* These are average times. The actual time from approval to funding depends on the complexity of your loan. Speak to your loan officer to better understand timing expectations for your deal.

Top Questions: Small Business Loans

  • Our general business loan rates range from as low as 4.50 – 5.00% + Prime
  • Your rate will depend on which of our loan products best match your needs
  • Compared to the marketplace, all our rates and terms are considered fair and competitive.

  • Collateral not needed for approval
  • Located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Detroit, MI or Washington, D.C. Metro
  • Able to provide a downpayment: 20% for start-ups, 10% for business acquisitions
  • Ability to show sufficient cash flow to make payments
  • Flexibility to waive some requirements for businesses in low-moderate income communities, start-up businesses and veteran owned

  • You can borrow between $20,000- $250,000.

Yes. If you are a start-up there will be a 20% downpayment and management or industry experience is preferred.

  • You can be pre-qualified anywhere between 24-72 hours.
  • For our general business loans the process can take from 4-6 weeks. Loan approval can take 2-4 weeks after the receipt of any requested documents.

Tip: Get funded quicker by submitting required documents as timely as possible.

You need to come up with 20% of the total cost to start your business (not the loan request). For instance, if it takes $100,000 to start your business, you will be required to inject $20,000 (20%); you will request a loan of $80,000.

Yes, you will work with a real person and have your emails and phone calls returned promptly. We pride ourselves on being your partner through the loan process and beyond. Your loan officer is always available to answer questions, explain the process and help ensure you get a loan that you are comfortable with and that best supports your business goals.

Your capital injection can come from your own savings, home equity or money given to you by a friend or family member that you don’t have to repay. You cannot finance your capital requirement through other sources (e.g. credit cards or another lending source). At least half of your injection must come from your own sources (savings or home equity). The rest can be gifted or an owner can carry back a note that is on full stand by. You can also borrower against your retirement accounts, which represent personal equity.

We want to see that you are presently current on all your debt, that any derogatory marks on your credit report from the past are at least a couple of years old and that you have a reasonable explanation as to what happened.

Lenders want to see that you have been financially responsible since filing for bankruptcy protection. Your bankruptcy must be at least ten years old (depending on the loan product) and there must not be any late payments, charge-offs or collection items on your report since the bankruptcy. Lenders want to see that you have been financially responsible since filing for bankruptcy protection.

There are no penalties for early repayment of your small business loan, there’s just a process you’ll need to follow. You can repay the loan at any time without penalty.

We currently do not have loan programs for people who do not have any money to put into a start-up business. Please ask your loan officer for details since loan program requirements can change from time to time.

Yes. If you have receipts for purchases made and proof of payment, funds already spent in the start up of your business can be applied toward your capital requirement.

The best form of collateral is real estate. If you own your home you may be required to use it to secure the loan. Real estate located outside the U.S. cannot be used. Business assets, autos, inventory and whatever is purchased with loan proceeds can also be used to secure the loan.

Yes, having collateral can strengthen your loan request, but not having it will not prevent you from getting a loan.

There are some credit based loans under $50,000 that do not require collateral. If you are looking for a larger loan and are a start-up business, you generally will need some collateral. Weak collateral can be mitigated by a co-signer willing to guarantee the loan. Existing businesses with positive cash flow may be eligible for a loan without collateral or co-signer.

Retail businesses need to identify their location because the site is a factor in start-up costs, tenant improvements and projections. Often you can talk to the landlord and let them know you are interested in their location to see if they will hold it for you. You won’t want to sign a lease until your loan is approved, but you will want to identify your proposed site in the business plan and gear your expenses and projections towards that location. You will also need to request a Letter of Intent (LOI) from the landlord indicating that the landlord is open to having your business in that space.

The SBA grants lenders like CDC what is called “preferred lender status” which allows us to approve a loan without consulting the SBA. Lenders want to make loans to entrepreneurs they believe have the capacity to service the debt, and do not want to have to go to the SBA for repayment. Therefore, considerable scrutiny is still exercised in the approval process.

Experience is a key indicator of success in a business. We want to see that at least one of the owners has strong experience in a related industry in order to ensure success.

There are some credit-based loans that do not require the owner of the business to have experience in the industry. If you have identified a manager to work in your business who has at least two years of experience in the industry, you may still be eligible for a loan, and the manager may be required to guarantee it.

If you are a start-up business, you will need a business plan to get a small business loan. If you are an existing business in operation for more than two years, you will need to compile a summary of the history and nature of your business. Or, if you are expanding your business in some way, you will need to explain your business expansion plan, how expansion will positively affect revenue.

For fully underwritten loans, you will need all application forms completed, personal and business tax returns for the last three years and an interim financial statement since your last tax reporting period. For start-ups, you will need a business plan, projections and assumptions on which the projections are based. You will not have business tax returns or financial statements.

Depending on which loan program you apply for, the time from approval to funding varies. It is dependent on multiple factors including your individual situation, how fast you provide requested documentation and the loan type.

On average, the time from approval to funding can take from 4-6 weeks.  These are average times. The actual time from approval to funding depends on the complexity of your loan.  Consult with your Loan Officer to determine which loan is right for you and to better understand the timing.



Fees are loan specific and are discussed in further detail in the loan package. There are no fees unless you get approved.

All the organizations listed below provide business counseling services at no cost.

SCORE is a nationwide group of mentors that offer expert help to small businesses.  You can visit their website to search and find a SCORE chapter near you.  They offer business resources including free templates, tools and webinars.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) help small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories.  Click to find one near you.

Women’s Business Center of California 800-477-5210 or click here to find a Women’s Business Center in your area.