Best Small Business Loans of 2019

Being a small business owner can be tough. You have staff to manage and operations to run, all whilst chasing up money from customers and ensuring cash-flow is positive sometimes a loan is necessary to make a big investment, or even just to stay small business loans

If this sounds familiar, youll be pleased to know that there are more ways of obtaining funding for small businesses than ever before.

Its not just big banks and credit unions you can borrow from anywhere there are a wide range of online lenders, peer-to-peer marketplaces, and even payment processors that are competing for your trust.

Due to the reasonable stability of the economy at the moment, its also a great time to obtain a loan at a reasonable rate.

What are the best small business loans?

As already touched on, there is a huge variety of small business loans and loan providers out there.

The right one for you depends on how good your credit score is and what you want to use your loan for.

Weve broken everything down into a few categories and selected the best loans for each one:

Lending Marketplaces

If you want to get an idea of whats available on the market for small business loans, then a lending marketplace could be a great place to start.

You can compare different providers on one platform, and theyll help to match you with the lenders who will be most likely to approve your application.

Funding Circle

funding circle logoFunding Circle is a peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, which means money is provided directly from private investors hoping to make a return from the loans.

Its ideally suited to established businesses who want extra funds for refinancing debt or carrying out an expansion. Common reasons for borrowing include refurbishments, hiring more staff, and buying new equipment.

You can borrow between $25,000 and $500,000 at a rate from 11.67% to 36.00%. The term can be as low as six months or up to five years.

A big advantage is the chance to receive support from a loan specialist throughout the application process. Furthermore, U.S. News & World Report named Funding Circle the Best Small Business Loan for Low APR in September 2019, which is a testament to their reliability.


  • Minimum credit score: 620
  • Minimum time in business: two years
  • No bankruptcies within the past seven years
  • Business lien and personal guarantee


  • Receive the funds within 3 days (could be as soon as 24 hours)
  • No minimal annual revenue
  • Flexible loan terms


  • Need a business lien and personal guarantee
  • Not well-suited to newer businesses
  • Higher Origination Fee


lendio logoLendio is a loan matchmaker that can connect you with various loan providers at no extra charge.

They have more than 75 providers on their database and, so far, have managed to connect businesses to $1.4 billion of capital.

You can choose between a line of credit, equipment financing loan, term loan, startup loan, and even a credit card. This means that, even if you decide conventional loans arent right for you, you could still find a suitable loan provider on Lendio.

Although the APR and loan values depend on the type of loan you opt for, the APR range from 6.5% to 40.00% and the loan values from $5,000 to $5 million.


  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000


  • Receive capital within 24 hours
  • No extra charge


  • Some loans have high rates
  • Prepayment penalties vary


lending club logoAs Americas largest peer-to-peer lender, you can expect LendingClub to have you covered. Although they specialize in personal loans, they also have small business loans available.

You can borrow up to $300,000 at an APR between 5.99% and 29.99%. Youll need to pay an origination fee between 3.49% and 7.99% for one- to five-year terms. There are no prepayment penalties.


  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Minimum annual sales: $50,000
  • Minimum time in business: one year


  • Competitive rates
  • No prepayment fees


  • Origination fee
  • Has previously been in trouble for deceptive lending practices

SBA Loans

SBA loans are backed by the Small Business Administration and thus the government, so only a select group of lending institutions can offer them.

These loans have the advantages of a low interest rate (11% APR or less) and long terms, but they can be difficult and lengthy to obtain approval for youll need good personal credit score (690 or more) and a good financial history for your business.

However, if youre successful, you can borrow more money than you may be able to obtain from other types of loans, which makes them ideal for projects such as substantial investments, refinancing debt, or buying a business.


smartbiz logoSmartBiz is a loans marketplace that specializes in SBA loans; they claim to be the top provider in the category.

Theyre not a direct lender but instead an intermediary, which means you can increase your likelihood of approval by being matched with the right loans provider.

