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SmartBiz Loans Review: The Professional Small Business Lender

SmartBiz loans are best for businesses that are in a strong financial position and want to get a loan quickly, without going through a bank or paying a high APR. The application takes just five minutes and does not impact your credit score.

smartbiz review
smartbiz
3.5
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Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 660+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $30K- $5M
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment 10 - 25 years
Daniel Lewis
Written by:Daniel Lewis
MBA Accredited Investment Professional

Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks, Personal Finance Writer and Editor

SmartBiz loans are best for businesses that are in a strong financial position and want to get a loan quickly, without going through a bank or paying a high APR. The application takes just five minutes and does not impact your credit score.

While SmartBiz is known for its SBA loans, they also offer term loans and custom financing options, such as business credit cards, business lines of credit, and invoice financing. Whether you need $30,000 or $5 million, the professional team at SmartBiz will help ensure you get the financing you need for your small business.

Our SmartBiz loans review will help you decide which type of small business loan is right for you.

Summarized Ratings

This parameter considers loan terms, repayment optionality, and loan limits. For each financing arrangement offered, each of these features was evaluated using the five-point scoring system. Then, the various scores were aggregated and averaged to establish an overall loan features score.

SmartBiz gets a 3.2 for Loan Features. This perfectly average score reflects a fairly broad offering of loan terms (2-5 years and up to 20-25 years, depending on loan type), somewhat flexible loan limits (< $250K or $4M-$7M, depending on loan type), and accommodative repayment options.

Pros
Receive multiple loan offers
Competitive loan rates
Long repayment terms
High borrowing limits up to $5 million
High approval rates
Great reputation
No prepayment penalties
Cons
Long application process
Additional fees may apply

SmartBiz SBA Loans

SmartBiz offers streamlined SBA loans for established businesses looking to expand their business, purchase inventory, consolidate debt, or simply have additional working capital on hand.

SmartBiz SBA loans range from $30,000 to $350,000 with 10-25 year repayment terms. Interest rates vary between 7.5% and 8.5%, with a minimum credit score requirement of 660.

In addition, SmartBiz offers SBA commercial real estate loans up to $5 million. These loans are used to purchase or refinance commercial real estate and must be 51% owner-occupied.

Editor’s Note: SmartBiz is the ideal lender for a business looking for an SBA (7)(a) loan or an alternative low-cost loan from the Small Business Administration. It is one of the quickest and safest means to get this kind of loan, though it does come with some additional fees attached. 90% of referrals get funded in the network, so you have an excellent chance with this provider once you meet minimum requirements.

SmartBiz Term Loans

SmartBiz term loans range from $30,000 to $300,000 with 2-5 year repayment terms. Interest rates are higher with term loans than SBA loans, but approval and funding is typically much quicker.

To qualify for a term loan, you must be in business for two years, have a minimum credit score of 660, and have not shown any bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past three years. You must also be able to show consistent business revenue to support the loan payments.

SmartBiz Custom Financing

Sometimes a traditional loan isn’t the right fit; and that’s where custom financing comes in to meet your individual financing needs. Custom financing options typically offer more flexibility and are tailored to your specific business.

Types of financing include business credit cards, business lines of credit, and invoice financing. Credit cards give you access to funds quickly while helping build your business credit. Business lines of credit operate similarly to a credit card, where you only pay interest on the amount you use. Lines of credit typically offer higher loan limits than credit cards. And finally, invoice financing is a loan that is backed by unpaid invoices. This is a secured type of loan and often comes with lower interest rates.

SmartBiz Loan Features

While SmartBiz offers a variety of custom loan options, the main products include the SBA loan, the SBA commercial real estate loan, and the standard term loan. To qualify, applicants need to have a good credit rating, no recent bankruptcies, be in business for at least 24 months, and have no outstanding tax liens. A personal guarantee and lien is also a prerequisite for qualification.


SMARTBIZ SBA (7)(A) LOAN SBA (7)(A) REAL ESTATE TERM LOAN
APR (estimate range) 7.5%-10.29% 7% – 8% 6.99% – 24.99%
Loan Amount $30,000 – $350,000 $500,000 – $5 Million $30,000 – $300,000
Term Length 10 – 25 Years 25 Years 2 – 5 Years
Minimum Credit Score 660 675 660
Funding Time 7 Days or more 30 Days Less than 7 Days
Typical Payment % (Monthly) 1.1% Varies 2.25%

Rates, Fees, and Penalties

For the SBA(7)(a) loan, the SBA (7)(a) commercial real estate, and the term loan, the APR will often range between 7.5% - 10.29% (term loan up to 24.99%). Those with higher credit scores will typically qualify for the lowest rates.

Learn how to build your business credit in 8 simple steps >>

Our SmartBiz loans review found a variety of fees that come with getting a loan through the company.. The lender takes a 4% cut from the approved loan for ‘referral and packaging fees.’ Closing costs will add $450, and there may be a one-time application fee of $3,000 – $5000 depending on the loan type. All these fees add up, so make sure you understand the APR of each loan. The APR is a figure that takes all rates and fees into account for customers to make informed decisions.

