Santander Bank Business Loans Review

Caroline Goldstein

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Caroline is a freelance writer, specializing in small business and finance. She has an MFA in fiction from New York University. She loves finding creative ways to help entrepreneurs grow.

If you’ve been in business for a while, have a healthy credit score, and run a profitable enterprise, you might be qualified for a coveted bank loan. And if you’re based in the Northeast, consider a business loan from Santander, a Spanish institution with American headquarters in Boston.

Santander Bank business loans run the gamut from a traditional term loans to SBA loans to equipment financing and more—so whatever their financing needs, eligible business owners are bound to find a solution from this bank.

Interested in learning more? Here’s a rundown of the five core types of Santander Bank business loans, and a few alternatives if you find that a bank loan isn’t right for your business at the moment.

    

Types of Santander Bank Business Loans

Santander Bank offers five major types of business loans: business lines of credit, term loans, owner-occupied commercial real estate mortgage, equipment financing, and SBA loans. Every type of loan is intended to solve certain financing issues, or to help business owners jump on new opportunities.

Do know that there are no hard-and-fast Santander Bank business loan terms, as every loan structure is dependent upon the needs and qualifications of the individual business owner. That said, there are certain guidelines and use cases you can expect from your Santander Bank business loan, which we’ll go over here.

Also, Santander Bank doesn’t specify eligibility requirements, other than that businesses must have been operating for two or more years. The exception to this time-in-business rule is if you’re applying for an SBA loan, in which case even younger businesses may be eligible. In general, however, banks require that their borrowers have very strong credit scores and run profitable businesses.

Business Line of Credit

Business lines of credit are among the most flexible forms of short-term financing out there. Use your line for cash-flow dips, payroll, purchasing inventory, as general working capital, or as an emergency fund.

As is the case with a business line of credit from any other lender, if you opt for a Santander Bank line of credit, you’ll only be responsible for paying interest on the funds you use. (And you don’t need to use any of your funds, until you want or need to—which is why lines of credit are ideal financing tools to have in your back pocket in case the unexpected arises.)

Santander Bank’s revolving business lines of credit start at $10,000, and lines greater than $750,000 are renewed annually. They also offer an unsecured line of credit option, but unsecured lines are only available for amounts up to $150,000.

Also know that certain fees are applicable to your Santander Bank line of credit. Unless you open a Santander bank account, you’ll need to pay a one-time $250 origination fee. You’ll also need to pay a $250 annual fee for maintaining your line of credit.

Term Loan

A traditional term loan from Santander Bank makes sense if you know how much cash you’ll need to finance your next project—like purchasing major fixed assets, expanding your business, or refinancing non-Santander debt—and you know you’ll need several years to pay down that amount.

Santander term loans start at $10,000, and they don’t specify a maximum loan amount (typically, though, the most eligible bank borrowers can receive term loan amounts into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars). Santander Bank’s repayment terms last between three and seven years, and all term loans have fixed interest rates, which means you’ll be receiving a steady and predictable monthly loan bill. Be aware that you might be asked to secure your loan with collateral.

Like many banks, Santander Bank also offers certain incentives for loyal customers. For instance, some businesses might be able to receive a next-day loan decision if their loan is less than $150,000. And depending on your relationship with Santander Bank, the bank may automatically pull loan payments from your Santander checking account, so you wouldn’t need to worry about late payments (and their attendant fees). You might be eligible for a rate discount, too.

santander bank business loans

Owner-Occupied Commercial Real Estate Mortgage

Next, Santander Bank offers commercial real estate loans for small business owners who want to purchase, refinance, or renovate owner-occupied property. (In this context, owner-occupied means “property where the owner-operating company occupies more than 50% of the gross rentable space, and generates more than 50% of the cash flow necessary to service debt.”)  

Here’s how the details pan out: Santander’s commercial real estate loans start at $50,000, with term lengths extending up to 25 years. Santander can finance up to 80% of the purchase price or the appraised value of the property, whichever amount is less. You can choose from five- or 10-year fixed interest rates, and there are no balloon payments for loans up to $1.5 million. Those loyal-customer incentives apply here, too.

Equipment Financing

If you need to cash to purchase vehicles and other crucial equipment for your business, you can opt for Santander Bank’s equipment financing program. Santander can finance up to 100% of the value of the equipment for businesses of two years or older, or up to 80% for businesses under 2 years old. Either way, those loan amounts will include all costs attendant to purchasing your equipment, including taxes, freight, installation, software, training, and more.

