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The Average Small Business Loan Amount

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Small business loans can help businesses when they are trying to expand or modernize. There are several types of business loans that can finance everything from modernization efforts to export trading. There are also multiple lenders available who can extend financing to businesses. These lenders include traditional banks as well as alternative lending organizations.

What is the average small business loan amount?

How much is a small business loan on average? That’s difficult to determine because the numbers change from year to year. Also, there are a wide variety of small business loan types. Some loans are general purpose while others are highly targeted, like loans meant for supporting export trades.

As of August 2017, the average business loan amounted to $663,000. Through March 2018, the average SBA loan issued by the top ten lenders amounted to $375,992. Obviously, how much financing you can expect may vary widely depending on your financing needs, the type of loan you seek and the lender with whom you choose to work.

SBA loan amounts by loan type

There are different types of loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. These SBA loans can be used for different purposes.

SBA 7(a) loan

The 7(a) loan is versatile and can be used for different purposes, with loans extending up to $5 million dollars. A smaller version of the 7(a) loan can also be taken out when a business only needs to fund limited operations, with loan amounts capping at $350,000.

The SBA Express loan

The SBA Express loan features an accelerated approval process but caps out at the same amount as the small 7(a) loan.

Export Working Capital loan

The export working capital loan is designed specifically to fund traders and export operations, with the maximum loan amount coming in at $5 million dollars. A variation of this loan type, the international trade loan, provides funding to traders to purchase fixed assets, equipment, and fund export transactions. The maximum loan amount is the same as the export working capital loan.

Veterans Advantage Program loans

Veterans can benefit from the Veterans Advantage program, which extends loans to veteran-owned small businesses and comes with reduced fees. Loan applications of up to $350,000 qualify for the Veterans Advantage program.


The CAPLine program provides short term funding and working capital for cyclical and seasonal funding needs. Starting in 2011, the maximum CAPline loan amount became $5 million dollars.

Average SBA loan amount by lender

The following chart depicts the top SBA lenders through March 2018. The chart depicts the number of loans issued, the total loan amounts, and the average loan amount issued. Some of these banks are nationally recognized names while others are less well-known, so prominent SBA lender are not necessarily the biggest, familiar brand names. Also, some of these banks fall under the designation of preferred lender status.

The Preferred Lenders Program recognizes high-volume SBA lenders. These lenders are able to make loan decisions more quickly because they are granted authority to approve and close loans. To be designated a preferred SBA lender status, the lender must demonstrate a successful track record of issuing SBA loans and demonstrate a rigorous understanding of SBA lending policies.

Lender Number of Approved Loans Total Approved Loan Amounts Average Amount Approved Per Loan
Live Oak Banking Company 691 $1,033,019,600 $1,494,963
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 2,859 $926,898,000 $324,204
The Huntington National Bank 3,484 $628,563,700 $180,414
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association 2,014 $472,327,000 $234,522
Byline Bank 348 $403,998,500 $1,160,915
Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. 531 $402,215,600 $757,468
Celtic Bank Corporation 998 $324,011,600 $324,661
U.S. Bank, National Association 1,717 $263,529,400 $153,483
Bank of Hope 330 $254,941,700 $772,551
First Bank 226 $252,842,300 $1,118,771


Average SBA loan amount by borrower type

The SBA keeps statistics on loan approval for groups like minorities and women. For 2018, a few interesting statistics include the following:

    • Black Americans were approved for $654,756,600 in SBA loans.
    • Hispanic Americans were approved for $1,280,915,900 in SBA loans.
    • Asian and Pacific Americans were approved for $4,885,082,100 in SBA loans.
    • American Indians were approved for $156,583,100 in SBA loans.
    • Veterans were approved for $811,912,300 in SBA loans.
    • Female majority owned businesses were approved for $2,929,234,600 in SBA loans.
    • New businesses were approved for $15,086,004,200 in SBA loans.

Minority-owned businesses benefit from partnering with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, which links them to supply chains and facilitating corporate partnerships. The NMSDC also helps certified members find working capital loans and financing. Businesses working in low-income areas can find additional financing through a community development financial institution, which focuses efforts on businesses in low-wealth areas.

Veterans can also benefit by using the Veterans Advantage loan program. This program extends financing to honorably discharged veterans, active service members, service-disabled veterans, and the spouses of these individuals.

Loan amounts from alternative lenders

In addition to traditional financial institutions, such as banks, businesses can find funding from alternative lenders. These lenders offer a range of products with financing that stretches from as low as $250,000 to $5 million in funding. Alternative lenders include the following:

OnDeck Capital

  • Term Loans: Up to $250,000
  • Lines of Credit: Up to $100,000

CAN Capital

  • Term Loans: Up to $250,000
  • Merchant Cash Advance: Up to $250,000


  • Working Capital Loan: Up to $250,000
  • Business Expansion Loan: Up to $250,000
  • Merchant Cash Advance: Up to $150,000

National Funding

  • Small Business Loan: Up to $500,000
  • Equipment Financing: Up to $150,000

Fora Financial

  • Small Business Loan: Up to $500,000
  • Merchant Cash Advance: Up to $500,000

The Business Backer

  • Term Loans: Up to $200,000
  • Merchant Cash Advance: Up to $200,000
  • Business Line of Credit: Up to $150,000
  • SBA Loan: Up to $350,000
  • Equipment Financing: Up to $500,000
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans: Up to $75 million


  • Invoice Factoring: Up to $5 million
  • Lines of Credit: Up to $5 million

Forward Financing

  • Business Loan: Up to $250,000


  • Unsecured Financing: Up to $250,000
  • Secured Financing: Up to $250,000
  • Industry Specific Loans: Up to $250,000

Expansion Capital

  • Business Loan: Up to $500,000

Rapid Finance

  • Business Loan: Up to $1,000,000

Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking for short term working capital or need to make major upgrade efforts, you can find a small business loan to fit your needs. It’s hard to pin down how much is a small business loan on average. However, millions of dollars in financing have been extended to businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, and veterans. These funds can be obtained through either a traditional banking institution or an alternative lender.


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