You can borrow from $30,000 right up to an impressive $5 million at an APR from 9.28% to 10.52%. The terms range from 10 to 25 years.

Like most SBA loans, they offer a large loan amount for a relatively low rate, making the loans attractive but potentially difficult to obtain youll need a credit score of at least 650, a business lien, and a personal guarantee. Its also best to be an established business, with tax returns for the past three years and a good financial history.

You can choose an SBA loans for a specific purpose, like working capital and debt refinancing loans ($30,000 to $350,000) and commercial real estate loans ($500,000 to $5 million).

There are also conventional bank term loans ($30,000 to $200,000), although it might be best to choose a provider more specialized in this area.


  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Minimum time in business: two years
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past three years


  • Find out if you qualify within minutes
  • Get funds within a week
  • Low APR


  • Strict requirements
  • For specific industries only
  • Must use your funds for specific purposes

Live Oak Bank

live oak bank logoLive Oak Bank has Preferred Lender (PLP) status, which means they can offer the full range of SBA products. You can thus receive your money quickly and with great service.

They work with brokers, intermediaries, and individuals to deliver SBA loan options. These can be used for business acquisitions, business expansions, and refinancing. You can borrow from $75,000 up to $7 million at an APR from 5.50% to 8.25%. Loan terms go up to three years.

Live Oak Bank also include tailored information and loans for a variety of industries, from pharmacies to auto dealerships. Unfortunately, the loans arent applicable to every industry.


  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Cash flow to support the debt
  • Minimum of three years of personal and business tax returns
  • No outstanding tax liens
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures


  • Get money faster than you would with a bank
  • Relatively low credit requirement
  • Low APR


  • Cant receive a loan for every industry
  • Requirements are strict
  • Higher Loan amounts

Term Loans

Term loans work like conventional loans: you repay interest over a certain term or length of time.

They can be either short-term (six to twelve months) or long-term (up to ten years). Term loans are therefore ideal for large one-time investments.

Credibility Capital

credibility capital logoWith a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, Credibility Capital is exactly what is claims to be: credible.

Their loans are funded by banks, which means federal or state-chartered banks hold the banks and the cost of capital is lower.

You can borrow from $25,000 to $350,000 at an APR from 10.00% to 25.00% for 1-, 2-, or 3-year terms. There are no fees for prepayment or application, but youll have to pay for an origination fee from 3 to 5%.

Unfortunately, the loans are not available to those in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Vermont.


  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Minimum time in business: 24 months
  • No commercial or personal bankruptcies within the last five years
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000


  • Can receive funding within here days
  • Prepayment is possible


  • Origination fees
  • High minimum revenue


ondeck logoOnDeck give short-term funding to businesses in a variety of forms, which is best-suited for businesses who have a credit score that isnt strong, but isnt poor enough for bad credit loan either.

Their term loans are between $5,000 and $500,000 with rates of 9.00% to 99%; but only the most established get offered the lowest rates. All rates are fixed, so although there are no prepayment fees, youll end up being penalized if you do repay early. Youll also need to pay an origination fee.

Unlike most lenders, which require monthly repayments, OnDeck needs payments on a daily or weekly basis, which can be inconvenient for some but is well-suited to those who want flexibility.

OnDeck also offers lines of credit; the credit score requirement is the same, but the APR is higher: from 13.99% to 63.00%.


  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
  • Business lien and personal guarantee
  • No bankruptcies within past two years


  • Can receive funding within 24 hours
  • Low credit score requirement
  • Quick process


  • Daily and weekly repayments
  • Origination fee
  • Higher APR rates


fundation logoFundation is a direct lender aimed towards small- and medium-sized businesses. It offers term loans for business expansion, equipment, and capital improvements. The loans are available in every state except for Nevada.

You can borrow up to $500,000 for a term of up to four years. The APR goes from 8.99% to 29.99%, including an origination fee. You have to pay fees twice per month.

