7(a) Loan Guarantees

To provide guaranteed loans from lenders to small businesses which are unable to obtain financing in the private credit marketplace, but can demonstrate an ability to repay loans if granted, in a timely manner.

Guaranteed loans are made available to for profit small businesses.

The SBA's
7(a) lending authority includes: (1) regular 7(a) (2) the Low Documentation Loan Program (Low Doc); (3) SBAExpress Program; (4) the Cap Line Program (5) PLP and (6) International Trade.

Agency - Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration maintains and strengthens the nation's economy by aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses and by helping families and businesses recover from national disasters.

Office - Initial contact should be with the District Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, 99,607 loans were approved for $14.3 billion.

Uses and Use Restrictions

To construct, expand, or convert facilities; to purchase building equipment or materials; and for working capital.

Excludes gambling establishments, nonprofit enterprises, speculators in property, lending or investment enterprises, and financing of real property held for investment; also excludes funds to indiscriminately relocate the business.

Funds must not otherwise be available on reasonable terms, nor used to pay off a loan to an unsecured creditor who is in a position to sustain loss.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Not applicable.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Small businesses that meet the size and eligibility standards.


Not applicable.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applications are filed by the participating lender to an SBA processing center (85 percent). Fifthteen percent are processed by an SBA district office.

Award Procedures

Applicant is notified by authorization letter from the District SBA Office, or participating bank.




Small Business Act of 1953, Section 7(a), as amended, Public Law 97-35.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From one to ten days from date of application acceptance, depending on type of loan and type of lender program.


If a reconsideration is requested within six months after decline or withdrawal, no new application is required.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements


Periodic financial statement.


When necessary, on a case-by-case basis.


Adequate accounting system.

Financial Information

Account Identification



Loan Guarantees: FY 07 $13,517,000,000; FY 08 $17,500,000,000; FY 09 $17,500,000,000. Administration: FY 07 $41,822,000; FY 08 $43,942,000; and FY 09 $48,027,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Guarantee Loans: Up to $2,000,000. Average loan size was $143,492 in FY 2007.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

"SBA Business Loans from the SBA," OPC-6.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Initial contact should be with the District Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Director, Office of Financial Assistance, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416. Telephone: (202) 205-7562.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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