Tips from our SBA Program Director

How to Choose an SBA Lender: Getting to the Right Person

Previously in this blog series, How to Choose an SBA Lender, we discussed the differences between a delegated lender (aka Preferred Lender or PLP) and a non-delegated lender. This article will discuss why it is important to get the right person within the financial institution to discuss an SBA loan.

Why Working with the Right Person Matters for your SBA Loan:

Many lenders may advertise their ability to do an SBA loan. However, the level of expertise within the organization can vary widely. Some know very little and some have a strategic focus on the program.  As a borrower you will want to work with someone with SBA training. They are equipped to navigate the program rules and to provide a smoother loan process.  No lender can cut corners on the paperwork and requirements of SBA. But, it is possible for one to provide a better experience.

Small Business Bankers or Commercial Lenders Can Help

One mistake many borrowers make is visiting the local branch of their bank and expecting the staff to have in-depth knowledge about SBA loans.  While there are exceptions, the branch staff is typically not trained in SBA lending to any depth.  Having them help you get to a small business banker, commercial lender or SBA specialist is key.

A small business banker or commercial lender is the next best option, after retail branch staff.  While they may not have specific SBA training they do focus on business loan. And, if their institution offers SBA loans, they will have a support team.  It is also possible they have assisted borrowers with SBA loans. From this, they may have naturally developed a good working knowledge of the program.  

SBA Specialists are the Experts

The ideal person to meet is the SBA specialist.  Many lenders who have a solid SBA program will have a team that focuses solely on delivering these products to borrowers.  They will have a deeper understanding of the program. They will also have specific training to navigate all the rules.  This can cut the time it takes to successfully close an SBA loan.

The most important thing you can do when seeking out an SBA loan is to ask questions.  Feel free also to visit a few lenders so you can find the right fit for your needs.  

At Community First Bank of Indiana we have a dedicated SBA lending team with over 29 years of industry experience. If you’d like to inquire about our services, please call us at (765) 236-0600.