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Top Small Business Lenders

If you’re the owner of a small business, chances are you’ll encounter expenses that can’t be paid for out of pocket. Some business owners just don’t have the time or the patience, however, to wait for the funds to arrive through a traditional bank. That’s where alternative small business lenders come in. Alternative small business lenders can provide a faster, simpler and easier lending process that requires minimal paperwork and less time to access the funds.

What are alternative small business lenders?

Alternative small business lenders are lenders that work outside of the traditional bank lending framework. These often include online, as well as peer-to-peer lenders. Many alternative lenders can be much easier to apply to and qualify for.

Big Bank loans vs alternative business loans

Big Bank Loans

Pros:

  • Often come with lower rates
  • Applicants can meet with a person in real life instead of speaking with a customer service representative over the phone
  • Borrowers may have access to larger loan amounts

Cons:

  • May require a lot of paperwork
  • More difficult to qualify for than alternative loans
  • Can take several weeks to a few months to fund

Alternative Business Loans

Pros:

  • Generally quick to fund
  • Easier to qualify for than big bank loans
  • Easy applications
  • Many lenders take a holistic approach to the application evaluation process
  • Variety of loan types, investors and lenders

Cons:

  • Can come with higher APRs than traditional loans
  • Shorter repayment terms than traditional loans
  • May have additional fees such as prepayment and check processing fees
  • Borrowers may not be able to speak with someone in-person if they have a problem

Top Small Business Lenders For Term Loans

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

Best For: Credibility Capital is best for borrowers with good personal credit scores, at least two years in business and large annual revenues who are looking to finance medium to large-sized expenses of up to $400,000.

Pros:

  • Large amounts of up to $400,000
  • APR as low as 10%
  • Holistic approach to application evaluation process
  • Automatic monthly payments

Cons:

  • Short repayment terms, with a maximum of three years
  • UCC-1 lien or personal guarantee required, putting borrowers’ assets at risk
  • Takes seven days to fund, which is longer than many other online business lenders

Currency Capital

Loan Amount: $5,000 - $2 million
APR Range: 6.00% - 24.00%%
Time to Fund: As early as same day
Loan Term: One to five years
How To Qualify: 620+ Personal Credit Score
$120,000+ Annual Revenue
Great Option For: Equipment Financing
Competitive Interest Rates
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Currency Capital 

» MORE: Currency Capital Business Loan Review

Best For: Currency is ideal for borrowers whose financial qualifications fall short of the requirements of traditional lenders, but who still maintain good credit and high annual revenues. Their loans are specifically geared towards borrowers who are looking for equipment financing.

Pros:

  • Lower interest rates than many of its competitors, with APRs as low as 6%
  • Funding within as little as one business day
  • Access to financing of up to $2 million

Cons:

  • Funding can take as long as two weeks
  • The maximum repayment term is five years, which can mean several high monthly payments if borrowers access the lender’s highest financing amounts
  • Difficult for borrowers with bad credit or new businesses to qualify

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
Great Option For: Borrowers With Good Credit
SBA Loans
Click “Check Rates” to apply to SmartBiz 

» MORE: SmartBiz SBA Loan Review

Best For: SmartBiz is ideal for borrowers with excellent personal credit scores, established businesses and high annual revenues who are looking for large, non-emergency loans for their businesses.

Pros:

  • Amounts of up to $250,000
  • Rates as low as 9.7%, with a maximum of 11.04%
  • Access to SBA loans with a shorter funding time than a traditional SBA loan
  • Funding within weeks
  • Access to commercial real estate loans of up to $5 million

Cons:

  • SmartBiz adds its own fees on top of normal SBA loan fees, so borrowers will pay more than with a traditional SBA loan
  • Although they fund faster than an SBA loan, SmartBiz loans still takes longer to disburse than many other online business loans
  • Borrowers must fulfill SBA and SmartBiz requirements
  • Difficult for borrowers with low credit, new businesses or low annual revenues to qualify

StreetShares

Loan Amounts $2,000  - $250,000
APR Range As Low As 8%
Repayment Terms Up to 3 years
Time to Funding Typically 1 - 5 days
Click “Check Rates” to apply to StreetShares 

» MORE: StreetShares Business Loans Review

Best For: StreetShares provides term loans, lines of credit, and invoice factoring to suit a wide variety of needs. This lender is best for veterans as well as borrowers with strong cash flows and established businesses, who are looking to fund large-scale projects.

