Small Business Loans: Compare Your Financing Options

Find the right funding tailored to your small business.

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Best small business loans in 2022

Written by Carissa Chesanek and Melissa Wylie | Edited by Kurt Adams | Updated on December 12, 2022

Small business loans can cover real estate, equipment, payroll or nearly any need. For this guide, we selected the best small business loans that offer transparent rates and repayment terms, maximum loan amounts of at least $150,000, funding within two weeks or less and lenient requirements for personal credit scores and time in business. Learn more about how we chose the best small business loans here.

LenderBest forLoan TermsAmountRatesMin. credit score
SmartBizSBA loans120 to 300 months$30,000 to $350,0009.00%-10.00% variable650
OnDeckShort-term loansUp to 24 months$5,000 to $250,000Starting at 29.90% APR625
Funding CircleLong-term loans6 to 84 months$25,000 to $500,00011.29% to 30.12%660
BluevineLine of credit6 to 12 monthsUp to $250,000Simple interest rates starting at 6.20% for 26-week repayment625
CrediblyWorking capital3 to 15 monthsUp to $400,000Factor rates starting at 1.15500
Taycor FinancialEquipment financing12 to 84 monthsUp to $2,000,0003.49% to 28.00%550
Elevation CapitalAccounts receivable financing120 days average repayment$5,000 to $10,000,000Factor rates starting at 1.12550
Reliant FundingMerchant cash advances3 to 15 months$5,000 to $400,000Factor rates starting at 1.10525
Uplyft CapitalBad credit2 to 12 months$3,000 to $1,000,000Factor rates starting at 1.24450
FundboxFast funding12 to 24 weeksUp to $150,0004.66% to 8.99%600
Fora FinancialStartupsUp to 15 monthsUp to $750,000Factor rates starting at 1.10500
National FundingBusiness expansion36 to 60 monthsUp to $150,000Starting at 4.99%650
Seeking COVID-19 relief for your small business? Find resources here.

Our pick for SBA loans: SmartBiz

Read our SmartBiz review

APR range7.5% to 10.29% [shortcode update]
APR range9.00%-10.00% variable
Loan amount$30,000 to $350,000
Term (months)120 to 300 months
Min. credit score650
FeesUp to 3.5% of guaranteed portion up to $1,000,000, plus 3.75% of guaranteed portion over $1,000,000
Time to fundingAs short as 7 days

Our pick for short-term loans: OnDeck

Read our OnDeck review

APR rangeStarting at 29.9% APR [shortcode]
APR rangeStarting at 29.90% APR
Loan amount$5,000 to $250,000
Term (months)Up to 24 months
Min. credit score625
FeesMaximum origination fee of 4.00%
Time to fundingUp to 3 business days

Our pick for long-term loans: Funding Circle

Read our Funding Circle review

APR range11.29% to 30.12%
APR range11.29% to 30.12%
Loan amount$25,000 to $500,000
Term (months)6 to 84 months
Min. credit score660
FeesOrigination fee of 4.49% - 8.49%
Time to funding5 days

Our pick for business line of credit: Bluevine

Read our BlueVine review

APR rangeSimple interest rates starting at 4.80% [shortcode]
APR rangeSimple interest rates starting at 6.20% for a 26-week repayment term
Loan amountUp to $250,000
Term (months)6 to 12 months
Min. credit score625
Time to funding1 to 3 business days

Our pick for working capital loans: Credibly

Read our Credibly review

APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.15 [shortcode]
APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.15
Loan amountUp to $400,000
Term (months)3 to 15 months
Min. credit score500
Fees2.50% origination fee
Time to fundingMay be same business day

Our pick for equipment financing: Taycor Financial

Taycor Financial lender logoRead our Taycor Financial review

APR range3.49% to 28% [shortcode update]
APR range3.49% to 28.00%
Loan amountUp to $2,000,000
Term (months)12 to 84 months
Min. credit score550
FeesDoc fee (amount not disclosed)
Time to fundingTypically within 24 hours

