Which SBA loan is right for you?

While you can’t borrow quite as much versus other SBA 7a loan types, you do receive a significantly faster decision. Learn more about SBA Express loan programs.

SBA 7(a) Loans

The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes assistance for each business with unique needs.

SBA 504 Loans

The 504 Loan Program is very popular for long-term, fixed rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets.

SBA 504 Loan Program

504 loans are one of the four main lending programs offered by the Small Business Administration. Through SBA 504 loans, your small business could borrow up to $5 million at a competitive interest rate to buy commercial real estate, equipment, and other long-term assets. Here’s what to know about the 504 SBA loan program to decide if it’s right for you.

What are SBA 504 loans?

An SBA 504 loan, also known as a CDC loan, provides long-term financing for small business owners. It gives small business owners the money they need to buy capital assets which they can then use to create jobs and meet other economic development objectives for their communities.

Through this program, the SBA partners with local nonprofits called Certified Development Companies (CDCs.)  The CDCs provide money along with banks to fund these loans. The financing split usually works out where the CDC funds up to 40% of the loan, a third-party private lender funds 50%, and the borrower must put up a minimum of 10% as an SBA 504 loan down payment.

Is an SBA 504 loan right for you?

SBA 504 loans make sense if you’re looking to borrow at least five figures to invest in capital assets that qualify: commercial real estate, land, equipment, etc. Between the high maximum loan limit ($5 million), long payment terms (up to 20 years), and competitive interest rates, SBA 504 loans can offer many advantages.

In exchange though, it can be harder to qualify for 504 loans. You need to provide more documents and be in stronger shape financially compared with what’s required for some of the other SBA loan programs. In addition, the approval process can take longer relative to other SBA programs.

If you’re looking for a smaller amount of money, you might get a decision more quickly through SBA Express loans. In addition, if you’d like to borrow for other uses like working capital or buying inventory, the SBA 7(a) loan program gives you more flexibility on how you can spend the money.

If an SBA 504 loan sounds like a fit for your needs, click here to be put in-touch with local loan experts who can help you learn more.

How do you apply for a SBA 504 loan?

If you’d like to apply for a 504 loan, you first need to identify a qualified CDC that serves your area. The lender (not the SBA) handles the application.  You can search for one using the SBA website.  Once you find a CDC, you can review their specific application process and the documents you’ll need to submit.

Expect to provide:

  • Your business and personal tax returns.
  • Your business financial statements.
  • Your current accounts receivable and payables, to show your cash flow.
  • Cost estimates for a construction project.
  • The cost of any equipment you’d like to buy.

The CDC and the third-party lender could ask for additional documentation. 504 SBA loans have a long approval process. It typically takes two to three months to get a decision and could potentially take even longer.  This is why they are not used for short-term, working capital needs.

Benefits of SBA 504 Loans

Loans up to $5 million

SBA offers small businesses flexible loan amounts, all the way up to $5m

Terms up to 20 years

SBA offers small businesses flexible loan terms of 10, 20 or 25 years

Competitive Rates

SBA offers small businesses low interest rates, to stay competitive

Loan Terms & Rates

504 Loan Rates - 2022 Effective 504 loan rates thru March 2022
Loan Type Jan Feb Mar
25 Year SBA 504 3.213 3.584 3.925
20 Year SBA 504 3.067 3.449 3.761
10 Year SBA 504 3.070 3.070 3.807
25 Year Refi SBA 504 3.227 3.608 3.939
20 Year Refi SBA 504 3.081 3.463 3.775

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to use an SBA 504 loan

Through SBA CDC/504 loans, you can potentially borrow up to $5 million. There are some special situations when you can borrow up to $5.5 million, like for small business manufacturers and certain green energy projects. While there is technically no minimum loan size for the SBA 504 loan program, it’s mostly used for larger amounts, at least five figures.  

The SBA 504 loan program offers terms of 10, 20 or 25 years to pay the money back. You can use 504 loans to buy land, commercial real estate, equipment, and machinery. You can also use them as construction loans, both to build new facilities and to upgrade those you already own.

You could also use this program to refinance debt used to purchase qualifying assets, provided you took out the other loan no more than two years before your SBA application.

The SBA spells out a few situations that are not appropriate for 504 loans. You cannot use SBA 504 loans to:

  • Relocate to a different area if doing so leads to substantial job losses.
  • Fund short-term working capital needs.
  • Buy rental real estate as an investment.

What are the SBA 504 loan requirements?

What are the financial SBA 504 loan requirements?

What are the SBA 504 loan rates?

How do the SBA 504 loan rates compare to other options?

Can I use an SBA 504 loan for rental property?

What is the SBA 504 loan down payment?

How can I find a Certified Development Company near me?

Is there an SBA 504 loan prepayment penalty?

What is the SBA 504 loan debenture rate?

What is the SBA 504 Green Loan program?