Small Business Loans For Veterans: So you’ve served your country and now you want to start your own small business. Way to go – the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in vets! But like any new business owner, you need capital to get up and running. That’s where a small business loan tailored to veterans can set you on the path to success.
In this article, we’ll highlight the top small business loans and financing options just for veterans looking to live their American dream. From low interest rates to mentoring programs, these loans provide the boost many veterans need to launch their ventures. Read on to learn more about special veteran small business financing that could help you open the doors and start serving your community!
Understanding Business Loans for Veterans
As a veteran, you have access to business funding options that civilians do not. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loan programs specifically for veterans, and many private lenders also have targeted options for veteran entrepreneurs. Before you start applying for loans, it’s important to understand the different types available and which may be the best fit for your small business needs.
The SBA administers the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (MREIDL) and the Express Loan Program for Veterans. The MREIDL provides loans of up to $2 million for small businesses affected by an employee being called up to active military duty. The Express Loan Program for Veterans offers loans of up to $350,000 for purchasing an existing business, purchasing equipment, working capital, and more. Both come with lenient terms like low interest rates and longer repayment periods.
Some private lenders such as StreetShares, a veteran-focused small business lender, offer term loans, lines of credit, and commercial real estate loans for military members and veterans. They provide fast, affordable financing with minimal paperwork. Other big banks like Chase, US Bank, and Bank of America have designated veteran business bankers and loan programs tailored for veteran-owned small businesses. These private lenders may offer lower interest rates and fees as a way to support veterans in business.
Before choosing a lender, make sure you understand all the requirements and terms. Look at factors like interest rates, repayment periods, collateral, and fees to determine what option will be most affordable and suitable for your needs. As a veteran, you deserve access to resources to help your small business thrive. With the right funding behind you, the sky is the limit for your entrepreneurial success.
Types of Small Business Loans for Veterans
There are several loan programs specifically for veterans and military members looking to start or expand a small business. Here are some of the major options to consider:
1. SBA Express Loan
The SBA Express Loan provides veterans access to capital up to $350,000 with a fast turnaround. You can expect an answer on your loan application within 36 hours. These loans are offered through SBA-approved lenders like banks and credit unions. Terms are typically up to 10 years for working capital and up to 25 years for real estate.
2. Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan
If your small business has suffered substantial economic injury due to a veteran being called up for active military duty, you may be eligible for an MREIDL or Military Reservist EIDL. These loans provide up to $2 million in working capital to meet essential expenses like payroll, rent, and other bills that can’t be met due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty.
3. Veterans Advantage Loan
The Veterans Advantage Loan or VAL provides up to $500,000 for veterans, active duty military members, and their spouses to start or expand a small business. Offered through StreetShares, a veteran-focused small business lender, the VAL has flexible terms from 3 to 5 years and interest rates starting at 5.99%. Borrowers can qualify with a credit score of 600 or higher and over 2 years in business.
4. SBA Veterans Advantage Loan
Similar to the VAL, the SBA Veterans Advantage Loan provides SBA-backed financing of up to $350,000. Also offered through StreetShares, this loan allows veterans and military spouses to borrow with an SBA guarantee, which may provide more attractive terms. Loan terms are up to 10 years for working capital and up to 25 years for real estate. Minimum qualifications are the same as for a standard SBA 7(a) loan.
These loan programs provide veterans and military members access to affordable small business financing to help turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. By understanding the options, you can find a loan that matches your needs and qualifications.
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Top Lenders for Small Business Loans for Veterans
When looking for small business financing as a veteran, it’s best to start with lenders that specifically cater to veterans and military members. These lenders understand the unique needs of veteran business owners and offer programs tailored to help you succeed.
1. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA offers several loan programs for veterans, including the SBA Express, Community Advantage, and Patriot Express loans. The SBA Express loan offers fast turnaround for up to $350,000. The Community Advantage loan provides up to $250,000 for startups and businesses in underserved communities. The Patriot Express is the SBA’s flagship program for veterans, with loans up to $500,000 for almost any business need.
2. Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)
The VBOC program provides veterans free business consulting and guidance on how to apply for SBA loans. They can help you create a solid business plan, connect you with mentors, and ensure your loan application is as strong as possible. VBOC offices are located in all 50 states.
StreetShares is an online lender that offers term loans and lines of credit specifically for veteran-owned businesses. They provide loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates and flexible terms of 3 months to 3 years. The application process is fast and simple, with funding in as little as 1 business day. StreetShares was founded by military veterans to serve the veteran and military entrepreneur community.
Lendio is a loan marketplace where veterans can apply for multiple business loans from a network of over 75 lenders, including many that specialize in lending to veterans and military members. They offer all types of small business loans, including short and long-term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, and more. The application process is fast, free, and could help you find the best financing for your needs.
By starting with lenders aimed at helping veterans succeed in business, you’ll have the best chance of qualifying for funding and gaining access to resources to help your company thrive. The opportunities for veteran-owned businesses are growing, so take advantage of programs tailored specifically for you.