Live Oak Bank, a Wilmington-based financial institution, has been named the most active lender of SBA 7(a) loans for the sixth consecutive year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). During the SBA’s fiscal year that ended on September 30, Live Oak Bank approved 1,215 loans worth $1.8 billion, making it the top lender by dollar amount in this category. This is a significant achievement as it represents almost $50 million more than Huntington National Bank in Ohio, which was the runner-up and lent $1.37 billion.
Despite being the most active lender and having the largest average loan size of the group according to the SBA, Live Oak Bank did not have the most loans or largest average loan size of all banks involved in this program during this fiscal year. This suggests that other banks may be focusing on different types of loans or targeting specific industries or geographic regions where they have a competitive advantage.
It is worth noting that Standard 7(a) loans typically come with long repayment periods and low interest rates, which make them increasingly attractive to small businesses looking for financing options. The fact that interest rates hit historic highs this year has only added to their appeal as banks look for ways to mitigate risk while still providing value to their customers. This is possible because the SBA reimburses lenders for a portion of these loans in case borrowers default or cannot repay them, making them less risky investments for banks while still offering favorable terms to small business owners.
In summary, Live Oak Bank’s continued success as an active lender of SBA 7(a) loans highlights its commitment to supporting small businesses across various industries and regions. With its expertise and resources, Live Oak continues to play a vital role in helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals and grow their businesses through access to affordable financing options like these government-backed programs.