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Updated on Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Celtic Bank offers SBA business loans which are loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Only SBA approved lenders can provide these loan products. The purpose of this program is to make small business financing attainable and affordable for owners.
The SBA guarantees a percent of the loan to reduce financial risk for the lender. Because there’s less risk, these loans have qualifying criteria that are more relaxed than a typical small business loan. You can get approved for a loan that has low-interest even if you have an average or fair credit score. Plus, SBA Loans allow you to borrow more money for a longer period of time than other small business loans.
Celtic Bank SBA 7(a) Small Business Loans
There are several types of SBA Loans, but the most common one is the SBA 7(a) Loan. You can use this loan for capital, refinances, business acquisition, construction, equipment or inventory. Interest rates for at Celtic Bank range from 5.50% to 6% APR. The maximum loan amount you can borrow is $5 million. Loan terms are up to 25 years. SBA Loans require collateral for security in case you can’t make loan payments.
Of course, since the SBA Loan involves the government you and your business need to meet a few requirements to qualify. You may be eligible for this loan if you meet these standards:
- Operate a for-profit business.
- Have reasonable equity in the business.
- Have a demonstrated need for funding.
- Have no other delinquent government debt.
For a full list of what qualifies or disqualifies a business from an SBA Loan check out the Small Business Administration program eligibility page.
Celtic Bank Express SBA Loans
Application and funding for the SBA 7(a) loan can take several weeks. If you need quick cash, Celtic Bank offers the SBA Express as well. It’s a loan for working capital that has an accelerated application process. You can borrow from $20,000 to $150,000. The loan term is up to 10 years. There are no prepayment penalties. If you choose the SBA Express Loan you can get pre-approved within 24 hours.
Applying for the Celtic Bank Small Business Loan
To apply for a Celtic Bank loan, first you go through a short pre-application online that asks basic questions about your business. Once you complete the questionnaire, Celtic Bank will list loan options that you may qualify for. There’s an online application, but you may also have to send in a few documents outside of the online form to complete the process.
Fees and Gotchas
The SBA charges a guarantee fee for the SBA 7(a) Loan. The fee is initially charged to the lender. The lender can choose to pass on the fee to you. There’s no fee if you borrow less than $150,000. If you borrow more than $150,000, the fee ranges from 0.25% to 3.5%.
On top of the guarantee fee, Celtic Bank may charge a closing or processing fee. However, Celtic Bank doesn’t list these fees on its website. And we had trouble getting in touch with a loan officer. Before committing to this loan, you need to ask for more information on the fees.
Pros and Cons
A pro of going with Celtic Bank for your small business loan is the loan size. If you need to borrow a large sum at low-interest, this SBA Loan offers rates and terms you may have trouble finding with another lender. Celtic Bank is also one of 10 approved banks that give out the most SBA Loans in the U.S., which suggests loan officers are very familiar with SBA Loan procedure.
On to the negatives: Celtic Bank is less transparent with terms and fees than other lenders. You won’t get access to much information unless you submit an email address on the site and complete the questionnaire. Calling into the bank and reaching someone is hit or miss. The application process is not entirely online which you may find less convenient than other options.
Alternatives to Celtic Bank Small Business Loans
smartbiz offers SBA Loans as well with a fully online application and transparent terms. The loan cap at SmartBiz is lower than the one at Celtic Bank. You can borrow up to $5,000,000. The loan term is 120 to 300 months. APRs from 4.75% to 7.00%. There’s no prepayment penalty fee. You can get funding within 7 days. SmartBiz charges a 0.00% - 4.00% referral and packaging fee. If your loan is over $150,000, there’s also a 2.25% SBA guarantee fee.
FundingCircle is an example of an online small business lender that doesn’t offer SBA Loans. So, let’s see what an alternative lender has to offer. You can borrow $25,000 to $500,000 from Funding Circle. The loan terms are 6 to 60 months (considerably shorter than the Celtic Bank loan). Interest rates are from 11.29% to 30.12%. There’s an origination fee of 3.49% - 6.99%.
Who Will Benefit the Most From a Celtic Bank Small Business Loan?
You’ll benefit from a Celtic Bank small business loan if you need to borrow a large amount for your business. Or you need to get your hands on money quickly. If you do choose to explore Celtic Bank as an option for your small business, make sure you reach someone to discuss all the fees associated with the loan.