SmartBiz Loans Logo
star star_border star_border star_border star_border
20 User Reviews

3.4

Overall Score

SmartBiz is a platform that helps finance small businesses through partnerships with banks. It was founded in 2013 with the goal of streamlining the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application process to make the process more efficient for businesses and more cost-effective for banks. The company works with banks to provide businesses with an online application that lets them pre-qualify for SBA loans in as little as five minutes. 

To date, it has assisted nearly 200,000 small businesses with SBA loans and bank loans, including successfully processing PPP loan applications. 60 percent of PPP applications processed by SmartBiz were women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned businesses. 

While not a direct lender but rather a lending broker, SmartBiz says it provides a dedicated team member to work with each applicant through the application and approval process, recommending the best loan options based on the business’s needs and financial profile. SmartBiz will match you with a bank or non-bank lender with the best and lowest-cost financing that meets your needs, and about 90 percent of qualified applicants referred to banks will be funded. 

Additionally, SmartBiz offers free online tools via SmartBIz Advisor, which helps you track the financial health of your business over time. 

Keep reading our expert overview to find out the strengths and weaknesses of this lending platform, or jump straight to the SmartBiz reviews to see what past and present customers have to say. 

Top Ranked Companies

thumb_up

The Good

  • Access to SBA Loans
  • Potential for Low Interest Rates
  • Fee Structure
  • Automated Process 
  • Venture Capital Support and Partnerships with Industry Leaders

Access to SBA Loans

SmartBiz specializes in SBA loans, which are loans partially guaranteed by the government and tend to have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms than a bank term loan. SmartBiz has plenty of experience in this area: Banks use the SmartBiz platform to process more than 10 percent of the nation’s volume of traditional SBA 7(a) loans under $350,000. 

Bank term loans offer fixed interest rates and shorter repayment terms than SBA loans, but work well for when you need funds quickly and don’t have time to wait for lengthy approval processes. SmartBiz bank term loans have interest rates as low as 6.99% in amounts from $30,000 to $500,000. Payments are due monthly with repayment terms ranging from 2-5 years. 

Businesses can use SBA loans for working capital, debt refinancing, real estate purchases, and business acquisition. With 10-year terms, these types of loans offer small companies an affordable option to maintain or grow their businesses. 

Keep in mind that the interest rate of any loan depends on the loan term, the applicant’s credit, and the applicant’s overall financial profile. 

Potential for Low Interest Rates

SBA and term loans can be substantially more cost effective than other loan types. 

One option with SmartBiz is the potential to get you an even lower interest rate for a term loan: qualifying customers may be able to reduce the term loan interest rate by a full 2% if they will accept a prepayment penalty of 5% of the outstanding loan balance. Of course, you'd need to determine if a prepayment penalty clause is worth it to you. 

Fee Structure

SmartBiz charges a one-time referral fee of 2 percent of the loan amount and a one-time packaging fee of 2 percent. For loans $151,000 and higher, there is also a 2.25 percent guarantee fee paid to the SBA. SmartBiz said most bank closing costs for the loans typically cost $317 although the closing fees may vary depending on third party report charges.

Automated Process 

SmartBiz's online application reduces the amount of paperwork companies have to provide and decreases the amount of time it takes to apply for a loan backed by the SBA. With SmartBiz's application, you can pre-qualify online in as little as five minutes. 

SmartBiz states most loan applications take a couple of weeks, although loans for over $150,000 may take longer. The company claims the streamlined process it has created, which can often be completed solely online, has also increased its customers' approval rate for SBA loans. Once approved, SmartBiz claims companies can receive their funds in as little as seven days.

Venture Capital Support and Partnerships with Industry Leaders

SmartBiz is a brand of Better Finance, Inc., which has received funding from venture capital firms including Investor Growth Capital, Venrock, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, and Bronze Investments. SmartBiz has aligned itself with distribution partners to increase its outreach to businesses in need of SBA loans. Distribution partners for SmartBiz's services include Yahoo!, ePay, Xero, California Business Bank, and Sam's Club.

thumb_down

The Bad

  • Negative Customer Service Reviews 
  • Limited Loan Types
  • High Minimum Qualifications

Negative Customer Service Reviews

SmartBiz is impressive in regards to what it can offer customers. Unfortunately, we can tell based on reviews that it seems to be lacking in customer service. Reviewers have raised complaints about the company’s willingness to respond to phone calls and emails throughout the loan application process, even after being approved. This lack of communication should be cause for concern for prospective customers. 

