Live Oak Bank, a Wilmington-based financial institution, has been named the most active lender of SBA 7(a) loans for the sixth consecutive year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The bank was also the top lender by dollar amount during the SBA’s fiscal year that ended on September 30, having lent $1.8 billion to small businesses through this program, almost $50 million more than Huntington National Bank in Ohio which lent $1.37 billion.
Despite having the largest average loan size and being the most active lender in terms of loans issued, Live Oak did not have the largest average loan size or the most loans issued within their group according to the SBA. This could be due to various factors such as competition from other banks or changes in government regulations that may affect eligibility criteria for these loans.
Standard 7(a) loans typically come with long repayment periods and low interest rates, making them highly attractive to small business owners looking to finance their operations or investments. The SBA reimburses lenders for a portion of these loans if borrowers default or are unable to repay them, making it a less risky investment for banks. In exchange, they charge a guarantee fee that is usually passed onto borrowers and varies depending on the size of the loan received.