When assessing your interest rate, the following factors will be taken into account: business stability; credit history; financial metrics, and cash flow & debt.

Fundation also offers line up credit; you can borrow up to $150,000, which needs to be paid once per month.


  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Minimum time in business: one year
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
  • Personal guarantee and business lien


  • No prepayment penalties
  • Relatively large amount


  • Lengthy application process
  • Not suitable for sole proprietors or new businesses

Business Lines of Credit

Business lines of credit let you take out a sum of money that you wont be charged interest until you actually use the money.

In many ways, they work similarly to credit cards. That makes business lines of credit best-suited for managing cash flow and unexpected expenses rather than big investments.


kabbage logoKabbage gives revolving lines of credits, which means you can borrow in increments up to a pre-approved limit whilst making payments on a regular basis.

Youll be given a Kabbage Card, similar to a credit card, and can withdraw funds either by using this, using the app, or using the computer. Its another company given an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.

You can take a revolving credit line of up to $250,000 for a term length of 6, 12, or 18 months, with an APR between 24.00% and 99.00%. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.

The requirements are fairly holistic and require less paperwork before obtaining funding. The main advantage is the convenience.


  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Minimum time in business: one year
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000


  • Suitable for bad credit
  • Can be approved within ten minutes
  • No fees


  • High rates
  • Fixed-free structure so early repayment doesnt save interest
  • Offering limited to only line of credit


streetshares logoStreetShares is a lender made by veterans in 2013 with the mission of starting a funding option independent from banks.

With almost 70,000 members, theyre a slightly smaller company than some others on the list, but thats nothing to balk at.

The Patriot Express Line of Credit allows you to borrow between $5,000 and $250,000 at an APR of 6.00% to 39.90%.

The credit isnt available for those from the following states: North Dakota; South Dakota; Rhode Island; Montana, and Nevada.

They also offer terms loans, merchant cash advances, equipment financing, and SBA loans. Through the term loan, you can borrow from $2,000 up to $250,000 at an APR of 9.14% to 39.99%. The minimum credit score is still 600, but the minimum annual revenue goes down to $75,000.


  • Minimum credit score: 600
  • Minimum time in business: one year
  • Minimum annual revenue: $75,000
  • No bankruptcies in past three years


  • Could receive funding on the same day
  • Low credit score requirement


  • High rates
  • Late payment/Failed payment fees

Invoice-Based Financing and Factoring

Invoice-based loans give you money based on the unpaid invoices youre owed. Invoice factoring involves selling invoices to the factoring company, whilst invoice financing means using invoices as a basis for a loan.

This is another type of loan which is great for managing cash flow.


fundbox logoFundbox only offers invoice financing. Youll continue to work with customers directly, but youll no longer have to wait to get paid.

Youll pay a merchant fee between 1% and 3.3%, and the overall APR ranges from 10.10% to 78.60%. Terms are 15-90 days and you can borrow up to $100,000.

Instead of a credit check, you can just connect your accounting software to Fundbox for approval. Therefore, you must have an account with one of the following: QuickBooks; FreshBooks; Harvest; Clio; InvoiceASAP; Sage One; Kashoo, or Jobber.

Fundbox can also be used for lines of credit, which require a minimum credit score of 500. The APR is 10.10% to 79.80% for companies that have been in business for just three months.


  • Minimum credit score: 500
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000


  • No paperwork needed
  • Suitable for those with low credit
  • Fast application and funding


  • High rates
  • Need to use finance software
  • Offers less than BlueVine


bluevine logoBluevine offers both invoice factoring and invoice financing but focuses on the latter.

Once you get approved, you need to upload invoices onto your Bluevine dashboard; youll receive up to 90% of the money youre owed upfront and the rest once the invoice is paid.

The APR is between 15.00% and 68.00% and you can get a factoring line up to $5 million.

