A newer version of your browser is available. Older versions may limit your ability to access some of this site's functionality. Citizens Bank recommends upgrading your browser.
By Gina Gallagher | Citizens Bank Contributor
You know you need a business loan. Maybe it’s to acquire a new business or to expand one you already own. Or maybe you simply want to free up cash flow by refinancing an existing loan. Most business owners are pretty astute at knowing when they need to borrow; the challenge for many is determining how to get the right loan.
Cary Forman, Director of SBA and Credit Products at Citizens Bank, knows a lot about why businesses need to borrow. She leverages that experience to help a variety of businesses secure Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, which are loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and issued by participating lenders. “I’ve found that people generally want to borrow for two reasons: they’re looking to expand a business or refinance an existing business loan. Those who wish to expand usually want to acquire a new business, such as a second location for a restaurant. The appeal of an SBA loan is that the borrower doesn’t have to be fully collateralized to qualify for the loan,” said Forman.
That benefit comes courtesy of the SBA, which provides a guarantee that removes some of the risk for lenders to approve loans, thereby allowing lenders to offer less stringent underwriting requirements. Because of that guarantee, SBA loans are also ideal for borrowers who wish to refinance existing debt. “I recently had a client who had a 7-year loan and was looking to improve cash flow. An SBA loan was a good alternative because it allowed them to extend the term to 15 years, thereby freeing up cash flow. Traditional loans don’t offer terms that long,” said Forman.
So if you’re looking to acquire a business or to refinance existing debt, odds are that an SBA loan is probably the best choice. Forman does believe, however, that a good loan officer should be able to help you determine the loan that will work best for your needs. “I’ve referred clients to other parts of the bank or other lenders when I couldn’t help them. In my specific case, it helps that I was a former CFO and business owner,” she said.
So what more can you do once you’ve determined an SBA loan is right for you? Forman recommends taking these important steps to prepare for SBA financing:
Learn more about SBA loans. As a Preferred SBA lender, Citizens offers a streamlined application and fast decisions. We will, however, take the time to listen and understand your business and help you find the solution that works for you.
The zip code you entered is served by Citizens One, the brand name for Citizens Bank's lending business outside of our 11‑state branch footprint. Under the Citizens One brand we offer Auto Loans, Credit Cards, Mortgages, Personal Loans and Student Loans. To learn more, please visit: