Smartbiz is Disrupting SBA Loans

Smartbiz SBA Loans web site

How can a Fintech company go from zero to #1 in originating small SBA loans in just four years? Maybe it’s because Smartbiz has a better way. If you are looking for a long term loan for under $350,000 you should learn more.

I first heard the Smartbiz story on this podcast by Lending Academy, in which CEO Evan Singer talks in detail about the company and how they operate:

As a quick review, SBA long term loans are the best option for qualifying small businesses because they are 1) very long term (10 years for most needs, 25 years for commercial real estate) and 2) have low interest rates. Both of those translate into low monthly payments. The three big problems with SBA loans are:

  1. They require a large amount of paperwork to apply, which requires lots of time from busy company owners
  2. They typically take months of waiting before you get an answer
  3. The answer “no” happens too often.

SBA Loans: Faster, Better, Cheaper

Here is a quick summary about why the Smartbiz offering is a “better mousetrap”:

  1. They partner with a small number of banks with a strong SBA lending history, and those banks can make decisions faster, without SBA intervention because they are in the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program.
  2. The Smartbiz online loan application is dynamic so that it requires significantly less paperwork than the typical bank SBA loan application. For example, they don’t require a business plan! And they don’t ask for information that is irrelevant to your use of proceeds.
  3. The Smartbiz software digitizes their partner banks’ underwriting criteria (what they will and won’t fund), so that a “no” can come really fast, and a referral of a qualifying application to a bank leads to a “yes” 95% of the time.
  4. When Smartbiz says “no” to a business applicant it actually tells them why, and perhaps what they need to do to get to “yes.”
  5. The Smartbiz software for the banks automates their internal approval process so loans don’t get bogged down inside the banks.

That’s a faster better cheaper SBA loan!

The company has strong backers. It incubated at Paypal in 2009, and was backed by top venture capital firms. After building a platform for consumer lending, the company pivoted to small business lending in 2013.

With $37 million in venture capital and a rapidly growing leadership position, the company seems headed towards success. That in turn should make Smartbiz a reliable financing partner for small businesses seeking SBA loans.

Don Gooding

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