Bluevine also offer lines of credit and term loans. Their term loan is ideal for newer businesses who want short-term funding. Theres a credit score of 600, which is lower than for invoice factoring, and you only need to have been in business for six months.

But the APR is higher: 18.00% to 78.00%. The credit score for lines of credit is 620 and the APR is from 15.00% and 78.00%.


  • Minimum credit score: 530
  • Minimum time in business: three months
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000


  • Get approved within 24 hours
  • You can finance larger invoices
  • Borrow more money


  • Need to invoice on net terms
  • Need customers to pay bills on time
  • Not available in all states

Bad Credit Loans

It can be tough to get approved for a small business loan at the best of times, never mind if you have a poor credit score.

Luckily, there are still some options available for you. These lenders specialize in getting much-needed business financing to companies that dont have the right track record to be considered elsewhere.


cancapital logoCanCapital is a lender suitable for bad credit borrowers with impressive credentials. They serve more than 80,000 businesses with funds worth more than $7 billion, and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

CanCapital offers merchant cash advance, which provides working capital by buying the future payment card receivables of a company. This is a type of credit thats good for businesses with bad or no credit.

This may not be a good option when compared to a different type of loan, but for firms with little to no options, its one of the best places to get a merchant cash advance from.

You can borrow from $2,500 to $250,000 for a term of 6-18 months at an APR of between 16% and 70%, including an origination fee of at least 3%.


  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Minimum time in business: six months
  • Minimum annual revenue: $150,000


  • Accessible to all businesses
  • Minimal paperwork
  • Funds can be transferred within a day


  • High rates
  • Comparably short repayment terms
  • Lack of transparency with fees/apr


quarterspot logoThe offering of QuarterSpot is similar to a merchant cash advance, as its well-suited to those with bad credit and has higher factor rates.

However, it offers a genuine loan, which means it can help to boost your credit score. They also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

They lend up to $250,000 at an APR of 30.00% to 70.00%. You can receive your funding quickly and face no penalties for early payoff.


  • Minimum credit score: 550
  • Minimum time in business: two years
  • Minimum annual revenue: $200,000
  • Minimum average daily account balance: $2,000


  • Suitable for bad credit borrowers
  • No prepayment fees or penalties
  • Get funding within 24 hours


  • High rates
  • High annual revenue needed
  • Higher origination fee


lendr logoLendr is another provider that provides merchant cash advances. It admittedly doesnt have the best terms on offer, but could be an option to consider if you cant get accepted elsewhere.

They offer loans from $5,000 to $500,000 on terms of 4-14 months and at an APR from 15.00% to 99%.

However, theyre only available for the following industries: catering; construction; transportation; auto body repair shops, and restaurants.


  • Minimum credit score: 520
  • Minimum time in business: one year
  • Minimum annual revenue: $10,000


  • Funds those with poor credit scores
  • Receive same or next day funding
  • Low minimum annual revenue


  • High rates
  • Prepayment fees
  • No savings in prepayment

Equipment Financing

As youd expect, equipment financing loans are specifically designed for funding any kinds of equipment; its essentially a type of a term loan.

Although a conventional term loan can also be used for the purpose of equipment, some loans specially for this purpose offer extra help in obtaining leases, which might be useful to some business owners.

Currency Finance

currency finance logoCurrency is a FinTech company that specializes in equipment loans and working capital loans.

However, even though the loan is designed for equipment, you can use a small percentage of the loan towards services and soft costs as long as theyre directly related to the equipment.

CurrencyFinance is a straightforward scheme that allows you to borrow up to $500,000. The APR goes from 6.00% to 24.00% for a term from 24 up to 72 months.


  • Minimum credit score: 585
  • Minimum annual revenue: $75,000
  • Minimum time in business: 6 months
  • Business lien and personal guarantee


  • No prepayment
  • Suitable for new companies


  • Sometimes have to pay a prepayment fee
  • Moderate funding time

National Funding

national funding logoNational Funding has both an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and high approval rates for its loans.

