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With the rise of alternative lending methods, like online business loans and even crowdfunding, securing business financing is more accessible now than it’s ever been. Still, though, conventional bank loans from brick-and-mortar institutions remain the gold standard for their generous loan amounts and repayment terms. Business owners based in Georgia—and who are well-positioned to score one of these coveted loans—can look into a State Bank business loan, as the bank has branches across the Atlanta metro area, Macon, Middle Georgia, Augusta, Athens, Gainesville, and Savannah.
Like most banks, State Bank business loans run the gamut from traditional term loans to SBA loans to financing designed for more specific purposes. In addition, commercial clients can take advantage of State Bank’s Concierge Care, which is essentially the name for the bank’s business consultants who are uniquely qualified to help business owners with a range of their financial needs—including cash management and other online banking needs, as well as identifying and applying for the type of State Bank business loan that can best help your enterprise.
Here, we’ll go over the different types of State Bank business loans on offer. But remember that bank loans are notoriously difficult to qualify for (hence the popularity of those alternative lending methods)—so we’ll also suggest four top alternatives for business owners who aren’t yet eligible for a State Bank business loan.
See Your Business Loan Options
Other than listing the types of loans they offer, State Bank provides almost no specific information about their loans on their website. (This is often the case with bank loans, as banks prefer, if not require, that interested borrowers visit a physical branch or speak to a representative over the phone.)
What we can do, however, is explain how each of these State Bank business loans generally work. If you think one of these options may be a good fit for your business—and you have a State Bank branch near your home or office—then you can fill out a contact form on the State Bank website to get in touch with a bank representative.
If you need help purchasing equipment for your business, opt for an equipment loan from State Bank, as these loans are designed expressly for that purpose. Keep in mind that “equipment” doesn’t only refer to heavy machinery in this context; software, office furniture, vehicles, and other necessary tools of your particular trade may all qualify as equipment.
Typically, equipment lenders fund the majority of the price of your quoted equipment, and you’ll be responsible for providing the rest in the form of a down payment. You’ll repay your loan in regular installments at a fixed interest rate over a predetermined amount of time, which generally depends upon the predicted lifespan of that equipment.
As a bonus, the equipment itself acts as collateral, which means that the lender will simply recoup the equipment itself if you default on your loan. This generally means that you won’t need to provide any additional hard collateral to secure your equipment loan. Thanks to that built-in safety net, too, lenders may approve borrowers with challenged credit scores for equipment loans.
Also on their lending platform, State Bank provides business loans designed for entrepreneurs who need to construct, purchase, develop, or renovate commercial property or buildings. Unfortunately, State Bank doesn’t provide details about their commercial real estate or construction loans, such as their maximum loan amounts, repayment lengths, interest rates, or collateral requirements (as is the case with all of State Bank’s business loans).
While we can’t say for sure what your State Bank construction or commercial real estate loan will look like, generally construction loans from banks have some of the longest repayment lengths you’ll find in a business loan, sometimes extending up to 25 years, and fixed interest rates. Because of the size and expense of real estate-related projects, too, loan amounts can extend into the millions of dollars for the most qualified borrowers.
Business lines of credit are an ideal form of working capital for almost any business owner to have in their back pocket, regardless of their industry. That’s because, for one thing, you don’t need to pay interest on your line of credit until you use it. (That’s as opposed to a typical term loan, which requires regular repayments whether you use the loan or not.)
Lines of credit are remarkably flexible, too, as you can dip into it whenever and in whatever amount you want or need, and for almost any eligible, business-related purpose. Then, after you’ve repaid what you’ve used, your business line of credit will replenish itself to its original amount.
As is the case with any other type of business loan you apply for, the bank will determine the amount of your line of credit according to the information you provide on your bank loan application. Your credit score, annual revenue, time in business, and outstanding debt are a few key data points the bank reviews during the underwriting process, as altogether they indicate your risk of default. Generally, though, business lines of credit from banks exceed $500,000, with a minimum of around $10,000.
An array of bank business loans simply wouldn’t be complete without a term loan, which is what you probably think of when you think of a business loan: It’s a lump sum of cash, delivered right to your business bank account, which you’ll repay in regular installments (plus interest) over a predetermined period of time.
Bank term loans can exceed $500,000 for the most qualified borrowers, and will have some of the lowest interest rates you’ll find. However, generous terms mean a riskier endeavor for the bank—so institutions will only qualify the most eligible borrowers for large term loans. In this context, “low-risk” translates into established businesses with evidence of profitability, an annual revenue of $100,000+, and super-strong credit scores (700+ is ideal), and a debt service coverage ratio (DSCR)—a number that indicates whether a business has enough income to repay their debt obligations—that the lender deems satisfactory.
Perhaps most notable in their business financing suite is State Bank’s SBA loan product: In 2018, State Bank approved 184 applicants for SBA loans and funded those borrowers a total of $80,800,100.
