5 States With The Highest SBA 7(a) Loan Amounts (2023)

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Access to capital can make or break a business, and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans are designed to help business owners fill funding gaps. SBA 7(a) loans offer loans up to $5 million that can be used for working capital, real estate purchases, construction of a new building and much more. However, whether you qualify and the amount you can borrow depends on factors like your business revenue and credit.

Key Takeaways

  • Georgia tops the list as the state with the highest five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount at $840,145
  • Hawaii bottomed out on our list as the state with the lowest five-year average loan amount at $213,504
  • The top five states include Georgia, Texas, California, Louisiana and Arkansas
  • Four out of the 10 most populous states in the U.S. rank among the top 10 states with the highest five-year average 7(a) loan amount
  • The five states at the bottom of the list include Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and New Hampshire
  • The average SBA 7(a) loan amount was highest nationwide in 2021, at $704,581, out of the five total years of data we analyzed; in 2022, average loan amounts fell to $538,903, a decrease of over $165,000 compared to the prior year

5 States With the Highest Average SBA 7(a) Loan Amounts

To find out which states have the highest average SBA 7(a) loan amounts, Forbes Advisor analyzed data from the SBA. We looked at data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia from the fiscal year 2018 through 2022 and ranked states based on a five-year average.

1. Georgia

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $840,145

The Peach State ranks at the top of our list with the highest average SBA 7(a) loan approval amounts in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2018, it ranked second-highest after Alaska.

Georgia is also the only state to see an average annual SBA 7(a) loan amount higher than $1 million. In 2021, Georgia lenders approved 1,758 SBA 7(a) loans, with total funding of over $1.82 billion, yielding an average loan amount of $1,036,366.

2. Texas

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $738,427

The Lone Star State comes in second behind Georgia despite having an average loan amount that’s $101,718 less than Georgia’s. Nevertheless, Texas has consistently ranked among the top five states with the highest loan approval amounts since 2018.

Taking a look at years individually, small businesses in Texas were approved for the second-highest average 7(a) loan amounts in 2019, 2020 and 2022, and the fourth-highest amounts in 2018 and 2021.

3. California

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $702,262

California, the most populous state in the U.S., takes third place, with an average five-year SBA 7(a) loan amount sitting at $702,262. The Golden State hasn’t always ranked in the top five but has made at least the top 10 in all five years that we considered. Its average 7(a) loan amounts ranged from a low of $551,814 in 2019 to a high of $986,816 in 2021.

4. Louisiana

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $701,856

Louisiana has an average five-year loan amount that’s just $407 less than California’s, putting it in a close fourth place. Of the five years we considered, 2021 was the only year Louisiana did not crack the top 10 for its average loan amount, but it came close in 11th place.

5. Alaska

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $672,935

Alaska rounds out our top five, with an average loan amount of $672,935. However, the Last Frontier was at the very top of this list in recent history.

In 2018, small businesses in Alaska received the highest average loan amount of any state. That year, 105 small businesses were approved for SBA 7(a) loans, with funding totaling more than $84.7 million, yielding an average loan amount of $807,051.

5 States With the Lowest Average SBA 7(a) Loan Amounts

Below is a list of states that offered the lowest average SBA 7(a) loan amounts in the past five years.

1. Hawaii

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $213,505

Despite its high cost of living, Hawaii clocks in with the lowest five-year average loan amount of just $213,505. Over the past five years, Hawaii ranks consistently low for average loan amounts compared to other states. In 2018, the Aloha State ranked sixth-lowest for its average loan amount, and it’s been dead last for the past two years (2021 and 2022).

2. Maine

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $247,794

This New England state has consistently ranked in the bottom five states for its average annual SBA loan approval amount over the past five years.

3. Massachusetts

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $272,751

Coming in third-lowest on the list is Massachusetts, which has had an average loan approval amount of just $272,751 for the past five years. Similar to Maine, Massachusetts has consistently ranked bottom five for its loan amounts approved between 2018 and 2022.

4. Ohio

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $306,824

Ohio ranked fourth-lowest for its average loan amounts approved from 2018 to 2022, at $306,824. Ohio’s lowest ranking year was 2021, when the state offered the third-lowest average loan amount for SBA 7(a) loans nationwide.

