How Does the SBA 504 Loan Compare to a 7(a) Loan and Other Loans Available?
Making an informed decision for your business funding needs is essential, but it can be difficult given the number of different financial tools available. One of the most popular small business loans on the market is the SBA 7(a) loan . How does it compare to the 504 loan program ?Better Financing Starts with More Options$1.2M offered by a Bank at 6.0%$2M offered by an Agency at 5.6%$1M offered by a Credit Union at 5.1%Click Here to Get Quotes
SBA 504 Loans vs. SBA 7(a) Loans
Making an informed decision for your business funding needs is essential, but it can be difficult given the number of different financial tools available. One of the most popular small business loans on the market is the SBA 7(a) loan. How does it compare to the 504 loan program?
You’ll find a number of similarities between 7(a) loans and 504 loans, but they are not the same. 7(a) loans:
Have a $5 million maximum
Requires 10 to 15% down
Interest tied to the prime rate
Are guaranteed to 85% for loans under $150,000, and 75% for those over $150,000, up to $3.75 maximum guarantee
Can be used for almost anything, including working capital and inventory
Are available in many formats. 5 and 10-year maturity rates are used for working capital and equipment, and 25 years for real estate.
Have no SBA fees if they are under $150,000 but incur graduated fees on amounts higher than $150,000
Standard business eligibility requirements
Have a prepayment penalty of up to 3 years
In contrast, 504 loans:
Permit loan sizes up to $5 million, or $5.5 million for small manufacturers
Requires 10% down except in specific instances (young startup and special-use real estate)
Interest set below market rate
Are guaranteed up to 90%
Have stringent use requirements, and are designed primary for the purchase of fixed assets, such as real estate or machinery
Have 10, 20 and 25 year terms
Lower fees than 7(a) loans for amounts over $150,000
More stringent business eligibility requirements
Have a prepayment penalty up to 10 years
Not sure if you are best served by a 504 loan or a 7(a) loan? You can download a comparison chart from the SBA here to get a better idea.
We’re here to help you get the commercial financing you need. Simply fill out the form below for a risk-free consultation and a free SBA loan quote!
What are the key differences between an SBA 504 loan and a 7(a) loan?
The key differences between an SBA 504 loan and a 7(a) loan are primarily in how they're used. The 7(a) allows you to use the funds from the loan for working capital, which you can't do with the 504. The 504 is larger, and has terms that are better suited to land and real estate projects that are large enough to be handled by multiple lenders. The 7(a) favors start-ups and small business owners looking to work with a bank, credit union, or other traditional lending institution. Eligibility requirements for the 7(a) are straightforward, and are designed to encourage lenders to approve small business owners for projects small and large. There is no minimum loan amount for the SBA 7(a), and the loan can be used for nearly any legitimate business purpose. Some of the terms of the SBA 7(a) are based on the amount of the loan, but banks generally ask for a 10% down payment from the borrower.
What are the advantages of an SBA 504 loan compared to other financing options?
The SBA 504 loan is a great option for businesses looking to finance the purchase of owner-occupied commercial real estate, heavy equipment, and other fixed assets. It offers low interest rates and long repayment terms of up to 20 years. Additionally, the SBA 504 loan program is designed to help small businesses grow and create jobs, so it is often easier to qualify for than other financing options.
The SBA 504 loan also offers a number of other advantages compared to other financing options, including:
- No balloon payments
- No personal guarantees
- No prepayment penalties
- No collateral requirements
- No minimum credit score requirements
For more information on the SBA 504 loan and other financing options, you can check out this resource from the SBA.
What are the eligibility requirements for an SBA 504 loan?
In order to take out an SBA 504 loan, your business must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Your business must be a for-profit organization.
- Your business must meet current SBA size standards.
- Your business’ net worth cannot exceed $15 million.
- Your business cannot earn 1/3 or more of its income from packaging SBA loans.
- Your business must earn an average of $5 million or less per year (after taxes, and only for the preceding two years).
- Your business cannot be engaged in any sort of passive or speculative activities.
Note that additional requirements may be placed by CDCs or conventional lenders. You can find a full list of eligibility requirements and other important information with the SBA here.
What are the maximum loan amounts for an SBA 504 loan?
The SBA 504 maximum loan amount is currently set at $5 million in lifetime dollars. However, if your business is a small manufacturer, you can borrow up to $5.5 million in lifetime dollars. It should also be noted that if you decide to embark on energy-related projects that fall under the “go green” heading, you can borrow substantially more. While all projects are capped at $5 million, you can ultimately borrow up to $16.5 million in lifetime dollars.
What are the repayment terms for an SBA 504 loan?
The repayment terms for an SBA 504 loan are 10 to 20 years (fully amortizing). The interest rates vary, but the current maximum interest rates for the CDC portion of an SBA 504 loan are between 2.08 and 2.18% above the relevant U.S. Treasury Index (5-year index is used for 10-year loans, while the 10-year index is used for 20-year loans).
For more information, please visit www.commercialrealestate.loans/sba-504-loan and sba504.loans/loan-requirements.