Qualifying for standard loans from a traditional bank is a bonus to a small business looking for effective financing. However, many factors, including negative credit history, might hinder the approval process. For this reason, looking for SBA loans as an alternative financing option becomes paramount. Comparing an SBA loan against a conventional loan is important to know the difference and its relevance.


As much as the government regulates SBA loans, the application process can be long and tiresome. There is much more paperwork to handle than applying for a conventional loan. With SBA loans, the borrower has a riskier financial profile which calls for more information before processing the loan. With conventional loans, the lender is specific about the requirements.

Approval Times

Compared to conventional loans, SBA loans have a longer approval time. The need for more information before processing the loans makes the approval time longer. Unlike other alternative financing options, you should expect lots of paperwork with SBA loans. While you must meet some requirements when applying for conventional loans, the approval time is much shorter and more convenient for small businesses.

Interest Rates

There is a great variation in interest rates between SBA and conventional loans. You should expect higher interest rates on SBA loans than with a conventional loan. Most conventional lenders have fixed rates on the loans, making it easier for small businesses. Unlike SBA loans, the interest rates fluctuate with government regulations.

Repayment Terms

Unlike SBA loans, conventional loans have shorter repayment terms. This can be straining for a small business despite the fast approval process. SBA loans remain beneficial as they have longer repayment terms, making it easy for small businesses to utilize the funds and meet their expectations.


You must have a specific reason for the funds to increase the approval chances when applying for a conventional loan. It is, however, more flexible with SBA loans as you can use the funds for any reason in business. There are many flexible options under SBA loans that can serve your business interests differently. It is important to understand your needs before looking for conventional or SBA loans.

When looking for a financing option, you want one that suits your needs. With the option of applying for an SBA loan or a conventional loan, having proper guidance remains paramount. Call or visit 18 Sierra Financial today for professional guidance.