Huntington National Bank vs. Bank of America: Which Small Business Lender is Right for You?

Key takeaways

  • Huntington National Bank and Bank of America both offer SBA and other types of small business loans
  • Choose Huntington National Bank for SBA loans
  • Choose Bank of America for nationwide business loans

If you’re in the market for a business loan, many business owners turn to a traditional bank to build or maintain a relationship with that lender. But not all banks are created equal.

Bank of America small business loans can meet the needs of many small businesses. That includes choices for younger businesses with revenue as low as $50,000.

Huntington National Bank is the top SBA lender nationally, approving thousands of SBA loans per year. But while you can get its SBA loans nationwide, other loans are only offered regionally within 12 states.

To help you choose between these bank lenders, here’s a look at how these two small business lenders stack up against one another.

Huntington Bank is a top SBA 7(a) lender in both the nation and its region but offers limited information on its website. Bank of America offers more types of business loans, including three business lines of credit. Plus, you can get these business loans across the U.S.

Huntington National Bank Bank of America
Bankrate Score 4.1 4.3
Best for SBA loans Nationwide business loans
Number of loan products 4 7
Number of branches 1,000+ 3,900
Loan amounts $1,000 to $5 million $1,000 to $5 million
Interest rates Not stated 5.75% to 9.50%
Term lengths Up to 25 years 1 to 25 years
Personal credit score Not stated 670
Minimum time in business Not stated 6 months
Minimum business revenue Not stated $50,000

Huntington National Bank’s specialty is SBA loans, but it also provides term loans, lines of credit and asset-based financing. As a Preferred SBA Lender that serves all 50 states, any business owner looking for expedited SBA loan approvals would benefit from applying.

Huntington Bank doesn’t state its lending requirements. But businesses without perfect credit or strong revenue may be eligible for asset-based loans or its local business microloan offering up to $150,000.

Pros

  • Offers SBA 7(a), 504 and Express loans
  • A top SBA lender nationally for past five years
  • Offers microloan to underserved communities

Cons

  • Not transparent with loan details
  • Non-SBA loans only available in 12 states

Bank of America business loans stand out for its sheer number of business loan choices. Those options include SBA loans, secured and unsecured lines of credit, term loans, equipment loans and more. It doesn’t have branches nationwide, but this lender does service all 50 U.S. states.

Most businesses need to be established to qualify, with strong credit around 670 or higher. But the bank does offer a credit-building line of credit welcoming to businesses under two years old. You’ll need to put down at least $1,000 to secure it. Unlike some lines of credit, this cash-secured line does report your payments to the credit bureaus and establishes your business credit.

Pros

  • Variety of business loans
  • Offers loans across all 50 states
  • Extensive network of over 3,900 branches

Cons

  • Slow application process
  • Doesn’t show maximum interest rates
  • Some loans charge origination or annual fees

Huntington Bank and Bank of America both offer business loans with low interest rates. Huntington National Bank business loans work best if you’re looking for an SBA loan. Bank of America business loans work well for a variety of business owners, including established and startup businesses. You might also choose Bank of America if you travel across the U.S. and need wide branch access.

Choose Huntington National Bank for a regional bank experience

Huntington National Bank has established more than 1,000 locations within its region of 12 states. The ratio of locations within these states provides an enriched experience for customers needing personalized lending advice.

Huntington Bank business loans include a specialized Lift Local Business microloan, which offers loans up to $150,000 to disadvantaged businesses until 2026. But it offers fewer loan options than Bank of America. Huntington Bank sticks with lines of credit, asset-based lending and the local business loan within its region.

Choose Bank of America for nationwide business loans

Bank of America is the ideal option for established businesses nearly anywhere in the U.S. It works well if you need multiple business loans like a term loan and business line of credit. With its variety of loans and over 3,900 locations, it can also offer personalized advice on which business loan to choose.

For startup businesses, Bank of America provides a cash-secured line of credit. This credit line helps you build credit, though you’ll need at least a $1,000 security deposit to open the credit line.

