7(a) loans

The 7(a) loan program is SBA's primary business loan program for providing financial assistance to small businesses.


What is a 7(a) loan? 

The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s primary business loan program, provides loan guaranties to lenders that allow them to provide financial help for small businesses with special requirements. 7(a) loans can be used for: 

  • Acquiring, refinancing, or improving real estate and buildings
  • Short- and long-term working capital 
  • Refinancing current business debt 
  • Purchasing and installation of machinery and equipment, including AI-related expenses
  • Purchasing furniture, fixtures, and supplies 
  • Changes of ownership (complete or partial)
  • Multiple purpose loans, including any of the above

The maximum loan amount for a 7(a) loan is $5 million. Key eligibility factors are based on what the business does to receive its income, its credit history, and where the business operates. Your lender will help you figure out which type of loan is best suited for your needs. This also includes recommending you for an SBA 7(a) Working Capital Pilot (WCP) loan, if your business qualifies.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for 7(a) loan assistance, businesses must:

  • Be an operating business
  • Operate for profit
  • Be located in the U.S.
  • Be small under SBA Size Requirements
  • Not be a type of ineligible business
  • Not be able to obtain the desired credit on reasonable terms from non-Federal, non-State, and non-local government sources
  • Be creditworthy and demonstrate a reasonable ability to repay the loan

Read more about Terms, conditions, and eligibility.

How do I apply?

You can use SBA’s Lender Match tool to connect with a participating SBA lender.  You will apply for your loan directly through your lender. 

The contents of the loan application vary depending on the size of the loan and the lender's processing method. Your lender will help you determine which documents you'll need based on your individual circumstances

You will always work directly with your lender and not with SBA.

How do I pay back my 7(a) loan?

Loan repayment terms vary according to several factors.

  • Most 7(a) term loans are repaid with monthly payments of principal and interest from the cash flow of the business
  • Payments stay the same for fixed-rate loans because the interest rate is constant 
  • For variable rate loans, the lender may require a different payment amount when the interest rate changes 

Existing borrowers

Existing borrowers can create an account in the MySBA Loan Portal (lending.sba.gov) to monitor their loan status, view statements, payment history and more. 

Payments can only be made using the MySBA Loan Portal for SBA-purchased 7(a) loans.  All others can continue to set up and manage online payments at Pay.gov. 

7(a) Working Capital Pilot (WCP) program

Beginning August 1, SBA's 7(a) WCP is a pilot loan program that offers monitored lines of credit within the 7(a) loan program. 
7(a) WCP has been engineered to:

  • Support a range of financing needs for growing small businesses
  • Bring together the best features of the existing permanent 7(a) line of credit delivery methods
  • Provide financing for domestic and/or export purposes
  • Offer one-on-one counseling with SBA's subject-matter experts to both small businesses and lenders 

Consider a 7(a) WCP loan if your small business:

  • Can benefit from a line of credit up to $5 million
  • Operates in industries like manufacturing, wholesale, or professional services
  • Has at least one-year of operating history
  • Can produce timely and accurate financial statements, accounts receivable and accounts payable agings, and inventory reports
  • Wishes to fulfill large contracts or projects and/or borrow against accounts receivable or inventory

Maximum loan amount
  • $5,000,000
Loan guarantee
  • 85% $150,000 or less
  • 75% if greater than $150,000
Maximum loan maturity
  • 60 months
Interest rates
  • $50,000 or less: Cannot exceed base rate +6.5%
  • $50,001 - $250,000: Cannot exceed base rate +6.0%
  • $250,001 - $350,000: Cannot exceed base rate +4.5%
  • $350,001 and greater: Cannot exceed base rate +3.0%

Use SBA’s Lender Match tool to be matched with a participating SBA lender that can provide you with funding at competitive rates and fees.

Get help

Although SBA does not provide 7(a) loans directly to borrowers, we can help with the process.

SBA District Offices can provide you with in-person, online, or telephone assistance.

SBA's network of Resource Partners throughout the country is also available to help small businesses.

Fund your business with an SBA-guaranteed loan

Short URL: sba.gov/7a
Last updated July 24, 2024