First Niagara Bank and Trust Small Business Loan Review
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First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. is a Delaware corporation and a bank holding company that provides small business loans. In fact, in 2015 they were the 5th largest provider of SBA loans, by making 31 loans for almost $3,000,000.00 That is an impressive number of loans to process and they obviously have a great deal of expertise in the application process.
Understanding Your Loan Options
It is difficult to locate their primary specialty within the SBA loan options, but the 7(a) is no doubt their most common program. They have gotten a good amount of press for providing micro SBA loans to help small businesses get a little bigger. They also partnered with some community groups to help low income housing construction.
First Niagara does seem to work closely with their small business clients and help them get the financing for their business expansion ideas, even when those ideas are small. The loans they have approved seem to be non-real estate loans. The 7(a) category of loans is pretty flexible and applies the interest rates and credit standards more liberally than a regular commercial bank loan.
Speed of Implementation and Loan Duration
The advice and guidance offered by First Niagara Bank does not necessarily come cheap. The bank expects its customers to pay for access to their expertise. That’s why it’s important to ask your lender for a list of the charges and fees associated with the loan. This will give you a clear picture of the actual cost of the loan so you can make an informed decision about whether or not the loan is a good idea for your small business. The SBA loan application always takes longer than a conventional loan unless the lender is a Preferred Lender as described by the Small Business Administration.
The duration of the loan is flexible under the 7(a) program, since the purposes of the loan can range from additional equipment to real estate. The duration can be customized to the payment process, as well as the interest rate. Most of the SBA loans can be be paid back early without penalty – the 25 year loans usually ask that you make payments for at least ten years before enjoying a no penalty early payoff.
Fine Print and Final Thoughts
This institution has been bought out by another bank – best to check with them to see how much of their original processes survived the takeover.
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.