Our pick for accounts receivable financing: Elevation Capital

Elevation Capital lender logoRead our Elevation Capital review

APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.12 [shortcode]
APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.12
Loan amount$5,000 to $10,000,000
Term (months)120 days average repayment
Min. credit score550
Time to fundingWithin 10 days

Our pick for merchant cash advances: Reliant Funding

Reliant Funding lender logoRead our Reliant Funding review

APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.1 [shortcode]
APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.10
Loan amount$5,000 to $400,000
Term (months)3 to 15 months
Min. credit score525
FeesOrigination fee of $499 for funding amounts up to $50,000; No origination fee for higher amounts.
Time to fundingAs little as 24 hours

Our pick for bad credit business loans: Uplyft Capital

Uplyft Capital logoRead our Uplyft Capital review

APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.24
APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.24
Loan amount$3,000 to $1,000,000
Term (months)2 to 12 months
Min. credit score450
FeesNo fees on MCAs
Time to fundingCould receive on same day requested

Our pick for fast funding: Fundbox

Fundbox logoRead our Fundbox review

APR range4.66% to 8.99%
APR range4.66% to 8.99%
Loan amountUp to $150,000
Term (months)12 to 24 weeks
Min. credit score600
FeesNo origination fee
Time to fundingNext business day after approval

Our pick for startup business loans: Fora Financial

Read our Fora Financial review

APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.10
APR rangeFactor rates starting at 1.10
Loan amountUp to $750,000
Term (months)Up to 15 months
Min. credit score500
Fees Origination fee of 2.5% of the loan amount or $300, whichever is higher
Time to funding72 hours upon approval

Our pick for business expansion loans: National Funding

Read our National Funding review

APR rangeStarting at 4.99%
APR rangeStarting at 4.99%
Loan amountUp to $150,000
Term (months)36 to 60 months
Min. credit score650
FeesDoc fee (1% of equipment loan); Origination fee (1-2% of equipment loan)
Time to funding24 hours after approval

How we chose our picks:

We chose small business loans from online lenders that could cover small, medium or large expenses. Small business lenders that appear on this list meet the following criteria:

  • Maximum amounts no less than $150,000
  • Funding available within two weeks of approval
  • No more than two years in business required
  • Personal credit score requirements below 680
  • Transparent rates and repayment terms

What is a small business loan?

Small business loans help entrepreneurs build, maintain or expand their companies. Getting business loans for your company doesn’t always require walking into a bank and securing funds — there are also a variety of online small business lenders to consider, which may have easier qualifications and faster applications.

Small businesses account for a significant chunk of American economic activity — the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that there are 32.5 million small businesses across the country. While the nature of each one varies, many hold one major thing in common: the need for business financing.

Funding for underserved small businesses

There are several financing options aimed at historically disadvantaged businesses, including those owned by women and veterans, as well as Black, Asian, Latino and Native American entrepreneurs.

Business funding for women

Women entrepreneurs can apply for business grants or debt financing reserved for women-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses have grown at a faster rate than U.S. businesses overall in recent years, but when women are approved for business loans, the average annual loan size is about 33% less than men.

Business funding for minorities

Capital is available for business owners of color in the form of business grants or loans. Compared to their counterparts, those in historically marginalized communities face more entrepreneurial hurdles related to funding. Organizations and lenders across the U.S. allocate funds to support minority-owned businesses.

Business funding for veterans

There are several resources and funding options for veteran business owners. After leaving the military, many veterans often have trouble transitioning their military training to civilian careers and instead choose to start their own ventures. Business loans for military veterans are among the keys to success.

