SmartBiz Review

SmartBiz is an AI-powered financing platform that has funded more than 230,000 entrepreneurs. With fast and flexible financing options, SmartBiz matches you with the perfect lender to receive the loan you need. 

More than 60% of SmartBiz loans go towards women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses, as it aims to help any small business find reliable access to SBA, bank term, and custom financing. 

SmartBiz logo

SmartBiz Compared

SmartBiz did make our top list for the best SBA loans. The best loan service for most people, though, is Upstart, because of its quick funding time, flexible repayment terms, and you can qualify without a credit history. Apply for a small business loan today and check your rate with zero paperwork or hidden fees.

Want to read more about the top best startup business loans? We reviewed dozens of options and narrowed it down to the top six. If you want to scope out all of your options, see all of our top picks here.

About SmartBiz

SmartBiz is the number one facilitator in SBA 7(a) loans for less than $350,000, and with more than $9 billion delivered to businesses across 13 years, the company is trusted by many. The ultimate aim of SmartBiz is to ensure small businesses can apply for and secure low-cost funds from banks.

SmartBiz has evolved over the years—from one streamlined application to an AI-powered platform and reliable access to SBA, bank terms, and custom financing for any business type. SmartBiz works with a diverse team of technologists who work together to transform small business banking and keep the fees low. 

SmartBiz Products and Services

SmartBiz offers three different loans, including SBA, specific-term, and custom loans. All SBA loans have lower rates and longer terms, while specific-term bank loans offer fixed rates and shorter repayment terms and are an overall faster way to access funds. 

On the other hand, SmartBiz custom loans have both customizable repayment terms and interest rates. From lines of credit to invoice financing, SmartBiz can help you find the perfect loan for your needs. 

SmartBiz Health and Stability

SmartBiz was founded in 2009 by a team of financial service entrepreneurs and is a privately held company. The company has backing from leading venture capital firms, including Investor Growth Capital, Venrock, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, and SoftTech VC. SmartBiz has a total funding amount of $37 million as of 2022. 

Today, SmartBiz employs 51-100 people across its Austin and San Fransisco offices. With a 4.2-star rating on Glassdoor, it seems that SmartBiz offers a healthy work environment and diverse culture. 

And as the number one facilitator for SBA loans for small businesses, SmartBiz is a stable company that delivers every time.  

SmartBiz Pricing

SmartBiz is a free loan service with no hidden fees. You can apply for an SBA loan, a term loan, or custom financing in under five minutes online. Whether you run a small business, need a personal loan, or find yourself in a unique situation without the funds—SmartBiz can handle it all for you, entirely free

SmartBiz Pricing Structure

Because SmartBiz is a loan service, it doesn’t have a traditional pricing model. Instead, if SmartBiz accepts you for a loan, you will have to make repayments every month. The interest rate and repayment terms depend on how much money you borrow and what type of loan you choose. 

SmartBiz Pricing Comparison

SmartBiz’s interest rates for its SBA loans vary depending on the amount you borrow and your credit score. Any working capital and debt refinance loans from $30,000 to $50,000 have a variable interest rate of 9.25%. And for loans between $50,001 to $350,000, the variable rate is 8.25%. 

In comparison to other popular financing services, SmartBiz certainly offers higher interest rates. For example, Upstart’s interest rates start at 5.31%, and while Bluevine doesn’t offer SBA loans, its business lines of credit have a rate as low as 4.8%. 

Lendio is one of the only other financing services with similar interest rates to SmartBiz, with its maximum rates set at 8.25%. However, its minimum rates start at 5.75%—and with any company, the rate is indicative of how much money you borrow.

SmartBiz Trials and Guarantees

SmartBiz is a free forever loan service that only requires you to make repayments on accepted loans. SmartBiz guarantees that the soft credit pulls it conducts will not affect your credit score.

SmartBiz Startup Business Loans Review

Compared to other financing services, SmartBiz stands out for its SBA loans for small businesses and startups. You could benefit from SmartBiz’s service if you are looking for custom financing, SBA loans, or specific-bank term loans. 

SmartBiz is better for small businesses because of its custom financing options. Whether you need lines of credit or invoicing loans, SmartBiz can help kick your business off the ground. To see how SmartBiz stacks up against its competitors, check out our top picks for startup business loans.

What Makes SmartBiz Startup Business Loans Great

Screenshot of SmartBiz homepage
SmartBiz offers custom financing and flexible loans for small businesses.

SmartBiz helps you find flexible small business loans as quickly as possible. 

