Live Oak Bank Review 2024

Live Oak Bank is a cloud-based, digital bank that is dedicated to serving small businesses throughout the United States. They emphasize their specialization in several specific industries and a full list can be seen below. They are the largest originator of SBA Loans in the United States and their experience and expertise is evident in the lending experience. Live Oak Bank offers business loans to well-established businesses with a strong financial history.

At a Glance:

  • Loans between $150,000-$7.5 million depending on loan type depending on loan type
  • The biggest lender of SBA Loans in the United States.
  • Offers SBA Loans and Business Term Loans
  • Specializes in business loans for lifestyle industries such as fitness, medical, vineyards, and craft breweries

Live Oak Bank Pros and Cons


  • Experienced SBA Lender
  • Personalized service from assigned business analyst
  • Comparatively fast application process


  • Long funding time
  • Their specialization in certain industries

Live Oak Bank Business Loan Rates and Fees


Varies depending on borrower

Loan term:

Varies, up to 25 years

Loan amounts:

$150,000-$7.5 million depending on loan type

Hidden fees:

Varies, SBA loans include 0%-3.5% fee

Minimum credit score required


Extra perks:

Borrowers are assigned a business analyst to assist during loan term

Fund availability

Varies but aligns with industry standard of 1-4 weeks

What type of business loans does Live Oak Bank offer?

SBA Loans

SBA Loans are business loans that are partially guaranteed by the United States Small Business Administration and can be used for nearly any business purpose. These loans are often attractive due to their low interest rates and extended payback terms, but application procedure can be lengthy and financing is rarely fast. Live Oak Bank emphasizes their SBA Loan offerings and is notably the biggest lender of SBA Loans in the United States. Those who qualify for an SBA Loan through Live Oak Bank typically have a credit score of 680, and have been in business for at least three years. The revenue requirement varies depending on how much you are seeking to borrow. Best for those seeking low interest rates and longer repayment terms

Business Term Loans

Business Term Loans are the most traditional type of business loan - borrowers receive a lump sum that they are obligated to pay back over a certain length of time. Those who qualify for a Business Term Loan through Live Oak Bank typically have a credit score of 680, and have been in business for at least three years. The revenue requirement varies depending on how much you are seeking to borrow. Best for business owners who are looking to fund a specific project or investment.

Which industries will Live Oak Bank work with?

Although Live Oak Bank states they are able to work with borrowers from most industries, they specialize in several and are far more likely to lend to businesses that are part of the following industries:

  • Accounting & Tax Firms
  • Agriculture
  • Asset-based Lending
  • Automotive Care
  • Bioenergy
  • Broadband Businesses
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Community Facilities
  • Craft Breweries
  • Craft Distilleries
  • Dental
  • Distribution
  • Educational Services
  • Electrical Contractors
  • Entertainment Centers
  • Fitness Centers
  • Franchise Restaurants
  • Funeral Homes & Cemetery
  • Government Contracting
  • Healthcare
  • Home Care
  • Hotels
  • HVAC & Plumbing Contractors
  • Indoor Trampoline Parks
  • Insurance
  • Investment Advisory
  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmacy
  • Restoration, Remediation, & Cleaning
  • Self-Storage
  • Senior Care Communities
  • Solar
  • Sponsor Finance
  • Staffing
  • Trucking
  • Veterinary
  • Water & Environmental Programs
  • Wine & Vineyard

What are some of the benefits of using Live Oak Bank’s Services?

Live Oak Bank is an experienced SBA Lender.

Live Oak Bank is the largest originator of SBA loans which means they have a lot of experience they can use to help you throughout your lending process.

The application process is relatively short.

When compared to other application processes, the one you’ll undergo when applying to a Live Oak Bank business loan is shorter and significantly less complicated than the process with similar lenders.

Borrowers are assigned a business analyst to offer advice and assistance.