As a reminder, SBA loans are disbursed by intermediary lenders—like State Bank—but they’re partially guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency that encourages the creation, development, and growth of American small businesses. And since they’re a Preferred SBA Lender, State Bank processes SBA loan application in-house, which significantly expedites the application and underwriting process.
That said, the SBA loan application is still paperwork-intensive, which will require time, attention, and dedication on your end; though if you choose to apply, you’ll be able to work with one of State Bank’s professionals to guide you through this process.
And there are lots of reasons to apply for an SBA loan. First off, uses for an SBA 7(a) loan from State Bank are flexible: Use your loan funds as basic working capital, to purchase major equipment, to purchase, develop, or renovate real estate, and much more. Plus, State Bank offers special SBA programs for military veterans.
Additionally, younger businesses can have a better shot at qualifying for SBA loans than conventional bank loans. With a longer amortization period and a lower down payment, paying off your SBA loan is easier on your cash flow than a conventional bank loan, too.
That’s not to say that SBA loans are easy to qualify for, as you’ll still need to meet SBA loan eligibility requirements and complete all the documentation we mentioned earlier (and have a strong credit score). But if you do qualify for an SBA loan, you’ll have access to a loan with among the lowest interest rates and longest repayment terms on the market.
In addition to these six types of business loans, State Bank offers other financial products for business owners, including:
As we mentioned, bank loans are highly desirable—and notoriously tough to qualify for. State Bank doesn’t provide specifics about how to qualify for one of their loans, but if they’re like most other brick-and-mortar institutions, then you’ll likely need a few years of experience under your belt, high annual revenue, healthy credit, and an airtight business loan application to secure a State Bank business loan.
So if you don’t think a State Bank business loan can work for you right now, there are plenty of other trustworthy lenders with easier qualification standards you can look into. Do be aware, though, that opting for an online loan often means paying for those laxer eligibility standards and a super-fast turnaround time (which may be as quick as a single day)—in other words, your online loan may come with a hefty APR attached.
With all that in mind, here are just a few potential alternatives to a State Bank business loan:
Through their equipment leasing program, Balboa Capital can offer approved borrowers up to $500,000, repayment terms between two and five years, and interest rates between 3.99% and 25%. As an online lender, Balboa Capital’s requirements are much more lenient than bank loans’, too: at a minimum, applicants must show an annual revenue of $100,000, have a 600 personal credit score, and a year in business.
Kabbage is a leader in the online lending space for their lines of credit, which can range in amount from $2,000 and $250,000, depending on the applicant’s needs and eligibility.
As this is really a short-term working capital loan, Kabbage’s repayment terms are also short—between six months and a year. But because they’re a digital platform with quick turnaround windows, you may be approved for and have access to your Kabbage line of credit in as little as a single day. You’ll be able to access and make payments for your Kabbage line of credit digitally, too, either on your phone or your computer.
To qualify for a Kabbage line of credit of less than $100,000, you’ll need to be in business for at least a year and generate at least $50,000 in revenue annually.
Fundation offers some of the most affordable, long-term loans you’ll find in an alternative lender, which makes them most comparable to bank loans among online lenders. (Fundation interest rates are as low as 7.9%, but they may reach up to 28.9%—which is still higher than you’d find on a long-term loan from a conventional bank.)
Loan amounts range from $20,000 to $350,000, with repayment terms between one and four years. To qualify for a Fundation term loan of under $200,000, you’ll need to come to the table with at least $100,000 in annual revenue, a minimum credit score of 660, and at least a year of business.
If you don’t think you’re ready for a traditional business loan at all, whether from a bank or an online lender, consider using a business credit card as a stand-in.
Business credit cards are miles easier to apply for and qualify for than bank loans are. And as long as you use your card responsibly—for instance, you never max out your line and you repay your balance in full and on time every month—then healthy spending habits can help you build business credit. And with a strong business credit score, you’ll be in a position for better business loan options when you’re ready for that loan.
In particular, we recommend a credit card with a super-long 0% intro APR period, like the American Express Blue Business Plus. Think of this card’s 15-month introductory grace period as an interest-free loan: Within those first 15 months, you can charge your largest expenses to your credit card and take your time paying down your balance, without worrying about incurring a hefty interest rate. Keep in mind, though, that after your 15 interest-free months are up, a variable APR sets in at a rate depending on your creditworthiness. This rate will also vary with the market, so check the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.
Although State Bank doesn’t offer much in the way of specifics regarding their business loans—such as eligibility requirements and loan amounts and terms—we do know that banks offer business owners some of the most desirable loans on the market. That’ll be especially true of State Bank’s SBA loan program, as the SBA named the Georgia-based institution one of the top 100 most active SBA lenders last year.
But if you don’t think you can qualify for a State Bank business loan at the moment, you can always look into an alternative from an online lender, or even a great business credit card. Either way, know that your options extend well beyond this or any bank—and their tough qualification standards.