Live Oak Bank, a Wilmington-based financial institution, 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 SBA 7(a) loan program is the primary business loan offering from the Small Business Administration and can be used by small businesses for various purposes such as refinancing, acquiring or improving real estate properties or obtaining short- or long-term working capital.
During the SBA’s fiscal year that ended on September 30th, Live Oak Bank was the top lender by dollar amount and lent $1.8 billion to small businesses through this program, almost $50 million more than its closest competitor, Huntington National Bank in Ohio, which lent $1.37 billion. However, despite having the most loans and largest average loan size among the group according to the SBA, Live Oak did not have the most loans nor largest average loan size of all participants.
It’s worth noting that standard 7(a) loans typically come with long repayment periods and low interest rates which have become increasingly popular due to current market conditions with interest rates hitting record highs this year. This is possible because the SBA reimburses a portion of these loans in case of default or inability to repay by borrowers and charges a guarantee fee based on loan size which is usually passed on to borrowers.