Live Oak Bank, based in Wilmington, has been named the most active lender of SBA 7(a) loans for the sixth consecutive year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bank lent $1.8 billion to small businesses through the program in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, making it the top lender by dollar amount.
Despite being the top lender and having an average loan size of over $1.5 million per loan, Live Oak did not have the most loans or largest average loan size of the group during this fiscal year. However, its success can be attributed to its long-standing relationship with small businesses and its commitment to providing flexible financing solutions that help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Standard 7(a) loans from the SBA typically have long repayment periods and low interest rates, which makes them a popular choice for small business owners looking to refinance or acquire real estate or improve working capital. The SBA reimburses a portion of the loan in case of default or non-repayment, making it a less risky investment for banks like Live Oak. In exchange, they charge a guarantee fee that is usually passed on to borrowers and is based on the size of the loan.