You can loan from $5,000 up to $150,000 for equipment on two- to five-year terms, and there are flexible payment options. A typical APR is between 15% and 30%.

You can work with a personal loan specialist to customize a solution for your business, and even work to help you gain quick approval for whichever type of equipment you need to grow your business.

National Funding also offer small business loans from $5,000 to $500,000.


  • Minimum credit score: 575
  • Minimum time in business: six months
  • Equipment quote from a vendor


  • Receive funding within 24 hours
  • Personal service


  • Reasonably high rates
  • Slower funding process

National Funding With an A+ rating from the BBB, National Funding can provide your growing business the funds it needs with flexible payment options on loans up to $500,000. Learn More National Funding

Payment Processor Loans

Obtaining a loan from a payment processor such as those named below doesnt make sense for most people since youll face a high APR.

However, if you already use the service and find that you get offered a loan, you could find thats its convenient for you, so here are the details.

Square Capital

square capitalSquare often gives its customers the chance to take out a loan, which are essentially merchant cash advances. Even if youre not a current customer, you can sign up especially for a loan.

Since the loan is designed for customers, you can have the payments deducted from your Square card automatically, which is convenient and the main draw. Another advantage for current customers is that your eligibility is partly determined by your history with Square.

You can loan from $1,000 to $100,000 at an APR of 30% to 35%. Loan terms are from 3 to 18 months.


  • Minimum credit score: 350


  • Loan deposited within a day
  • Automatic deductions
  • No prepayment fees


  • Harder to get approved if youre not a current Square user
  • Higher APRs
  • Poor customer support

PayPal Working Capital

paypal working capital logoPayPal Working Capital also offers merchant cash advances. You can use the loan for working capital, product or service expansion, or equipment purchase.

You can loan up to $125,000 at an APR between 36% and 120%. The repayment schedule is fairly flexible: you can choose the cash advance amount and repayment percentage that suits your needs.

The maximum amount you can receive depends on your PayPal activity, so the loan is exclusively for PayPal customers.


  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Minimum annual revenue: $15,000
  • Minimum time in business: 12 months


  • Lenient requirements
  • Can receive funding with minutes


  • Only available to PayPal sellers
  • High rates

Stripe Capital

stripe capital logoA relatively new but rapidly expanding payment processor, Stripe also offers business loans.

Again, convenience is a big factor. Stripe automatically accounts for your sales and deducts a fixed percentage from this to determine your payments.

Like the other processors, eligibility is also determined by your history with Stripe rather than external factors.

You can borrow from $10,000 to $20,000. Youll pay back in one flat fee, and there are no late fees.


  • Good financial history on Stripe


  • Automated repayments
  • Receive funding quickly


  • High APR
  • No large loan options


As you can see, most small business loans are aimed at companies who have at least a year of experience and substantial revenue this can exclude younger companies from traditional financing options.

However, dont panic if you find yourself in this category there are still some options.

Personal loans look only at your personal credit score rather than the financial history of your company, so this can be easier to obtain for newer companies.


Prosper offers a special type of personal loans targeted at businesses, which makes it an ideal option for newer businesses who dont have a track record. Rather than being a business loan, they offer personal loans for business use.

You can borrow between $2,000 and $40,000 at an APR from 6.35% to 35.99%.

Theres an origination fee between 2.41% and 5.00%.

Prosper Personally borrow up to $40,000 for your business with Prosper today to get your company up and running! Get Started Prosper


accion-logoA further option is a startup loan, like those offered by Accion. Its loans are specially designed for entrepreneurs with big ideas who fail to qualify for traditional finance methods, with the requirement that you submit a business plan with a 12-month cash flow projection.

In theory, you could receive up to $1 million, but youre more likely to receive around $15,000.


kiva logoKiva is a not-for-profit organization that offers microloans: loans of smaller value. Because its a charitable organization, the loans are funded via crowdfunding and donations, and the interest rate is just 0%.

