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Truist Review Review

Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration has a suite of small business loans that offer low interest rates and flexible terms.
  • The big knock against SBA loans is the application process and time for funding. But if you have the time and the help of a knowledgeable SBA lender, it's a very affordable way to borrow money.
  • Truist is our best pick for SBA loans because it is an SBA Preferred Lender and has years of experience working with the SBA.
  • This review is for business owners who are considering applying for an SBA loan with Truist.

Truist, which was formed following a merger between SunTrust and BB&T, has been issuing Small Business Administration loans to business owners for years. It is an SBA Preferred Lender, which means it has the SBA's confidence that it can provide loans in an equitable manner to its customers. That experience is a big reason we selected Truist as the best lender for SBA loans. Securing an SBA loan isn't an easy process; the SBA requires a lot of documentation when approving a loan application. To get the SBA's low interest rate and flexible terms, you need to put in the work, and Truist will help you with that.

Truist Review

Truist Review

The Verdict

Truist is our best pick for SBA loans because it has years of experience extending SBA loans to small businesses. It is an SBA Preferred Lender and knows the ins and outs of applying and getting approved for an SBA loan.

Truist

Collateral 1.0
Online application 1.0
Quick funding 1.0
Credit requirements 1.0
Variety of loan types 2.0
Editor's score 6.0

 

Costs

How much an SBA loan via Truist will cost varies by several factors, including your credit score and the amount you are borrowing. While the interest rate starts at just 5%, you are likely to have higher rates if you have a low credit score.

Many of Truist's non-SBA loans can have either fixed or variable interest rates. Fixed rates stay the same throughout the life of the loan, while variable interest rates can be raised or lowered over the course of the loan.

Applying for a Loan

SBA offers low interest rates and loans that can last 25 years. That can be a lifesaver for a small business in need of funding, because the payments are small and manageable with that long a term.

To get an SBA loan through Truist, you start by contacting the company. You can either call Truist directly or visit one of its branches. From there, Truist works with you to determine which SBA loan makes the most sense for your business. This process is a lot more cumbersome than applying for a loan with an alternative lender like Rapid Finance. With alternative lenders, you can complete the process online rather quickly, often receiving a funding decision on the same day. It can take several weeks to get approved for an SBA loan once you apply, which is one reason why this type of funding isn't for all business owners.

There are several reasons to borrow money through the SBA's lending programs. Borrowers looking to start a small business or already operating one can use these loans for working capital, to purchase land or equipment, to make renovations, or to refinance debt.

You must meet several qualifications to be eligible for SBA loans:

  • You must operate a for-profit business.
  • You must have less than $15 million in net worth.
  • Your business must have an average net income of less than $5 million.
  • You must have reasonable invested equity.
  • For some of its loans, you must try to get a loan elsewhere first.
  • The funds must go to sound business purposes.
  • You must not be delinquent on any existing debt to the U.S. government.

Loan Types and Terms

Truist offers three types of SBA loans: 504 loans, 7(a) loans and SBA Express loans. Since the SBA backs the majority of these loans, banks like Truist can offer very flexible terms and affordable rates. That is true of every SBA lender, but Truist has years of experience over some of its rivals.

  • The SBA 504 loan is aimed at long-term borrowers who need cash for construction, real estate or startup costs. Loans max out at $10 million, and terms can be up to 25 years.
  • With an SBA 7(a) loan, you can borrow up to $5 million and pay it back over five to seven years. It's for working capital, inventory and other business purposes. Terms differ for real estate, fixed asset and equipment loans.
  • The SBA also offers Express loans and lines of credit, which have quicker funding and less paperwork. These loans are capped at $250,000.

If you find that an SBA loan is not for you, Truist has other lending options. It offers fixed- and variable-interest term loans with flexible repayment schedules. Truist's equipment financing loan has little to no closing costs and gives you the option to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease. It also offers lines of credit.

You can apply for one of three SBA loans with Truist.