(Video) The Pro’s and Con’s of the SBA 7a Loan

5. New Hampshire

Five-year average SBA 7(a) loan amount: $313,939

New Hampshire is the second New England state to make this list and has a five-year average loan approval amount of $313,939. In 2018 and 2019, New Hampshire ranked towards the middle of the pack relative to other states and Washington D.C. but ranks lower overall due to relatively low average loan amounts in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

How To Get an SBA 7(a) Loan

Applying for an SBA loan is similar to applying for other small business loans, but it does involve extra paperwork and could take one to two weeks to receive a decision.

To be eligible for an SBA 7(a) loan, you must operate for profit, have a need for a loan and use other funding types (like personal assets) before seeking financial assistance. You can negotiate SBA loan rates with the lender, though rate maximums apply. As for other business loan requirements, the SBA doesn’t set a minimum credit score, but having a minimum score of 650 may help your approval odds. Below are the steps for getting an SBA 7(a) loan:

  1. Search for SBA lenders. The SBA has a lender match tool that can help you shop for loans. After completing a questionnaire about your business, information is sent to lenders and they can reach out to you with loan options.
  2. Complete SBA loan forms. Applicants for SBA loans have to turn in specific forms, like SBA Form 1919, which asks for information about you and the purpose of your loan. SBA Form 413 asks you to list your assets, liabilities and sources of income.
  3. Compile your business financials. Besides the forms above, lenders may ask for other information, such as financial statements from your business, business licenses and income tax returns. The SBA website has a checklist of information to gather.
  4. Submit documents. Turn in completed forms to your lender of choice and ask what other information is required. The SBA website states that lenders may ask you to submit additional forms on a case-by-case basis.

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How To Qualify for Higher SBA 7(a) Loan Amounts

Businesses that have consistent revenue, manageable debt and strong credit may qualify for higher loan amounts. That’s because these business attributes indicate you have the financial means to pay the money back. Below are tips to get a business loan with a high loan amount:

  • Reduce your debt. Your annual debt obligations may be compared to your operating income to determine the loan amount and payments you can afford. Reducing other business debt obligations could help you obtain a bigger loan.
  • Build personal and business credit. Coming up with a plan to improve your credit scores could help you qualify for larger loans. Making on-time payments on all debts and keeping your debt usage low are two crucial steps that could help increase your scores.
  • Pledge collateral. Lenders can offer up to $25,000 for an SBA 7(a) loan without collateral. If you have collateral to pledge, like equipment or property, using it to back the loan could help you get a higher loan amount. However, the lender can repossess the collateral if you fail to repay, so be wary.

Alternatives to SBA 7(a) Loans

Personal loans and business lines of credit are other ways to borrow money for your business. Lenders may offer unsecured personal loans of up to $100,000 in some cases, and funding can happen within a few days of applying. However, some lenders prohibit you from using personal loans for business expenses, so be sure to read the fine print terms when applying.

Business lines of credit, like business credit cards, offer a flexible credit line you can borrow from and pay off as you need cash. A business credit card can also help you build business credit history you can use to apply for other loans in the future.

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To determine which states have the highest five-year average loan approval amounts, Forbes Advisor examined the SBA 7(a) loan data from the U.S. Small Business Administration for all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2018 to 2022.

We began by calculating each state’s average annual SBA 7(a) loan amount, utilizing the total amount approved and the number of loans approved. Then, we averaged annual loan amounts for all five years to obtain the five-year average for all 50 states and Washington D.C.


5 States With The Highest SBA 7(a) Loan Amounts? ›

SBA Loans by State

Texas received a greater number of PPP loans than any other state: more than 134,000 loans as of April 16. California received 113,000 loans. Other states, such as Illinois, New York, and Florida, which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, also received a large number of loans.

Which states got the most SBA loans? ›

SBA Loans by State

Texas received a greater number of PPP loans than any other state: more than 134,000 loans as of April 16. California received 113,000 loans. Other states, such as Illinois, New York, and Florida, which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, also received a large number of loans.

How much can you get on a SBA 7 loan? ›

Loan amounts

Most 7(a) loans have a maximum loan amount of $5 million. However, SBA Express loans have a maximum loan amount of $500,000. SBA Export Express loans have a maximum loan amount of $500,000. The SBA's maximum exposure is $3.75 million ($4.5 million under the International Trade loan).

What is the largest SBA loan amount? ›

SBA 7(a) loans are the most popular type of SBA loan. These loans are federally guaranteed term loans with a maximum loan amount of $5 million. Business owners often use SBA 7(a) loans to finance working capital needs, buy an existing business, refinance debt, or purchase new equipment.

How hard is it to get a SBA 7a loan? ›

Although the guarantee incentives lenders to work with small businesses, it can still be hard to qualify for SBA 7(a) loans. Lenders generally require a good personal credit score (690+), two or more years in business, and strong annual revenue for 7(a) loan applications.

