White Paper – A Guide to SBA 7a Loans

SBA 7(a) Loans: A White Paper

An exhaustively researched guide to SBA 7a loans based on primary government sources – 2021.
(view our white paper sources

SBA 101

The SBA doesn’t lend money, it simply provides lenders with a partial guaranty so they are more willing to give a ‘less than perfect borrower’ a loan. If you default, the lender is partially covered – for up to 85% of the loan.

The SBA’s 7a loan guaranty program is the agency’s flagship loan program, named after Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act of 1953, which authorizes the SBA to provide business loans and loan guarantees to American small businesses. Roughly 80% of all SBA lending is through the 7a program.

  • Amounts up to $5MM to eligible businesses
  • Terms up to 10 years for business acquisition and expansion
  • Terms up to 25 years for owner-occupied real estate

Use our SBA White Paper links to learn more about how the SBA 7a loan program works and how to determine your eligibility and fit.

How Big is the SBA 7a Loan Program?

In Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1 – September 30, 2020), the SBA approved 43,302 7(a) loans totaling $22.6 billion dollars. The average approved amount was $533K.

In Fiscal Year 2019 (October 1 – September 30, 2019), the SBA approved 51,907 7(a) loans totaling $23.2 billion, slightly less than the $25.4 billion approved in FY 2018 with a total of 60,354 loans (a significant drop).

In contrast, the SBA approved just $5 billion in 504 loans in FY 2019, up slightly over 2018.

(Source – Report from the Congressional Research Service, primer on programs & funding updated March 18, 2021 and the CRS SBA 7(a) program updated June 21, 2021.

SBA 7a Program Growth Over Time

The importance of small business health and growth to the US economy is undisputed. Congress regularly approves legislation that increases the 7a program’s authorization limit on disbursements.

from $18.75 billion in FY2014
to $23.5 billion in FY2015
to $26.5 billion in FY2016
to $27.5 billion in FY2017
to $29.0 billion in FY2018
to $30.0 billion in FY2019
to $30.0 billion in FY2020 (not including supplemental funding*)
to $105.0 billion in FY2021 (not including PPP funding*)

*The SBA received supplemental appropriations FY2020 and FY2021 to assist small businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. P.L. 116-136, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), among other provisions, created the $349 billion (now $806.45 billion) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and appropriated $17 billion for six-month payment relief for existing 7(a), 504/CDC, or Microloan borrowers

View our SBA White Paper sources.

SBA Leadership & Fun Facts

Isabella Casillas Guzman was nominated by President Joe Biden and confirmed as the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on March 16, 2021, 81-17. She is the 8th woman to lead the SBA out of 27 administrators.

Prior to Guzman, acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton held down the SBA fort while SBA staffers patiently awaited the senate confirmation of the 2020-2021 SBA Administrator, Jovita Carranza.

Carranza was nominated by the former Republican president in April 2019 after Linda McMahon stepped down to run a super PAC supporting the former president’s re-election campaign.

Carranza wasn’t confirmed until January 7, 2020 –  just in time to lead the SBA’s response to the COVID-19 recession. She is the 7th woman to lead the SBA.

Not so Fun Fact: McMahon was approved & confirmed in three weeks, Carranza in 10 months, Guzman in one month.

Fun Fact – 2017 presidential appointee Linda McMahon was the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. McMahon is the sixth female administrator (of 25) since the SBA’s formation in 1953. She unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the US Senate (CT) in 2010. To celebrate her 60th birthday she jumped out of an airplane.

Contact Us

You need a strategic, cost effective solution to your financing needs and a funding partner you can trust. And one who never takes upfront fees. Let us put our decades of banking and structuring experience to work for you. Email Speritas Capital Partners about your eligibility for an SBA loan today.


Call/text Jeff Bardos, CEO
directly at 203-247-4358
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