 

SBA 7(a) loans under $25,000 don't require collateral. If the loan is more than $350,000, the SBA wants lenders to collateralize as much as possible. There are no collateral requirements for the SBA Express loans.

Did you know?Did you know? The interest rate on SBA loans starts at 5%, and terms can last up to 25 years. Your credit score will determine the rate you pay.

Helpful Tips

To streamline the application process, try to collect as much documentation ahead of time as you can. Truist will work with you to amass all the paperwork, which is another reason we like this lender. The more prepared you are, the quicker the process will be.

The SBA requires more documentation when you apply for a loan than alternative lenders do.

Truist Features

SBA Preferred Lender designation Truist has proven it has the know-how to issue SBA loans and received the SBA's stamp of approval.
Flexible terms Since the SBA backs most of the loans, Truist can offer flexible rates.
Variety of loan types Outside of SBA loans, Truist offers lines of credit, term loans and equipment financing.

 

SBA Preferred Lender

Truist, the combination of SunTrust and BB&T, has years of experience providing SBA loans to small business owners. It has received the commendable designation of SBA Preferred Lender, which means Truist understands how these loans work and is dedicated to helping borrowers get the best terms. Since the SBA's application process is so extensive, you need a lending partner that has seen the good and bad before to ensure you take all of the right steps.

Flexible Terms

SBA loans offer very flexible terms, which can make the payments manageable for small business owners. Depending on the loan you apply for, terms can be five to 25 years. That level of flexibility is key, especially if you take out a large loan that would be hard to pay back over a short period.

Variety of Loan Types

You may think you want an SBA loan but change your mind during the process. This isn't a problem with Truist. In addition to three types of SBA loans, Truist offers several other loan products, including term loans and lines of credit. This much variety can be appealing to businesses that might not know exactly which financing option is the best for them.  

Customer Service

Truist provides customer service over the phone, by email, and at its branches during standard business hours. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 1967.

We like that this lender provides a lot of guidance, whether in person or by phone. Applying for an SBA loan can be an arduous task, so any help a business owner can get will be appreciated.

Drawbacks

The biggest disadvantages of SBA loans are the process to apply and the time it takes to get funding. The application is long, with a lot of paperwork required, and it can take weeks from approval to get funding in your bank account. A mistake here or there can slow down the process greatly.

In addition, if you are an established business owner who could get a loan elsewhere, you won't be eligible for an SBA loan. The SBA requires its lender partners, including Truist, to administer a "credit elsewhere" test, which shows whether an applicant can obtain funding with favorable terms from nonfederal sources.

TipTip: SBA loans are very paperwork-intensive and can take time to process. To speed it up, gather as much documentation ahead of time as possible.

Summary

Truist is a small business lender with a strong track record of providing SBA loans and helping borrowers through the process.

We recommend Truist for:

  • Businesses that want long repayment terms and affordable interest
  • Businesses that don't need the money right away
  • Businesses that are comfortable going through a lengthy application process

We DON'T recommend this lender for:

  • Businesses that need an easy online application process and fast funding
  • Businesses worth more than $5 million

Image Credit: Getty Images
Truist Review

Truist Review

The Verdict

Truist is our best pick for SBA loans because it has years of experience extending SBA loans to small businesses. It is an SBA Preferred Lender and knows the ins and outs of applying and getting approved for an SBA loan.

Donna Fuscaldo
Donna Fuscaldo
Business News Daily Staff
Donna Fuscaldo is a senior finance writer at business.com and has more than two decades of experience writing about business borrowing, funding, and investing for publications including the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Bankrate, Investopedia, Motley Fool, and Foxbusiness.com. Most recently she was a senior contributor at Forbes covering the intersection of money and technology before joining business.com. Donna has carved out a name for herself in the finance and small business markets, writing hundreds of business articles offering advice, insightful analysis, and groundbreaking coverage. Her areas of focus at business.com include business loans, accounting, and retirement benefits.