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Best Small Business Loans For Women With Good & Bad Credit

If you own a small business, chances are you’ll be faced with expenses that cannot be financed out of pocket. Whether you’re looking for a funding to start a new business or make emergency repairs, a small business loan could be right for you. Although there are no loans that are specifically for women business owners, being certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business can help you secure access to better funding, lower rates, and even government grants.

How do I register as a woman owned small business?

Registering as a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) or Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) can be a time-consuming process, but can help you secure access to better forms of funding.

The first step to registration requires finding a private third-party certifier like WBENC or NWBOC, or going to a state or local agency that offers a certification program. You’ll want to figure out which level of certification is right for you, depending on your financial needs and the industry of your business. While some businesses register on a national level, others benefit more from certification on a city level.

What is a “certified” woman-owned business?

A certified woman-owned business is a business that meets the qualifications set forth by the Small Business Administration (SBA) women-owned small business program, as well as a few others. Those qualifications include:

  • Being 51 percent owned by women
  • Women manage the operations on a daily basis
  • Women make long-term decisions for the company
  • Full-time woman employee who works during normal hours must hold the highest officer position in the business

What is needed to apply for a woman-owned small business loan

Once you have your certification, applying for a woman-owned small business loan can be a simple process. Whether your application is for an SBA loan, an online loan, a microloan or a line of credit will determine the documents that you need. However, there are a few pieces of information that no matter what you’re applying for, you’ll likely be required to have:

  • Your personal financial information
  • Personal credit report
  • Business’ credit report
  • Business plan
  • Income tax returns
  • Personal bank statements
  • Business bank statements
  • Documentation of collateral (if required by the lender)
  • Personal contact information

Best Small Business Loan Options For Women

For New Businesses & Start-Ups

Accion

Pros:

  • Easier for borrowers with low credit to qualify for
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Strong customer service
  • Easier for startups and small businesses to qualify for

Cons:

  • Potentially high APR
  • Potential for extra fees
  • Possible personal guarantee or collateral requirement
Fundation

Pros:

  • Holistic application evaluation process
  • Direct communication with customer service representatives
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • High maximum loan amount, at $500,000

Cons:

  • Minimum employee requirement
  • Frequent, bimonthly repayments
Kabbage
Loan Amounts$2,000 to $250,000
APR Range24% to 99%
Repayment Terms6 to 12 months
Time to FundingA few minutes to several days
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Kabbage

Pros:

  • Low minimum credit score requirement
  • Funding within as little time as a few minutes

Cons:

  • Low maximum loan amount
  • APR as high as 99%
  • Short repayment terms
  • Complex fee structure

For Established Businesses & Higher Credit Scores

SmartBiz
Loan Amount:$30,000 – $350,000
APR Range:9.7% – 11.04%
Time To Fund:As soon as 7 days
Loan Term:10 Years
How To Qualify:675+ Personal Credit Score
$100,000+ Annual Revenue
Click “Check Rates” to apply to SmartBiz

» MORE: SmartBiz SBA Loan Review

Pros:

  • Low maximum APR of 11.04%
  • Flexible repayment terms, with a maximum of 10 years
  • Less time to fund than a standard SBA loan

Cons:

  • Difficult for low income, low credit borrowers to qualify
  • Higher fees than a standard SBA loan
  • Still need to fulfill SBA requirements
  • Slower time to fund than other online lenders
Credibility Capital
Loan Amount:$10,000 – $350,000
APR Range:8.00% – 25.00%%
Time to Fund:Typically 7 days
Loan Term:Up to 3 years
How To Qualify:680+ Personal Credit Score
$250,000+ Annual Revenue
Great Option For:Borrowers With Good Credit
Short & Medium-Term Financing
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Credibility Capital

» MORE: Credibility Capital Business Loan Review

Pros:

  • Holistic application evaluation process
  • No prepayment fee
  • Automatic, monthly ACH payments
  • Potential for low APR, with rates ranging between 10% and 25%

Cons:

  • Difficult for low credit, low income borrowers to qualify for
  • Short repayment terms for high loan amounts, with a maximum term of three years
  • UCC-1 filing requirement
  • Potential personal guarantee requirement
OnDeck
Loan Amounts$5,000 to $500,000
APR RangeAs low as 9.99%
Repayment TermsTerm loans up to 3 years
Time to FundingAs fast as 1 day
Click “Check Rates” to apply to OnDeck

» MORE: OnDeck Business Loan Review

Pros:

  • Short time to fund, with cash available within just 24 hours
  • Short, easy online application
  • Low minimum credit score of 500 for term loans and 600 for lines of credit
  • Rewards for repeat borrowers
  • Good way to build business credit
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons:

  • Potential for high annual percentage rates, with some loans coming with rates as high as 99.4%, and lines of credit with rates as high as 60.8%
  • UCC-1 lien requirement
  • Personal guarantee requirement
  • Daily or weekly repayments
  • No benefit for early repayments
  • Will not work with certain industries

For Expanding Your Business

Lendio

Pros:

  • Fast, easy online application
  • Quick to fund
  • Access to variety of funding and lenders
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Potential for very high annual percentage rates
  • Reports of hard credit inquiries upon initial application
LendingClub
Loan Amount:$5,000 – $300,000
APR Range:9.77% – 35.71%
Time To Fund:As quick as 2 days
Loan Term:One to five years
How To Qualify:620+ Personal Credit Score
$50,000 Annual Revenue
Click “Check Rates” to apply to LendingClub

» MORE: LendingClub Business Loan Review

Pros:

  • Looser requirements than traditional banks, with a minimum credit score of 600
  • Lower APR than many other online lenders, with rates as low as 9.8%
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Quick to fund, with cash becoming available within just two days to two weeks

Cons:

  • High rates for low-credit borrowers
  • UCC-1 lien requirement for loans over $100,000

Alternative Borrowing Options For Women With Small Businesses

Personal Loans & Microloans

Kiva vs FundingCircle

While both platforms connect borrowers to investors who are interested in acting as lenders, there are a few key differences between the two. FundingCircle is a general peer-to-peer lending platform, and Kiva is a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that primarily caters to minorities and international borrowers, as well as regular borrowers. Business owners have access to a wide variety of loan types and amount through both services.  

Merchant Cash Advances

Credibly vs Capify

Both Capify and Credibly are high-cost funding options and should only be used if you’re unable to qualify for more traditional forms of lending. Through Capify, borrowers can take out up to $1 million, while with Credibly, borrowers only have access to a maximum of $250,000. Both lenders offer relatively short repayment periods, with maximum terms of 15 months.

Business Lines of Credit

FundBox vs BlueVine

Borrowers have access to significantly more funding through BlueVine’s lines of credit, with a maximum of $250,000, while Fundbox only offers up to $100,000 to borrowers. However, if you’re taking out a business line of credit with BlueVine, you might be faced with an APR as high as 78%.

Conclusion

Whether you’re the owner of a brand new business or have an established business with a high annual income, it’s important to take the time to consider all of your funding options. Registering as a WOSB can help you gain access to various types of funding and better rates. Make sure before you begin your application to have all of your documents in order to make the process as smooth as possible. Once you’ve secured your WOSB status, remember to evaluate multiple offers and lenders before making a final decision on the product that’s right for you.

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