Choose Huntington National Bank for SBA loans

Huntington National Bank has been one of the top lenders of SBA 7(a) loans nationwide for the past five years. It’s also achieved that top spot within its region for the last 14 years. While most SBA lenders offer one or two types of SBA loans, Huntington offers three SBA loan options:

Like Bank of America, Huntington is a Preferred SBA Lender. This status means that its approval process is more efficient than non-preferred SBA lenders. Most SBA loans take 30 to 90 days to approve, so your approval timeline with Huntington Bank may be on the shorter end of the spectrum.

Bankrate insight

Proving its efficiency, Huntington National Bank can process over 10 times more SBA loans than Bank of America. In 2022, Huntington Bank approved 5,675 SBA 7(a) and 504 loans, based on the 7(a) and 504 Lender Report. Bank of America handled far less at just 506 loans.

Choose Bank of America for business credit cards

Along with its suite of business loans, Bank of America offers business credit cards to keep your company’s cash flowing. You can choose Visa or Mastercard with either cash back, miles or points redeemable for travel.

Its highest reward option is the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard. It offers cash back in multiple spending categories, including a category of your choice

By contrast, Huntington National Bank offers one credit card option, letting you choose a category for high cashback earnings. But it has a low maximum rewards payout. That means you may not earn as much as you would with the Bank of America card.

If these traditional lenders don’t suit your business, you can explore other bank business loans or try online lenders that compete well with bank loan offerings.

Fundible

Fundible offers business loans online to businesses of all sizes, including a line of credit starting at $1,000. But it can reach all the way to $10 million, able to support well-established businesses the same way traditional banks often can. Fundible offers both conventional and alternative loans. Those include term loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing, bridge loan, invoice financing and SBA loans.

Yet Fundible works across many credit risk levels. A spokesperson stated it offers bad credit business loans to business owners with personal credit scores as low as 450.

Lendio

Rather than offering traditional lending, Lendio is an online marketplace you can use to compare over 75 small business lenders. Many online lenders specialize in a few business loans. But as a marketplace, Lendio gives similar loan choices as major banks and some alternative business loans.

You can choose from a business line of credit, merchant cash advance, term loan, equipment financing, commercial real estate and SBA loans. Like Huntington Bank, you can apply for three SBA loans through the site: the SBA 7(a), SBA 504 or an SBA microloan.

SBA loans

SBA loans are provided through SBA-approved lenders, often traditional banks with the resources to handle the more extensive application process. Traditional banks typically keep their lending criteria tight. But you can find SBA microloans through nonprofit-based microlenders, offering loans up to $50,000 to disadvantaged businesses.

If you need a larger SBA loan with more relaxed eligibility requirements, you could go with a Community Advantage loan. This loan works as a 7(a) loan granted to underserved businesses in loan amounts up to $350,000. It’s offered through a variety of community-based lenders, including Certified Development Centers (CDCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

Bottom line

Both Huntington National Bank and Bank of America are major names in the banking industry. Huntington Bank specializes in SBA loans as a preferred lender and processes thousands of loans per year.

But Bank of America is a go-to choice if you need wide branch access or variety of loan choices, or if you already do your personal or commercial banking there. You can also see how their loans compare to the best small business loans available to get the best rates and features possible.

  • The Small Business Administration approves lenders through its Preferred Lender Program, giving it the right to approve some SBA loans without SBA review. The status is the SBA’s stamp that the lender can handle loan approvals with authority and efficiency from end to end. It can lead to faster SBA loan approvals.
  • Bank business loans usually offer competitive interest rates and longer repayment terms than other lenders. For example, interest rates for bank business loans often start between 5.5 percent to 10.5 percent, while online lenders may offer a similar starting point but go up to 30 percent or more. These can lead to more manageable monthly payments.
  • The downside of bank business loans is that you’ll need to meet the bank’s often strict lending requirements, like having a strong credit score of 670 or higher. To prove your business’s creditworthiness, you’ll need to provide plenty of financial documents like tax returns and bank statements. Loan approvals can also take a few days to weeks, unlike online lenders that often fund within 24 hours.

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