  • Custom financing: Whether traditional loans aren’t suitable for you due to time constraints, low revenue, or credit profile issues, SmartBiz offers custom financing solutions for any situation to help you find the loan that works best for you. With interest rates as low as 6.99%, bank term loan amounts of $30,000 to $500,000, and repayment terms of 24-60 months, you can pay off your loan quicker than you applied. SmartBiz offers different options, from lines of credit to invoicing loans, you can find a flexible funding solution with ease.
  • Quick and easy application: SmartBiz’s online application process is incredibly easy to do in three easy steps. You can fill out one single, streamlined application to find out if you’re pre-qualified for the loan. SmartBiz will request a few common documents, including personal and business tax returns, personal financial statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and collateral. SmartBiz will then refer you to a lender that will most likely fund your business, to which you can access your capital and grow your business.
  • Fair eligibility requirements: To be eligible for a SmartBiz loan, there are a few requirements you need to prove. Unlike most financing services, SmartBiz doesn’t ask for unfair requirements. All SmartBiz asks is that your business is not in the following industries: gambling, life insurance, religious teaching, political and lobbying activities, oil wildcatting, mining, mortgage servicing, real estate development, bail bond, and pawn or private clubs. To be eligible for all SBA 7(a) loans, your business must be above two years old, and your credit score must be above 650. 
  • AI-powered solution for lenders: SmartBiz lending partners can benefit from its AI-powered technology solutions to create more approvals and optimized risk and resource management. This SmartBiz platform comes with application management, AI-powered automation, document capture, automated reviews, online file audit, and underwriting and closing features. You can efficiently manage all loan applications and create a customized lending experience. 
  • Refinancing options: You can choose to purchase or refinance commercial real estate through a SmartBiz SBA loan. All it takes is five easy steps, from pre-qualifying and providing financial information to accepting your letter of intent and conducting a property valuation, SmartBiz ensures you get your funds as quickly as possible.  

Where SmartBiz Falls Short

Screenshot of SmartBiz webpage for understanding SBA loan rates and fees
SmartBiz fees and interest rates vary depending on the size of the loan.

SmartBiz comes with different loan rates and fees, depending on how much money you borrow. 

  • High fees: SmartBiz definitely has higher fees than most of its competitors. For an SBA loan, fees for working capital include the following: $350,001 to $700,000 — 2.77% of the guaranteed portion; $700,001 to $1,000,000 — 3.27% of the guaranteed portion; and $1,000,001 to $5,000,000 — 3.5% of the guaranteed portion + 3.75%. Not only that, but it also has excess fees for applications and bank closures. For example, on top of the working capital fees, you also have to pay a $3,000 one-time application fee and a $450 bank closing cost, and third-party report charges may apply. 
  • Higher interest rates: The lowest interest rate that SmartBiz offers is around 6.99%, but that is for a custom financing option. If you are interested in an SBA loan, the minimum interest rate is between 8.25% and 9.25%, plus the prime rate of between 2.75% and 3.75%, which is high compared to other financial services that start between 4-5%. 
  • Customer support: According to a few reviewers, SmartBiz’s customer support is lacking in many ways. A few reviewers claimed that its customer service was slow while others said the representatives were unfriendly and unhelpful. Some reviewers went as far as to say they couldn’t even get in touch with SmartBiz’s customer support in the first place, which is unfortunate. 

SmartBiz Startup Business Loans Compared

While SmartBiz is a decent option for small businesses to take out an SBA loan or custom financing, the best financing service for most people is Upstart because of its quick funding time, and you can qualify without a credit history. 

SmartBiz Business Loans Review

Business loans can be an easy way for small business owners to find the funds to kickstart their business ventures. Everything that we discussed above regarding startup business loans applies to most business loans of any kind. However, we did discuss more about SBA loans and custom financing options, which can have more fees associated with them. 

Here is a quick look at how SmartBiz stacks up against some of the best financing services on the market today:

  • Bluevine — Best for established businesses seeking lines of credit up to $250,000 
  • Lendio — Best small business loan marketplace with 75+ lenders
  • OnDeck — Term loans and lines of credit for business owners with a 600+ FICO score
  • Fundbox — Best for new businesses in need of inventory or supplies from vendors
  • Funding Circle — Best small business lender for loan terms up to five years
  • Kabbage — Best for businesses with low monthly or annual revenue
  • Lending Club — Best P2P lending marketplace for business loans
  • Kiva — Microloans up to $10,000 at 0% interest for entrepreneurs
  • SmartBiz — Best for SBA loans up to $5 million with 25-year terms
  • Credibility Capital — Bank-backed loans for business owners with great credit 
  • CAN Capital — Best merchant cash advance for small businesses

SmartBiz Final Verdict

SmartBiz offers excellent custom financing options and SBA 7(a) loans for small businesses. If you need to find quick and easy funds, you can do so by utilizing SmartBiz’s AI-powered platform. 

With 13 years in the industry and $9 billion delivered to businesses across the U.S, SmartBiz is a reliable and stable company, and we would recommend SmartBiz to any small business that needs access to quick funds. 

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