SBA 7(a) Loan Program

The SBA 7(a) Loan Program serves as the SBA’s primary business loan program to help qualified small businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. And because financing under this program can be guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes, it is also the SBA’s most flexible business loan program.


  • Higher leverage deals compared with conventional financing
  • Longer terms available
  • No early balloon payment (floating rate loan)
  • No ongoing debt service requirements
  • Can be used for nearly any business expense
  • Down payments can be as low as 25% for start-up businesses or purchases of existing businesses
  • Loan amounts up to $5 million
  • Competitive rates and terms


  • Working capital up to 7 years
  • Equipment up to 10 years (or useful life)

Interest Rates

  • Can be fixed or variable
  • Holyoke Credit Union provides competitive market rates that cannot exceed Prime +4.5%
  • Terms less than 7 years: Prime + 2.25% (for fixed loans $50,000+)
  • Terms equal to or greater than 7 years:  Prime + 2.75% (for fixed loans $50,000+)

SBA Guarantee Fees

  • Loans less than or equal to $150,000:  2% of guaranteed portion
  • Loans between $150,001 and $700,000:  3% of guaranteed portion
  • Loans between $700,001 and $1,000,000:  3.5% of guaranteed portion
  • Loans between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000:  $26,250 plus 3.75% of the guaranteed portion above $1,000,000


  • Loans less than or equal to $150,000:  SBA provides 85% guarantee
  • Loans greater than $150,000:  SBA provides 75% guarantee


Most for-profit businesses, including start-ups on a case-by-case basis, are eligible. 

Ineligible Businesses

  • Nonprofits
  • Businesses engaged in lending
  • Passive holders of real estate (generally, the business needs to be “operating”, not an R/E investment)
  • Foreign owned or located companies
  • High-risk industry (i.e., pyramid, gambling, speculative, etc.)

Size Guidelines

  • Manufacturing from 500 to 1,500 employees
  • Wholesale – 100 employees services –  from $2.5 million to $21.5 million in annual receipts
  • Retail from $5 million to $21 million
  • General construction from $13.5 million to $17 million

Loan Uses

Loan proceeds can be used for most business purposes, including:

  • Working capital (including Lines of Credit via SBA Express)
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Leasehold improvements and debt refinancing (under special conditions)

Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and equipment financing and generally up to 25 years for fixed assets.  

How to Apply

Three easy ways to apply:

  • Visit the Holyoke Credit Union main branch at 490 Westfield Road, Holyoke, MA 01040
  • Email Commercial Lender, Dan O’Neill, at
  • Call Dan O’Neill at (413) 532-7007 ext. 1125 for an appointment.