Key takeaways

  • The average small business loan amount is $663,000, according to the Federal Reserve
  • The average loan amount for a 7(a) loan from the Small Business Administration is $538,903, and the average amount for a 504 loan is $995,029
  • Large national banks lend more on average than smaller regional banks, while alternative lenders often offer a smaller range of loan amounts
  • Credit profile and financial history can play a role in business loan amounts, and alternative lenders typically have more flexible business loan requirements

The average small business loan amount is $663,000. That’s according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve released in 2017 for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans. If you’re looking for a small business loan, there are more factors to consider, including alternative lending sources, eligibility requirements and repayment terms.

To help you find the best small business loan for you, here’s an in-depth look at the average small business loan amounts.

Average SBA loan amounts

SBA loans are low-interest, government-backed loans offered by private lenders through the Small Business Administration. SBA loan interest rates are typically lower than average small business interest rates. But like all business loans, other factors play a large part in the rate you receive, including your credit score, finances and time in business.

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Bankrate insight
According to the 7(a) and 504 Summary Report from the SBA, the average loan amount during the 2022 fiscal year for all types of 7(a) loans was $538,903. The average amount for all types of 504 loans was $995,029.

SBA loan type Description Average loan amount in 2022 Maximum loan amount
Standard 7(a) Can be used for nearly all purposes, including working capital, payroll, expansion and equipment. $999,210 $5 million
Express Short- and long-term working capital, inventory purchases, construction financing, renovations and purchasing real estate. $97,097 $500,000
Export Express  Can be used to cover the costs of participating in foreign trade shows, financing export orders and expansions, real estate acquisitions, equipment purchases and inventory. $275,424 $500,000
504  Fixed assets that promote job creation and business growth. $995,029 $5 million to $5.5 million
CAPLines Helps fund seasonal increases in costs, including inventory or labor, or the labor and material costs for particular projects. $1,025,408 $5 million
Community Advantage Designed to assist small businesses in underserved markets. Similar to 7(a) loans, they can be used for real estate, equipment purchases, working capital and more. $159,009 $350,000

Average small business loan amount by lender

In addition to the types of business loans offered, the amount you can borrow also depends on the lender. Large national and foreign banks lend more on average than smaller regional banks, while alternative lenders often offer a smaller range of loan amounts.

Lender Average amount
Large national banks $593,000
Regional banks $146,000
Foreign banks (made by U.S. branches) $8,512,000
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Bankrate insight

According to the 2022 Small Business Credit Survey, the percentage of small businesses that received all the funding they applied for continued to decline from 36 percent in 2020 to 30 percent in 2021. If you can’t qualify for a business loan, business credit cards may be an alternative source of financing.

What are alternative lenders?

Lenders have been tightening their loan standards recently, making it harder for businesses to access credit, especially from traditional banks. Fortunately, there are alternative lenders, which typically have business loan requirements that are more flexible.

Alternative lenders are nontraditional finance companies, also known as online or fintech lenders. Alternative lenders often offer the same types of business loans as traditional banks and credit unions, like term loans and business lines of credit, but provide alternative lending solutions, with a shorter approval and funding time — typically minutes to a few days. Alternative lenders are worth investigating as you review your options, but be sure you understand the pros and cons.

Your credit profile and business financial history can also play a role in business loan amounts. If you have bad credit, limited time in business or limited revenue, you may only qualify for a business loan for under $100,000.

Below are some of the top alternative small business lenders and their average loan amounts.

Lender Average amount
Bluevine $25,000 to $30,000
Credibly $53,000 to $56,000
Fundbox $5,000 to $40,000
OnDeck $40,000

Where to find small business loans

There are plenty of lending options if you’re looking for a small business loan. Here are some of the most popular types of lenders and the small business loans they offer.

  • Online lenders: Offers traditional and nontraditional types of loans, such as microloans, term loans, business lines of credit and merchant cash advances. A good option if you’re looking for business loans for bad credit.
  • Traditional banks: Offers more traditional financing options, such as term loans, lines of credit, equipment loans and commercial real estate loans.
  • SBA lenders: Offers SBA loans, such as 7(a) loans, 504 loans, microloans, Express loans and CAPLines. You can use the SBA’s Lender Match program to find the best lender for your needs.
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Bankrate insight

 If you only need a business loan for $5,000 or less, consider a microloan. The SBA microloan program provides loan amounts of up to $50,000, but the average loan size is $13,000, per the SBA.

Bottom line

The average small business loan amount varies considerably depending on what type of loan you take out and what lender you choose. Always compare interest rates, repayment terms, loan amounts, eligibility criteria and fees when selecting a loan to ensure you find the most affordable option for your circumstances. A business loan calculator can also help you determine the best loan for your circumstances.

Frequently asked questions

  • Based on the latest data from the Federal Reserve in 2017, the average small business loan amount is about $663,000.
  • The maximum loan amount for small business loans depends on the lender, the type of loan you choose and your credit history, among other factors. Looking at the SBA 7(a) loan program, the maximum amount you can borrow is $5 million.
  • The minimum SBA loan size is $500, but the average approval amount of all types of 7(a) loans in 2022 that were $50,000 or less was $29,282.