Finding the Right SBA Lender

When it comes to applying for a Small Business Administration loan, finding the right one can make all the difference.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has long served as an invaluable resource for small businesses. Rather than lend money directly, the SBA offers its loan programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through banks and other financial institutions. However, not all lenders are equal. Some SBA lenders, including Regions, have a special SBA Preferred Lending Partner (PLP) designation.

The PLP designation gives lenders the ability to approve SBA loans directly, often times shortening and simplifying the application process. Preferred Lenders may offer a wider range of SBA loan options or non-financial resources like spending trackers, business consulting, and other tools as well.

Questions to Ask Before Applying for an SBA Loan
SBA loans are not one-size-fits-all solutions. Finding a program that aligns with your goals is crucial. If your business needs working capital to get going in the short-term, then a longer-term and wider-scope loan may not be an effective solution.

Here are some important questions you should ask when selecting a lender and applying for an SBA loan:

  • Which loans can I use? Experienced SBA lenders should be able to help you identify which loans you qualify for and which options most align with your objectives.
  • What are the terms? With any loan, you need to thoroughly understand the interest rate, payment schedule, and other components to determine whether it’s a viable option.
  • Do you have experience in my industry? A lender that has worked with your industry before may be able to offer specific knowledge or experience.
  • How long will the loan application process take? During uncertain times, having an estimate for when you will receive funds from a loan can help with business planning. SBA Preferred Lenders are granted the ability to approve SBA loans in-house. Therefore, they can typically offer faster processing times than non-Preferred Lender institutions.

Remember, every business is different, and so every business may need different programs or strategies. Your SBA lender is there to help guide you through the process and provide you with all of the information you need.

Doing Our Part to Support Small Businesses
Regions is dedicated to supporting business owners through the COVID-19 crisis, and we’ve committed $5 million to support both consumer and small business recovery efforts. In the past, we’ve been one of the most active SBA 7(a) lenders. Regions Foundation, our nonprofit initiative, has awarded grant funding for several community organizations that are directly assisting small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

We’re in this together, and our resources and support will continue to help business owners navigate this new business environment.

Find out what SBA loans Regions can offer you at


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.