November 30, 2023 10:21 am

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. During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, Live Oak lent $1.8 billion to small businesses through this program, making it the top lender by dollar amount.

While Live Oak approved 1,215 SBA 7(a) loans nationwide during this period, it was not the bank with the most loans nor the largest average loan size of the group. Despite this, Live Oak had a higher average loan size than any other lender in the group and received a guarantee fee from the SBA for its loans. This fee is typically passed on to borrowers and covers a portion of the loan in case of default or non-repayment.

The SBA’s primary business loan program, known as 7(a), can be used by small businesses for various purposes such as refinancing real estate buildings or obtaining short- or long-term working capital. The program’s popularity has increased due to its low interest rates and long repayment periods, which make it an attractive option for small business owners looking to invest in their companies without taking on too much debt risk.

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