Average Small Business Loan Amount in 2018: Across Banks and Alternative Lenders

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The average loan extended to U.S. businesses in 2017 was $663,000. However, depending on the type of loan and the lender, averages may range from $13,000 to $1.2 million. Below, we looked at some of the key factors that affect how much small business owners receive in funding.

Average Small Business Loan Amounts by Lender

The average business loan was $663,000 in 2017. This includes all industrial and commercial loans that businesses received throughout the United States. On average, national and foreign banks lent larger amounts to businesses than small national and regional banks. Among alternative lenders, the average loan amount is even less, ranging from $50,000 to $80,000.

LenderAverage Business Loan Amount
Large national banks$593,000
Small national or regional banks$146,000
Foreign banks (made by U.S. branches)$8,512,000
Alternative lenders$50,000 - $80,000

Average Small Business Loan Amounts: Alternative Lenders

Alternative lenders have grown in popularity in recent years, as business owners who haven’t been traditionally served by banks can now go online for funding. Online lenders typically lend smaller amounts than a bank would, with average loans ranging from $5,000 to $200,000 among top online lenders. In the table below, we compare average loan amounts for 2018 across several alternative lenders.

LenderAverage Small Business Loan Amount
Fundbox (invoice factoring and line of credit)$5,000 - $40,000
BlueVine (line of credit)$25,000 - $30,000
OnDeck (term loan)$40,000
Credibly (term loan)$53,000 - $56,000
Balboa Capital (term loan)$75,000
QuarterSpot (term loan)$90,000
BlueVine (invoice factoring)$100,000 - $200,000
Funding Circle (term loan)$150,000 - $200,000

Online lenders have filled a funding gap by offering lower loan amounts, faster processing times and relaxed eligibility criteria. While annual percentage rates (APRs) may be high, a loan from an online lender can be a convenient solution for small business owners who have struggled to get funding. That said, some alternative lenders even offer APRs more in line to those offered by banks, which makes them a competitive option for a wide range of small business owners. If you decide to get a loan from an alternative lender, you should do the same due diligence that you would with a bank loan—know the total cost and terms of the loan as well as any additional fees or penalties you could incur.

Average SBA Loan Amounts

In 2017, the average amount lent under any SBA program was $107,000, which includes loans made under any SBA program. In 2018, the average SBA 7(a) loan was $417,316 while the average SBA microloan was approximately $13,000. In the table below, we look at average size for all loans backed by the SBA at both large and regional banks. On average, small national and regional banks lent more through the SBA loan programs than large national banks.

LenderAverage Amount for Any Loan Backed By SBA
Large national banks$59,000
Small national or regional banks$165,000
All banks$107,000

Throughout the year, the SBA tracks the top 100 7(a) lenders across the country. These rankings are based on the total lending volume and the number of loans made. In the table below, we look at the average loan amount for the top 20 SBA lenders for the 2017 fiscal year—up to September 2017. Average loan amounts range from $1.3 million at Live Oak Bank— which was also the second largest SBA lender—to $89,000 at TD Bank. Similar to the Federal Reserve findings, regional banks had higher average loan amounts than many of the national banks.

RankBank# of LoansTotal Loan VolumeAvg. 7(a) Loan Size
2Live Oak Bank1,055$1,405,090,000$1,331,839
8Byline Bank360$397,925,100$1,105,348
18Commonwealth Business Bank199$209,578,800$1,053,160
13Seacoast Commerce Bank279$276,120,900$989,681
20Regions Bank261$205,817,000$788,571
7Newtek Small Business Finance525$405,370,300$772,134
16Bank of the West376$255,351,400$679,126
15Bank of Hope406$263,829,100$649,825
14SunTrust Bank412$267,264,700$648,701
6Celtic Bank1,417$487,483,800$344,025
1Wells Fargo5,446$1,760,683,700$323,299
17Stearns Bank757$235,777,100$311,462
12First Home Bank1,072$288,607,200$269,223
5U.S. Bank2,090$509,883,400$243,963
4Chase Bank3,298$739,566,100$224,247
3Huntington National Bank4,065$793,654,300$195,241
10BBVA Compass1,602$311,080,100$194,182
11TD Bank3,253$289,668,300$89,047

Where You Should Look for Loans

If you’re a small business owner looking for a loan, consider a variety of funding sources since shopping around will help you get the best deal. For loans of $100,000 or more, bank and SBA loans are likely your best option—especially if you need $500,000 or more. Contact a bank or credit union that you've previously worked with since building a relationship there will mean better terms and rates later on. For SBA loans, you may also want to consider an online lender—such as SmartBiz or Guidant Financial—that can offer faster funding.

You should consider a loan from an alternative lender, a small local bank, or a nonprofit lender for loans under $100,000 since many larger banks may be reluctant to offer such small loans. While alternative lenders have higher APRs on average, you can still find reasonable terms if you have a good to excellent personal credit score—defined as any FICO score above 680. Alternative lenders—such as OnDeck, Lending Club, Fundation, Funding Circle and StreetShares—offer APRs starting under 10%. Finally, if you need $50,000 or less, you should consider applying for a microloan through the SBA or a nonprofit microfinance organization—like Kiva or Grameen America.


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