Where do most SBA loans originate? ›

The SBA does not originate business loans.

Instead, the agency guarantees a portion of loans offered by partner banks, credit unions, non-profits, and other financial institutions.

Which states got the most PPP loans? ›

Which states got the most PPP loans? California received the highest number of loans in 2021, with some 692,692 businesses funded by the PPP. Florida followed with 598,506 businesses that received PPP loans. Texas came in third with 559,159 businesses funded and Illinois pulled in fourth with 435,736 PPP loans.

What is the net worth limit for SBA 7a? ›

[A]n applicant for a business loan under section 7(a) or an applicant for a development company loan under title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 may be eligible for such a loan if— (i) the maximum tangible net worth of the applicant is not more than $15,000,000; and (ii) the average net income after ...

Does SBA 7a require collateral? ›

The SBA 7(a) loan programs don't require collateral, but individual banks may have their own requirements. Buildings, equipment, and land are all possible types of collateral that you can offer.

What is the net worth for SBA 7a? ›

In order for your practice to meet the eligibility requirements for a SBA 7a Loan, it must be for-profit and located in the United States with a net worth less than $15 Million and/or net income after taxes of less than $5 Million.

What is the easiest SBA loan to get? ›

SBA Express

This term loan or line of credit offers fixed or variable SBA loan rates as well as the easiest SBA application process, quick approval times, flexible terms, and lower down payment requirements than conventional loans.

Are SBA 7a loans fixed rate? ›

SBA 7(a) Rates

Funds can be used to cover working capital, equipment purchases and the cost of business expansion. Loans may come with either variable or fixed rates.

What is SBA 7 a? ›

The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA's most common loan program, includes financial help for small businesses with special requirements. This is a good option when real estate is part of a business purchase, but it can also be used for: Short- and long-term working capital. Refinancing current business debt.

How long does SBA 7a take? ›

An SBA 7(a) loan can take time to move through approval -- typically, 60-90 days. In addition, if your lender is an SBA Preferred lender, they will have the authority to approve your loan much faster than a non-preferred lender.

Will SBA 7a loans be forgiven? ›

Only about 1 in 6 SBA 7(a) loans are not paid back. Owners defaulting on their loans may want to try applying for SBA loan forgiveness to lessen their debts. Learn all about the SBA loan forgiveness program and how it works below.

How long does a SBA 7 loan take? ›

How long does the SBA 7(a) loan approval process take? The SBA 7(a) loan approval process can take between 7-10 business days if you are using the Standard 7(a) Loan Processing. If you are using the Certified Lenders Program (CLP) Processing, the process can be expedited and only take 3 business days.

Who is the largest SBA 7a lender? ›

1. Live Oak Bank. The biggest SBA 7(a) lender of 2022 is Live Oak Bank.

Who is the largest SBA lender in the country? ›

Who is the top SBA lender? As of April 2023, Live Oak Bank is the top SBA lender based on loan approval amount. The bank has approved almost $900 million in 7(a) loans for the 2023 fiscal year.

Is SBA loan only for US citizens? ›

In order to be approved for SBA lending, at least 51 percent of the business must be owned by a U.S. Citizen (or citizens) or Green Card holder. The SBA will approve funding for businesses with foreign investors, but the maximum is 49 percent ownership for non-citizens.

Who is the largest recipient of PPP funds? ›

Construction businesses with fewer than 500 employees secured the most money overall, receiving nearly $98 billion in PPP loans. The healthcare and social assistance industry and professional, scientific, and technical industry were not far behind, receiving roughly $96 billion and $94 billion, respectively.

What banks processed the most PPP loans? ›

Top PPP Lenders for 2021 PPP
RankLender NameLoans Approved
1JP Morgan Chase81,430
2Bank of America87,696
3Itria Ventures LLC165,827
4PNC Bank28,633
11 more rows
Mar 8, 2021

Which bank funded the most PPP loans? ›

Below are highlights from some of the top PPP approved lenders:
  • JPMorgan Chase ($29.35 billion loaned) ...
  • Bank of America (BofA) ($25.56 loaned) ...
  • BMO Harris ($4.84 billion loaned) ...
  • Cross River ($6.55 billion loaned) ...
  • Wells Fargo ($10.60 billion loaned) ...
  • Best PPP Lenders.
Feb 3, 2021

Can you use SBA 7a to buy a business? ›

SBA 7(a) loans can be used for various purposes, including purchasing real estate, equipment, working capital, refinancing debt, and, of course, buying a business.

