What Are the SBA 504 Loan Collateral Requirements?

what are the requirements for sba 504 loansThe Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 504 loan is designed for business owners looking to expand their businesses. One of the greatest benefits of this loan is its low barriers to obtaining credit. Let’s take a closer look at how to get this loan, in particular the SBA 504 loan collateral requirements that might have small business owners stumped.

What Is 504 Loan Collateral?

Collateral is the property purchased with a real estate loan. A lender will ask for collateral in order to secure the loan, which means it assures the lender(s) that you have a source of funding to repay the loan. If you stop making payments on the loan, the lender(s) can take possession of the property through the process of foreclosure.

A loan is only considered secure as long as the property is worth more than the amount remaining on the loan. A 504 loan requires no collateral other than the property acquired, but conventional lenders—banks or finance companies—may ask for property in addition to what you are purchasing with the loan in order to secure it, such as your personal residence.

Is Collateral the Same Thing as a Personal Guarantee?

Both conventional lenders and the SBA require personal guarantees from the business owner(s). This is a legal agreement that enables the lender(s) to claim the personal assets of the owner(s) if necessary. This might come up if the property were foreclosed and sold, and the sale didn’t cover the debt—which is known as a short sale.

Personal guarantees reduce the lender’s risk from the loan by sharing it with the borrower. Owners of the business with shares of 20% or more (and their spouses if they jointly own a share of that size) will sign personal guarantees.

How a 504 Loan Works

The 504 loan is intended to finance the purchase of land, buildings and equipment with a service life of ten years or more. It can also be used for construction and for the renovation or upgrading of buildings.

The 504 loan is a partnership between a conventional bank lender, a Certified Development Company (CDC) and the borrower. A CDC is a regional nonprofit organization set up specifically to administer the 504 loan program.

A 504 loan is structured into three parts, like this:

  • The first part is a loan from a conventional lender for 50% of the total amount. You and that lender determine the amount and conditions of that loan, which becomes your first mortgage.
  • Your CDC facilitates a separate SBA loan of up to 40% of the total, with a maximum of $5 million. You can receive up to $5.5 million for manufacturing projects or projects eligible for the SBA’s Green Energy Program. This will be your second mortgage.
  • The borrower contributes at least 10% of the total project amount as a down payment. Certain types of facilities are classified as single-purpose properties by the SBA and require a 15% down payment.
  • 50% Conventional lender
  • 40% CDC
  • 10% Borrower

Reduced risk is one of the big reasons conventional lenders are eager to partner with CDCs on a  504 loan. Having the first mortgage means that, should the need arise, their interests come first in recovering the debt. This is called a “first lien.” Since the conventional lender has only financed 50% of the total project cost, and they have personal guarantees to back up the property collateral, their risk is very well covered. Because of the low level of risk your lender is exposed to, they will be more willing to lend to you and possibly ready to offer you better conditions than you would have received outside a 504 loan.

Considering the possibility of foreclosure isn’t planning for failure. On the contrary, it is thinking like a banker—looking at all the possibilities and planning for everything. Rest assured that your CDC and your conventional lender will work with you to arrange monthly payments that you can afford to avoid the threat of foreclosure.

TMC Financing is one of the country’s leading CDCs and an SBA Premier Certified Lender. TMC’s experts can answer all of your questions about the 504 loan and guide you through the loan process, including helping you find a conventional lender. Talk to one of our 504 loan experts today.

Barbara Morrison

Barbara Morrison

Barbara Morrison, a local small business advocate and civic leader, founded her first company TMC Financing in 1981. TMC is a Certified Development Company that provides commercial real estate financing to small business owners via the SBA 504 Loan Program. TMC consistently ranks among the top certified development companies nationwide, and has funded projects worth more than $9 billion across California and Nevada. Nearly 5,000 small businesses have benefitted from this financing, resulting in the creation of an estimated 50,000 jobs. TMC is also the No.1 SBA 504 hotel lender in the United States. Barbara is also the founder of Working Solutions, a Bay Area microlender whose mission is to provide micro entrepreneurs, particularly low-income individuals, women and minorities, with the access to capital and resources they need to start a successful business.
Barbara Morrison