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A Step-by-Step Guide to SunTrust Small Business Loans


If you’re a small business owner looking to finance your company’s growth, then you’re in luck. These days, you have more small business financing options than ever.

With alternative lenders moving into an industry that was once only filled with traditional banks, you’ll have a much easier time finding business loans. 

But that doesn’t mean that securing a traditional bank loan is totally out of the cards for the right kind of business owner. In fact, we’ve been covering all the different banks small business owners can look to for financing.

Today, we’re looking at SunTrust small business loans. Is this bank the financing partner your business needs?

Read this ultimate guide to SunTrust small business loans to find out.

SunTrust Small Business Loans: What They Have to Offer

When you knock on the door of a bank for a small business loan, you’re sure to find the more traditional financing options: term loans and lines of credit. That goes for SunTrust small business loans.

But with SunTrust, you can also find SBA loans, equipment and vehicle leasing, and business credit cards.

What exactly do each of these SunTrust small business loans have in store for your company? Let’s walk through the details of each to find out.

1. SunTrust Small Business Loans: Business Term Loans

A business term loan from SunTrust is just like any other term loan you’d find on the market. They’re those longer-term, lump sum loans that you pay back—plus interest—over a set period of time.

A term loan in general is a great financing option for a variety of different business needs. But SunTrust specifically offers them for general working capital needs, equipment financing, business expansion, and so on.

These SunTrust small business loans come as longer-term loans—up to 20 years—or as short-term loans. While the bank doesn’t specifically set a minimum term on these SunTrust small business loans, they’re open to a range of term lengths based on your repayment needs and your intended use of the loan. In the end, one of SunTrust’s business bankers will help you work out a term that meets your business’s specific needs.

As for interest rates, SunTrust offers both fixed and variable interest rates. These SunTrust small business loans are subject to normal credit score criteria, so the rate you end up getting mostly depends on your creditworthiness and the financial stability of your business.

How to Score These SunTrust Small Business Loans

These SunTrust small business loans are for small business owners with strong credit profiles and “financially sound” businesses.

But on top of those qualification standards, you need to provide enough collateral to secure a long- or short-term loan from SunTrust.

SunTrust accepts any valuable assets as collateral but usually takes your business’s equipment as collateral for a term loan.

2. SunTrust Small Business Loans: Business Lines of Credit

Next on your list of SunTrust small business loans are the bank’s business lines of credit.

In general, a line of credit is a financing solution that offers businesses a pool of funds that they can tap into whenever they want or need capital. You pay interest only on what you draw from your line of credit, and once you’ve paid back what you’ve drawn, your credit line is refilled to its original amount.

These SunTrust small business loans are best used for funding short-term business needs—at least according to SunTrust, they are. A SunTrust business line of credit could be great for covering inventory restocking during the holidays, dealing with payroll, or any other temporary working capital need. As long as SunTrust knows that you’re drawing the working capital for uses that will help you pay them back soon after, then almost any short-term business need is okay.

How These SunTrust Small Business Loans Work

When you apply for a business line of credit from SunTrust, here’s what to expect:

First, you’ll be pre-authorized to borrow up to a specific amount—also known as your credit limit. In order to qualify for this pool of funds, you need to secure your line of credit with any or all of your valuable business assets.

Some business owners aren’t too keen on offering all their business assets as collateral for financing. If this is you, you might consider asking for SunTrust’s unsecured lines of credit instead. These won’t have any type or security or collateral behind them, so SunTrust will want to make sure they can trust you before they actually fork over the funds. That’s why SunTrust’s unsecured line of credit is an option only for borrowers with top-notch credit scores. And even if you do have a great credit score, you might have a higher interest rate on your unsecured line of credit than a secured line of credit—SunTrust simply wants to protect themselves against the chance that you default.

Whether you go the secured or unsecured route on these SunTrust small business loans, you’ll be given access to a pool of funds that you can use for your business. You can use these funds and pay SunTrust back on a flexible bases.

