Compare Small Business Loans
Whether you’re looking to buy a new building or remodel an existing facility for your business, you’ll likely need to take out a commercial real estate loan to cover these costs. We researched several dozen lenders and loan programs and gathered the best commercial real estate loans and mortgages on the market for small business owners.
Best commercial real estate loans
We’ve summarized a few top picks for commercial real estate loans from traditional banks and online lenders.
|Lender name||Loan amounts||Rates||Term||Best for|
|Credibly||Up to $250,000||9.99%-36%||18 or 24 months||Borrowers with fair credit.|
|SBA 504 loan||Up to $5.5 million||Up to 2.4% for certified development company (CDC) portion; up to 9.25% for bank financing*||Up to 25 years||Borrowers with strong personal credit.|
|PNC Bank||$100,001-$3 million||Fixed or variable rates||Up to 10 years||Established businesses.|
|Fora Financial||$5,000-$500,000||Factor rates from 1.10-1.40||Up to 16 months||Bridge funding while waiting for long-term financing.|
Best for fair credit: Credibly
Its business expansion loan, for example, helps companies expand or renovate existing commercial property with funds up to $250,000 over 18 or 24 months. Interest rates start at 9.99%, and borrowers pay a one-time origination fee of 2.5% of the total loan. This is expensive compared with bank loans, but funding is typically faster — approvals within 24 hours and the possibility of same-day funding.
- A personal credit score of at least 600
- $15,000-plus average monthly revenue (including $3,000-plus in average daily bank balances)
- At least three years in business
Best for fair credit: SBA 504 loan
- A conventional bank mortgage covering 50% of the project cost.
- The CDC portion of the 504 loan that serves as a second mortgage (backed by the SBA) covering up to 40% of the project cost.
- Business owners who make a down payment of 10% to 20%.
SBA 504 loans provide amounts up to $5.5 million for as long as 25 years. Interest rates are a bit complicated: the CDC sets one fixed rate for its portion while the bank charges another, which may be fixed or variable. CDC rates are often lower than those for other traditional or online loans. For example, as of November 2020, CDC commercial real estate loan rates were set at 2.4% for a 25-year term.
- Good credit. Typically scores of 680 or above.
- SBA eligibility. A for-profit U.S. small business with a tangible net worth of no more than $15 million and an average net income up to $5 million after federal income taxes for two years.
- Equity. The owner must invest some of their own equity — money and/or time — into the business.
Best for established businesses: PNC
Commercial real estate loan financing from PNC provides access to a range of amounts and terms when you want to buy or refinance commercial property for your company. Borrowers can get $100,001 to $3 million with a choice of fixed or variable rates up to 10 years.
- To occupy the commercial real estate you want to buy or refinance
- Three years (or longer in certain industries) in business
- Proof of general profitability showing an upward or stable trend in revenue, gross profit margins and net profit margins
- Clean personal credit history for at least the past five years, as well as a business credit history free of delinquencies
Best for bridge financing: Fora Financial
Fora Financial provides small business loans of $5,000 to $500,000 with terms of up to 16 months. Instead of expressing rates as a percentage, Fora uses factor rates from 1.10 to 1.40. Multiply your loan amount by your factor rate to determine the total cost. If you borrow $100,000 with a factor rate of 1.40, you would need to repay $140,000 plus a 2.5% origination fee. Like other online lenders, Fora’s financing may be more expensive than bank loans, but it has some of the most lenient requirements on this list and no restrictions on the way you use its funds.
- At least six months in business (12 months in some instances)
- $12,000 in gross monthly sales
- Minimum credit score of 500 and no open bankruptcies
How to get a commercial real estate loan or mortgage
Purchasing commercial real estate for your business or renovating an existing commercial property are some of the largest and most important expenses you’ll make as a small business owner. Getting the right space for your business to grow and expand is important for long-term sustained success. In order to get your best loan, you should always shop around. Get a few loan offers from banks and online lenders offering different types of loans like SBA loans, traditional commercial mortgages, hard money loans or bridge loans. Factors to consider include:
- Interest rate (fixed or variable) or factor rate
- Repayment schedule
- Total estimated repayment amount
Application process: What to expect
Applying for a commercial real estate loan can take as little as 24 hours (for online lenders) or as long as three months (for SBA loans).
While each lender has its own specific requirements and procedures, borrowers can usually expect a certain process when they apply for commercial real estate financing.
First you’ll need to fill out an application online or in-person at a bank branch. This will require providing a lot of information about you and your business such as:
- Amount and type of loan you’re seeking, what it will be used for, and what you’ll use as collateral
- Business name, address, year of establishment and tax ID number
- Borrower name, home address, Social Security number, title and ownership percentage
You’ll also have to supply various documentation, which may include:
- Official ID for all owners
- Bank statements from the last three months or more
- Business mortgage statement or lease agreement
- Most recent business tax return
- Business financial statements
- Information about collateral, if applicable
Once you’ve applied, it’s a waiting game, though how long you have to wait depends largely on which type of lender you chose, along with the complexity of your situation and perhaps the size of the loan you’re requesting. Alternative online lenders tend to move fastest — it’s a major selling point: speed is one of the main advantages borrowers get in exchange for higher interest rates. Some online lenders, such as the ones listed above, usually provide approval within 24 hours. Traditional banks take longer, and SBA lenders will make applicants wait weeks if not months.
What to watch out for
If and when you receive a loan offer, look for lender stipulations in the contract, such as whether you’ll be required to have inspections, you or your spouse must personally guarantee the loan, or there will be a general lien on business assets. Know what conditions will void the loan, such as damage to the land or property, environmental or chemical disasters or fraud. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer or legal advisor review the contract for potential red flags or points that can be negotiated. Lenders generally expect some back and forth on an offer, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.