First Bank Small Business Loan Review
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Unlike many other banks, First Bank has a set of small business loans that are not through the SBA. Most banks either do SBA loans or commercial loans, but realize that their commercial loans are not designed for small businesses. First Bank has created a group of what they call Simple Business Solutions to compete with SBA offerings. They are also in the Preferred Lenders Program within the Small Business Administration, which frees them bureaucratically and allows them to approve SBA loans without oversight.
Understanding Your Loan Options
The bank custom designs loans under this program to better understand the client’s diverse and growing needs for a business loans. They attempt to structure the financing and guide you through the process with a single point of contact from application to close. Loan amounts are from $10,000 – $100,000, with both fixed and variable rates available. The terms are longer (5 to 7 years) if clients avail themselves of the SBA loan program. The loan to value is based on the value and age of your collateral.
The second type of non-SBA loan is the Business First Line of Credit. Once the paperwork process is complete, the program access to your line of credit at your discretion. Credit lines run from $100,000 – $250,000, for a one-year term, with check access and a variable interest rate. There are a broad range of types of collateral options to choose from and as you pay the balance, you replenish your available credit. Finally, they offer a Revolving Line of Credit program which theoretically streamlines the paperwork process, with one point of contact throughout close and access to $250,000 – $1,000,000.
Speed of Implementation and Loan Duration
First Bank is distinguished as an “SBA Preferred Lender.” As a leader in SBA Lending, they claim to provide a quicker, more streamlined process for their borrowers. SBA loans have several advantages that might interest small business owners, including lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, and other perks that you won’t get from loans that are entirely privately sourced.
Fine Print and Final Thoughts
First Bank is a good choice if you want to get a large menu of loan options. The combination of SBA and non-SBA loans mean that you are more likely to find a loan that fits your needs. This means that no matter what you need financing for, First Bank likely has a product that is designed to work for you.
Anne is a Senior Author for SBL. She began her career as an independent consultant for local businesses after graduating with a BA in Management. Since that time, she’s expanded to writing as well as consulting to spread helpful knowledge to small business owners across the country.