Borrowers with bad credit that are seeking commercial loans will often face a difficult process, expensive loan options and many “no’s”. Even though it is a tough situation, borrowers should try to not get discourage and to stay patent as their solution may be just around the around the corner.
What are the potential commercial loan options for borrowers with bad credit? If the borrower operates their business out of the subject property than one of the best programs will be the SBA commercial loans. This often comes as a surprise to many that have shopped for SBA loans and found the underwriting criteria as difficult as conventional sources.
The thing to keep in mind here is that the SBA does not dictate any credit score type restrictions. It’s the lenders themselves that establish credit score minimums. So borrowers need to find the SBA lenders that will have flexibility with this component. For example we work with a few SBA Lenders that will go down to 580 and a few that will lend to borrowers with scores in the low 500’s with good compensating factors. The key here for borrowers to remember that it’s not the SBA that dictates the credit score criteria but the funding bank.
Compensating factors include high liquidity, strong business cash flow, solid experience and often a good story behind the credit issues. Lenders will often be more satisfied and more willing to lend to borrowers that had, for example medical issues, that have been resolved and that the borrower has managed to turn their situation around (even though there score may not yet reflect it). Borrowers that can’t document a turn around and or can’t give a good reason why their score is low will have a much harder time getting a bank to consider their request.
There are two types of SBA loans the 504 and the SBA 7a. The 504 is geared for purchases only and the minimum loan amount is often $2,000,000. Borrowers with bad credit will have a harder time getting approved for this loan. The SBA 7a loan will often be more geared towards borrowers with credit issues. The program will often go to 85% or even 90% loan to value in some cases. The typical loan amount will range from $400,000 – $2,000,000. Some lenders will allow borrowers to roll in other business debt (such as business credit cards) which can often help improve borrower’s credit score.
Not all SBA lenders are the same and for borrowers with bad credit seeking commercial loans this is a very important idea to keep in mind. You will need to call many lenders to find the one that is willing to hear the “story”.