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How to Apply for a 7(a) Small Business Loan in 30 Minutes or Less

Adam Zaabel | August 9, 2022 | Business Loans | 10 Minutes to read

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The past few years have been difficult for small businesses. As the Paycheck Protection Program comes to a close, many business owners are seeking other sources of capital. The Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program can be a great option. 

 7(a) loans are created to provide capital to small businesses across the United States who might otherwise have challenges in obtaining a loan. With favorable loan terms and low interest rates, 7(a) might be the answer to your capital needs. 

In our recent webinar, NEWITY’s head of credit and underwriting, Adam Zaabel, walked small business owners through how to apply for a 7(a) loan in 30 minutes or less using the NEWITY portal. If you’re interested in a 7(a) loan, watch the recorded webinar or keep reading for an in-depth walkthrough of NEWITY’s simplified application process.  

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Adam Zaabel, head of credit and underwriting at NEWITY, hosts a webinar on how to apply for a 7(a) loan in 30 minutes or less.

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7(a) loans with NEWITY 

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Building upon our success helping small businesses obtain PPP loans, NEWITY is continuing its commitment to helping small businesses thrive by offering 7(a) loans backed by the SBA. NEWITY is currently offering working capital loans up to $250,000 in its online portal.  

We know the loan application process can feel overwhelming, but with the NEWITY portal, our technology will walk you through 1) exactly what you need to apply and 2) how much you qualify for.   

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Here’s a breakdown of 7(a) loans with NEWITY: 

  • Maximum Loan Amount: $250,000
  • Term: 10 years 
  • Interest Rate: WSJ Prime + 2.75%
  • SBA Guaranty Fee: None
  • Allowable Uses: Working Capital 
  • In operation for at least 3 years as a for-profit business
  • US-based location and operations 
  • Owner supported / owner funded
  • Meet the SBA’s basic eligibility criteria
  • Loan size determined by average annual revenue of the business and FICO score of the majority owner

You’ll need the following documents to obtain your 7(a) loan. You can find our full documentation checklist here. 

Business documents 

  • Filed Tax Returns – Full unredacted business tax returns for the three years preceding the date of the loan request (i.e. FY19, FY20, FY21). This will be the full Form 1040, including Schedule C or Schedule F (as applicable), Form 1065, Form 1120, or Form 1120-S depending on the business legal structure. 
  • Bank Statements – Operating account statements for the three months preceding the date of the loan request. 
  • Balance Sheet – Reporting date must be within 90 days of the loan request date. If you do not have a Balance Sheet, review our Balance Sheet Financial Template series to download a balance sheet template and watch an instructional video on how to create a balance sheet for your business. 
  • Year-to-Date Profit & Loss Statement – P&L showing year-to-date totals through the reporting date. Reporting date must be within 90 days of the loan request date. If you do not have a Profit & Loss Statement, review our P&L Financial Template series to download a P&L template and watch an instructional video on how to create a P&L for your business. 
  • Franchise Agreement or Fuel Supply Contract, if applicable 
  • Filed Articles or Organization or Articles of Incorporation, if applicable 
  • Operating Agreement, By-Laws, Partnership, or Trust Agreement, if applicable 
  • Business Debt Schedule – Available to complete with the Smart Portal application 

Affiliate documents, if applicable 

  • Filed Tax Returns – Full unredacted business tax returns for the last three years preceding the date of the loan request (ie FY19, FY20, FY21). This will be the full Form 1040, including Schedule C or Schedule F (as applicable), Form 1065, Form 1120 or Form 1120-S depending on the business legal structure.
  • Balance Sheet Statement – Reporting date must be within 90 days of the loan request date. If you do not have a Balance Sheet, review our Financial Template series to download a Balance Sheet template and watch an instructional video on how to create a Balance Sheet Statement for your business. 
  • Year-to-Date Profit & Loss Statement – Profit & Loss (“P&L”) showing year-to-date totals through the reporting date. Reporting date must be within 90 days of the loan request date. If you do not have a P&L Statement, review our Financial Template series to download a P&L template and watch an instructional video on how to create a P&L Statement for your business. 

Individual documents 

Provide the following documents for all 20% or greater equity owners of the business:  

  • Filed Tax Returns – Full unredacted tax returns for the individual for the three years preceding the date of the loan request. 
  • Personal Identification – Front and back image of valid and unexpired state driver’s license or state identification. 
  • Personal Financial Statements – SBA required disclosure. Our Smart Portal will provide a template for completing at the final stage before application submission. Review our Personal Financial Statement resource to watch an instructional video on how to complete the Personal Financial Statement form. 
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How to apply for a 7(a) loan 

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To access the 7(a) loan application, follow these steps:  

  1. Create or log into your existing account in the NEWITY Smart Portal. If you run into any difficulty with accessing or creating your account, please review our step-by-step Account Setup Guide.   
  2. Once you are logged in, navigate to the 7(a) Working Capital Loans tile in your Smart Portal Dashboard and click “Apply for a New Loan.” This will load your 7(a) Loan Portal Dashboard. The first time you access this 7(a) Dashboard, a new application will automatically be created. Please be sure to use a web browser on a computer when completing the application, not a phone or tablet. 
  3. Select “Complete Application” to enter the application and begin. If you run into any difficulty creating, working through, or submitting your 7(a) loan application, please access our 7(a) Working Capital Loan Application Guide for step-by-step instructions to create and submit your 7(a) loan application. 

