Top SBA Lenders - Ultimate Analysis

September 13, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

Navigating the expansive landscape of Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders can be a daunting task for entrepreneurs seeking the best financial partner. With hundreds of institutions offering SBA-backed loans, finding the right fit is critical to securing the necessary funding to launch, buy, or expand a business. In this article we analyze SBA loan data from 2018 through 2023 to find the top lenders for your specific situation.  I plan to cover the following: 

With that as a game plan, let’s dive in! 

Top 100 SBA Lenders

The following SBA lenders are the top 100 SBA lenders over the past 5+ years (2018 - 2023) based on the number of SBA loans made.  Huntington Bank has a commanding lead, closing over twice as many SBA loans over the time period as the next closest SBA Lender.  

Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
The Huntington National Bank 19,720 $195,963
TD Bank, National Association 9,238 $139,389
U.S. Bank, National Association 8,720 $261,927
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 7,567 $361,126
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company 6,022 $149,714
Live Oak Banking Company 5,316 $1,487,898
BayFirst National Bank 5,161 $254,980
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association 5,119 $239,247
Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. 3,844 $715,897
United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association 3,463 $290,406
Celtic Bank Corporation 3,178 $801,052
KeyBank National Association 2,997 $465,274
Cadence Bank 2,822 $368,446
PNC Bank, National Association 2,733 $464,042
Umpqua Bank 2,104 $463,170
Readycap Lending, LLC 1,929 $787,162
Stearns Bank National Association 1,870 $339,835
Byline Bank 1,853 $1,203,223
Bank of America, National Association 1,779 $493,945
Zions Bank, A Division of 1,659 $385,103
BMO Harris Bank National Association 1,659 $714,723
Five Star Bank 1,647 $252,981
Northeast Bank 1,605 $168,769
Eastern Bank 1,585 $118,202
Enterprise Bank & Trust 1,476 $1,162,935
Bank of Hope 1,460 $630,075
Truist Bank 1,340 $704,274
Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC 1,154 $1,182,149
Berkshire Bank 1,145 $912,036
Comerica Bank 1,102 $399,948
United Community Bank 1,067 $742,370
Citizens Bank 1,051 $711,820
Banner Bank 1,026 $236,946
CDC Small Business Finance Corporation 973 $149,392
SouthState Bank, National Association 965 $872,018
Webster Bank National Association 927 $379,682
Hanmi Bank 917 $783,645
Commonwealth Business Bank 873 $1,188,422
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico 851 $180,800
First Bank 843 $825,980
Fifth Third Bank 827 $498,851
First Financial Bank 812 $776,823
Peoples Bank 785 $819,674
Pinnacle Bank 765 $1,190,326
Seacoast National Bank 681 $412,607
Simmons Bank 659 $426,533
Santander Bank, National Association 649 $147,630
Midwest Regional Bank 648 $719,004
Northwest Bank 641 $381,893
Open Bank 637 $1,548,925
Oriental Bank 636 $147,341
The Bancorp Bank National Association 631 $840,910
Citizens Bank, National Association 626 $438,831
First Internet Bank of Indiana 604 $1,073,727
BancFirst 603 $390,035
First Commonwealth Bank 588 $782,706
PCB Bank 587 $1,206,096
Arvest Bank 564 $297,006
First Savings Bank 563 $757,060
Regions Bank 555 $1,151,294
Dogwood State Bank 538 $826,035
1st Source Bank 534 $163,952
Mountain America FCU 532 $390,632
Old National Bank 522 $927,129
Independence Bank 518 $121,641
First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company 509 $857,403
East West Bank 506 $861,903
FinWise Bank 505 $1,198,309
Glacier Bank 505 $350,601
First Bank of the Lake 497 $1,445,389
Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB 482 $846,926
Customers Bank 480 $936,101
First National Bank of Pennsylvania 469 $829,422
Wallis Bank 456 $1,528,915
IncredibleBank 451 $1,186,989
Pacific Western Bank 442 $1,278,579
Metro City Bank 441 $1,810,911
Ameris Bank 436 $977,708
GBank 435 $2,330,226
BankVista 429 $544,146
HomeTrust Bank 425 $1,213,506
Independent Bank 425 $835,230
Meridian Bank 410 $994,370
Frost Bank 406 $587,899
Central Bank 395 $411,249
Nicolet National Bank 376 $554,552
Community Banks of Colorado, A Division of 366 $895,995
VelocitySBA, LLC 358 $1,215,067
Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company 353 $798,330
LendingClub Bank, National Association 349 $1,290,743
Fulton Bank, National Association 348 $730,934
Bank Five Nine 344 $905,999
Fund-Ex Solutions Group, LLC 342 $1,182,710
United Business Bank 334 $1,048,630
OakStar Bank 334 $634,145
Community Trust Bank, Inc. 322 $206,302
Synovus Bank 322 $1,306,085
Sunflower Bank, National Association 321 $890,372
First IC Bank 321 $1,604,090
West Town Bank & Trust 313 $535,777

Top SBA Lenders in 2023

The following are the top 10 SBA lenders for the first six months of 2023.  Again Huntington Bank is the top SBA lender for the first half of 2023.  

Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
The Huntington National Bank 1895 $207,730
TD Bank, National Association 1079 $133,749
BayFirst National Bank 951 $164,696
U.S. Bank, National Association 598 $157,165
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 452 $225,783
Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. 391 $514,550
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association 358 $192,183
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company 340 $128,162
Live Oak Banking Company 333 $1,545,068
Cadence Bank 300 $328,014

Best Lenders for Buying a Business

Live Oak Bank is the top SBA Lender for buying a business.  Live Oak has closed over 3 times the number of SBA loans for acquisitions over the last 6 years (2018 - 2023) when compared to the next most active SBA lender.  

Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
Live Oak Banking Company 2524 $1,506,710
The Huntington National Bank 745 $722,485
Celtic Bank Corporation 533 $1,485,950
Hanmi Bank 490 $808,823
Byline Bank 458 $1,421,590
Stearns Bank National Association 442 $450,969
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 425 $736,715
Bank of Hope 382 $666,630
Umpqua Bank 355 $870,077
United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association 354 $1,283,279

You will notice that SBA lenders tend to specialize, so it is important to find the most active SBA lender in your specific area, industry, and stage of business if you want the best chance at approval. 

Resource: How to Get an SBA Loan to Buy a Business

Best SBA Lender for Startups

Huntington Bank is the top SBA Lender for startups over the past 6 years (2018 - 2023) closing 3,695 SBA loans to startups during that time period.  

Lender # of Loans Approved Average Loan Amount
The Huntington National Bank 3695 $276,249
United Midwest Savings Bank, National Association 2882 $141,202
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company 1061 $184,542
Stearns Bank National Association 1042 $287,464
KeyBank National Association 857 $470,312
Wells Fargo Bank, National Association 691 $725,101
Live Oak Banking Company 629 $1,627,923
United Community Bank 560 $632,286
Cadence Bank 540 $545,045
Citizens Bank 508 $536,777

SBA Loan Approved for Startups

The following graph shows the number of SBA loans approved for startup companies by all SBA lenders over the last 5 years.  You can see that an average of approximately 7,000 SBA loans are made to startups each year. 

Industries with the Most SBA Loans

The following list is the top 70 industries ranked by the number of SBA loans closed over the last 6 years (2018 - 2023).  The broad category of Professional Services was the top industry with 17,836 SBA loans closed followed by manufacturers and retailers.

Industry # of SBA Loans Approved
Professional Services 17836
Manufacturing 12476
Retail Stores 11803
Subcontractors 10573
Full-Service Restaurants 10478
Wholesalers, Distributors 9457
Limited-Service Restaurants 7663
Trucking, Long-Distance 5783
General Automotive Repair 5607
Hotels (except Casino Hotels) and Motels 4320
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 4242
General Freight Trucking, Local 4017
Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists) 3987
Residential Remodelers 3806
Landscaping Services 3640
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors 3430
Specialty Trade Contractors 3374
Child Day Care Services 3010
Beauty Salons 2915
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 2866
Construction 2783
Offices of Dentists 2753
Coffee Shops 2704
Electrical Contractors 2294
Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores 2201
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 2188
Home Health Care Services 2165
Offices of Chiropractors 2006
Offices of Lawyers 1958
Janitorial Services 1842
Other Personal Care Services 1729
Farming 1725
Bars 1647
Ecommerce 1613
Breweries 1553
Private Schools 1488
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 1472
Nursing Homes / Assisted Living 1452
Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores 1451
Equipment Rental 1418
Car Dealers 1380
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 1326
Real Estate Investors 1271
Bakeries 1254
Car Washes 1246
Veterinary Services 1166
Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers 1144
Salons 1125
New Single-Family Housing Construction (except Operative Builders) 1104
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 1066
Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists 1040
Convenience Stores 1025
Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Local 873
Roofing Contractors 868
Personal Trainers 841
Offices of Mental Health Practitioners (except Physicians) 789
Self Storage 779
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 699
Laundromats 697
Food Trucks 675
Caterers 671
Drycleaning 649
Couriers 620
Tow Truck 454
Vending Machine Operators 367
Moving Truck 355
Offices of Physicians, Mental Health Specialists 302
Photography 301
Trucking, Local 275
Software Publishers 256
Airbnbs, Short Term Rentals 206

It is really important to search for the right SBA lender for your industry. For example, you can see that the top SBA lenders for restaurants are quite different than the top SBA lenders for a self storage business for example.

