Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

If you have served in the military, and now looking for the best small business loans for veterans to build up your company, then we have some good news for you! The US SBA, as well as private lenders, offer biz funding solutions and entrepreneurship training programs, especially for military veterans. The loans have generous discounts and the approval process is easier as compared to traditional loans. If this excites you, then here is some vital information that you need to know.

Are They The Best for Veterans?

The best SBA loans for veterans are affordable and encourage American military veterans to start their small businesses. Although these funding options are available for the general people too, you get privileges if you’re a veteran. For example, you may qualify for special terms and lower rates along with some additional support. Let’s take a look at some of the best available small business loans for veterans.

SBA Express Loan

You can qualify for a loan of up to $350,000 through the SBA Express program. It has a quick turnaround time and you can withdraw the loan without any upfront fees although there is a fee of 2%-3% for regular citizens. Along with affordable rates and zero upfront fees, you can also get counseling and training that will help your business to take off easily.

Standard SBA 7(a) Loan

Similar to SBA Express, this loan has a longer turnaround time. You can benefit from this loan if your capital requirements are higher. The maximum loan amount that you can get is $5 million. However, as a veteran, you do not get a fee waiver for this particular loan, unlike the SBA Express loan program. If your requirement is not so high, we suggest you go with the SBA Express loan.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan

There are SBA disaster loans for veterans like the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (MREIDL) meant for small business owners who cannot meet their financial obligations since a key employee was called for active military duty. This loan helps to fill the gap in regular operations expenses. The loan is valid until the key employee returns to their job position. The loan amount is determined by the extent of economic injury, although the maximum limit is $2 million.

How do I secure a VA loan?

To be eligible to receive an SBA veteran loan, the majority share of the company should be owned by:

  • Veterans
  • Reservists
  • National Guard members
  • Service-disabled veterans
  • Active duty military members in the Transition Assistance Program
  • Spouse of any of the above
  • Widowed spouse of a service member who passed away during service

If you are applying for a VA loan, you need to ensure that the owner has not been discharged for any misconduct. You need to keep all your relevant documents handy to receive the veteran benefits like a fee waiver. Having an overall credit score of at least 640 and collateral is mandatory to avail of these loans along with meeting the other requirements set for the veteran SBA loans.

What are the other small business loan options for veterans?

Apart from the SBA loans, there are other alternatives too for military veterans. Let’s have a look at them.

StreetShares is a well-known lender that offers funding to small business owners owned by veterans. You can avail of both secured and unsecured loans with a credit line of up to $250,000. They have a fast turnaround and a competitive rate too. Although it looks into your credit score to determine your eligibility for the loan, however, if you’re a veteran you can still apply with a slim credit file.

 Another popular lender is Accion which lends different funding including veteran-owned companies. Their loan ranges from $300 to $1,000,000 and has decent rates.

Hivers & Strivers is worth considering if you are looking for investors instead of veteran loans to fund your big ideas. This angel investment group is formed by veterans and they offer investments in early-stage start-ups founded by US Military Academy graduates. You can expect an amount anywhere from $250,000 to $1,000,000 in each funding round.

If you are looking for an entrepreneurship training program for veterans, then consider Boots to Business. As a participant, you can have access to support resources through the US SBA.

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, or V-WISE, in short, is a biz and entrepreneurship training program for women veterans and women military spouses that offers valuable support services like financing opportunities, skill-building, mentorship, etc.

If you’re a veteran and looking to start your own small business, then there are a plethora of options for you. Go through them carefully to make an informed decision to find the best one.

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