Also be aware that the minimum amount you can borrow for your equipment is $50,000. Term lengths are between three and 10 years, and interest rates are either fixed or floating.

SBA Loan

Not only does Santander Bank disburse SBA loans, but they’re an SBA Preferred Lender (which not all SBA intermediary lenders are). This means that Santander can underwrite SBA loan applications in-house, rather than through a government processor. With this streamlined system, Santander can approve and disburse SBA loans much faster than non-Preferred Lenders can—a bonus, especially considering that SBA loan application processing and time-to-funding can be notoriously slow.

Santander Bank participates in SBA loan programs that provide business owners with several use-cases, including lines of credit for flexible funding, term loans for major purchases, and real estate loans. What all these SBA loan programs have in common are low interest rates, high loan amounts, long repayment terms, and fewer collateral requirements than conventional bank loans.

3 Alternatives to Santander Bank Business Loans

As we mentioned, Santander Bank business loans are ideal for eligible businesses—but not every business will be eligible for a Santander Bank business loan, or for a bank loan in general. As banks are highly risk-averse, their underwriters only approve businesses with stellar applications and so pose the least-possible risk of default.   

If you decide that your business isn’t quite in a position to apply for a bank loan, you can still find comparable options from online lenders with much less stringent eligibility standards. There are tons of reputable online lenders out there, but here are three of your best options as alternatives to Santander Bank business loans.

Business Line of Credit from Kabbage

If you’re interested in a line of credit but you can’t yet qualify for a line from a bank, Kabbage is one of your absolute best options. Kabbage offers lines of credit between $2,000 and $250,000, which can be funded almost instantly if you’re approved. Kabbage lines of credit are really for short-term working capital, as terms last between six months and a year.

Kabbage approval standards are less rigorous than banks’, too. For lines of less than $100,000, businesses must be in business for at least a year, pull in an average annual revenue of $50,000, and as they don’t look at your personal credit score during the underwriting process, they may approve business owners with average credit. (You’ll need to meet higher time in business and revenue thresholds to be eligible for a larger Kabbage loan.) However, do know that Kabbage APRs can be pretty high. Like other alternative lenders, they’re really charging you for the speed of their services.

Term Loan from Fundation

Fundation offers long-term funding at affordable rates, especially relative to other online lenders (Fundation interest rates range from 7.9% to 28.9%). And as an online lender, Fundation can fund eligible borrowers in as little as one day.

Fundation term loan amounts range from $20,000 to $350,000, with terms lasting between one and four years. To be eligible for a Fundation loan of less than $200,000, you need an average annual revenue of at least $100,000, a personal credit score of at least 660, and have been in business for a year or more. In this case, too, to be eligible for larger loan amounts you’ll need stronger numbers, which are going to be more comparable to bank loan eligibility standards.   

Equipment Financing From Balboa Capital

Balboa Capital’s equipment leasing program is a great alternative to an equipment loan from a bank, especially because their eligibility requirements are much easier to fulfill than those from a bank—their minimum requirements are $100,000 in annual revenue, 600 credit score, and a year in business. If you’re approved, Balboa Capital can loan you between $2,000 and $500,000 with a two-to-five-year repayment term, at an interest rate between 3.99% and 25%.  

Balboa Capital is also one of the few lenders that don’t require a personal guarantee to secure your loan. Rather, they’ll require a corporation-only guarantee, which means that your business’s assets, not your own, are used as collateral if you default.

Also know that Balboa Capital’s equipment financing program is technically a lease, not a loan. In other words, Balboa Capital owns the title to the equipment. You’re paying for the use of that equipment over the course of your loan, then will buy it from Balboa when your loan term is up.

Is a Santander Bank Business Loan Right for Your Business?

If you’re eligible, a Santander bank business loan—or a business loan from any bank, for that matter—will likely be the best loan option you’ll find. But if you can’t yet secure a bank loan, or if you’re not located near a Santander Bank branch, look into other options from alternative lenders—or, better yet, work with a loan specialist who can navigate the lending landscape along with you.

Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone. They haven’t been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the companies mentioned above. Learn more about our editorial process and how we make money here.

Caroline Goldstein

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Caroline is a freelance writer, specializing in small business and finance. She has an MFA in fiction from New York University. She loves finding creative ways to help entrepreneurs grow.

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