Small Business Loans Data

Industry # of Approved Loans Total Loan Amount Lenders with Most Loans
Limited-Service Restaurants 3,089 $1,429,043,900 The Huntington National Bank
Full-Service Restaurants 3,066 $1,817,897,400 The Huntington National Bank
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 2,421 $959,720,700 The Huntington National Bank
Retail Stores 2,073 $642,735,600 The Huntington National Bank
Subcontractors 1,671 $369,193,200 United Midwest Savings Bank
Professional Services 1,596 $433,927,200 United Midwest Savings Bank
Coffee Shops 1,342 $449,174,300 The Huntington National Bank
Manufacturing 1,213 $744,138,000 The Huntington National Bank
Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists) 1,000 $424,497,800 The Huntington National Bank
Child Day Care Services 905 $1,091,090,600 Live Oak Banking Company
General Automotive Repair 832 $354,517,400 United Midwest Savings Bank
Beauty Salons 780 $164,790,900 The Huntington National Bank
Other Personal Care Services 700 $264,812,000 The Huntington National Bank
Bars 652 $317,122,100 United Community Bank
Wholesalers, Distributors 611 $297,617,300 The Huntington National Bank
Offices of Chiropractors 596 $99,348,200 United Midwest Savings Bank
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 557 $325,787,400 The Huntington National Bank
Breweries 552 $275,488,500 The Huntington National Bank
Offices of Dentists 447 $350,864,800 Live Oak Banking Company
Bakeries 440 $176,062,900 The Huntington National Bank
Home Health Care Services 439 $132,893,400 United Midwest Savings Bank
Landscaping Services 432 $109,709,400 United Midwest Savings Bank
Hotels (except Casino Hotels) and Motels 416 $1,084,811,800 Wallis Bank
Private Schools 389 $217,079,700 The Huntington National Bank
Residential Remodelers 375 $74,360,100 United Midwest Savings Bank
Janitorial Services 368 $63,680,100 United Midwest Savings Bank

Small Business Loans Data

Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 344 $87,479,800 Optus Bank General Freight Trucking, Local 330 $68,275,400 The Huntington National Bank Trucking, Long-Distance 314 $66,894,500 The Huntington National Bank Personal Trainers 313 $187,948,600 The Huntington National Bank Car Washes 308 $669,951,300 Celtic Bank Corporation Salons 303 $92,519,400 The Huntington National Bank Real Estate Investors 300 $228,178,800 Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company Pharmacies and Drug Stores 289 $103,444,700 First Financial Bank Veterinary Services 273 $241,334,800 Live Oak Banking Company Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists 270 $54,610,900 The Huntington National Bank Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores 268 $457,355,800 Wallis Bank Self Storage 258 $459,255,400 Live Oak Banking Company Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 255 $184,300,800 Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors 240 $79,874,400 United Midwest Savings Bank Farming 232 $144,417,900 First Service Bank Specialty Trade Contractors 232 $82,912,900 The Huntington National Bank Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores 229 $214,052,900 NewBank Nursing Homes / Assisted Living 223 $307,388,900 Live Oak Banking Company Food Trucks 220 $20,057,700 The Huntington National Bank Vending Machine Operators 213 $72,035,300 United Midwest Savings Bank Construction 196 $81,776,600 The Huntington National Bank Electrical Contractors 181 $56,910,900 The Huntington National Bank Offices of Lawyers 161 $45,753,300 KeyBank National Association Laundromats 151 $131,495,700 Citizens Bank Equipment Rental 142 $65,227,300 Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Local 141 $18,641,300 The Huntington National Bank Roofing Contractors 108 $31,664,300 The Huntington National Bank Caterers 107 $92,848,600 The Huntington National Bank Offices of Mental Health Practitioners (except Physicians) 98 $21,639,200 The Huntington National Bank Convenience Stores 94 $44,300,500 Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company Moving Truck 91 $21,748,100 United Midwest Savings Bank Ecommerce 79 $32,519,700 CDC Small Business Finance Corporation All Other Outpatient Care Centers 77 $34,993,000 The Huntington National Bank Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 75 $50,936,500 The Huntington National Bank Car Dealers 72 $47,658,000 Paradise Bank Offices of Certified Public Accountants 70 $23,825,800 The Huntington National Bank Airbnbs, Short Term Rentals 57 $54,013,900 iTHINK Financial CU Drycleaning 55 $28,827,100 The Huntington National Bank Couriers 51 $21,803,600 Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company Offices of Physicians, Mental Health Specialists 48 $15,706,600 Dime Community Bank Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers 41 $15,312,400 Midwest Regional Bank Photography 39 $6,396,700 TD Bank, National Association Tow Truck 27 $7,145,600 CDC Small Business Finance Corporation Trucking, Local 24 $7,982,600 Zions Bank, A Division of New Single-Family Housing Construction (except Operative Builders) 21 $8,317,400 First Southwest Bank Software Publishers 16 $3,982,900 First Financial Bank

How to Find the Perfect SBA Lender

In order to find the perfect SBA lender for your unique location, business type, stage of business and loan amount request, you may need to do a deeper dive.  We have developed an SBA Lender Analysis Tool as pictured below that can help you sort SBA loan data by State, Industry, Business Stage, Franchise Name, and Lender Name which can allow you to truly customize a report and find the perfect lender for your business.  

We hope this information has been helpful, and if you need any help finding the perfect SBA lender in your area please don’t hesitate to contact us

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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