Think about it. If you need to fly somewhere do you still call individual airlines to find the best deal on airplane tickets? If you need to stay at a hotel do you still call individual hotels to compare prices?
Why would you limit your business loan search to one or two banks and expect you’ll find the best deal on a business loan?
Until recently there were no great places you could go to objectively compare your options for a business loan. The reason why it’s so hard is for a number of reasons, but for Florida business owners there are now two great, free online tools that help remove this friction.
Both website tools act like a “matchmaker” for business loans. The borrowers input their data and the lenders input their data. These websites then find matches and bring the parties together. This helps business owners find a lender for their loan. Keep in mind that these tools help you move forward but are not a guarantee for getting a loan.
TibBlit.com allows business owners to go online and find the best deals for a business loan. Currently, TibBlit.com only handles the Florida market.
At TibBlit.com, you complete a more in-depth online questionnaire than SBA Lender Match. When matching lenders are found the borrower instantly can see the best-case pricing the different interested lenders can offer. The entrepreneurs themselves have the power to decide which of the interested lenders can call them. When a borrower gives their permission, the chosen lender(s) are given the borrower’s information and normally within 2 business days the chosen lenders will reach out and contact the borrowers.
TibBlit.com has conventional, SBA, and alternative lenders signed on their system. Although the numbers of lenders are lower than SBA Lender Match the website offers a much broader array of loan choices and prides themselves in having loan data from lenders with the best pricing and lenders that fill the whole spectrum of business loan needs.
TibBlit.com focuses on obtaining loan data mostly from local lenders who offer better terms than out of the area lenders but out of area lender data is included on the more difficult loans.
Fees. The cost for TibBlit.com is free and the time required to find the best lenders is around 10 minutes.
The Good – TibBlit.com is a fast and easy way to find out if anyone likes your loan request and a great way for business owners to view their best-case pricing. In addition, TibBlit.com offers…
The Bad – Right now TibBlit.com only covers Florida.
TibBlit.com Conclusion: TibBlit.com is one of the best tools on the internet to quickly shop and compare business loans from area lenders in FL.
SBA Lender Match is designed by the Small Business Administration. The SBA is a fantastic government organization that helps many business owners in the United States. The fiscal year of 2018 saw another year of high performance for SBA lending, with 5,874 loans made for a total dollar amount of over $4.75 billion.
The SBA Lender Match is a free online tool that allows business owners to go online and complete a basic online questionnaire that is then matched to an interested SBA lenders who have been vetted and added in the matching program.
The SBA questionnaire takes as little as 5 minutes because the questionnaire is only 21 questions, according to the SBA website. This tool is available in every one of the 50 states of the US. This website is very easy to use and can be inputted on any computer as long as you have access to the internet. SBA Lender Match is not limited by area but is limited to only SBA loans.
When a matching SBA Lender is found for the borrower the matched lender receives the borrower’s information. The information includes the borrower’s answers to their questionnaire, any additional notes the borrower may have included and the borrowers name, phone number, and address. The matched lenders are then instructed to reach out and contact the borrowers as soon as they can.
While a positive match won’t ensure entrepreneurs will receive a loan, it will put the borrower on a possible track for success, because they will have been somewhat pre-screened.
If SBA Lender Match doesn’t produce an immediatematch, entrepreneurs will be guided to a local SBA adviser for more help with their loan application. This means that the entrepreneur will get help on how to possibly structure the loan so it’s stronger. This help comes in the form of a person who is an adviser on business financing and can work through various contact means such as emails, phone calls, and face to face interactions.
To help with this professional help, the SBA is connecting small business owners with nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in micro-lending, smaller loans (their Community Advantage program), and real estate financing (their 504 loan program). The program is trying to give more options to expand the different loans, clients are looking to get when they enter their information into the SBA Lender Match program. SBA Lender Match is excellent for DIY entrepreneurs looking for financing and want to get their loan request into as many lenders’ hands, & as quickly as possible.
A great thing about SBA Lender Match is that it’s very easy to use and free. Your loan information will be sent to hundreds of lenders in their system that match interested lenders with your loan scenario. The possible lenders will get notified by email and contact you within a few days to talk about your loan.
According to the SBA there are now 800 + lenders signed on their system. Each Lender can decide what geographic areas they like and lenders that might reach out to the borrower can be from anywhere in the U.S.
The Good: SBA Lender Match is very quick to complete because it is not very detailed, so the lender is getting some but not all of your loan information which means that you will need to offer the information, the lender does not have.
As stated before, if you do not get a positive result from their program the SBA will have someone work with you to get your loan approved. It is important to stress that this is a completely optional route to choose, meaning you do not need to get professional help though it is a good first step.
The Bad: Concerns about SBA Lender Match– The shotgun approach of sending your loan request to hundreds of potential lenders at one time may have some unattended consequences.
Helpful Hint: In working with many lenders make sure to keep in contact with the lenders, provide and them with the standard SBA forms they will need. These SBA forms include but are not limited to the SBA Personal Financial Statement (form 413), the SBA Personal Information Form (form 1919), and a completed business debt schedule.
SBA Lender Match Conclusion: SBA Lender Match is a good first step if you want to start with a possible giant pool of SBA lenders and then try to whittle down the list on your own. This process means going from many lenders down to single digits and that requires a lot of work on both ends. If your goal is to find as many lenders as possible then this is a great strategy to use.
Summary: Online loan shopping tools help connect small business owners to lenders to get financing for their loans. There are more people using the internet for all kinds of things and it only seems logical that business owners could use the internet to start their loan search for a business loan.
It’s good to check these search tools for business loans to find what will work for you before you invest blindly. While SBA Lender Match and TibBlit.com aren’t the only online tools used to connect bank lenders and small business lenders on the internet, they are two of the best.
While it is free and easy to get a pre-screening for your loan, getting an actual approval will still require a lot of work. Make sure you are aware of the good and bad aspects about the SBA Lender Match Program.
The discussed online tools prove that it’s a good idea to shop around for loan options.