LOAN TYPE SBA (7)(A) SBA (7)(A) COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE STANDARD TERM LOAN
Origination Fees No No No
Prepayment Fees No Yes No
Late Payment Fees Yes Yes Yes
Maintenance Fees Yes Yes Yes
Bank Closing Costs $450 $5000 $450
One Time Application Fee $3000 $5000 $3000
Variable Interest Rate 7% 4%-6% 7%
Total Average Estimated APR 7% 5% 10%

SmartBiz Eligibility Requirements

For both the SmartBiz SBA loan and the SmartBiz term loan, the minimum requirements include:

  • Minimum credit score of 660
  • 2+ years in business
  • No outstanding tax liens
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past three year
  • Personal guarantee required for business owners who own 20% or more of the business
  • Must be profitable and cash flow positive

Eligibility requirements for SmartBiz SBA commercial real estate loans are similar to those of SBA loans and term loans, with the exception of the minimum credit score being bumped to 675. Also, the real estate must be 51% owner-occupied and used by your business.

The SmartBiz Application Process

Applying for a loan takes less than 5 minutes and does not affect your credit score. After this, there is only a single application process while SmartBiz matches you to the appropriate bank. While the application process could take months with a bank, it only takes a week with this lender.

After the prequalification has been completed, you will be assigned to a team of supervisors who talk you through the process. With an SBA loan, you will need to provide extensive documentation, including:

  • Personal and business tax returns
  • Personal financial statements
  • Profit & loss statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Collateral
  • Business lease, if applicable
  • Other documents including articles of incorporation and business licenses

Once all required documents are submitted, your file will be reviewed and a decision will be made. For SBA loans, it typically takes 7 days or more to get a decision, and another 14 days to process your loan. It may take up to 45 days to receive your funds from when you submitted your application.

Note: SmartBiz pulls a soft pull on your credit score initially to determine eligibility. If you decide to move forward with a loan, expect a hard pull on your credit.

Customer Service

Customer service with SmartBiz is exceptional and one of their strongest features. SmartBiz has specialized loan consultants and customer service representatives available to assist throughout the entire process and answer all queries in a timely manner.

The SBA(7)(a) loan in particular is known to be notoriously difficult to qualify for, with a huge level of documentation required. This is where the professionalism of SmartBiz can shine through.

SmartBiz Reviews - What People Are Saying

SmartBiz has over 16,000 verified Trustpilot reviews and a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. The most frequent positive highlights are:

  • Quick loan application process: The entire platform is automated and streamlined for prequalification. The application takes just five minutes and will not impact your credit score.
  • Amazing customer support: The levels of customer support are flawless and the dedicated manager will lead clients through every step of the process.
  • Clear terms and conditions: SmartBiz is upfront and clear with what it charges and who qualifies for a loan. You will know exactly how much you are going to pay and won’t get hit with any hidden fees.

The biggest complaints of SmartBiz loans’ reviews are high fees and strict qualification guidelines. While the SBA loan APR is low, the fees charged by SmartBiz to process the loan are high. For the level of service, though, the fees may be worth it.

SmartBiz Perks and Bonuses

Flexibility

SmartBiz offers flexible terms and customized financing options to best ensure you can make the payments on your loan. If you think you may be late on a payment, contact your SmartBiz representative to work out a solution together.

Transparency

Founded in 2009, SmartBiz now has over 170,000 customers and 110 employees. Headquartered in California, they are easy to reach out to and get a response from. All of the SmartBiz fees are displayed upfront, and there are no hidden fees you’ll run into during the process.

Regarding privacy SmartBiz has an upfront privacy policy on its site which indicates everything they do with private information. Information is never shared with third parties, but may be shared with banks and affiliates to process loans. Customers are never profiled based on their usage. All transactions are secured with 256-bit encryption.

Technology

With a loan from SmartBiz, expect nothing short of a superior lending experience. The application process is streamlined and includes automated reviews to reduce errors and expedited file auditing.

SmartBiz also offers small business owners access to their SmartBiz Advisor, an online tool that allows clients to see their odds of qualifying for a particular loan. SmartBiz Advisor also makes recommendations on how to increase your odds of getting a loan and how to land better interest rates.

Summary

SmartBiz is an excellent lender for those looking for swift SBA(7)(a) loans with fast turnaround times. In addition to SBA loans, SmartBiz offers term loans and alternative financing options.They have an excellent reputation in terms of customer service, competitive interest rates, and long repayment terms, making them an ideal choice for SBA and other small business loans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the SBA (7)(a) loan anyway?
An SBA (7)(a) loan is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration up to 85% (75% for loans over $150,000). For more information, take a look at this comprehensive SBA loan guide.
How fast is the turnaround time?
Turnaround time is 30 days for a commercial real estate loan and 7 to 14 days for SBA loan options. Standard term loans are frequently processed within 7 days.
Does SmartBiz offer customized financial solutions?
SmartBiz offers business credit cards, business lines of credit, and invoice financing. Loan amounts can range from $30,000 – $300,000 and repayment terms range from 2-5 years.
Do I have to provide documentation?
Yes, you will have to provide an extensive level of documentation for SBA loans to satisfy the terms and conditions. Once the documents are ready, the SmartBiz automated platform will do the rest.
Do I need to provide collateral or personal guarantees?
All business owners who own more than 20% of the business must provide a personal guarantee. A lien on business assets is also required for loans.

Written by: Daniel Lewis

MBA Accredited Investment Professional

Daniel Lewis is an MBA accredited investment professional who wants to assist small business owners to gain access to finance. After going through many channels for funding, Lewis has found that getting the first loan right is vitally important for future success.

More about me
Sarah Brooks Personal Finance Writer and Editor

Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks

Personal Finance Writer and Editor

Sarah Brooks is a personal finance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. She specializes in personal and business loans, mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.

More about me
Somer G. Anderson

Fact Checked by: Somer G. Anderson

Accounting and Finance Professor Ph.D., CPA, CGMA, CFE

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. Over that time, she's earned a doctorate in personal financial planning and her CPA, CGMA, and CFE certifications.

More about me