First Citizens Bank Business Loans: 2020 Review


First Citizens Bank is a national bank headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, that has been providing financial solutions to consumers and businesses for over 100 years. Along with First Citizens Bank’s business banking options, the bank has an entire suite of small business loans to address diverse funding needs that business owners might face. These loans include:

  • SBA 7(a) Loans
  • SBA CDC/504 Loans
  • Term Loans
  • Business Lines of Credit
  • Equipment Financing and Leasing
  • Commercial Adjustable Rate Loan

Of all of the First Citizens Bank business loan options, is one of them the right funding fit for your business’s capital needs?

We’ve compiled all the details on First Citizens Bank business loans—along with their top alternatives—so that you can decide for yourself.

First Citizens Bank Business Loans: Your 6 Options

To decide whether or not any of the First Citizens Bank business loans are right for your business funding needs, you’ll first need to learn all about what they have to offer. Here’s all you need to know about the six small business loans that First Citizens Bank offers:

SBA 7(a) Loans

One of the First Citizens Bank business loans you’ll have as an option is an SBA 7(a) loan. Because they’re able to address a wide variety of use cases, SBA 7(a) loans are the most popular kind of SBA loans available. And because First Citizens Bank is part of the SBA Preferred Lender Program, they’ll be able to fund qualifying business owners more efficiently.

Just like any other SBA 7(a) lender, First Citizens Bank will be able to fund SBA 7(a) loans ranging from $50,000 to $5 million with terms as long as 25 years. That said, you’ll still have to qualify for an SBA 7(a) loan based on what First Citizens Banks refers to as “normal credit approval,” which could be a pretty involved and selective process, especially because SBA loans are particularly document-heavy and difficult to qualify for.

That said, First Citizens Bank SBA 7(a) loans are only available in select areas within the following 16 states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Be sure to double-check that First Citizens Bank offers these business loans in your area before you sink time into completing the application for one.

SBA CDC/504 Loans

Another type of SBA loan available through First Citizens Bank is the SBA 504 loan. These SBA loans are available for qualifying businesses that need capital to invest in the following big-ticket expenses:

  • Commercial real estate
  • Land and land improvements
  • Construction and renovation
  • Long-term machinery
  • Refinancing of commercial real estate debt or renovation debt

First Citizens Bank’s status as a Preferred SBA Lender is also applicable for this form of SBA funding, so you’ll still be able to the same efficiency should you decide to go for this First Citizens Bank business loan option. As with any SBA 504 loan provider, First Citizens Bank is able to provide SBA 504 loans that can finance up to 90% of a project or investment, totaling up to $6 million in loan amount. Plus, these loans can carry repayment terms of up to 20 years, which will make paying them back that much more affordable.

Term Loans

A term loan—especially one from a bank lender like First Citizens Bank—is pretty much the most traditional form of business funding you can access. In fact, it’s probably what you imagine when you imagine a business loan—a lump sum of capital that you’ll repay, plus interest, on a monthly basis.

Because bank term loans are most often able to offer the best rates on the market, a term loan from First Citizens Bank will likely be one of your more affordable options if you’re able to qualify for one.

However, unless you’re highly qualified—with at least two years in business and a personal credit score of at least 700—and you have a pre-existing relationship with the bank, bank term loans are nearly impossible for small businesses to qualify for.

So, though First Citizens Bank’s website merely says that “normal credit approval applies” regarding who will qualify, it’s easy to assume that—like most other bank loans—only the most traditionally qualified small businesses will be able to access these First Citizens Bank business loans.

Business Lines of Credit

Within their small business financing arsenal, First Citizens Bank also offers business lines of credit. Through this form of First Citizens Bank business financing, qualifying businesses are able to access a credit line from which they can withdraw funds as needed. Once you draw from a business line of credit, you’ll repay your debt on a monthly basis until you’ve repaid your borrowed amount, plus interest, in full.

Business lines of credit are ideal for recurring, short-term costs that your business might face, like making payroll or stocking inventory. Plus, business lines of credit from banks like First Citizens Bank typically offer the most ideal terms, with low interest rates, long repayment schedules, and high credit limits. And once you’ve repaid your debt in full, you’ll once again have access to your full credit limit to draw on as needed.

Again, though, business lines of credit from banks like First Citizens Bank are much harder to qualify for—be sure you have a solid personal and business credit score and an established time in business before you apply.

Equipment Financing and Leasing

First Citizens Bank also offers equipment financing and leasing for qualifying small businesses that are hoping to access capital to invest in a specific piece (or pieces) of equipment.

For instance, if you’re looking to purchase a truck for your business, First Citizens Bank offers equipment financing of up to 100% of the equipment’s value with repayment terms ranging from two to five years.

Even more, they’re willing to offer equipment financing for both new and used equipment, which isn’t always the case—especially for bank lenders, who tend to be on the pickier side of the equipment financing spectrum.

Commercial Adjustable Rate Loan

The sixth and final First Citizens Bank business loan to look into is their Commercial Adjustable Rate Loan. This loan acts like a long-term commercial real estate loan, but it will have a fluctuating APR over its lifetime. These loans come with 15- to 20-year repayment term lengths, and they can be put to use to purchase “general purpose, owner-occupied real estate.”[1]

Plus, these loans will be no smaller than $250,000 and have no maximum loan amount, so you’ll be able to access larger sums of capital for your commercial real estate purchase. Be sure to note that—though your APR will fluctuate through the life of your adjustable rate loan—APR floors and caps will still act as bookends to these adjustable rates.

And if you’re able to pay back your debt ahead of schedule—no matter how early—you’ll only incur a 1% prepayment penalty, which could allow you to save huge amounts on avoided interest.

See Your Business Loan Options

Alternatives to First Citizens Bank Business Loans

The thing to keep in mind about all of these First Citizens Bank business loans? They aren’t necessarily the most accessible funding options. As with most bank business loans, First Citizens Bank business loans are only available to the most qualified small businesses. And even if you are able to qualify, the application and funding process will take much longer with a bank than it will with more tech-based, alternative lenders.

If you’re looking for more accessible, quicker-to-fund options than First Citizens Bank loans, then look to these top alternatives:

The Bottom Line

Now that you’ve made it through this guide to First Citizens Bank business loans—and their top alternatives—you’re ready to decide whether any of these business loans are the right fit for your needs.

If you decide to move forward with any of the above First Citizens Bank business loans, be sure to fortify your business loan application and your patience for a lengthy funding process. That said, if you’re able to wait it out and eventually succeed in qualifying for one of these First Citizens Bank business loans, then you’ll likely be set with the low rates that bank loans often offer.

Article Sources

  1. First Citizens Bank. “Adjustable Rate Loan

Maddie Shepherd

Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera. 

Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions. 

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