The reading level for this article is All Levels
If you are new to business, you are probably wondering to yourself what is the best way to get a small business loan. Government programs, for many people, are often one of the best choices, as they offer you a wide variety of options at secure interest rates that few private lenders can beat, and the SBA is often the first program that people think of when it comes to getting a federal small business loan.
Government loans through the SBA have been around since 1953. The SBA was originally formed to help veterans and the disabled (in the wake of World War II) gain access to the financing that they needed in order to help themselves get started with their own businesses and get a piece of the American Pie. The SBA has since expanded over the past few decades to accommodate loans for other people, such as women, minorities, and legitimately green businesses. While it has been under some attack since the Clinton administration, and has had some difficulty surviving the Republican congress of the last decade, the SBA remains the nation’s single largest guarantor of loans in the United States, with a portfolio of some 219,000 loans worth over $45 billion. It has also received some help recently, as it has been the recipient of TARP money that helped improve the lending infrastructure and secure some of the more problematic assets.
While the SBA has been under some attack and has had a bit of trouble, it should be known that as a lender, it is and has always been far more prudent in its lending practices than the large bank branches (as, for that matter, have credit unions). The SBA remains an invaluable asset to those in need to find a loan that is secure and helpful to them; when it comes to small business loans, government programs are often one of the best first places to look.