4 min read

    How Long Does It Take to Get an SBA Loan?

    By Wasatch Peaks on July 29, 2021

    Topics: Business

    Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are the most common way that entrepreneurs finance expansions, obtain working capital, purchase real estate, and do other things that are critical to business success.

    If you are thinking about applying for an SBA loan, you are probably wondering how long you have to wait for your application to be approved. How long does it take to get an SBA loan? After all, the sooner you obtain funding, the sooner you can reach your goals.

    The following is an overview of the most common SBA loan types and the average time it takes for a loan to be approved.

    7(a) Loan

    SBA 7(a) loans are general-purpose loans that can be used for many different business needs. They are the most common SBA loan type. Up to $5 million can be borrowed, and there are no minimum loan amounts. Just a few things that 7(a) loans can be used for include:

    • Equipment
    • Real estate
    • Buying an existing business
    • Working capital
    • Business start-up costs
    • Inventory 

    Interest rates for 7(a) loans can be either fixed or variable, and different loan terms are offered. A repayment period of 10 years is typical for most 7(a) loans, but real estate loans can be for 25 years.

    Up to 85% of 7(a) loans are guaranteed by the SBA for amounts of $150,000 or less. Up to 75% is guaranteed for loan amounts over $150,000. The government guarantee reduces lenders’ risk and makes these loans easier for businesses to obtain than other loan options.

    The length of time it takes to obtain a 7(a) loan and receive the funds varies depending on your lender. After you have submitted all of the required documentation, loan approval may take up to 45 days.

    504 Loan

    Up to $5 million can be borrowed with SBA 504 loans. These loans can only be used for specific purposes including:

    • Buying land or existing buildings
    • Construction of new facilities
    • Buying long-term machinery and equipment
    • Improving existing facilities and the surrounding land (parking lots, roads, etc.)

    Interest rates for 504 loans are pegged to the 5- or 10-year U.S. Treasury, and repayment terms include 10, 20, and 25 years. These loans are only offered through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), which are non-profit organizations that promote local economic development.

    To be eligible for a 504 loan, your business must:

    • Be for-profit
    • Operate in the U.S. or its possessions
    • Have a tangible net worth of less than $15 million
    • Have less than $5 million average net income for the previous two years

    The time it takes to obtain a 504 loan varies and can be anywhere from 2 to 3 months. Each situation is unique, and it may take longer in some cases.

    Express Loan

    As the name implies, SBA express loans are known for their quick application turnaround, which is 36 hours or less.

    Similar to 7(a) loans, express loans can be used for many different business needs. Repayment terms can be up to 10 years, but real estate purchases can be for 25 years.

    The maximum you can borrow with an express loan will be reduced to $500,000 from $1 million after September 30, 2021. Private lenders that issue these loans (banks and credit unions) determine the interest rates, but the SBA caps the amount they can charge to keep rates low.

    An important consideration in selecting a 7(a) loan or an express loan is the loan amount that is backed by the government. While up to 85% of 7(a) loans are backed, only 50% of express loans are backed by the SBA. This substantially increases risk if a loan default occurs.


    SBA microloans are for loan amounts of up to $50,000. These loans are offered by non-profit organizations all across the country. The lending requirements and interest rates for SBA microloans vary depending on the lender.

    SBA microloans can only be used for certain things including:

    • Inventory
    • Supplies
    • Working capital
    • Equipment
    • Machinery
    • Fixtures
    • Furniture

    Repayment terms for microloans will also vary depending on the lender but the SBA does impose a maximum term of six years. Collateral is also required to obtain one of these loans, and either business or personal assets can be used.

    The length of time it takes to obtain an SBA micro loan after applying is 4 to 8 weeks.

    Disaster Loan

    When the unthinkable happens – a hurricane, tornado, flood, or something else – an SBA disaster loan can help you rebuild your business. These loans are available to businesses that are located in areas where a disaster has been declared. Funds can be used to repair damages, fund operating expenses, and other things.

    Up to $2 million can be borrowed with a disaster loan. Interest rates are low, and repayment terms of up to 30 years are available.

    If you qualify for a disaster loan, you will receive the first $25,000 of the requested amount within five days. It may take up to five weeks to receive the remainder.

    How Long Does It Take to Get an SBA Loan? Start Here!

    Wasatch Peaks Credit Union offers several SBA loan options. Regardless of whether you want to start a new business venture or expand an existing business, our loans can cover all of your needs.

    Contact one of our representatives today for more information or to get started. You can also learn more about our small business loan options at the following link:

    SBA Loans

    Wasatch Peaks

    Written by Wasatch Peaks