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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Live Oak Bank Business Loans: 2023 Review

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  Starting APR range: Not disclosed

  Best for: Strong, established businesses looking for an equally-strong SBA Preferred Lender.

Pros and cons of Live Oak Bank

ProsCons

  SBA Preferred Lender

  Personal, assigned business analyst

  Full business banking services available

  Few financing details available online

  Can’t view account or make payments online

  Newer or cyclical businesses less likely to be approved

Live Oak Bank small business loans review

Live Oak Bank is an online bank that offers personal and business banking accounts and loans to people in all 50 states. Live Oak Bank is an SBA Preferred Lender and is, in fact, the largest originator of SBA loans in the country, by volume. During the first two months of 2023, Live Oak Bank approved over $716 million in funding for over 480 businesses, with an average loan size of nearly $1.5 million. It relies mostly on the SBA loan program for its small business financing options, although it does offer USDA loans, traditional bank loans and lines of credit to a lesser extent.

Who is Live Oak Bank for?

  • You’re serious about getting an SBA loan. SBA loans are Live Oak Bank’s bread and butter and as a Preferred Lender, it can process your application faster.
  • You have a strong business profile. Live Oak Bank typically works with well-established businesses that have steady cash flow.
  • You want personal support. If approved, you’ll be assigned a Business Analyst to serve as your loan’s point of contact and provide custom-tailored business recommendations every quarter.

Live Oak Bank small business financing at a glance

ProductLoan amountsRepayment termEstimated APR rangeFees
SBA 7(a) loansUp to $5,000,000Up to 300 monthsRates vary, subject to SBA maximums*Loan terms over 15 years may have prepayment penalties
SBA 504 loansUp to $15,000,000Up to 300 monthsAbout 3.00%*Not disclosed

*Terms and rates based on SBA guidelines

SBA 7(a) loans

The popular SBA 7(a) loan is the general-purpose workhorse for the SBA loan program. The maximum loan term length is 10 years for most business purposes, or 25 years if you’re purchasing business real estate. The SBA sets the maximum interest rates and fees that lenders can charge, although lenders can charge less if they like. Unfortunately, Live Oak Bank business loan rates aren’t available on its website. However, as a Preferred Lender, Live Oak Bank can at least offer you a quick loan decision.

SBA 504/CDC loans

Live Oak Bank also offers SBA 504 loans for qualified applicants. You can’t use these for working capital, but you can use them for larger purchases like real estate and expensive equipment or machinery. Like the 7(a) loans, the SBA sets the guidelines for the maximum amount lenders can charge, and Live Oak Bank offers no information on its website about how it compares to this level. But again, since it’s a Preferred Lender, you can quickly find out if you’re eligible or not and what rates you might have to pay.

Conventional loans

A smaller part of Live Oak Bank’s business is offering conventional business term loans in case you don’t qualify for an SBA loan or if you need to borrow more than the SBA loan limits allow. However, like the SBA loans, Live Oak Bank‘s website doesn’t provide any details on how these loans are structured or their costs.

USDA loans

Live Oak Bank also offers USDA business loans for certain rural business projects. If you live outside of a metropolitan area, it’s worth reaching out to a banker to get more details on how Live Oak Bank handles these loans.

Lines of credit

A business line of credit differs from a loan in that you can borrow money as needed, thus avoiding interest payments when you’re not actively borrowing. Live Oak Bank mentions that it offers lines of credit on its website but, again, it doesn’t provide any details on how they work.

Live Oak Bank borrower requirements

Minimum annual revenue$250,000
Minimum time in businessThree years
Minimum credit score680

Live Oak Bank isn’t very prescriptive about the exact requirements you’ll need to get a business loan, but it does provide some guidance on what type of business owners make good loan candidates at least. If you’re a startup or a relatively new business, it might be better to focus on other lenders, but if you’re near (but below) these numbers, don’t let that stop you from reaching out to see if you may still be eligible.

Required documents

Live Oak Bank has many of the same business documentation requirements as other business lenders. If you gather these in advance it’ll speed up your loan application:

  • Business plan
  • List of business debts
  • Voided business check
  • Copy of your driver’s license
  • Current business balance sheet
  • Current profit and loss statement
  • Most recent business bank statement
  • Personal and business tax returns from previous three years

Keep in mind that Live Oak Bank may require other documents, too, depending on your business profile. Make sure to stay in touch with the underwriting team so you can quickly respond to any requests.

Alternatives to Live Oak Bank

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
Live Oak BankCapital OneTD Bank
Minimum credit score680Not disclosedNot disclosed
Loan products offered
  • SBA 7(a) loans
  • SBA 504 loans
  • Term loans
  • USDA loans
  • Lines of credit
  • SBA 7(a) loans
  • SBA 504 loans
  • Term loans
  • Lines of credit
  • Equipment financing
  • Real estate loans
  • SBA 7(a) loans
  • SBA 504 loans
  • Term loan
  • Line of credit
Time to funding45 to 60 daysBetween a few days and three monthsNot disclosed
Starting APRNot disclosedNot disclosedNot disclosed
Maximum loan sizeUp to $15,000,000$5,000,000No loan limit if you’re taking out your first mortgage with an SBA 504 loan
Minimum annual revenue$250,000No minimumNot disclosed

Live Oak Bank vs. Capital One

You might be familiar with Capital One from its credit cards, but it also offers online small business banking too. It offers basically the same suite of loans as Live Oak Bank; however, it’s not an SBA Preferred Lender. On the bright side, it may be more willing to work with smaller or newer businesses, and independent reviewers rank it highly for its excellent customer support.

Live Oak Bank vs. TD Bank

TD Bank is also an SBA Preferred Lender offering similar funding types from a traditional bank. If you prefer working with a brick-and-mortar bank and you live on the East Coast, TD Bank might be a better option for you. If you’re applying for loans of $250,000 or more, you will be required to apply in person.

 

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