• Business Loans

Best Online Business Loans

Best online business loans of 2023.

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Updated: Feb 28, 2023, 1:20am

Online business loans let business owners access cash to cover expenses, buy equipment and otherwise cover operating costs. Online lenders often feature more streamlined application processes than traditional banks and credit unions, with many imposing less rigorous lending standards based on nontraditional metrics. This means that online business loans may be more convenient and accessible—even to new businesses and less qualified business owners.

American Express Business Blueprint™


Tips to compare online business loans, what is an online business loan, common types of online business loans, how to apply for an online business loan, best online business loans ratings, frequently asked questions (faqs), next up in business loans, best for short-term loans, loan amounts.

$5,000 to $250,000

Time in business

Minimum credit score.

OnDeck was founded in 2006 and has since been a leading provider in the business lending space, offering both term loans and lines of credit. Today, they have extended $14 billion in funding to small businesses.

We picked OnDeck for its variety of business lending products and same-day funding. OnDeck offers a term loan between $5,000 and $250,000 with repayments terms of up to 24 months. You can also access a credit limit of $6,000 to $100,000 through its line of credit with a 12-month repayment term that resets after each withdrawal.

Note: OnDeck does not lend to businesses in Nevada, North Dakota or South Dakota. What’s more, while it lends to over 700 industries, there are some industries it cannot serve .

Eligibility : Prospective borrowers must have a minimum personal credit score of 625 to qualify for an OnDeck term loan or line of credit. Additionally, their business must have been in operation for at least one year and have annual gross revenue of at least $100,000. Applicants must also have an open business checking account.

Turnaround time : You can apply and receive a decision from OnDeck on the same day. What’s more, approved borrowers also can have their funds in their bank account as early as the day they’re approved.

Best for a Lender Comparison Site

$500 to $5 million

Lendio is an online business loan marketplace that connects prospective borrowers with traditional banks and nonbank online lenders. By filling out one application, Lendio is able to connect business owners to over 75 lenders. Over its existence, Lendio has helped small business owners receive over $12 billion in funding nationwide.

Applicants may see Lendio as a one-stop-shop. You can apply for business loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, equipment financing, merchant cash advances (MCAs), commercial mortgages, invoice factoring and business acquisition loans. However, because Lendio is a marketplace and not a lender, it doesn’t publish specific terms. Instead, you’ll have access to its lending partners, and it will help you find the best offer for your specific needs.

Eligibility : Minimum credit score requirements vary by loan product. You can qualify for financing with a score as low as 560; however, we recommend scores of at least 680 to receive the most favorable terms. Additionally, your business should have been in operation for at least six months to one year, depending on the type of loan you apply for.

Funding time : Applying through Lendio takes 15 minutes. After you review your offers and are approved by your lender, you can receive your funds in as little as 24 hours.

Best for Lines of Credit Backed by American Express

$2,000 to $250,000

Monthly fees

Varies by loan term

see below for details

Minimum credit score All businesses are unique and are subject to approval and review.

American Express Business Blueprint™ launched the American Express® Business Line of Credit in December 2021 (formerly Kabbage from American Express and Kabbage Funding™). American Express offers a broad set of cash flow management tools to small businesses.

Business owners can apply for business lines of credit from $2,000 to $250,000. Repayment terms include six, 12 or 18 months.

Line of credit customers incur a loan fee for each month they have an outstanding balance. Total monthly fees incurred over the loan term range from 2% to 9% for six-month loans, 7.5% to 18% for 12-month loans and 15.75% to 27% for 18-month loans.

In addition to its line of credit, American Express Business Blueprint provides other tools beneficial to small business owners, including its own mobile app that provides comprehensive cash flow insights. All businesses are unique and are subject to approval and review.

Eligibility : To be eligible for financing through American Express Business Blueprint, applicants must have a minimum personal credit score of 640, have been in business for at least one year and have a valid business checking account. Applicants should have an average monthly revenue of at least $3,000.

Funding time : Once you complete your loan application and sign the loan agreement, funds are sent to your verified bank account. Funds can take up to three business days to appear in your account, depending on your bank.

