Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

Frequently Asked Questions

SBA loans require a minimal amount of equity and provide for a longer term and lower monthly payment, compared to other financing options available.

Since SBA lenders, like Stearns Bank, have protection with a partial government guaranty, SBA loans often require less borrower equity. Terms are typically 7 to 10 years and may be up to 25 years in situations involving real estate. This longer financing term includes repayment of 100% of the principal and interest through lower monthly payments.

Stearns Bank understands you’re busy and we’re committed to make your financing a simple process. Loans up to $350,000 are approved in hours. Loans greater than $350,000 are approved in a few days. The Stearns Bank FastTrack program makes the application process fast and simple. Just provide us with basic information about you, your business and your financing needs. We’re ready to fund when you’re ready to close.

You’re in control of the timeline. We have innovative tools available to speed up the process, including document review and sign-off using any device from anywhere you choose. The Stearns Bank Customized Portal provides drag-and-drop secure document submission along with full visibility, any time, to your SBA loan closing. With Stearns Bank, you control the pace to closing and you determine how quickly you want to receive the money.

You name it. All types of business-related costs can be included in your SBA financing request. These costs include: start-up, acquisition, remodel, expansion, succession, real estate purchase, construction, equipment, leasehold improvements, inventory, working capital, franchise fees and debt refinance. Stearns Bank has decades of experience as a Preferred SBA Lender, so just call us and ask.

In some cases, an SBA loan can be used to finance 100% of your project, so no down payment would be required. In all other cases, the SBA loan program allows for a lower equity injection than many other financing options. Stearns Bank will work with you to find the right balance of capital and equity based on your business, your cash flow and growth plans. Through our initial discussion, we’ll know right away if you’re eligible to obtain 100% financing of your deal.

If you’re financing the purchase of equipment or real estate with an SBA loan, that equipment or real estate will serve as collateral. Often, there is no additional collateral available to secure an SBA loan. Most small business loans can be extended without being fully secured by collateral. Stearns Bank, as a Preferred SBA Lender, has some discretion as to whether collateral is optional or required on some SBA loans.

Generally, no. Most SBA loans do not have a prepayment penalty, allowing you to manage the principal balance of your loan. SBA loans with a longer term may have a minimal prepayment penalty in the first three years. However, this only applies to loans with principal reductions of 25% or more.

Our FastTrack loan process has revolutionized SBA loan closing by reducing the number of required documents down to a minimum. Typically, you’ll need to provide your business information, organization documents, lease agreement (if leasing space for operations or production), insurance information and a construction quote (if building or expanding).

The Stearns Bank Customized Portal provides an easy, safe and secure way to collect all documentation necessary to close the loan. This digital platform provides a detailed list of the documents needed with real-time updates on your loan progress as documents are submitted. With Stearns Bank, you’ll have the same experienced lending team that originated your loan assist throughout the closing process.

Some lenders require industry experience for an SBA loan – but not Stearns Bank. We want to know about you and your passion for business. We’re most interested in learning about the experience you DO have. Through discussions with you, our loan team is often able to uncover relevant and/or related work experience that translates into applicable industry experience – a value-added benefit to you and your new business venture. Stearns Bank is committed to find a way to Get the Job Done!

Quite simply, call and talk to us! Stearns Bank’s customized application and streamlined loan closing make the process easy. We understand your individual needs and we’re ready to work with you to Get the Job Done!

There are less fees associated with an SBA loan compared to other conventional loans. This is due to SBA limitations on the amount and type of fees that can be charged to a borrower. With Stearns Bank, all fees are transparent and fully disclosed, so there are no surprises. And, these fees can be included in the financing package.

The SBA is currently offering a reduced fee for businesses located in certain areas. Ask us for more details!

You will receive equity credit for any project expenses paid or money you put into your business project before you applied for your SBA loan or paid prior to your SBA loan closing.

Yes! Personalized service is our commitment to you. At Stearns Bank, the same loan officer and loan team will work closely with you for the life of the loan. We understand every individual has a communication preference. Therefore, you can easily connect with your loan officer and other Stearns Bank team members by phone, by email or via the chat feature within the Stearns Bank Customized Portal – our digital platform for fast, secure communications and document submission. Additionally, Stearns Bank offers a best-in-class servicing team dedicated to help you for the life of your loan.

Working with a bank that has vast knowledge and experience with SBA loans, like Stearns Bank, is highly beneficial. We believe it’s critical that you understand and are comfortable with each step in your financing, from application to closing and beyond. Stearns Bank has been providing SBA loans for decades and takes great pride in Getting the Job Done!

Yes. Stearns Bank has been an SBA Preferred Lender for decades. This designation means Stearns Bank has authority to make its own decisions on SBA loans, such as approving and closing, without having to go to the SBA for approvals, closing or funding.

As an SBA Preferred Lender, Stearns Bank has been audited and approved by the SBA for the SBA Loan Program, meeting all eligibility criteria. The criterion includes proficiency in processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans. This designation allows Stearns Bank to source, approve and fund SBA loans to customers throughout the U.S.

Yes. There is no limit on the number of SBA loans you can have. The SBA Loan Program allows up to $5 million in SBA loans to any one borrower. This makes it easy and convenient to work with Stearns Bank on the initial and any future SBA loans, so we can help your business grow today and well into the future.

Yes. The bank you choose for financing will affect the time it takes to approve and close your loan. There can be considerable differences in the execution, delivery and servicing of an SBA loan. Stearns Bank is an SBA Preferred Lender, highly experienced in all types of SBA lending. We streamline and expedite the SBA application-to-funding process with our proprietary FastTrack funding. SBA loans through Stearns Bank save you time and money by making your SBA experience flexible, fast and simple.

Inquire Now
Stearns Bank customer map

Stearns Bank: National Presence, Hometown Service

Stearns Bank serves customers across the country with SBA loans, equipment financing and commercial banking services. See our interactive map to review the range of industries we cover and regions we serve.

View our customer map

Online Calculators

Use our online calculators to estimate your payments and financing costs, at various interest rates and terms. Then, contact a Stearns Bank representative to start the financing process.