Pros:

  • Multiple types of financing
  • Access to up to $250,000 for term loans and lines of credit
  • APR as low as 8%
  • Funding in as little as one business day

Cons:

  • Difficult for borrowers who do not have a strong cash flow to qualify
  • Loans can take up to five days to fund

Top Small Business Lenders For Short-Term Loans

OnDeck

 

Line of Credit

Loan Amounts $5,000 - $500,000
APR Range As low as 9%
Repayment Terms Up to 3 years - daily or weekly payments
Time to Funding As Fast  as 24 hours
Click “Check Rates” to apply to OnDeck 

» MORE: OnDeck Business Loans Review

Best For: OnDeck’s loans are best for borrowers with bad credit who need access to large amounts of fast cash.

Pros:

  • Loans of up to $500,000
  • APR as low as 9%
  • Next-day funding

Cons:

  • Daily or weekly repayments
  • APR as high as 99%
  • Limit of $100,000 for lines of credit
  • No prepayment incentive

CAN Capital

Best For: CAN Capital is best for new business owners and borrowers with poor credit who need fast access to cash for an emergency or urgent expenses.

Pros:

  • Loans of up to $250,000
  • Quick to fund
  • Easy, online application
  • Maximum interest of 29%

Cons:

  • 3% origination fee
  • $395 administration fee on merchant cash advances
  • Maximum repayment terms of 18 months

QuarterSpot

Loan Amounts $5,000 to $250,000
APR Range 30.00% to 70.00%
Repayment Terms Up to 18 months
Time to Funding As fast as 1 day
Click “Check Rates” to apply to QuarterSpot 

» MORE: QuarterSpot Business Loan Review

Best For: Because QuarterSpot’s minimum APR is 30%, this lender’s products are best for borrowers who have poor personal credit scores and are willing to take on an expensive loan for the benefit of quick access to large amounts of cash.

Pros:

  • Access to up to $250,000
  • Funding within as little as 24 hours

Cons:

  • APR as high as 70%
  • Maximum loan term of 18 months
  • Personal guarantee required

FundBox

Loan Amounts $1,000 to $100,000
APR Range 10.1% to 79.8%
Repayment Terms 3 to 6 months
Credit Score No minimum personal credit score required
Time to Funding A few minutes to several days
Click “Check Rates” to apply to FundBox 

» MORE: Fundbox Business Loan Review

Best For: FundBox is best for borrowers across a range of credit scores who have several unpaid invoices that can be sold for a fast cash advance.

Pros:

  • APR as low as 10.1%
  • Only requires three months of invoicing history or time in business and 11.4% for lines of credit
  • Next-day funding
  • Easy, online application
  • Access to 100% of the value of unpaid invoices

Cons:

  • Potential for interest rates as high as 78.6%
  • Maximum line of credit amount of $100,000
  • Maximum 24-week repayment period

BlueVine


Line Of Credit
Loan Amounts $5,000 to $250,000
APR Range 15% to 78%
Repayment Terms 6 or 12 months
Time to Funding As fast as 24 hours
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Blue Vine 


Invoice Factoring
Loan Amounts $20,000 to $5 million
APR Range 15% to 68%
Repayment Terms Up to 13 weeks
Time to Funding N/A
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Blue Vine 

» MORE: BlueVine Business Loans Review

Best For: BlueVine is best for borrowers with low credit who are looking for a line of credit or invoice factoring.

Pros:

  • Access to up to $5 million with invoice factoring, or $250,000 with line of credit
  • Easy for new businesses to qualify
  • Low minimum time in business requirement of just six months
  • Quick to fund

Cons:

  • APR of up to 78% on lines of credit
  • APR of up to 63% on invoice factoring
  • Penalties for late invoice payments

Compare Short-Term Business Loans

Top Small Business Lenders For Medium-Term Loans

FundingCircle

Loan Amount: $25,000 - $500,000
APR Range: 4.99% - 26.99%%
Time To Fund: 10 days on average
Loan Terms: One to five years
How To Qualify: 660+ Personal Credit Score
No Minimum Annual Revenue
Great Option For: Established Businesses, Not Sole Proprietors
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Funding Circle 

» MORE: Funding Circle Business Loan Review

Best For: FundingCircle is best for borrowers with established credit and financial histories who are looking for large business loans of up to $500,000.

