Live Oak Bank opened its doors in 2008 and tries to provide business loans to small businesses 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.
However, if you do get the general requirements from Live Oak Bank, this loan could be good for businesses seeking large loans over multiple years, people who can wait over a week for funding, or those who are in one of the following niche industries:
- Funeral Home
- Investment Advisory
- Family Entertainment Centers
- Wine and Craft Beverages
Live Oak offers a number of financing options and opportunities to companies looking to expand. Their wide range of services include the following benefits:
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.
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.
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.
Despite helping businesses launch various projects, there are limitations to the Live Oak platform. Prospective borrowers should consider the following items prior to obtaining a loan:
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.
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.
*Star Rating is determined by evaluating APR range, minimum credit score requirement, revenue requirement, length in business requirement, and other related approval data.
Before applying for a business loan or SMA with Live oak Bank, we recommend contacting the company to find out what the minimum requirements are (because they are not displayed online).
How to Apply
You can begin your application process on Live Oak Bank’s website. New customers will need to fill out the following information:
- What industry they are in
- How much they need to borrow
- Why they need to borrow money / what it’s for
- Whether or not you are a US-baed, for-profit company
- How long your business has been around
Then you will need to include some basic information about yourself. From here you, you will be contacted by a loan offer, who will tell you whether or not you are approved to move forward.
Types of Loans Offered
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