And just like any line of credit, you pay interest only on what you draw from your pool of funds. The exact rate you get on your business line of credit, again, depends on your creditworthiness and your business financials. And remember: If you don’t draw from your SunTrust line of credit, it’ll be waiting for you—without accruing any interest.

3. SunTrust Small Business Loans: SBA Loans

When it comes to SunTrust small business loans, your best financing option could just be one of their SBA loans.

Now, what exactly are SBA loans?

While they’re called “SBA loans,” these small business loans aren’t actually issued by the Small Business Administration. Instead of actually providing the loan funds, the SBA guarantees small business loans issued by other lenders—like SunTrust. And by guaranteeing a significant portion of SBA loans, the SBA encourages lenders to offer financing to riskier borrowers than they’d otherwise work with. This means that you, as the small business owner, are more likely to secure a long-term, low-cost loan from SunTrust.

There is no one “SBA loan.” And in fact, SunTrust offers a few different SBA loans. Here’s what you need to know about all of them.

SunTrust Small Business Loans: 7(a) Loans

You can secure SunTrust small business loans from the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program. The 7(a) program is the SBA’s most general and popular loan program.

SunTrust offers 7(a) loans of up to $5 million for any general long-term financing needs. If you’re using a 7(a) loan for working capital, you have a term of somewhere between 5 and 7 years. If you’re using a 7(a) loan for purchases of fixed assets or equipment, you most likely have a 10-year term.

The interest rate that you’ll get on these SunTrust small business loans is up to you and SunTrust—but it won’t exceed the SBA’s set maximum on rates. And because the SBA is guaranteeing anywhere from 75% to 85% of a SunTrust 7(a) loan, you’ll pay a guarantee fee when you receive the funds.

SunTrust Small Business Loans: 504 Loans

The next SBA loan program to consider is the 504 Loan Program. These SunTrust small business loans are made specifically for major business financing needs—like buying commercial real estate, constructing new business facilities, or renovating existing business sites.

SunTrust offers 504 loans to businesses that have about $10 million projects. SunTrust generally won’t approve 504 loans above this amount, but they’ll consider offering more in financing depending on the type of project you’re executing. And SunTrust can offer a maximum term of 25 years on 504 loans.

With a 504 loan, SunTrust requires you to put some of your neck in the

game, too. They require a down payment of at least 10% on a 504 loan.

SunTrust Small Business Loans: Express Loan and Line of Credit

While SBA loans are a little bit easier to qualify for than traditional bank loans, here’s one thing they have in common: They take a long time to fund. So long, in fact, that if you don’t have a few weeks—or sometimes months—to wait on financing, then most SBA loans won’t be an option for you.

But if this is you, here’s one SBA loan program that might give you hope: the SBA Express Program.

SBA Express loans and lines of credit offer a smaller amount of financing, but at a much faster turnaround time. You can score a SunTrust SBA Express loan of up to $250,000 for a 10-year term in as soon as 3 days after you apply. The SBA guarantees a maximum of 50% of the loan, but you won’t have to worry about paying a guarantee fee.

For small businesses that need only a small amount from SunTrust small business loans, the SBA Express program could be a great fit—you’ll get less in financing, but you will see it in your bank account within days.

SunTrust Small Business Loans: SBA Export Options

The last SBA program that SunTrust offers is a unique one—the SBA Export Express program.

If you operate a business that works in overseas markets, this could be a great financing option for you. The Export Express program is designed for businesses that need to financing exports or market expansion outside the United States.

With the Export Express program, you can secure up to $500,000 in financing for over a range of loan terms. You’ll have an expedited application process and time to funding. But to qualify, you need to specifically be a sole proprietorship that meets the SBA’s size and industry guidelines, and you need to have been in business for a full year.

Qualifying for SunTrust SBA Loans

While other SunTrust small business loans are approved on a case-by-case basis, SBA loans have pretty strict qualification standards.

In order to be eligible for a SunTrust SBA loan, you need to run a business that has $15 million in net worth and $5 million in net income. On top of that, you have to operate a business that meets the SBA’s size and industry standards.