What is the 20% rule for SBA? ›

Individuals who own 20% or more of a small business applicant must provide an unlimited personal guaranty. SBA Lenders may use this form.

What is the difference between an SBA 504 and 7a loan? ›

SBA 504 loans are typically larger loans in dollar amounts lent. Businesses can borrow from $125,000 up to $10 million, depending on the business's qualifications and needs. 7a loans, meanwhile, offer smaller dollar amounts, with the maximum loan topping off at $5 million dollars.

Do SBA 7a loans require down payment? ›

Do SBA loans require a downpayment? Yes, the minimum SBA loan down payment requirement is 10% on 7(a) and 504 loans and is based on a business's cash flow and collateral. Weak cash flow or low-value collateral can increase the down payment requirement to up to 30% of the loan amount.

Can an SBA 7a loan have a balloon payment? ›

7(a) Repayment Terms

Balloon payments or call provisions are not allowed on any 7(a) loan except SBA Express loans.

What do banks look at for SBA loans? ›

They'll consider household income, business revenue, cash flow, outstanding debt, unused credit lines, and the amount of money the owner has personally invested into the business. All these variables will help lenders calculate the ability for an owner to repay the loan.

What percentage of SBA loans fail? ›

SBA loans have a 49% approval rate at small banks. SBA loans only have a 25% approval rate at large banks. 33% of small business owners struggle or fail due to a lack of capital.

Who is the owner of SBA? ›

SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns; preserve free competitive enterprise; and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

How many employees do you need for SBA loan? ›

Eligible business criteria

Generally, in the eyes of the SBA, you're a small business if you meet the following criteria: Your team consists of between 50 – 1,500 employees. You have between one million to $41.5 million in annual receipts.

What credit score do I need for SBA loan? ›

While there's no official required SBA loan credit score from the Small Business Administration, lenders will often set minimum personal and business credit score requirements for SBA loan applicants. An SBSS of 140 to 160+ or a personal score of 620 to 640+ are commonly needed to qualify.

What credit score do you need for SBA? ›

The minimum credit score required for an SBA loan depends on the type of loan. For SBA Microloans, the minimum credit score is typically between 620-640. For SBA 7(a) loans, the minimum credit score is typically 640, but borrowers may find greater success if they can boost their credit score into the 680+ range.

Do people get denied for SBA loans? ›

They take into consideration many factors such as the time for which you have been in operation, credit scores, the monthly revenue you earn, your business plan, and the collateral you can provide, among others. If you're unable to meet their conditions, they may not offer you the finance you need.

Are SBA loans hard to get? ›

The short answer – No, it is not hard to get an SBA loan! Most businesses are eligible and qualifying is easier than you might think! The SBA 504 loan is specifically designed to help small businesses expand by purchasing fixed assets such as real estate and equipment.

How is an SBA 7a loan disbursed? ›

In the case of SBA 7(a) and Community Advantage loans, you won't get your loan disbursement in one big check, but rather in “controlled disbursements.” Lenders choose to disburse business loan funds in pieces because it keeps you accountable for how you use the funding.

Is SBA 7a loan forgiveness taxable? ›

That means your tax liability will not increase due to receiving an SBA loan. In fact, in most cases, you may even be able to write off interest paid on your loan as a deduction on your tax return (something we'll explore in-depth a little later). The only time a loan will be taxed is if it is forgiven.

Is SBA Express a 7a loan? ›

SBA Express loans are business loans that fall within the SBA's 7(a) loan program. This type of SBA loan can be used for a range of business purposes, including working capital or the purchase of equipment, real estate or an existing business.

Can I use SBA loan for personal use? ›

You can only use SBA loans for "sound business expenses." That means you cannot use an SBA loan for personal expenses, such as personal credit card bills, your home mortgage, or student loans.

How long does SBA loan take to deposit after approval? ›

After an SBA loan is approved, it usually takes around five days for the lender to disburse loan funds—but it can take up to 14 days. That said, the actual amount of time it takes for you to receive loan proceeds depends on the lender and the business' bank.

How long do you have to be in business to qualify for a SBA loan? ›

The SBA 7(a) and 504 loan programs typically require good personal credit (a FICO score of 690 or above), solid business financials and at least two years in business.

What happens if I can't pay back my SBA loan? ›

What Happens if You Can't Pay Your SBA Loan Installments? If you can't make your SBA loan payments, you won't just be in trouble with your lender. The SBA will get involved and, when you still can't pay your debt, they'll transfer your account to the US Department of the Treasury.

