Program Description

The 7(a) loan program is SBA’s primary program for providing financial assistance to small businesses and is the most widely used loan program of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) business loan programs. Its name comes from section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the agency to provide loan guarantees to participating SBA lenders that work directly with American small businesses. Small business applicants work directly with a participating SBA lender and not with SBA. The loan program is designed to assist for-profit businesses that are not able to get other financing from other resources.

Program Requirements

SBA provides loan guarantees to lenders that in turn make loans to businesses, including sole proprietorships.

To be eligible for financing under SBA's 7(a) loan program, the applicant business must meet all of the following:

  • Meet SBA size standards
  • Be for-profit
  • Not already have the internal resources (business or personal) to provide the financing, and
  • Be able to demonstrate repayment.

Certain variations of SBA's 7(a) loan program may also require additional eligibility criteria. Special purpose programs will identify those additional criteria.

For more information, please visit SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program Quick Overview page.

Loan Terms

The maximum length of the loan is 25 years for real estate and up to 10 years for working capital, inventory, equipment, or other business assets. The maximum loan amount is $5 million.

For more information, please visit SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program Quick Overview page.

Additional Information

Additional Information
Max Loan Length25 years for real estate, 7 years for working capital
Interest RateSubject to SBA maximums, tied to the Prime Rate
Max Loan Amount$5 million
Payment FrequencyVaries, but typically monthly
Prepayment PenaltiesVaries
Loan Categories
Business books
Business Loans