Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank opened its doors in 2008 and tries to provide business loans to small business owners in niche industries. They are 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 Lender.

Rank Chart Our Score User Score
#1 9.1 9.0 Read Review
#2 6.9 7.5 Read Review
#3 6.7 10 Read Review
#77 2.0 0.0 Current

The Good

  • SBA 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 ten days.

Negative User Reviews

User reviews on BestCompany are all negative about Live Oak Bank. 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.

Compare to the top rated business loan companies

The Bottom Line

We would like to see more information on the Live Oak Bank website. 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. However, because of missing information and negative user reviews, we cannot recommend working with Live Oak Bank.

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2 Live Oak Bank Reviews

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  • User Score

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    October 22nd, 2015 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

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    September 18th, 2015 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?????

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