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Can an Uber Driver Get a Small Business Loan?

Small business loan with calculator and eyeglass.

Uber drivers can certainly qualify for a small business loan if they meet the criteria. Starting out with little or no money, no equipment, and no vehicle can be difficult to overcome without financial resources. Some, if not all, new entrepreneurs may need financial help at some point.

The SBA or Small Business Administration has numerous programs to help freelancers, gig workers, and employed individuals.

Special programs were put in place during the pandemic outbreak. These programs are designed to assist individuals with financial assistance who would not otherwise qualify for financial assistance through traditional means. These changes affect people and businesses alike.  

Thousands of individuals were displaced, lost their jobs, caught the virus, were hospitalized, or worse, died.  Those who were affected by the loss of their job were forced to seek employment in another line of work.

Hundreds of people who originally applied for funding were denied. However, through an outreach effort set up by the SBA, interested individuals were allowed to reapply. Hundreds were approved, the second time around. How do I know?

I was one of the people that was denied the first time, and I was contacted by the SBA to reapply. For personal reasons, I chose not to.

Uber Drivers Can Qualify for Small Business Loans

E-hailing driver holding a small cardboard on a car background.

When individuals decide to start a new business or expand their existing business, many factors go into play. The largest factor to consider is money. Are there enough resources to do what needs to be done? If not, where do I find the resources? 

Borrowing money from banks or credit unions might sound appealing or even tempting. However, there is always the interest rate to consider. Interest rates are higher on money borrowed from credit unions and banks.

However, credit unions’ interest rates do tend to be a bit lower.

For established Uber drivers or those who are considering becoming Uber drivers, they should apply with the Small Business Administration. The SBA has been helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start, expand and build their businesses for decades. There are some qualifications that individuals must meet, but the process is not as rigid or drawn out as banks make them out to be.

You might be surprised to learn that the Small Business Administration offers grants to individuals and businesses for various reasons, and the grants are completely free, meaning if you qualify, you never have to pay them back.

However, most programs are not in effect anymore. Nevertheless, there are other loan types that Uber drivers can apply for. Unlike grants, loans from the SBA will need to be repaid.

These are unforgiveness loans. Unforgiveness loans are set up on a payment plan, with a set payment amount, due on a specific day of the month. If you feel that you cannot make your payment on time, it is important to let the loan officer know.

Chances are they can help you keep your payment record with them from getting tarnished. Communication is the best policy when conducting business with a company.

How Uber Drivers Apply for SBA Loan

Portrait of a happy guy uber driver showing up thumb up positive gesture.

Before you do anything, you need to check your credit score. While banks and credit unions rely on borrowers’ good credit to qualify, so does the Small Business Administration. The higher the credit score, the lower the interest rate.

Creditors look at how responsible you are with your money, and whether you have adequate money management skills. If you meet the criteria and all the qualifications, you could get your loan approved in less than a week.

The first step in qualifying for a small business loan is to complete an online or paper application. Be sure to complete the application as thoroughly as you can. If you do not know how to answer certain questions, reach out to the SBA.

Someone there will be able to help you complete your application. Normally, most applications come with preprinted instructions. The instructions list instructions on how to complete each line, by its associated number.

Even if you are having problems reading, you can still reach out for clarification.

Existing Borrowers Can Reapply for A Loan

A contract cash loan concept.

If you already have an existing loan, you can probably get a loan increase. If a loan increase or consideration of a denied loan is an option, you have until May 6th, 2022 to reapply. All information pertaining to a loan and the deadlines can be found on the Small Business Administration website.

The website has lots of valuable information. The majority of the questions you want to ask are probably already listed in the FAQ section. You may even have some input on which type of loan you want to apply for, and how much you are able to repay on a workable schedule.

Reasons Uber Drivers Can Apply for SBA Loans

There are several reasons why Uber drivers might need a loan. Nearly every reason, if not all, will acquire the need to access financial resources. Some drivers do not have a vehicle and need one. Others want to expand their business by adding one or more vehicles to their existing business.

Upgrading will require additional insurance on the new vehicles.

Another way to use a loan is to rent or purchase space to park the additional vehicle. If your property is large enough, you can park the vehicle there. However, if your drivers are insured, you might let them take the vehicles home.

This is a situation in which you will want to speak with your insurance company. Whatever you decide, you are still liable for any damages, and for repaying the loan.

Additions Ways to Use an SBA Loan

If your vehicle meets the qualifications of being accepted into the Uber family, and needs an upgrade, you can do that with a loan. Uber has strict requirements about which vehicles are allowed to be under their banner. First of all, if your vehicle is more than 15 years old, you will need to replace it.

Cars 10 years old or younger stand a better chance of being accepted. In this case, you can upgrade your vehicle. If there is any visible cosmetic damage or missing pieces, you can take your vehicle to a qualified body shop to do the work.

It may sound easy to qualify for an SBA loan, but it is not as simple as it sounds. To apply is simple, as far as answering the questions on the application. However, when it comes to actually getting the money, steps must be taken to enhance your chances of meeting the eligibility status. 

However you decide to spend the loan, it is up to you. Uber drivers can apply for a line of credit, if they own their own Uber or a business loan based on a decent credit score.