Yes. An SBA loan application is considered “approved” once the applicant is assigned a loan number by the U.S. Small Business Administration. After reviewing your application, the SBA will have to make an initial loan decision and if your application is approved, they will issue an SBA loan number for your loan.

This number notes that funds are reserved for your loan; just that your loan now has to go through the underwriting process before it can be disbursed. Note that immediately after the SBA issues an SBA loan number, the underwriting process begins. The SBA grants 10 calendar days for the lender to complete underwriting and disburse funds, starting on the day an SBA loan number is issued.

If the lender cannot disburse funds owing to a delay caused by the borrower, the lender has 20 calendar days to disburse funds. This can most often mean missing paperwork or additional required documentation.

According to the SBA, SBA Loan Numbers tend to have the following format to help borrowers easily identify the SBA loan number of their loan: XXXXXXXX-XX (i.e. eight numbers followed by a dash and then two more numbers). However, a good number of lenders in the United States are providing the SBA Loan Number as 10-digits (without a dash). Either way, your SBA Loan Number is a ten-digit number with no letters.

Other Important Things to Know About SBA Loans

One of the best sources of capital for SMBs can be found through the Small Business Administration (SBA). However, if you are looking to obtain SBA loans, here is top information to note;

  1. Applying for an SBA Loan Can be a Lengthy Process

When looking to apply for SBA loans, have in mind that it can be a lengthy process. You have to provide your financial statements, a description of your business, a vivid explanation of how you intend to use the loan, and several other documents. Since both the lender and the SBA will evaluate your qualifications, the process, as a whole, could take longer than expected.

  1. The Loan is Not Provided by the SBA

While the SBA is renowned as a top resource center for small business loans, you need to understand that they are not the ones who are actually doing the lending.

The primary role of the SBA is to incentivize a portion of your loan to reduce the risk for the bank or financial institution that is providing the cash. Since they ensure that the lender has little or nothing to worry about, it makes it more convenient for smaller businesses to obtain business funding.

  1. The Interest Rate is Not the Total Cost of Borrowing

Note that aside from the interest rate, you could still be charged a guarantee fee. The guarantee fee is charged to the lender by the SBA. Owing to that, you must calculate a loan’s APR before signing any loan agreement. The APR will include all costs associated with the loan, and this will ensure you know the total cost of borrowing the loan.

  1. You Aren’t Guaranteed a Loan

Even though the SBA strives to make it easier for you to obtain a small business loan, this doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed approval. Lenders still reserve the right to evaluate your financial statements and credit information. The lender will want to see that you have shown a considerable level of ability to repay the loan, if not, it could deem you ineligible for the loan.

  1. The SBA Sets Limits on the Interest Rate That Banks Can Charge

To ensure that they keep the cost of borrowing low, the SBA limits the interest banks can charge their borrowers. Most often, the maximum interest rate is based on the Prime Rate and the allowable spread. For instance, the current prime rate, as of August 2022, is 5.50%.

SBA Express loans are part of the 7(a) program but can have higher interest rates. Their rates range from prime plus 4.5% to prime plus 6.5%, depending on how much you borrow.

  1. SBA Loans Offer the Longest Repayment Terms

Also, note that the term of an SBA loan can range from around five to 25 years; however, this will depend on the type of loan you choose.

  1. You Don’t Need Perfect Credit to Get Approved for an SBA Loan

While a bad credit score will definitely limit your loan eligibility, this doesn’t mean that you are entirely not qualified for SBA loans. SBA’s Microloan Program was made primarily for businesses that are just starting out; therefore, even with little to no business credit history, there’s a good chance that you can still qualify for this particular loan.

  1. They Can be Both Big or Small

Regardless of whether you require a massive amount of money for a large purchase or a small loan for a certain business inventory, the SBA has loans that range from around $5,000 to $5 million.

  1. They Can be Used for Multiple Business Purposes

Also have it in mind that an SBA loan can be used for a wide range of things such as working capital, purchasing equipment or inventory, refinancing other debts, purchasing real estate, or financing the acquisition of other businesses.

  1. There are Multiple Programs

The primary objective of SBA is to ensure small businesses in the United States thrive. Note that they achieve this by making available numerous loan programs as against a one-size fits all deal. Owing to that, whether you own a formidable company and are looking for a large sum of money, or you are just starting out, you have a lot of options to pick from.


An SBA loan application is considered “approved” once the applicant is assigned a loan number by the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA Loans are a viable resource for small business owners. As long as you meet the qualifications of an SBA loan, you should consider applying. The low-interest rates and long repayment terms make the daunting process worth it in the end