When it comes down to it, qualifying for an SBA loan can be tough and applying is a long process. But if you’re interested in an SBA loan from SunTrust, check out their actual SBA loan application to see if your business has what it takes to qualify.

4. SunTrust Small Business Loans: Equipment and Vehicle Leasing

The new, shiny pieces of equipment that you need for your business can be expensive. But if buying new equipment or machinery is going to move the needle for your business, you can’t wait on the big purchases. If you don’t have enough cash on hand to finance that steep price tag, you can use SunTrust equipment and vehicle leasing to get the equipment you need.

While these aren’t technically “SunTrust small business loans,” SunTrust leasing can be a great solution for your business. They finance 100% of almost any piece of business equipment: cars, trucks, vans, computers, heavy machinery, office equipment, medical equipment, and so on.

They offer anywhere from $250,000 to $50 million to meet your business’s equipment needs. The exact rate that you’ll get depends on what kind of equipment you’re leasing, but you’ll have that rate for the full term of your lease.

The term on your lease also depends on the equipment and the kind of business you run. In some cases, though, SunTrust can set a lease to the full, useful life of the equipment you need. At the end of your lease, you’ll have the right to own the lease equipment without any buyout or balloon payments.

As you can probably tell, equipment and vehicle leasing is a pretty specific agreement that you’ll have to negotiate with SunTrust. But if you think it’s the right kind of financing for your business, don’t wait to talk to one of their business financing specialists.

5. SunTrust Small Business Loans: Business Credit Cards

You might be surprised to see business credit cards on the list of all the SunTrust small business loans available.

But stay with us here—there are a lot of reasons why you might consider using a small business credit card in place of a loan.

For one, a business credit card is  much easier to qualify for than any of the SunTrust small business loans. If you’re a new small business owner with not much experience under your belt and smaller financing needs, a SunTrust business credit card might be your only viable option.

When it comes down to it, a business credit card is just like a revolving line of credit—with high interest costs. You can use a credit card to cover your monthly expenses and working capital needs. But on top of that, a business credit card is great when you need a quick loan to make a purchase, want some flexibility of what you can purchase, don’t have any collateral to secure a loan, or want to take advantage of bonus rewards and 0% APRs.

All the SunTrust Business Credit Cards Available

If you’re convinced that using a business credit card to finance a business is a good idea, then you have a few SunTrust business credit cards to consider.

The SunTrust Business Credit Card with Cash Rewards is a solid cash back savings card with 5% cash back on the first $2,000 you spend on office supplies and gas, and 3% cash back thereafter. And if you’re using this card in place of a loan, you’ll benefit from the 0% introductory APR for a whole year. After that, you’ll get a low rate of 10.49% to 16.49%.

SunTrust also offers the SunTrust World for Business Credit Card. This business credit card comes with the same sizable cash back rewards rate as the Cash Rewards business credit card, but without a spending limit. Much like a business charge card, you won’t have to worry about staying under a spending limit on your business credit card. That means you can make big purchases for your business on the SunTrust World for Business Credit Card.

Are Any of the SunTrust Small Business Loans Right for You?

With all the SunTrust small business loans laid out on the table, do you think one of them are right for your small business?

If you have strong business financials and a top-notch credit score, then a few of the SunTrust small business loans just might be. But with eligibility determined on a case-by-case basis, it’s hard to say exactly what kind of small business fits each and every SunTrust small business loan.

One of your best bets might just be an SBA loan from SunTrust. SunTrust bank actually ranks number 11 on the list of the top 100 most active SBA lenders—lending more than $264 million to small businesses in 2016. Some of that funding could go to your business, but you have to qualify for it all the same.

When it comes down to it, you need to look closely at all the SunTrust small business loans to find the right one for you. When you’ve found a match, your next step is to talk specifics with one of their business financing specialists.

If you’ve found the perfect financing pairing, congrats! And if SunTrust small business loans aren’t for you, chin up, small business owner—there are lots of business loans available, and you’re one step closer to finding one.


Category: Bank loan

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