Live Oak Bank Business Loans: 2023 Review
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
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
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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
|Product||Loan amounts||Repayment term||Estimated APR range||Fees|
|SBA 7(a) loans||Up to $5,000,000||Up to 300 months||Rates vary, subject to SBA maximums*||Loan terms over 15 years may have prepayment penalties|
|SBA 504 loans||Up to $15,000,000||Up to 300 months||About 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.
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.
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 business||Three years|
|Minimum credit score||680|
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.
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
|Live Oak Bank||Capital One||TD Bank|
|Minimum credit score||680||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
|Loan products offered|| |
|Time to funding||45 to 60 days||Between a few days and three months||Not disclosed|
|Starting APR||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
|Maximum loan size||Up to $15,000,000||$5,000,000||No loan limit if you’re taking out your first mortgage with an SBA 504 loan|
|Minimum annual revenue||$250,000||No minimum||Not 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.