing of debt

They offer terms up to 30 years that are fully amortizing and a typical variable prime rate of plus 2.75%.

Summary Table

Provider SBA Offerings
Loan size Terms and Fees
First National Bank Alaska SBA 504 Up to $5 million Various repayment options
Fees below the market rate
Spirit of Alaska Federal Credit Union SBA loans (type not specified)
Other types of loans:
Automotive loans
Secured loans
Business lines of credit
Specialty loans
Solar panel loans
Not specified Flexible terms and repayment options
Competitive fees (not specified)
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union SBA 7(a)
SBA 504
Minimum $50,000
Minimum $250,000
Long term
Fees varies
Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO, Inc. No SBA offering
Loans for:
Non-qualifiers, low collateral
Long-term working capital to support growth
Acquisition or change of control
Equipment or real estate purchase
Refinancing of debt
Average $1.2 million
Range $500,000 to $10 million
Up to 30 years
Prime plus 2.75%

Top Online Alaska Small Business Loan Options

Local small business loan providers typically have nearby branches and understand the local conditions. This seems to make them the preferred choice, but they’re by no means always the best or only option. Small businesses should also consider online business loans that are nationally available alongside local small business loan offerings.

In this section, we look at the top online lenders and their benefits and features.

1. Credibly

Credibly offers seven types of small business loans: working capital loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, long-term business expansion loans, SBA loans, equipment financing loans, and invoice factoring loans. The most popular option, without a doubt, is a working capital loan, which operates slightly differently than a usual term loan. Here, instead of paying an interest rate, you will be charged a lump amount calculated as a percentage of the loan. The funds can then be used to finance short-term business needs, and this form of payment makes it easier to budget for.
Pros
Multiple loan options available
Low credit score requirements
Attentive customer support representatives
Simple online application process
High borrowing limits
Open to high-risk industries
Cons
Origination fees are charged
Daily or weekly repayment terms
Interest rates can get high


Credibly believes that small business financing should be available to a wide range of customers. As such, the company has lenient eligibility requirements, with a minimum credit score of only 500.

The specific loan features depend on the type of loan issued. For example, the popular working capital loans can reach $400,000 in value, while business expansion loans vary between $150,000 and $5 million. The repayment terms also vary significantly, - short-term working capital loans will need to be repaid over 6 to 18 months, while longer-term business expansion financing can come with a repayment period of anywhere between 3 and 10 years.

The Bottom Line

If you are searching for a reliable online lender offering multiple Alaska small business loan types, Credibly is a great option. With its lenient eligibility criteria, easy application process, and ready-to-help customer support, you will receive the much-needed business financing in no time.

2. Fundera

Fundera is both an alternative lender and an online loan marketplace. That means that in addition to issuing its own loans, the platform connects applicants with other lenders across the country, offering an unparalleled variety of lending options.
Pros
Numerous loan types on offer
Interest rates start at 6%
Soft credit check during the application
Connections to multiple lenders
Cons
Unclear qualification requirements
Funding can take time (up to 3 weeks)


The eight types of loan products offered include:

  • Term loans
  • Microloans
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Invoice factoring
  • Business lines of credit
  • SBA loans
  • Commercial real estate loans
  • Equipment financing

Because Fundera serves as a loan marketplace, it can connect the applicants with a variety of loan products with flexible rates, terms, and limits. Depending on the specific lender and the type of loan, the interest rates can vary significantly. Starting with only 6% for some loan products, the rates can reach 30% for term loans and 40% for equipment financing loans.

So, when applying for a loan through Fundera, keep in mind that you might want to pay off the loan earlier to save on borrowing costs.

The Bottom Line

Without a doubt, Fundera offers a great variety of loan products with flexible terms, rates, and borrowing amounts. For more expensive types of loans, such as equipment financing and term loans, paying off the loan prior to its term can save you significant amounts of money.

3. Blue Vine

Founded in 2013, BlueVine offers high levels of customer service and loan access to businesses who may have a low chance of qualifying for other loans in Alaska. The only type of small business financing offered by BlueVine are unsecured lines of credit that come with attractive interest rates. It is important to note that BlueVine only works with applicants from specific industries and specific states. As such, make sure to review all the requirements prior to applying for a loan through this lender.
Pros
Loans arranged and approved very quickly
Funds available in days
Competitive interest rates
Online service
Excellent person-to-person customer support
Cons
Not serving some states and industries
Repayments can be high
Services only available for B2B companies
Interest rates can get expensive


BlueVine business loans present unsecured lines of credit of up to $250,000, with a repayment term spanning between 6 and 12 months. A fixed interest rate from 4.8% upwards is offered, depending on factors such as the repayment period and the applicant’s credit score. Loan repayments are due either weekly or monthly.

