BB&T Small Business Loans Review

What Is BB&T?

BB&T is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest financial services holding companies in the United States with $220.7 billion in assets. Founded in 1872, BB&T offers retail and commercial banking, investments, insurance, wealth and asset management, mortgage, corporate banking, capital markets and specialized lending services. BB&T is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., and operates in 15 states and Washington D.C.

Lender highlights

SBA preferred lender. As a preferred lender for loans backed by the Small Business Administration, BB&T can process SBA loans faster than non-preferred lenders — and is can offer extended term options.

Full service provider. BB&T offers not just loans, but other business services for merchants, such as payment processing and  cash management option that coordinates the collection of receivables and invoice payments to maximize cash flow.

Multiple loan options. BB&T offers flexibility in repayment options and also provides a secured and unsecured line of credit.

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What BB&T offers

BB&T offers multiple types of small business loans, primarily with monthly repayment options. In addition to installment, credit line and equipment loans, it also offers several types of SBA loans.

The Business Advantage Credit Line can be secured or unsecured. A secured loan is tied to collateral while an unsecured loan is not tied to collateral, but often comes with higher interest rates to protect the lender. Acceptable collateral for the secured line of credit can include savings, certificates of deposit, marketable securities and owner-occupied commercial or residential real estate.

Eligibility requirements

BB&T does not provide much detail on eligibility requirements on its website and did not respond to further inquiries. Traditional banks typically offer financing to small businesses with good credit histories and one to two years in operation.

Additional eligibility factors

For secured line of credit, acceptable collateral includes savings, CDs, marketable securities, owner occupied commercial or residential real estate.

For SBA loans, businesses must be for-profit, operate out of the United States or its territories, have invested equity and meet the SBA size and standards.

Businesses that are not eligible for BB&T loans

Businesses outside Washington D.C. and the 15 states (Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas) where BB&T operates.

Nonprofit businesses and businesses located outside the United States or its territories cannot apply for an SBA loan.

How to apply for BB&T commercial financing

Loan applications can be done in person at a local BB&T bank branch in Washington D.C. and 15 states. To find your nearest branch, you can use this tool. Or you can call 800-BANK-BTT for assistance.

Documents to apply for a Business Advantage Installment Loan:

  • Business tax returns
  • A personal financial statement
  • A personal tax return

Documents to apply for an SBA Loan:

  • A completed SBA application package (available from your BB&T relationship manager)
  • Three years of business and personal tax returns
  • A current financial statement
  • A breakdown of project costs detailing how loan proceeds will be used
  • For commercial real estate transactions: a copy of sales, land, and construction contracts
  • For business startups: a business plan (including pro forma financial information) and a market feasibility study


Pros Cons
  Faster SBA loan processing   Located only  in 15 states and Washington, D.C.
  Multiple types of loans with varied repayment options   Must apply for a loan in person
  Lower interest rates than most online lenders  More paperwork and a longer approval process than online lenders

Who is the best fit?

As with most banks, business owners with favorable credit histories, healthy cash flows and longer business histories are more likely to be approved for a loan or receive a lower interest rate.

If you have a good credit score or a lot of collateral, BB&T might be a good option for you. BB&T also offers several SBA loans that can be extended to “riskier” borrowers because the SBA guarantees a large portion of the loan.

Fine print

SBA loans come with lower rates and longer terms, but they also require a lot of paperwork and time to process. If you need cash quickly, that might not be your best answer. Also, make sure you ask about any fees. Many of the SBA loans in particular come with operation fees or guarantee fees, a percentage fee based on the portion of the loan it’s guaranteeing.

The bottom line: How BB&T stacks up

BB&T offers several types of loans that should cover the needs of most businesses, including term, line of credit, equipment and several SBA loans. The SBA loans in particular are often aimed at business owners who have not been in business that long and they require lower credit scores than you would need for a typical bank loan.

As an approved lender, BB&T can process SBA loans more quickly than non-preferred lenders, but if you need cash quickly and don’t have a good credit history, you might want to check out some online lenders, too — just be prepared to pay higher interest rates. If, however, you have solid credit, BB&T’s offerings could be the right choice for you.

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