Pros:

  • Works with a wide variety of business lenders and investors
  • Faster to fund than SBA or traditional bank loans, in as little as 10 days
  • APRs starting at 10.1%
  • Low origination fees, starting at 0.99%
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons:

  • Stringent requirements, with a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify and a requirement of at least two years in business
  • Slower to fund than other online banks and lending platforms, with a 10-day time to disbursement
  • Long application process

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
Great Option For: Good Personal Credit
Works With All Entities Including Sole Proprietors
Click “Check Rates” to apply to LendingClub 

» MORE: LendingClub Business Loan Review

Best For: LendingClub is ideal for new businesses that want to compare multiple offers using just one application. LendingClub’s loans can be used to fund medium to large business expenses such as major repairs or company vehicle purchases.

Pros:

  • Low minimum time in business requirement of just one year
  • Access to a variety of lenders with just one application
  • Easy, online application
  • Loans as high as $300,000
  • Funding within as little as two business days
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons:

  • Personal guarantee required
  • UCC-1 lien required on loans larger than $100,000
  • Rates as high as 35.7%

Fundation

Best For: Fundation is best for borrowers who have excellent credit scores and large, established businesses, and are looking to pay for big expenses such as multiple vehicles down payments, equipment purchases, or major renovations.

Pros:

  • Access to up to $500,000
  • APR as low as 8%
  • Funding within as little as one business day
  • A holistic approach to the application process

Cons:

  • Frequent repayments, with payments, made every two weeks
  • Businesses must have at least three employees to qualify
  • Short maximum loan term of four years can result in higher monthly payments

» MORE: Fundation Business Loan Review

Compare Long-Term Business Loans

Business Loan Alternatives

A line of credit can be a great alternative to a business loan, especially if you’re looking to finance expenses such as payroll, regular inventory purchases, supply purchases or utility payments. Let’s take a look at some of the best providers of credit lines for small businesses:

Best Line Of Credit Lenders for Small Businesses

Kabbage

 

Line of Credit

Loan Amounts $2,000 to $250,000
APR Range 24% to 99%
Repayment Terms 6 to 12 months
Time to Funding A few minutes to several days
Click “Check Rates” to apply to Kabbage 

» MORE: Kabbage Business Loan Review

Best For: Kabbage is best for borrowers who have poor credit, and who are looking to fund cyclical expenses such as payroll or inventory purchases.

Pros:

  • Lines of credit of up to $250,000
  • Easy, online application
  • Easy to qualify for, with low revenue and credit score requirements
  • No collateral requirement
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons:

  • APR of up to 99%
  • Complex fee structure
  • No prepayment incentive

OnDeck

 

Line of Credit

Loan Amounts Up to $100,000
APR Range As low as 13.99%
Repayment Terms Flexible Revolving Lines
Time to Funding N/A
Click “Check Rates” to apply to OnDeck 

» MORE: OnDeck Business Loans Review

Best For: OnDeck’s lines of credit are best for borrowers who have low credit scores and need access to fast cash for medium-sized and cyclical business expenses.

Pros:

  • Option to apply online or over the phone
  • Loose borrower qualifications
  • Rewards for repeat borrowers
  • Lines of credit up to $100,000

Cons:

  • $20 monthly maintenance fee
  • APR of up to 60.8%
  • UCC-1 lien required
  • Daily or weekly payments

StreetShares


Line of Credit
Loan Amounts $5,000 -  $250,000
APR Range As Low As 8%
Repayment Terms Up to 3 years
Time to Funding Typically 1 - 5 days
Click “Check Rates” to apply to StreetShares 

» MORE: StreetShares Business Loans Review

Best For: StreetShares lines of credit are ideal for veterans or borrowers with strong cash flows who want to fund large, cyclical expenses such as payroll, supplies purchases or inventory purchases.

Pros:

  • Access to up to $250,000
  • APR as low as 8%
  • Access to funds within as little as one business day
  • Community-based lending

Cons:

  • Access to just 20% of annual revenue
  • Limited to certain states
  • Weekly payments

Compare Line Of Credit Options

Conclusion

Whether you have stellar credit and have been in business for several years, or you’re the owner of a brand new business you’re likely to find an alternative lender that will work with you. While a term loan might be ideal for a one-time payment or large project, taking a look at a line of credit could be a better idea if you’re looking to fund regular or cyclical expenses. No matter what your financial needs and qualifications are, however, make sure to take the time to compare multiple lenders before making a final decision on the loan that’s right for your business.

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