Limited Loan Types

SmartBiz offers only SBA loans and bank term loans through its lender network, rather than a variety of loan types as offered by other lending platforms. While SBA loans can be used for a number of purposes, you can’t obtain a line of credit, accounts receivable financing, equipment financing-specific, or commercial real estate-specific loans through SmartBiz. 

High Minimum Qualifications

Not all businesses will qualify for the low-interest SBA loans that are the primary market for SmartBiz. If you don’t have good credit, you won’t have any lending options through SmartBiz. There are other lenders that will work with customers that have sub-par credit. 

To qualify with SmartBiz lending partner companies, you’ll need meet the following requirements, which includes a good credit profile:

  • You’ve been in business for two or more years
  • You are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Your personal credit score is above 660
  • You have the cash flow to support loan payments
  • You have had no bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past three years
  • You have no outstanding tax liens, no recent charge-offs or settlements, and you are current on all government-related loans
  • You have no criminal record other than minor motor vehicle violations

In addition, companies in the following industries are not eligible for SBA loans through SmartBiz:

  • Gambling
  • Lending
  • Life Insurance
  • Religious Teaching
  • Political and Lobbying Activities
  • Oil Wildcatting
  • Mining
  • Mortgage Services
  • Real Estate Development
  • Bail Bond
  • Pawn Shops
  • Private Clubs
gavel

The Bottom Line

SmartBiz is a good choice for small businesses that want to obtain an SBA-backed loan in a short amount of time. By streamlining the application process and providing its clients with a personal loan consultant, SmartBiz can help businesses navigate the SBA loan application process and may improve their chances of receiving that type of loan.  

It processes more than 10 percent of the nation’s SBA 7(a) loans and has a solid network of banks from which to finance these loans. Especially with a ten-year repayment term option, businesses can get lower monthly rates on the cash they borrow as compared to working with an alternative online lending institution. 

Although not all businesses will qualify for SBA loans through SmartBiz, the company provides a less complex application process and a quicker turnaround time than the traditional SBA loan application process for those who do qualify and are willing to pay the fees to obtain their loans.

However, the customer service complaints are concerning. There seems to be a gap between the company’s promise of a dedicated team member guiding you through the process and the actual delivery of prompt communication to customers. Be aware of these concerns before proceeding with SmartBiz. Or, it may be wise to look elsewhere, as there are other lenders out there with a better track record for prompt and thorough customer service. 

View Best Business Loan Lenders

Was this content helpful?
thumb_up Yes thumb_down No

Star Rating

1.0

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

20 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

0%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

100%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Quality

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Service

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Trustworthiness

star star_border star_border star_border star_border
cancel

Filter by:

arrow_drop_down

Sort by:

arrow_drop_down
info
star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Audrey Wyatt Dallas, TX

Applied for 2nd Draw PPP on March 24th. I should have stuck with Chase Bank who funded the first one. I had one person reach out to me about something I had already put in the application. After that, everything went dark. I sent emails and called over and again but I could not get anyone to respond. I even tried private messaging through their Twitter account where someone would say that they are forwarding my contact information to a customer service rep. However, no one ever reached out to me. It was a horrible experience. I still don't know why I wasn't funded. I would have liked them to own up to their incompetence rather than pretend they are legit. So fake! Most of all I hate that I have submitted personal documents to a company that has no integrity.

1 week ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Szilárd Varsányi Las Vegas, NV

They asked me June 25th to send final documentation. -driver license -bank statement -tax return I finally emailed them today and get the following: This message was sent to the following 2 people: [email protected], Szilard Varsanyi. Replying to this email will notify them. Hi there, Thank you for working with us on your PPP loan application. We know you recently received a decline notification. Unfortunately, the bank was unable to approve funding either because your loan application did not pass enhanced identity verification, manual fraud review, or we were unable to collect signed loan documents or other requested documentation before the bank stopped processing PPP loans on June 30, 2021. As a result, the bank can no longer fund your PPP loan application. We know this is disappointing and are sorry the bank was unable to process your loan application. --------------------------- This company is a joke, if I have known that they need more info I just send it of course. Don't waste your time with this company.

3 weeks ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

John Horton Wilmington, NC

We are a 100% qualified business that applied for a SBA PPP loan through Smartbiz.com on 4/22/21. We were ignored until after the 5/31/21 SBA deadline. Smartbiz.com did not respond to countless emails regarding our loan application. All required document, IRS forms, Current drivers licenses, social security numbers were provided at the time of application on 4/22/21, almost 6 weeks before SBA deadline. Currently, Smartbiz.com is notifying thousands of qualified applicants that submitted their applications weeks and months before the May 21 2021 deadline that the SBA funds ran out. On 6/18/21 we ware asked to verify our info/application via email which I did, and received a verification confirmation from smartbiz via email the same day. On 6/23 and 6/25 we received 2 separate emails from different representatives stating that funds had run out and as a result smartbiz.com couldn’t fund our loan., On 6/28/21 I was contacted saying they couldn’t verify my identity. It seems Smartbiz.com made zero effort to process thousands of SBA PPP loans and notified them funds ran out only after weeks past the SBA deadline in which applications were required to be processed per the SBA. This is fraud. There are close to 1,000 bad/poor reviews on trustpilot.com alone withe companies pointing out similar situations. Perhaps the good reviews come from prioritizing large loan and ignoring small ones. Smartbiz.com ignored your applications and we need to do something about it. SUBMIT A COMPLIANT TO THE SBA OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OR CALL THEM HERE: ENCOURAGE MEDIA COVERAGE BY POSTING ON REVIEW SITES, REDDIT, AND SUBMIT YOUR STORY TO NEWS ORGANIZATIONS! DO YOUR PART TO HAVE THE SBA REVOKE SMARTBIZ.COM CREDENTIALS AND LETS GET A CLASS ACTIONS LAWSUIT GOING TO GET OUR MONEY.

1 month ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Sd Norman, OK

Well i applied for a loan in april and it was only gonna take days and i would have the cash in my account. NOT. It has been very difficult to get smartbiz to communicate with me. I have never been so ignored by a business. I am going to have my attorneys to check on this business because they have all my personel information and no way to have human contact with them. They dont dederve 1 star at this point.

1 month ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Josh Southfield, MI

They determined they couldn't confirm my identity, despite having my driver's license, tax returns, etc. This was after I had been approved for the loan. In an attempt to resolve I reached out to my contact- 20 times. no response. I reached out to their underwriter, 20 times, no response. I reached out to their help desk 20 times, no response. I called them only to find a recorded message telling me to email the help desk- This isn't even the worse part- They due to incompetence I can only assume, wouldn't close my request with the SBA- which left me unable to apply ANYWHERE else. Thanks. Seriously, you should be shut down.

2 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

C. Matthews Seattle, WA

They will get your bank information and account number and then stop responding to you. No way to speak to a human being, no response via email. Not sure how they are being sued with a class action from all the people they screwed over for the second round PPP.

1 month ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Marshall Los Altos, CA

Don't waste your time. My loan was 'approved' . I signed all the loan docs. Time went by. . . no response. . . no money. . . no way to reach a real person. I finally got an email that they could not identify me so they rejected my application????? What??? I'm actually worried becuase they have my tax returns and lots of personal information. STAY AWAY!!!

2 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Shannon Davis Marianna, FL

Really wish I'd read consumer reviews and not what other companies were saying about SmartBiz. This was my first draw and like everyone else, I'd gotten to the point where my business really needed the PPP loan after this long year navigating through despite the pandemic. I really thought all was well. All certainly "looked" well accorded to the automated messages I got. But, just shy of a month goes by and I still receive no word about the loan. So I started emailing Smartbiz, as instructed. Don't bother calling. The number they provide is automated, will not allow you to leave a message, and simply informs you that reaching someone by phone is, in fact, impossible. After two weeks of no response email, though, I finally gave up and applied elsewhere.