The microloans are mostly targeted towards businesses in developing countries, but anybody can apply however, youll need to get family and friends to fund you before youre allowed to crowdfund to a larger audience.

Business Credit Card

Finally, another option is a business credit card, because theyre easier to obtain and will only consider your personal credit score.

However, this can be risky since interest rates are generally higher than other types of loans.

Best Business Credit Cards Compare top business credit cards to see which would suit your financial needs the best. Learn More Best Business Credit Cards

How do you qualify for a small business loan?

Broadly speaking, to qualify for a small business loan, youll need a good personal credit score, to have operated as a company for at least a year, and a good financing history for the business.

However, theres more to the process of obtaining a small business loan that just ticking a few easy boxes. Youll need to jump through more hoops to be able to obtain a loan; the process can be long, inconvenient, and full of inconvenience.

To give yourself the best chance possible, make sure your personal credit is up to scratch especially if you dont have much of a track record for your business. Lenders are more likely to trust you if your personal credit record is impressive.

Theres no quick fix to improve your credit score, but you can start by using a free tool like CreditKarma to find out what your score is and receive tips on improving.

Unlike personal loans, lenders of business loans want to have a clear understanding of what youre using the funding for. Its therefore in your interest to have some kind of business plan and the evidence to support the figures, such as your bank statements. Many companies want to know about your revenue and cash flow so you should be able to prove them.

What credit score is needed for a small business loan?

The exact credit score youll need depends on the loan provider youre borrowing for. Most lenders prefer a credit score of close to 700 for a decent rate. There are companies on this list asking for credit scores that start from just 500, but this means youll be hit with an extortionate APR.

Remember your business also needs a good credit history, including a good annual revenue and length in business, as well as cash flow and ability to repay debt. You may be asked for documents like tax returns and bank statements as proof.

Are small business loans hard to get?

Theres no getting around the fact that small business loans are hard to obtain, especially compared to other types of loans, such as credit cards or personal loans.

Yet some are harder to be approved for than others. Since SBA loans are more selective and have stricter requirements, theyre generally difficult to obtain. Likewise, loans from big banks are also hard to obtain: its estimated that only one in five businesses that apply are approve.

In contrast, loans with higher rates such as bad credit loans or payment processor loans are easier.

What is the easiest business loan to get?

A merchant cash advance, although not technically a loan, is the easiest business loan to get. Unfortunately, its also the type of loan that is most likely to come with unfair terms.

Poor credit specialists are also more likely to give you a loan these include QuarterPoint, CanCapital, and Lendr. Once again, they come with high APRs.

Finally, its also very easy to obtain a loan from a payments processor if youre an existing customer with a good history of using the platform.

Which bank is best for small business loans?

Traditional banks are no longer the only or the best source for business loans. Nonetheless, if you can get approved, youll able to borrow a larger amount of money for a smaller rate and could also give you a longer repayment schedule.

Live Oak Bank is one of the best bank providers for small business loans it has Preferred Lender status, and you can borrow up to $7 million for an APR of just 5.50%. This is a far better deal than a lot of the online lenders.

However, bear in mind that the application process with a bank is often longer and more difficult, and there may be more collateral involved.

What Small Business Funding is For You?

Now may be a great time to get a business loan, and there are certainly lots of choices, but there are still no guarantees of your gaining approval.

Theres no doubt that applying for a business loan is going to be a lengthy process and you may face rejection.

If youre struggling to get accepted or finding the application process overwhelming, consider enlisting professional help; for instance, a CPA (certified public accountant) to sort out your finances.

Nonetheless, after getting your finances in order and figuring out which lender is best suited for you, theres no reason you shouldnt be able to obtain a good small business loan with some persistence.

The post Best Small Business Loans of 2019 appeared first on Millennial Money.

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