The 7(a) Working Capital Loan Application Guide will walk you through the steps to apply for loans up to $250,000. Here is the summary:  

  1. Set up your account
  2. Begin new application within the Smart Portal
  3. Start a new application
  4. Loan request
  5. Business details
  6. SBA eligibility questions
  7. Owners and affiliates
  8. Term sheet
  9. SBA Form 1919
  10. Upload documents (optional)
  11. Personal financial statement (optional)
  12. Application submission
  13. Confirmation
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Common pitfalls for working capital loans up to $250,000

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As you go through the 7(a) loan application, there are some common pitfalls. Be sure to keep an eye out for these and avoid them to ensure application accuracy.  

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Top 12 Common Pitfalls During SBA 7(a) Loan Application

  • Ensure the revenue information entered matches your revenue information as it appears on your business’ tax records for 2019, 2020, and 2021. Depending on your business’ legal structure, this will be Line 1 for Schedule C, Line 2 for Schedule F, or Line 1a for Form 1065, Form 1120, or Form 1120-S.    

Please note your estimated eligible loan amount is based on the trailing three-year average revenue calculated from the 2019, 2020, and 2021 revenue information entered. The minimum three-year average annual requirement for the program is $50,000.  

  • On the Business Details page (2nd Screen) of the application, our system will perform a Business Look-Up after you enter in some business information and select “Continue”. If your business is found in public listings, certain fields such as the business address, will automatically populate for you.

If your business does not appear on the Confirm Your Business list, simply select “This isn’t my business.” You will then be prompted to enter in the remainder of the business information. 

  • On the Business Details page (2nd Screen) of the application journey, please ensure the following fields match your Filed Articles of Organization or Incorporation, DBA or Fictitious Business Name Filing, Certificate of Good Standing, or business formation document filed with the Secretary of State:
     
  • Full Business Name 
  • DBA or Trade Name (if applicable) 
  • Business Structure 
  • Date Established or Incorporated
     

Please note that if any of these fields do not match your Filed Articles of Organization or Incorporation, DBA or Fictitious Business Name Filing, Certificate of Good Standing, or business formation document filed with the Secretary of State, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.

Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application. 

  • On the Business Details page (2nd Screen) of the application journey, please ensure that “Active” is selected under the Company Status field. Please note this is your status with the Secretary of State. If your company status is “Inactive”, we’re sorry to say we can’t accept your application at this time due to SBA eligibility requirements.   

Please note that if “Inactive” is selected in this field, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.

Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application.  

  • On the Business Details page (2nd Screen) of the application journey, please ensure the following fields match your most recent business tax return:
  •  NAICS Code 
  • Tax ID 
  • Business Address 

Please note that if any of these fields do not match your most recent business tax return, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.   

Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit on your application.   

  • On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure the ownership percentage for the primary owner entered in the Ownership (%) field matches the most recent business tax return. If the business has multiple owners, you will be able to add those owners later in the application journey. Please note that the ownership percentages for the additional owners must also match the most recent business tax return. Please note that if the ownership percentages entered on the application do not match the most recent business tax return, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification. In the circumstance there was a change of ownership, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification and request formal change of ownership documentation. Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application.  
  • On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure that “Guarantor” is selected under the Role at the business field when an individual or business owns 20% or more of the applicant entity. If there are additional owners, please ensure that “Owner” is selected under the Role at the business field when a non-primary borrower/guarantor that is an individual or business is added to an application and owns less than 20% of the applicant entity.

Please note that if any other selection is made under this field other than “Guarantor” or “Owner”, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.  

 Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application.  

  • On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure the SSN field matches most recent individual tax return. 

Please note that if this field does not match your most recent individual tax return, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.

Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application. 

On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure the following fields match your personal identification (State Driver’s License, State ID Card, or LPR Personal Identification documentation):

  1. First Name 
  2.  Last Name 
  3. DOB

Please note that if any of these fields do not match your personal identification (State Driver’s License, State ID Card, or LPR Personal Identification documentation), the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.  

Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application. 

  • On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure the checkbox is selected to indicate the owner is an authorized signatory.
  • On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure that “Yes – Liquidity is Unavailable” is selected under the statement, “Please confirm that the liquidity of owners, their spouses and minor children, and the Applicant itself is unavailable to fund the working capital request.” 

 For SBA loan eligibility, we are required to confirm that the business does not have liquidity available elsewhere. This would call into question the business’s need to rely on the SBA Program to access capital, which is the Program’s primary function. This simply indicates you do not have the ability to fund the loan request yourself and have exhausted other options. 

 If you do have access to liquidity elsewhere, either from personal cash reserves, access to other bank loans, etc., we’re sorry to say we can’t accept your application at this time due to SBA eligibility requirements.  

Please note that if “No – Liquidity is Available Elsewhere” is selected, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for confirmation. Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application.  

