Commercial Lending Programs and SBA Loans Considered

Before retirement, I ran a franchising company, and occasionally our franchise buyers would need to take out a loan to buy the equipment, and pay for the franchise fee. However, whenever someone told me that they wanted to get an Small Business Administration loan, I had to think twice about selling the franchise because I was worried it might take too long for them to get approved, and get funded so they could order their equipment, and eventually start their business. You see like any franchisor, I was on a mad dash to put in as many units throughout the country as possible in the shortest amount of time.Therefore, I would much rather sell a franchise to someone who could pay cash, or had their own financing already available. So the question you might ask is; do Small Business Administration loans always take so long to process? No, not really, actually they don’t take any longer than most commercial loans, therefore it is often a myth, and I must confess that I too once believed that. In speaking about SBA loans, and the mysticism behind them, they aren’t as complicated as you might think.In fact, last month I read a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal published on May 16, 2011 which was titled “Debunking the Myths About SBA Loans,” by Marshall Eckbald. He commented on four common myths;1.- SBA Only Lends to Hard Cases
2.- Lendors Face No Risks
3.- It Takes Forever to Get an SBA Loan
4.- You’ll Get Buried in the Paperwork Trying to Get an SBA LoanNow then, I’d like to tell you my experience with Small Business Administration loans as a franchisor, rather than focusing on the Wall Street Journal article which was written for a different type of audience. On the first point of contention I would say that the author is correct, that statement is false, because I know of people who were financially qualified to get a loan just about anywhere, but when they went into their local business bank, and the bank steered them toward and Small Business Administration loan because it made sense for their situation.Now then, it doesn’t always make sense in all situations because everyone’s financial wherewithal, and portfolio is different. The second item is not true either because whereas the government guarantees the largest portion of an SBA loan, they don’t guarantee it all. Further if a local bank has too many SBA loans go bad, they get taken off the list. On item number three as I stated above it generally doesn’t take any longer to get an SBA loan.And the fourth item I can say that an SBA loan is rather simple, and there doesn’t seem to be any more paperwork asked for or involved than any other type of commercial loan for a business venture, or an existing business which is expanding. At least that has been my observations. Now then, there are many reasons why you would not want to get an Small Business Administration loan, for instance if you are buying it or selling a piece of property, or you don’t want certain collateralized assets tied up for a long period of time.And I believe for most people this is their biggest concern. And therefore I hope you will please consider all this, go find and read that Wall Street Journal article, and think about what I’ve said here today. If you have any other comments or questions, perhaps some concerns or a case study of your own when dealing with Small Business Administration loans, please shoot me an e-mail. Your information might help someone else out for a future article.

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