Get a decision in 36 hours or less
Less paperwork and documentation required
Choose a term loan or line of credit
Long repayment terms


Stricter underwriting requirements than other SBA loans
Finalizing the loan can take weeks after approval
Higher rates than other SBA loans
Lower loan maximums than other SBA loans
Restrictions on how you can use the loan

Is SBA Express Part Of The 7(a) Loan Program?

Yes, the SBA Express loan program is part of the SBA 7(a) loan program. SBA Express loans have very similar eligibility requirements, and the loans can be used for similar purposes. You may wish to explore the SBA 7a loan requirements.

The primary difference between the two is, of course, the length of time it takes to get approved for the loan. Where typical SBA loans can take ten days or more to get a response, you’ll get an answer within 36 hours if you apply for an SBA Express loan.

However, lenders may be stricter when it comes to approving SBA Express loans. The shorter period of time to make a decision means lenders will want borrowers to have very strong profiles to get quick cash.

SBA Express Loan Is Not The Right Solution For You? Look For Funding Alternatives

SBA Express loans are a good choice for many types of businesses and many different needs. However, they’re not perfect for every situation.

If an SBA Express loan isn’t right for your company, consider these other options.

  • SBA 7(a) loan: SBA 7(a) loans are similar to Express loans but give lenders more time to make a lending decision. They can be easier to qualify for and offer higher loan limits. Check out our full article on SBA 7(a) loans.
  • Microloans: Microloans are designed for smaller businesses that need $50,000 or less. These loans can be easier to qualify for if you have a thing credit file but often require collateral and an owner’s guarantee. For more info, take a look at our article on microloans.
  • Business loans from online lenders: Many banks and online lenders offer loans to businesses. These loans may be more expensive than SBA loans but don’t make borrowers meet the same requirements. They may offer even larger loan limits or longer repayment terms. If you’re interested in a loan, we have a list of some of the best online lenders. If you're interested in funding equipment for your business, visit our article about equipment financing

About the Authors

TJ Porter

Written by: TJ Porter

Personal Finance Writer

I have in-depth experience in reviewing financial products such as savings accounts, credit cards, and brokerages, writing how-tos, and answering financial questions both simple and complicated.

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Kal Salem

Reviewed by: Kal Salem

CPA, PMP and Finance Consultant

A CPA and finance professional working with small businesses to educate owners and grow alongside their businesses. He holds a Masters in Accounting and a BS in Supply Chain Management. Owner at Salem CPA Services LLC.

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Somer G. Anderson, Ph.D.

Fact checked by: Somer G. Anderson Ph.D., CPA

Accounting and Finance Professor

Somer G. Anderson has been working in the Accounting and Finance industries for over 20 years as a financial statement auditor, a finance manager in a large healthcare organization, and a Finance and Accounting professor at Maryville University.

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