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Operate as a 7(a) lender

SBA has streamlined the lending process for its lenders. Review the major activities you regularly perform as a lender in the 7(a) program along with some of the tools and other resources provided by SBA.


Lender resources

Lender portal login

SBA’s lender portal allows lenders to view their own quarterly performance data, including their most current composite risk rating, the lender risk rating. Lenders can also access data on peer group and portfolio averages.

Capital Access Financial System (CAFS)

CAFS is the primary system for loan origination and servicing for SBA’s loan programs. SBA lenders and other program participants access, submit, and service loans using a variety of applications available online through CAFS:

  • Electronic Lending – Origination (E-Tran) – Submit loan guaranty requests
  • Electronic Lending – Servicing (E-Tran) – Update/edit existing loans
  • 7(a) Connect – View and export portfolio information
  • FTA Portal – 1502 Reporting and Secondary Market functions
  • Partner Information Management System (PIMS) – Lender information
  • Lender Match – Referral tool for lenders and borrowers

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a CAFS account.

Loan and guaranty centers

Each Center is staffed with finance, legal, and support professionals happy to assist with any questions related to originating, closing, servicing, and or liquidating SBA guaranteed loans.

Lending lifecycle


Lenders may use a business credit scoring model, credit score, or credit history of the applicant, associate(s), and guarantors; cashflow, equity, or collateral may also be a consideration. Applicants must be credit worthy and certify to certain program eligibility requirements; loans must be sound with a reasonable assurance of repayment ability. 

Lenders digitally submit loan guaranty requests online; SBA will make the final determination as to the eligibility of the applicant.

SBA’s eligibility and credit standards begin with the requirements outlined in 13 CFR Part 120. Policies and procedures surrounding loan origination are covered by SOP 50 10


Lenders are expected to close 7(a) loans the same way they close non-SBA loans. Lenders are responsible for knowing how to properly close loans, secure collateral, obtain and perfect the required lien positions, in addition to meeting any other loan closing requirements. See SOP 50 10 for additional information.


Lenders have unilateral authority to take routine actions to service and liquidate the 7(a) Loans in their portfolio, while changes to the terms and conditions of a loan may or may not require prior approval. Loan actions are conditioned by whether the guaranteed portion of the Loan has been sold in the Secondary Market.

When taking a unilateral action, lenders notify SBA through E-Tran or email to the Service Center. 

The Commercial Loan Service Centers (CLSC) in Fresno and Little Rock also address loan servicing requests from lenders where SBA approval is required.

Whether taken unilaterally or with written consent from the Center, all loan actions must be documented with the request, justification, analysis, and all documents relied upon to make the decision memorialized in the loan file. See SOP 50 57 for additional information.


Lenders must classify the loan as “In Liquidation” on their monthly SBA Form 1502 Report when they accelerate the note or receive a notice that the borrower has filed for bankruptcy protection. Information regarding loan liquidation as well as requesting SBA honor the guaranty is covered by SOP 50 57.

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SBA lenders finance small businesses

Lenders that work with SBA provide financial assistance to small businesses through government-backed loans.
Última actualización 5 de septiembre de 2023