Small business loan application checklist

Once you’ve determined that your business can handle taking on debt, the process of applying for a small business loan involves rounding up the necessary documentation for your loan application. The exact paperwork differs across business funding partners, but will most likely include the following documents:

  • 2 to 3 years of personal and business tax returns
  • Recent profit and loss statement
  • Past bank statements
  • Recent balance sheet
  • Legal filings related to ownership
  • Information on existing debts
  • Business license (if applicable)
  • Business plan

Failed applicants commonly make the mistake of submitting inadequate or poorly planned financial documents and business plans. It’s important to gather as much well-prepared information as you can when applying for small business loans.
Close your loan
After approval, the closing process involves reviewing documentation that will determine the terms of your selected loan. A business loan contract is a legally binding agreement that will dictate your interest rate and repayment schedule. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of what the lender is asking of you and the implications these terms have on your business’s financial future. After you sign, you’ve agreed to everything in the contract — including what happens when you make late payments or default.

What do small business lenders look for?

Lenders of small business loans want to know that your business and credit history are relatively stable. As such, they’ll look at several different debt, asset, credit and operational factors to judge your risk as a borrower.

    In general, a business that’s been around for a couple of years is more stable than a startup. This is key for lenders, as a business that has a proven track record of revenue over the past two years is a more attractive borrower than a company with spotty revenue over the past six months.


    Your credit score is a data point lenders use to determine your reliability as a borrower. In most cases, you’ll need a credit score in the 600s to qualify for financing, although certain lenders and loan types may allow scores as low as 500.


    A cash-flow projection shows when money is collected, when cash goes out and what’s left. Lenders typically like to see that the borrower has a thorough understanding of the financial operating cycle of the business.


    Collateral is an asset that lenders can legally seize if you can’t make payments, including company buildings, equipment and accounts receivable. Some business owners choose to use their personal assets — including their homes — as collateral on a business loan.


    Your company’s debt-to-equity (D/E) ratio measures the proportion of your company’s debt divided by shareholders’ equity. This metric helps a lender understand how likely you are to cover new debt based on the debt you’re already paying. While high D/E’s are common in some industries, your goal should be to keep your business’s D/E ratio as low as possible.


    Your working capital refers to the available money you have to fund your company’s day-to-day operations. You can calculate your working capital by subtracting the business’s debt liabilities due within a year from current assets that you can convert to cash.

View Your Small Business Loan Options

Estimate how much you can borrow

Check your creditworthiness

Lenders may analyze your personal and business credit history when reviewing your company’s business loan application; if your business is new, your personal credit profile would carry more weight.

Borrowers should expect to have good personal credit to qualify for traditional business loans.

  • 680 or higher: Minimum required by most traditional bank and credit union business loans.
  • 670 or lower: Accepted by online lenders. They may even consider scores as low as 500; however the trade-off might be higher fees.

Check Your Credit Score: It’s free, and won’t affect your credit score

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Small business loan FAQs

Business owners can take out small business loans — generally between $5,000 and $500,000 or more — to finance expenses like payroll, inventory, equipment and other costs. Repayment terms could be as short as three months or as long as 25 years. Both traditional financial institutions and alternative online lenders offer small business loans.

Several types of business loans are available for small business owners, including term loans and business lines of credit for general business expenses. Financing is also available for specific purchases like equipment and commercial real estate. In addition, invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing are available for businesses that collect a high volume of invoices.

Yes, bad credit business loans are available for business owners with personal credit scores as low as 500. However, lenders may assign high interest rates to low-credit borrowers.

A personal guarantee is a common feature of small business loans, which requires the business owner to be personally responsible for their company’s debt in case of default. A personal guarantee lowers the risk for a lender, but for the business owner, it may limit any protections your business structure offers.

Online lenders may be the best option for a startup business loan. They typically require only a few months in business, as opposed to brick-and-mortar banks that often have stricter eligibility requirements. Other options for startup capital include crowdsourcing, self-funding or grant funding.

It depends. Each lender will have its own criteria, sometimes varying based upon the loan type. The lowest interest rates are often reserved for applicants with higher credit scores, however. If this doesn’t fit your business, online lenders may be more lenient with credit score requirements.

If your application for a business loan is denied, revisit the reason why. Focus on repairing your credit if your credit score was too low; if you haven’t operated in business long enough, simply wait until you’re eligible. In the meantime, consider a small business credit card to get access to the capital you need.