3 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Anna S. Chicago, IL

They screwed me over for the second PPP draw, and now when I asked them why they did not provide an application, they stopped answering their emails. There is no way you can reach them on the phone. AVOID!!

1 month ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Empress Gaillard Covington, GA

SmartBiz is the Devil. You better RUN! I was approved 04/26/21 for the PPP loan. SmartBiz says i was not. The SBA and Customers Bank says I was. Now I am STUCK LIKE CHUCK. Been calling these donkeys, and emailing everyone. NO HELP AT ALL. SMH

2 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Sarah Lagos, LA

Smartbiz is not a good company, I applied for ppp loan since one month ago on smartbiz they haven’t get back to me since then. And I write their support team to know what’s wrong with my application still not hear back from them.

2 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Mr. Illusive Chicago, IL

The worst customer experience of my 34 years. They play with your money, hold it hostage, send mixed stories depending on who you talk to. It says I was funded on the 2nd and I am still waiting. 10 emails a day with barley any response. Do not waste your time here. I beg you, stay away if you value your time or money. They had the nerve to ask me to review my experience as I still wait for money that should have been funded to me days ago. It has been a nightmare and I have about given up hope on ever receiving these funds. Miserable experience. I'd rate 0 stars if I could.

3 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

ALEX AYALA Nampa, ID

Horrible service, I submitted a loan application two months ago, it is 100% complete, it still says processing, I can not get any help on the status of the application by phone or email, I have emailed a total of 10 times without any kind of response. Its ridiculous that they take your personal information like this and there's no way to see the progress or there's no way to talk to a real person.

5 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Doc Orlando, FL

If you reading this review, just know that SmartbizLoans.com is a waste of major time. You will not get any communication at all. Be aware of these fake portals. I'd rate this loan processing service a zero.

3 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

G Rodriguez Sylmar, CA

Absolute NIGHTMARE! DO NOT APPLY HERE FOR PPP!! You will waste your time! This place DOES NOT provide communication on your loan status and could care less about your business needs! We applied, lack of communication frustrated us to go ELSEWHERE- DO NOT GO THERE!

4 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

James Earl Richard San Francisco, CA

Pushed higher loan balance when not needed. Virtually non responsive after loan was already funded. Bank that was servicing my deal seemed to distance themselves from SmartBiz saying “they are only brokers” and seemingly apologized for them.

6 months ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

tloc Hollywood, FL

Zero stars should be an option for this company! You cannot reach a human there. Their customer service line is an automated outgoing message saying they are too buy to answer calls and instructs callers to e-mail. Emails are not answered! Denied my ppp loan without explanation even though it was approved by the SBA weeks before the program ended. Shockingly horrible customer service. I have read 1000's of other reviews saying the same thing now on trust pilot and reddit- stay away from this company!!

2 weeks ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Kemo Kemo Farmington, MI

dont walk away from them...run If you were not an American. You will not get the loan and will be working on wasting your time every day and ask you to send more documents .Note that I do, and I have a business account with another bank and did not ask me the same documents required by the smatbiz . CEO Evan Singer says, will get a loan after seven days, and I waited for seventy days and the only response that I got it five minutes after my request cancellation of the loan and agreed to the cancellation. Thank you, CEO Evan Singer and thanks Smartbiz

4 years ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Batn Pittsburgh, PA

Loan process took over 2 months loan processor kept asking for verification that had allready been sent would not return phone calls changed insurance per his request and at last minute declined loan should have been upfront beware!!!!!

5 years ago

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Rashmin Sompura Citrus Heights, CA

Horrible experience. After submitting application and waiting for 1 and half month I was told that Smartbiz do not do business acquisition loan. I would not recommend Smartbiz to anybody.

5 years ago

We're on a mission to empower consumers to make the best decisions and connect confidently with companies that deserve their business.

© 2021 BestCompany.com LLC - All rights reserved Privacy Policy | Terms | Do Not Sell My Personal Information