  • On the Owners & Affiliates page (4th Screen) of the application journey, please ensure that you select “Yes” to the question, “Do you have any affiliates?” if the primary owner holds 50% or more ownership of any other businesses or control of any other entity. Please note that if “Yes” is selected, the affiliate entity must be added to the application and the affiliate documentation listed on the Required Document Checklist must be uploaded before the application can be submitted.  

 All affiliates listed on the most recent individual tax return must be disclosed whether they are active or inactive if any owner of the business owns 20% or more of the applicant entity and has ownership of 50% or more of any other businesses or control of any other entity. Please note that if there are any undisclosed Affiliates on the most recent individual tax return, the Relationship Manager assigned to your application will reach out through email for clarification.   

Additionally, once your application is submitted to the Relationship Manager you will be unable to make any edits to your application and the Relationship Manager is the only individual with access to make an edit to your application.

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What to expect after 7(a) application submission 

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Once you’ve submitted your 7(a) loan application, you’ll likely want to keep an eye on your application status. To check your 7(a) loan application status, log into the Portal and select the 7(a) tile. Within the 7(a) tile, click Launch 7(a) Portal. Your application status should appear on the right side of the page. 

Get the full breakdown of application status terms in our NEWITY 7(a) Working Capital Loan Status Guide. 

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There are five stages for 7(a) loan applications: 

  • Accessed 2.0 But Not Started Application – You have created your NEWITY account, but have not yet started the 7(a) loan application process. To begin, log into the Portal, and click on the 7(a) tile, and follow our  7(a) journey to submit your application. 
  • Application Incomplete – Please return to the portal and continue through each section of the application as outlined in the 7(a) journey. Upon completion, please press submit to advance your application. 
  • Assigned to Relationship Manager – You have successfully submitted your application. You will be assigned a dedicated relationship manager who will review your application for thoroughness and completeness. Please look out for an email from @newitymarket.com for any next steps. 
  • Deposit Received & Term Sheet acceptance – You have successfully submitted your deposit and accepted the term sheet. 
  • RM Additional Info Requested – Your relationship manager has requested additional information on your application. Please log into the portal to review the missing details. You may have also received an email requesting more information from your assigned Relationship Manager. 
  • RM Review in Progress – Your relationship manager is currently reviewing your submitted materials. Please look out for an email from @newitymarket.com for next steps. 
  • RM Review Complete – Your relationship manager has completed their review of your application. Your application will be sent to the underwriting team next for review. 
  • Assigned to UW – Your application has been assigned to an underwriter (UW) to review. 
  • UW Review in Progress – Your application is currently under review with an underwriter. This step can range between 2-4 business days. 
  • UW Additional Info Requested – Your underwriter has requested additional information. The additional items requested will be communicated via e-mail by your relationship manager. 
  • UW Review Complete – Your underwriter has completed their review of your application. Your application will now be reviewed for final credit approval. 
  • Please note: The SBA requires tax transcripts from the IRS in addition to your tax returns to process your application. NEWITY does not control and cannot expedite tax transcript delivery. While the IRS’s stated timeframe for providing transcripts is currently 15-20 business days, NEWITY often sees requests remain outstanding for much longer (up to 60+ business days).   
  • Assigned to Credit Manager – Your application has been assigned to a credit manager to review. 
  • Final Review in Progress – Your application is currently under review with the credit manager. This step can range between 1-3 business days. 
  • Final Review Complete – Your credit manager has completed their review of your application. Your application will be assigned to a closer next. 
  • ETRAN SBA Submission – Your application has been submitted to the SBA for review. 
  • Application Approved – Congratulations! You have been approved by NEWITY + the SBA for a 7(a) loan. Your loan will now move into the documentation and closing stage where you will review and execute the loan documents. 
  • Assigned to Closer – Your application has been assigned to a Closer for loan document creation and execution. 
  • Review In Progress – Your application is currently under review with the closer. This step can range between 2-4 business days. 
  • Review Complete – Your closer has completed the closing file, which contains your complete loan documents. The documents will be reviewed by a Closing Manager prior to being sent to you via DocuSign for execution. 
  • Assigned to Closing Manager – Your application has been assigned to a Closing Manager. Once approved, they will send your loan documents for signature. Please look out for an email from DocuSign, which will contain your closing documents. 
  • Submitted for Signature – Your application has been submitted for signature. Please look out for an email from DocuSign to complete your loan document signature. 
  • Submitted for Funding – Your application has been signed and submitted for funding. Please look out for a deposit in your designated account within 3-5 business days. 
  • Approved and Funded – Your loan has been fully approved and funded. It has been an honor to serve you. 
  • Application Withdrawn/Closed – You have withdrawn your application. No further steps are required. 
  • Application Declined – Your application has been declined. Please look out for future NEWITY loan products that may better fit your needs.
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Next steps 

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You can easily start the application process for a 7(a) loan today in less than 30 minutes. Have questions before you get started? Connect with NEWITY to see how a 7(a) working capital loan can help your business thrive in the years to come. 

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Connect with NEWITY to see how a 7(a) working capital loan can be a gamechanger for your business.