The BlueVine lines of credit do not require collateral, - therefore, be prepared for slightly stricter qualification criteria. The good news is that BlueVine handles the entire loan application approval and fund disbursement process in a flexible and speedy manner.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for an unsecured line of credit, explore the loan options offered by BlueVine. With a fast turnaround, competitive interest rates, and supportive customer service team, you will be able to receive the required funds without unnecessary stress.

4. National Funding

Founded in 1999, National Funding has provided funds of over $4.5 billion to more than 75,000 businesses across the USA. They offer a wide variety of loans, including funding for specific industries and equipment financing. National Funding has dedicated loan specialists to fully unpack your business needs and to provide you with guidance regarding your loan choice.
Pros
Easy application process
Fast funding decisions
Funding in 24 hours from approval
Bad credit rate friendly
Partnership approach
Personalized approach
Cons
Hard to find information on interest rates
Personal guarantee required
Repayments can be high


Small business loans from National Funding range from $5,000 to $50,000. Businesses can use them to cover the costs of anything from inventory and marketing to payroll and taxes across a wide range of sectors, such as beauty and wellness, construction, commercial mortgage, retail, agriculture, restaurant industry, and more. National Funding also provides equipment financing and leasing of up to $150,000.

The Bottom Line

National Funding offers great loan solutions for small business owners from a variety of industries. If you are looking for quick funding and a personalized approach, this lender is for you!

Additional Resources for Alaska Small Businesses

Within the state of Alaska, there are several governmental and other institutions that offer additional financial resources for small businesses. In addition, the state of Alaska provides a range of non-financial resources like mentoring, advice, workshops, and tools to small businesses to help them grow and create measurable economic impact throughout the state.

State of Alaska Loan Programs

The State of Alaska’s Investments Section administers several state loan programs, such as:

  • Alternative energy loans for the purchase or construction of alternative energy systems;
  • Long-term commercial fishing loans to support resident fisheries;
  • Mariculture loans to support the planning and operation of mariculture businesses;
  • Other state loan programs, such as community quota entity loans, Alaska microloans, and more.

Spruce Root's Loan Program

Spruce Root Community Development offers a unique loan program to Alaska-based small businesses. Under the program, Spruce Root’s business coaches work with small business owners to create and refine the business plan, financial structure, and budget to ensure the ultimate success of their funding application.

Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB)

CFAB is a member-owned cooperative dedicated to helping Alaskans meet their commercial financing needs. If you own a local small business related to commercial fishing, agriculture, tourism, or natural resources, consider applying for a CFAB scholarship or loan.

Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC)

JEDC is dedicated to developing talent, strengthening key regional industries, and promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses throughout Southeast Alaska. The Council runs a variety of sustainable, comprehensive projects and programs and offers a range of useful resources for local small businesses.

The Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Alaska SBDC offers free one-on-one business coaching to assist local small business owners in launching and growing their companies. The organization also runs free or low-cost business workshops and offers a collection of free tools, such as business-related documents and spreadsheets.

The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCEED)

The website of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development contains all the resources necessary to start and run your own business within the state. Here, you can find valuable information on how to buy a business license, how to obtain financing, and where to find additional resources.

How to Prepare for an Alaska Small Business Loan

There are also a few key steps you need to take to ensure that you’re in the best position to qualify for Alaska small business loans. These steps include:

  1. Obtain the required business license and zoning regulations.
  2. Register the business name.
  3. Open your business bank account.
  4. Improve your credit score as it’s difficult to qualify for a small business loan with a credit score lower than 700.
  5. Prepare an impressive business plan.
  6. Show strong business financials with ample collateral with accounts receivable and accounts payable.
  7. Improve your business credit report.
  8. Ensure tax compliance, know your federal tax responsibilities, and obtain federal and state tax IDs.
  9. Prepare and clean your background.
  10. Prepare your resume as evidence of management or business experience.
  11. Prepare legal documents such as copies of contracts, franchise agreements, and commercial leases.

The Bottom Line

If you are running a small business in Alaska, you may require a small business loan for a variety of reasons. Whether you are looking for a short-term boost to cash flow, need to buy pricey equipment, or are looking to expand your business, a small business loan can provide the necessary financing.

While there are many types of Alaska small business loans available from both traditional and alternative lenders, it is important to carefully consider all variables of a loan when evaluating your options. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you can afford to pay back the loan, as failure to do so will reflect poorly on your personal and business credit score and might end up costing you your business.

Other variables to pay attention to include terms, fees, rates, application processing times, and loan flexibility. The offerings from Alaskan banks and local credit unions are well established and offer great value, but don’t hesitate to explore the online lending marketplace. The flexibility of online lenders sometimes offers superior funding options and can be less risky for borrowers.

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About the Author

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

More about me