Applying for the 504 Loan Program Online

Applying for any loan can be a lengthy process with the detailed applications required, the SBA 504 Loan program requires specific documentation, and starts with a standard application.

Many lenders provide an online loan application that gets the process started, often providing pre-qualification in a 24-hour period. Depending on the lender, some of the required information for the SBA 504 can also be submitted online, but face-to-face meetings are still beneficial with the institution providing the loan. So much of the application requires justification of the loan, making personal contact and relationships in the borrower's favor.

Checklist of Necessary SBA Loan Information

The SBA 504 Loan can be for a significant amount of money because it covers the cost of land, buildings or equipment expansion for a small business. This loan program requires a number of documents, which depending on the lender can also be submitted online. The SBA 504 loan will be partnered through an area CDC and lending organization. Some of the required documentation is:

  • a brief history of the business and the reason for the expansion
  • a detail of the exact use of the funds from the loan
  • personal history and financial statements from any officer or director, proprietor, partner and stockholder with more than 20% ownership
  • balance sheets and income statements, federal income tax returns for the business; proforma balance sheets are acceptable with new businesses
  • cashflow analysis for new businesses showing the first 12 months of operation and break-even points
  • schedules of debts, and previous government financing by any of the applicants
  • franchise agreements if the business is a franchise
  • real estate contracts, quotes for equipment contractor estimates, and other bills and contracts
  • environmental analysis as needed
  • credit reports for all affiliated with the loan

On average, the complete process from application submission to disbursement of funds takes approximately 45 to 60 days, depending on the complexity of the loan. Larger SBA loans require all this detailed information, proving that the risk is a more secure venture.

The borrower can submit this information to the CDC or lender directly or through online applications when available. Due to the sensitive nature of financial statements and personal information, it is important to verify that the lender provides security with online submittals; a majority of lenders still require that this information is presented in document form in within a packet that is mailed in or given in person.