Live Oak Bank, based in Wilmington, North Carolina, has been the most active lender of SBA 7(a) loans for the sixth consecutive year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). During the SBA’s fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2021, Live Oak Bank lent $1.8 billion to small businesses through the SBA 7(a) loan program, almost $50 million more than the runner-up, Huntington National Bank in Ohio.
This means that Live Oak Bank was the top lender by dollar amount during this period. Despite having the most loans and the largest average loan size of the group according to the SBA, Live Oak did not have the most loans nor the largest average loan size of all lenders in this category. The bank approved a total of 1,215 SBA 7(a) loans nationwide during this fiscal year.
The SBA’s primary business loan program is a popular option for small businesses looking for financing options. A 7(a) loan can be used for various purposes such as refinancing or acquiring real estate buildings or improving working capital. This loan program has become increasingly sought after due to its long repayment periods and low interest rates which have become even more appealing with rising interest rates in recent years.
One advantage of these standard 7(a) loans is that they come with a guarantee from the SBA that reimburses a portion of the loan if it defaults or cannot be repaid by borrowers. This makes them less risky investments for banks but also comes with a guarantee fee that is usually passed on to borrowers and based on the size of their loan amount.
Live Oak’s success as an active lender in this category highlights its commitment to providing financial services to small businesses across different states in US.