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5 User Reviews

Live Oak Bank opened its doors in 2008 and provides small business loan options to business owners in niche industries. It is one of the largest business loan processors in the United States, with a strong portfolio of small business lending products. Live Oak Bank is a preferred Small Business Association (SBA) Lender. With Live Oak, you can get an SBA loan, a USDA loan, or a commercial loan. 

Live Oak is also a financial institution offering personal and business banking services. So alongside a business loan, you can utilize this company for your personal savings account, business savings account or CD account. 

Consumers that choose Live Oak Bank need a credit score of 550 or higher.

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The Good

  • SBA-Approved Loans
  • Industry-Specific Help
  • Educational Material

SBA-Approved Loans

Live Oak Bank focuses exclusively on providing customers with access to SBA-approved loan products, which means they are more difficult to come by but significantly cheaper. These include the standard SBA 7(a), 504, and micro-financing loan programs. With Live Oak Bank, customers get industry professional help with the SBA application process.

Industry-Specific Help

With each area of niche business, Live Oak Bank provides customers with account managers who specialize in their industry. The business advisory group at Live Oak Bank has a servicing director for each of the niche markets served.

Educational Material

Overall, the customer service at Live Oak Bank is great. Live Oak Bank U is a great program that educates small business owners on the niche markets that they enter. Typically, students are current borrowers or investors who want to learn more about the industry. Also, Live Oak Bank is one of the few companies in the industry that completely services your loan throughout its life.


The Bad

  • Missing Information
  • Vague Loan Application Information
  • Negative User Reviews

Missing Information

As with most banks and lenders in the industry, we were able to find detailed information on the website about SBA loans and other service products that were available. We also didn't find any information on interest rates, collateral needed, fees, and basic application requirements.

Vague Loan Application Information

There is very little support on the website for initiating the loan process. The only form that is online is a referral form, that lets the bank reach out to potential customers. There is also not a lot of information for the turnaround the loan approval and access to funds. Typically, the SBA loans can be approved within 36 hours, but in some instances, it can take businesses as long as 30 days to access the funds, depending upon the type of SBA loan purchased. On average, clients will have funding within a week.

Negative User Reviews

User reviews on Best Company are overwhelmingly negative. People say the company is difficult to work with - that they won't tell you exactly why you don't qualify, and even when you do qualify, you won't necessarily get all the money you were promised.


The Bottom Line

Live Oak Bank offers a promising portfolio of loan products including SBA loans, USDA loans, and commercial loans. The website specifically lists conventional loans and lines of credit as options to combine with SBA loans to create a personalized loan package. 

However, we would like to see more information on the Live Oak Bank website, such as details regarding conventional loan and line of credit options as well as case studies for a sample interest rate or loan amount. This ensures that clients have enough information to choose the best services for their situation. It's nice that Live Oak Bank is one of the few in the industry that has niche business lending specialists. But due to negative user reviews, we are inclined to recommend higher-ranked lenders. 

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5 Reviews

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Jeannette Dutton Spokane, WA

We just completed a multi-million dollar commercial building for a new veterinary hospital with Live Oak Bank as the financier. They were incredible. They kept their word on everything they promised. They responded within an hour to every question I had. They were professional, knowledgeable and friendly. They gave us a great fixed interest rate that actually went down by the time construction had ended. They were actually one of the few banks to offer us a loan. We cannot recommend them enough. They were easy to work with and always sent out payment to the contractor the same day I approved it. Wow! Highly, highly recommend.

1 year ago

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Robert Brentwood, CA

I opened a online 1 year CD. The process was easy. I checked their ratings health wise and they get good ratings. I like that they are a small company of 450 employees. Not too big like my regular bank. (Wells Fargo, which is a joke). When my CD came due I called their customer service line and they gave me several different options including adding money and extending my CD at a high rate for another year. So far I am satisfied with the service and interest rate I am receiving.

2 years ago

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Jerry_In_MA Fiskdale, MA

Jan 26th, 2018 How can I describe the account setup process with Live Oak bankl? In one word… ridiculous! I provided all the information they requested to open a $20k CD last Friday. By the following Thursday I still hadn’t heard back from them (in complete contravention of their claimed 2 day response for opening new accounts). So I sent them an email asking what the status was. Later that day I received an email stating they were still reviewing my application and that they still needed some additional paperwork. Now, I’m a 70 year old, white male, own my own $500k home, 18 acres of land, no mortgage, and I’m retired (used to be a Regional Sales Manager for a Fortune 250 company). Oh yeh, did I mention I have an 822 credit score? What I don’t have is bills. The electric bill is in my wife’s name (she kept her maiden name because she owns her own company). We don’t have a large electric bill cause we have solar. We don’t have gas, we use oil. And we don’t have a water bill since we have our own well. So, what’s the problem? According to Live Oak bank, my Social Security number, house address, bank references and 20 minutes of filling in their application weren’t enough. They needed an electric bill in MY name to prove that was my home address! Really? The alternative, according to their ‘lack of customer service’ department, was to provide them with my IRS tax statement! What!? You want my most personal info to prove the house is mine? In this day and age you can’t figure out how to find out if this is my address? I even offered to provide a copy of my passport. What about a copy of my credit report? Nope. Not acceptable. Electric bill in MY name or my taxes. That’s it! So, let’s see. That means that any men who have their wives names on the utility bills won’t be able to open an account. Or, god forbid, you have a well instead of city water! But you can ALWAYS provide them with your tax return! Nope. Not happening. So, frustrated, I contacted Synchrony Bank, filled in their easy (and quick) CD application on-line and had the account ready to go within hours… and they are currently paying 2% on 12 month CD’s. So now Synchrony Bank has my $20k, not Live Oak. Congrats Synchrony Bank! Major fail Live Oak.

3 years ago

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Gloria Greene Easton, MD

I would not recommend Live Oak Bank for any loan, after speaking with Mr. Kelly he pretty much deemed us ineligible for the program just by talking to me and before even running our credit report. After speaking with him briefly I knew that he was not a representative that I wanted to be dealing with for such a big project. My son and my fiance' were also on the loan, they both have no credit history at all, and after telling me that they do sometimes help people with not credit get an approval, with a co-signer, now mind you when I spoke to Mr. Kelly the first time we asked him if we could get a co-signer would that help, and his response was "we don't work with co-signers" after I mentioned this to Mr. Murphy, after he stated that we could use a co-signer than he says, we Mr. Kelly was sort of right, and I think that was because, yes we are able to get a co-signer. Bottom line you have to be a certain type of person to be approved for an AGRICULTURE loan from this company....Don't even bother trying, if you don't, and I'll say it like Mr. Murphy said it, "if you don't fit their bill" you will NOT be approved no matter what you do. My advice, take your business somewhere else and don't waste your time with #LIveOakBank. If you disagree and had a GREAT experience with them and they did all they could do to help you....well....I guess you "fit their bill" and congratulations. G. Greene Maryland

5 years ago

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Donarae Dunwoody Rancho Cucamonga, CA

This bank micro manages the construction project. It sends pre chosen construction inspectors to come to the job, check the hired construction companies work , then and only then do they pay the draw on the loan, which is unusual but ok. Then the very last draw which is usually the biggest their ppl come out and the bank decides not to pay the final payment. They figure they got the job done and it will be tied up for years in court, then they have a small chance of not having to pay at all!! The question is if the loan is for a certain amount and it comes up less does the person borrowing the money keep the money from the final payment for himself, then just make the loan payments or does the bank just take the amount off the total loan. What ever the case the construction co and contractor is SOL and yes it takes years to get the money.How do they get away with it?????

5 years ago

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