Do you have to payback SBA loans?[yoast-breadcrumb]
Oh man, defaulting on an SBA loan is bad news. Let’s walk through what happens so you know what you’re in for if you can’t pay. First off, an SBA loan is a small business loan backed by the Small Business Administration. This means if you take one out and can’t pay it back, the SBA is on the hook too.
When you first miss a payment, the lender will call you up real quick. They’ll be like, “Uh, hey, you missed your payment last month. What’s up with that?” At this point, you can usually work something out if you call them back asap. Maybe they’ll let you make a smaller payment for a couple months or defer a payment until you get back on your feet.
But if you just ignore them, that’s when bad stuff starts happening. After 90 days of no payments, your loan will be in default. This means you broke the terms of the loan agreement. The lender will report your sorry butt to the credit bureaus. Say bye bye to your credit score! They will also tell the SBA you defaulted, since it’s their money on the line too.
The lender can then demand the entire remaining balance of the loan. So if you borrowed $100k and still owed $80k, they can demand the full 80k right away. They will also charge you fees for being late and breaking the loan terms. We’re talking late fees, legal fees, collection costs – this stuff adds up quick.
If you still don’t pay, they can sue your business to try and get a court judgment against you. The court can then let the lender garnish your bank account or put liens on your assets. That means they can take your stuff, like equipment for the business. The lender can also repossess any collateral you put up for the loan, like your house or car. Yeah, they can take your ride if you used it as collateral!
The lender will also report the unpaid debt to the credit bureaus. This will trash your personal credit score for up to 7 years. Good luck getting any kind of loan or credit card after that! Many landlords and employers also check credit reports, so it could hurt your chances of getting an apartment or job.
And we’re not done yet. The SBA can come after you too. Since they guaranteed part of the loan, they are also on the hook when you default. The SBA has the right to pursue legal action against you to recover their losses. They can garnish your wages, put liens on your property, even liquidate your assets. The SBA does not mess around, trust me.
Oh, and the IRS will also be all up in your business. Since the forgiven loan amount is considered taxable income, the IRS will hit you with a big tax bill if you default. You’ll basically have to pay taxes on money you didn’t even get because the loan was discharged. Ouch!
And if all that wasn’t bad enough, defaulting will destroy your business’s credit reputation with vendors and suppliers. Once word gets out that you defaulted, no one will want to work with you or extend you credit. It can tank your whole business.
The bottom line is you do not want to default on an SBA loan. It can ruin your finances for years and sink your business. If you’re struggling to pay it back, talk to your lender immediately. See if they can lower payments or defer them for a bit. Anything is better than defaulting! Just don’t try to ignore it – that never ends well.
Hopefully this gives you an idea of how ugly defaulting can get. It’s really important to only take out an SBA loan if you’re 100% confident you can pay it back on time every month. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt. We’re talking financial pain and suffering for years to come. Let this be a warning to ya!
What Happens if I Don’t Pay My Small Business Loan?
Getting a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can be a big help for starting or growing a small business. But what happens if you can’t pay back the loan? Well, it ain’t good news. The SBA has ways to get their money back and you could end up in some hot water. Let’s break it down so you know what you’re getting into.
The SBA Will Contact You
If you miss a payment, the SBA will be on you quick. They’ll call you up and send letters asking you to pay up. This is your first warning that you gotta get your act together. At first, they just want to get the conversation going and see if they can help you start making payments again. So be straight with them. If you’re going through tough times, say so. They might be able to cut you some slack.
Your Loan Will Go Into Default
If you keep missing payments without talking to the SBA, your loan will go into default. This is bad. It means you broke the terms of your loan agreement and now the SBA can take more serious action to get their money back. How long until default depends on the loan program, but it’s usually several months of missed payments.
The SBA Can Demand Full Payment
Once you’re in default, the SBA can demand the full loan balance immediately. So if you borrowed $100,000 and still owe $80,000, they can say “pay up all $80,000 right now.” That’s gonna hurt if you’re already struggling with payments.
The SBA Can Take Your Assets
If you don’t pay up when they demand it, the SBA can seize assets that were used as collateral for the loan. That could include equipment you bought with the loan, your business bank accounts, or even personal assets if you put those up. They sell off the assets to cover your loan balance.
The SBA Can Sue You
Yep, the government can take you to court over an unpaid SBA loan. They’ll sue to collect the money you owe. This gets a judgment against you that allows them to garnish your wages, put liens on your property, and take your tax refunds. It hurts your credit badly too.
The SBA Can Turn You Over to Debt Collectors
If suing you doesn’t work, the SBA can hire aggressive debt collectors to get their money. They’ll blow up your phone and send intimidating letters demanding payment. Some even show up at your home or business. It’s a giant headache.
Your Credit Score Will Plummet
As soon as you miss payments, the SBA will report it to the credit bureaus. Defaulting on your loan can easily drop your credit score by over 100 points. A terrible credit score makes it tough to get loans, credit cards, or even rent an apartment.
You May Never Get Another SBA Loan
If you default, the SBA will flag you as a credit risk. Even if you pay off the loan eventually, you may not qualify for another SBA loan. That cuts you off from a major source of funding. Some lenders may reject you too if they see the SBA default on your record.
Bankruptcy Won’t Erase the Debt
Filing bankruptcy won’t make your SBA loan go away. These loans aren’t wiped clear by bankruptcy like other debts. So the SBA can still come after you for payment even if you declare bankruptcy.
You Could Face Criminal Charges
If the SBA thinks you never intended to pay back the loan or used the money for non-business expenses, they can refer you for criminal prosecution. You could face fraud charges that lead to fines or even jail time in the most extreme cases.
What to Do if You Default on an SBA Loan
Defaulting on an SBA loan creates a ton of pain and problems. But there are some steps you can take to deal with it:
- Communicate with the SBA early and explain your situation. They may offer options like reduced payments.
- Consider loan consolidation or refinancing to lower monthly payments.
- If possible, make partial payments to show good faith.
- Ask about SBA disaster assistance if you can’t pay due to an emergency.
- Look into SBA debt settlement where they forgive part of what you owe.
- Consult a lawyer experienced with SBA loans for guidance.
- Be proactive to avoid garnishments and liens against you.
- Rebuild your credit slowly over time.
The bottom line is you gotta do everything possible to avoid defaulting on an SBA loan. But if it happens, know your rights and be ready to deal with the consequences. The sooner you talk to the SBA and a lawyer, the more options you’ll have. Don’t wait until they sue you or tank your credit. Be smart and proactive so you can move forward.
U.S. Small Business Administration, “Defaulted SBA Loans: Options, Penalties and Consequences” https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/defaulted-sba-loans