Can the SBA take my house? ›

If business assets do not fully secure the loan, the lender must take available personal assets of the owners as collateral. This more often than not includes your personal real estate, including your home.

What is the punishment for SBA loan? ›

As you know it is a federal offense, so federal penalties are charges for SBA loan fraud. Fine and punishment both are charged if you committed mail and wire fraud. It means around 20 years in federal prison along with a fine.

How long do you have to pay back an SBA 7a loan? ›

Maturity Terms for the SBA 7(a) Loan

The maximum maturity for an SBA 7(a) loan is 25 years, regardless of the purpose or amount. For loans used to buy real estate or land, the maturity is up to 25 years. Equipment loans, or loans used for working capital or inventory, have a payment length of up to 10 years.

What are the stages of SBA loan? ›

The SBA Loan Process: Six Steps to Success
  • Identify Your Small Business Project. ...
  • Determine How Much Financing You Need. ...
  • Find a Bank to Finance Your Loan. ...
  • Complete Your Full Loan Application Package. ...
  • Underwriting With the Bank. ...
  • Closing.

What is the quick loan for federal employees? ›

FEEA offers eligible federal employees confidential, no-interest loans to help them bridge their financial gaps in times of emergency. FEEA has given over 13,000 no-fee, no-interest loans since 1986, to help feds make ends meet during personal tragedies like illness, death of a loved one, or a house fire.

What percentage of SBA loans get approved? ›

The average SBA loan is $417,316, while the maximum loan amount is $5 million. SBA loans have a 49% approval rate at small banks. SBA loans only have a 25% approval rate at large banks.

How many SBA loans have been forgiven? ›

8 by the Small Business Administration found that 92% of the loans issued have been granted full or partial forgiveness. That includes loans to companies with mega-rich owners.

What percentage of SBA loans default? ›

In FY 2021, the 7(a) loan program had a default rate of 1.02 percent and a charge-off rate of 0.15 percent. These rates are significantly lower than the FY 2018 default rate of 9.04 percent and charge-off rate of 4.75 percent.

Are SBA loans difficult to get? ›

The short answer – No, it is not hard to get an SBA loan! Most businesses are eligible and qualifying is easier than you might think! The SBA 504 loan is specifically designed to help small businesses expand by purchasing fixed assets such as real estate and equipment.

Are SBA loans automatically forgiven? ›

While the SBA will not forgive 100% of the debt owed, the goal is to settle on a number that makes sense for both the agency's bottom line and a business's financial ability to pay. If the SBA approves the offer in compromise, a payment will be issued and the loan will be classified as “Compromised/Closed.”

What happens to my SBA loan if I go out of business? ›

If, or when, the business closes and defaults on the loan the SBA will move to seize business assets. For example, if your business owns a building, heavy machinery, or vehicles, the government will seek to seize these assets to satisfy the outstanding debt.

Do you have to pay back SBA loans? ›

SBA loans are granted to small businesses to expand their operations via long- or short-term capital, asset purchases, or startup expenses. Small businesses receive loans from SBA partner lenders and the borrower is obligated to pay this lender back.

Can a Canadian citizen get an SBA loan? ›

Yes, a non-U.S. citizen can apply for an SBA loan.

Can a Canadian get a loan in the US? ›

Yes, Canadians can obtain a mortgage in the United States. Many Canadians take advantage of the lower interest rates and longer loan terms available in the United States to purchase vacation homes or investment properties.

Can a non citizen get a loan in USA? ›

Yes, you can be a non-U.S. citizen and get a personal loan as long as you can prove your residency status and meet the lender's eligibility requirement.

What is the average life of an SBA loan? ›

They can be used for a variety of business purposes including working capital, equipment acquisition, debt refinance, change of ownership, and real estate purchases. Maturities depend on the use of loan proceeds but typically range from 5 to 25 years.

What is the minimum revenue for SBA loan? ›

How much do I need to make to get a business loan?
Loan typeAnnual revenue required
Commercial real estate loanAt least $50,000 annually
SBA loanVaries by lender and loan type but must demonstrate an ability to pay back the loan
Term loanAt least $100,000
Lines of creditAt least $36,000
3 more rows
4 days ago

What is the average amount of an SBA loan? ›

Average SBA loan amounts

According to the 7(a) and 504 Summary Report from the SBA, the average loan amount during the 2022 fiscal year for all types of 7(a) loans was $538,903.


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