7(a) Small Business Loan

Program Description

7(a) loans are the most basic and most used type loan of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) business loan programs. Its name comes from section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the agency to provide business loans to American small businesses. The loan program is designed to assist for-profit businesses that are not able to get other financing from other resources.

Program Requirements

SBA provides loans to businesses – not individuals – so the requirements of eligibility are based on aspects of the business, not the owners. All businesses that are considered for financing under SBA’s 7(a) loan program must: meet SBA size standards, be for-profit, not already have the internal resources (business or personal) to provide the financing, and be able to demonstrate repayment. Certain variations of SBA’s 7(a) loan program may also require additional eligibility criteria. Special purpose programs will identify those additional criteria.

For more detailed eligibility requirements, please visit the 7(a) Loan Program Eligibility page.

Application Process

To apply, start with the 7(a) Loan Application Checklist page.


Loan Terms

The maximum length of the loan is 25 years for real estate and seven years for working capital. The maximum loan amount is $2 million.

For more information, please visit 7(a) Loan Amounts, Fees and Interest Rates page.

Contact Information

For more information about this program, please visit the General Small Business Loans: 7(a) page.

To find a SBA lender, please visit the SBA Linc tool.

Additional Information

Max Loan Length25 years for real estate, 7 years for working capital
Interest RateSubject to SBA maximums, tied to the Prime Rate
Max Loan Amount$2 million
Payment FrequencyVaries
Prepayment PenaltiesVaries

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