What Is the Waiting Period for SBA Loan?

What Is the Waiting Period for SBA Loan?

It’s likely that if you’re a small business owner looking for funding, you’re hoping for loan approval as fast as possible. 

Due to declining cash flow or an immediate need for additional working capital, many business owners look for small business loans.

SBA loans are typically not a good option for business owners that want immediate funding. 

The complete SBA loan application procedure normally takes between 60 and 90 days. 

An SBA loan might take longer to finalize than other small company loans and other financing options because of the extensive amount of paperwork and data you must provide.

How Is the SBA Loan Timeline Set?

From the time an application is submitted until the loan closes, the SBA loan approval procedure takes between 60 and 90 days but if you need the money already, you can easily take a $200 loan for the necessary expenses. 

But do not forget about the interest on the return of such a loan.

The SBA loan timetable can be impacted by a wide range of events, so this time frame isn’t fixed in stone.

Your application’s loan program type and the requested loan amount will be considered. 

You might anticipate a longer application procedure if you choose a large loan with a longer duration rather than a smaller loan with a shorter term. The length of time will also depend on the lender you choose. 

There are differences among SBA lenders, even though they are all permitted to underwrite and do credit checks on SBA loans as part of the Preferred Lender Program. 

Some require SBA involvement because they lack expertise, which makes the approval process take longer.

Time-Related Factors for Processing SBA Loans


Typically, loan applications are processed more rapidly by banks that are a part of the SBA’s Preferred Lenders Program than by lenders who are not a part of the program. 

PLP lenders can assess an applicant’s eligibility without waiting for the SBA to do so, which speeds up the procedure and helps it run more smoothly.

Variety of SBA Loan

Lenders may want more information from other sources, such as real estate appraisers and businesses that provide company appraisals, so loans involving real estate or business transactions may take longer. 

Within a week of receiving the required papers, SBA loans without real estate components, including lines of credit, can be approved. 

A further three weeks may be needed for those who require real estate appraisals.

Within 36 hours, the SBA replies to Express loans. This turnaround period might shorten the procedure if you’re dealing with a bank that isn’t a favored lender because the SBA needs five to ten business days to process SBA 7(a) loans. 

The lender’s timeframe for reviewing and approving the application will not necessarily be impacted by the Express option. No matter the lender, 

Express loans are normally for smaller sums, and only a smaller portion of the loan is guaranteed (up to 50% vs. up to 85% for 7(a) loans). 

Due to these elements, the Express loan application procedure is less complicated than others.

What Advantages Come from Longer Applying for SBA Loans?

If you have to wait a while for approval, you might be asking what advantages an SBA loan offers over other company funding options like merchant cash advances, equipment finance, or bad credit business loans. 

You’ll discover a lot to be impressed with in terms of what you don’t have to give up ownership in your firm, even if the low-interest rates that SBA loans offer are its main selling feature.

The loans’ lengthy terms are a key advantage of the scheme. Terms of loan repayment might differ; some last for more than two decades (for non-real estate loans). 

Additionally, the Small Company Administration limits the amount of interest that borrowers of business loans are required to pay back. 

For companies with cash flow problems, combining the cap and longer-term results in a cheaper interest rate.

The advantage is that, according to official information from the SBA, you can spend the received funds on anything, except for certain categories of goods and services.

Types of SBA Loans

  • The SBA 7(a) program provides a variety of loan categories with a maximum loan amount of $5 million. SBA turnaround times for regular 7(a) loans and small 7(a) loans are five to ten business days, although the procedure takes longer.
  • SBA Express loans are available for up to $500,000 with payback lengths of five to ten years for other loan types and up to 25 years for real estate loans. Express loans are covered under 7(a), although the program provides quicker approval timeframes. Lenders independently determine eligibility, although the SBA response time is under 36 hours.
  • Loans from Certified Development Companies (CDCs) under Section 504: CDCs’ loans under Section 504 may be utilized to buy property and equipment. With 10- and 20-year payback periods, loans up to $5 million are available.
  • SBA microloans: Although the typical microloan is under $13,000, microloans have a $50,000 maximum. Interest rates range from 8% to 13%, with a six-year minimum payback period.

For example, in 2020, the number of requests for small business disaster loans among Americans doubled, which indicates a growing interest in SBA loans.

Coronavirus impact on the fastest-growing loan-related searches in the United States between March and August 2020, based on year-on-year search growth


Completing the Paperwork

The length of time it takes to obtain an SBA loan mostly relies on you. Your loan might be idle for weeks if you don’t give all the necessary details. 

A balance sheet, which is a current list of your assets and liabilities, may be requested as an example. 

If you have a federal Employer Identification Number, you must supply it. If you neglect to provide it, the SBA will need to contact you, which might cause your application to be delayed for many weeks.

You should be able to learn all the information you require to submit a loan application by working with an SBA partner. 

Before you submit your application, the lender will examine it as well.


An SBA loan is a fantastic funding choice because of the various benefits you may receive from one. 

Alternative finance could be a preferable option if you want fast access to company capital, despite its lengthier duration.

About Author

Dana Cull

Dana is a digital content creator with a self-confessed obsession with writing. She is also an avid reader and loves to spend her leisure hours watching documentary films from different directors across the world.