Qualifications for an SBA Loan: Foreign National, Criminal Record, Education as Experience

A person who wants to borrow from a lender who finances SBA Loans needs to have these qualifications:

Foreign National:

Borrowers need to be citizens of the United States or have a green card.

Criminal Record:

A)   Felons are usually not qualified. It does not matter how long ago the conviction occurred. When a background check finds a felony conviction, the applicant is usually disqualified.  There is a procedure for an exception where the Borrower must request the SBA Office in Washington, DC to review the conviction and make a determination if an exception will be made.

B)   Misdemeanors are on a case-by-case basis as reviewed by an underwriter.
The Borrower will need to provide the following documents:

i)      Complete Docket of the criminal court
ii)     Court Document showing conviction and resolution (if not in court docket)
iii)    Letter of Explanation – What happened and life experience after the resolution
was complete


Borrowers must have at least one year of experience as an owner or manager in the industry of the business. A resume may be required to prove this experience.

Experience in a different industry can sometimes be transferred on a case-by-case basis. But, just because you were the president of a landscaping Company does not mean you are qualified to apply for a loan as the owner of a restaurant.

Education is never itself qualification for the experience required to qualify for a loan. Bringing in a Co-Borrower with the required experience is an option. See Co-Borrower.

Joel Soforenko is an industry veteran having extensive experience with SBA 7(a), SBA 504 and USDA loans. He has assisted borrowers as a loan originator, processor, underwriter and Manager of the SBA Department of a major origination platform.

For more information contact:

Joel Soforenko
Continental Finance Capital Corporation
(617) 336-3215 x 5