One of the best perks of Live Oak Bank’s business loans is the personalized touch you get throughout the process. Every borrower is assigned a business analyst who will be able to help answer questions throughout the process and give general advice and share expertise that will help you grow your business. If your business is within one of the industries listed above you will benefit even further as they can share strategies that have worked and those that have not - this specialized advice is a unique and valuable feature.

Live Oak Bank Business Loan Review

Borrow $150k - $7.5 million

Get funded within 1-4 weeks (varies)

up to 25 years month loan term (varies)

SBA loans include 0%-3.5% fee

Minimum credit score: 680

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What are some of the downsides to using Live Oak Bank Business Loans?

The funding time is relatively long.

While most SBA Loans take quite some time to be funded, you may be able to find lenders that will deposit funds within a month whereas Live Oak Bank usually takes a month, minimum.

Live Oak Bank only works with certain industries.

Although the list of industries Live Oak Bank focuses on is quite extensive, if your small business does not fall into one of those categories you are likely out of luck when it comes to applying for a loan. Live Oak Bank still invites every kind of business to apply as they may be able to assist, but if you are not within one of the industries listed they may not be able to offer you the same level of advice that they would.

Do I need a credit check to take out a business loan with Live Oak Bank?

Like with most lenders, Live Oak Bank will run a standard hard credit check when you accept a loan offer. This counts as a hard inquiry and will show up on your credit history but this is easy to recover from within a few months. Prior to accepting a loan offer you will likely have a soft credit pull which is also standard but will not affect your credit score.

Are there any hidden costs and fees associated with Live Oak Bank business loans?

While it is free to apply for a loan through Live Oak Bank, there are some fees to be aware of. The majority of fees charged to borrowers with Live Oak Bank are SBA Loan fees which can be as high as 3.5% of the total loan amount and as low as 0%. Even at their highest these SBA loan fees are comparatively low and are unavoidable when borrowing this type of loan.

How is Live Oak Bank’s customer service and support?

Live Oak Bank offers a customer support helpline that is specifically aimed at banking so you may not be able to use it to answer specific loan inquiries. However you and your business will be matched with a specialist when the loan is issued and you can contact them should you have any specific questions pertaining to your business loan.

How to qualify for a Business Loan through Live Oak Bank

There are many different factors that are analyzed when you apply for a business loan through Live Oak Bank such as:

  • Your ownership or affiliation status with the business in question
  • History of the business, especially financial history
  • Proof of collateral in certain circumstances

How to Apply for a Business Loan with Live Oak Bank

Live Oak Bank has a five step process for their business loans to ensure they are matching you with the best possible loan situation for you and your small business.

  • Connect
    • Your first step is to personally connect with a representative of Live Oak Bank to discuss your business goals and your reasons for applying for a loan so that they can curate the ideal loan package for you and your business.
  • Underwriting
    • Live Oak Bank will carefully review your application and any relevant documents to ensure that you are being offered the best package for your situation. They will also verify your information at this time.
  • Credit Review
    • Live Oak Bank will review your credit history and run a credit check at this time.
  • Closing
    • Your loan will be finalized and funded.
  • Servicing
    • Once your loan is funded and your loan term begins, you will be assigned an expert Business Analyst to you. This analyst will check in with you regularly and also serve as a point of contact should you have any questions..

Is Live Oak Bank Legit and Trustworthy?

Live Oak Bank is a legitimate and trustworthy lender that has consistently delivered a great lending experience to many small businesses in a variety of industries. All of their banking products are FDIC-insured and they have a high standard when it comes to security and encryption so you can be sure that your data is kept safe and secure.


Live Oak Bank is a reputable provider of business loans and if you are interested in applying for an SBA loan it is a great option to explore. Not only do they have the experience that comes with being the largest funder of SBA Loans but they also provide guidance and information to business owners that will help them use the loan funds wisely and improve their businesses. These business loans are ideal for small businesses who are looking for a personalized experience.

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