Best for Flexible Lines of Credit

$6,000 to $250,000

Flex 6 plan

BlueVine is a financial technology company that provides financing solutions to small businesses nationwide. It specifically specializes in business lines of credit and checking accounts. As of December 2021, BlueVine no longer offers invoice factoring as one of its financing methods.

Small business owners looking to access a line of credit on an as-needed basis can receive funds between $6,000 and $250,000. BlueVine offers two payment structures: Flex 6 or Flex 12. Customers who choose Flex 6 make weekly payments over 26 weeks while Flex 12 customers make monthly payments over 12 months. What’s more, after 45 days of payment on Flex 6, or 90 days of payment on Flex 12, you may be eligible for a credit line increase.

BlueVine also charges weekly or monthly fees for its line of credit. Standard pricing is 1.7% per week or 7% per month for line of credit draws.

Note: BlueVine’s line of credit is available in all 50 U.S. states except North and South Dakota.

Eligibility : Eligibility varies on the specific program a business owner chooses.

Turnaround time : After you submit your application, you can receive a decision as quickly as five minutes. If approved, you’ll receive your funds in your bank account within a few hours if you choose its $15 bank wire option. Choose its free ACH transfer option, and you’ll receive your funds within one to three business days.

Best for Small- to Mid-sized Business

National funding.

$5,000 to $500,000

National Funding offers working capital small business loans between $5,000 and $500,000 with terms of four months to two years, paid daily or weekly. Borrowers can use their funds for all working capital needs, including inventory, payroll, marketing, taxes and more. National Funding also offers equipment financing up to $150,000 but applicants must have a minimum personal credit score of 575 to qualify for that financing method.

Unlike most business lenders, National Funding offers early pay-off discounts. Small business loan customers who repay their total remaining balance in full within the first 100 days of the contract will automatically receive a 7% discount off the total remaining balance. Equipment financing customers who repay the total remaining balance early, at any point during the term, will automatically receive a 6% discount off the total remaining balance.

Eligibility : National Funding recommends a minimum credit score of 600 to qualify for its small business loans and equipment financing. Your business must also have been in operation for at least six months. National Funding requires minimum gross annual sales of $250,000.

Funding time : Most of National Funding’s loans are funded within 24 hours of approval. However, this is subject to receipt of required documentation, underwriting guidelines and processing time by your bank.

Best for Quick Approvals

$1,000 to $150,000

Fundbox is an AI-powered business lending platform that speeds up the application, decision-making and funding process. It offers decisions within three minutes and funds as soon as the next business day.

Prospective borrowers have two business financing options through Fundbox. Business owners can apply for revolving business lines of credit up to $150,000 with repayment terms of 12 or 24 weeks. Your available credit goes back up as you repay your line of credit.

Eligibility : Applicants must have a minimum personal credit score of 600 to qualify for financing through Fundbox. The applicant’s business must only be in operation for at least six months, making it a possible option for startups. However, businesses must have at least $100,000 in annual revenue.

Funding time : Whether you’re getting a line of credit, your funds transfer to your bank account as soon as the next business day.

Best for Established Businesses

Funding circle.

$25,000 to $500,000

Funding Circle has been a direct lender specializing in small business loans since 2010. Since its inception, it has helped 100,000 businesses in 700 industries and lent $15.2 billion globally. We chose Funding Circle because it provides fast, affordable loans with a simple application process and funding in as little as 48 hours. Prospective borrowers have three options: business term loan, line of credit or SBA loan.

Funding Circle term loans range from $25,000 to $500,000 with repayment terms from six months to five years. If you choose to apply for a business line of credit, you can access credit lines between $6,000 and $100,000. However, Funding Circle doesn’t specify its line of credit repayment terms. You can also apply for SBA loans, which range from $25,000 to $500,000 with terms up to 10 years.

There are two main drawbacks of Funding Circle. First, there’s a one-time origination fee on each loan ranging from 3.49% to 6.99% of the approved loan amount. Second, due to state lending regulations, Funding Circle does not lend to businesses that operate out of Nevada, making it available in only 49 of the 50 U.S. states.

Eligibility : The minimum qualifications for a loan through Funding Circle are:

SBA loans, however, require two years in business, a minimum credit score of 650, a minimum annual revenue of at least $400,000, no current federal tax liens and that your business operates in one of the SBA’s eligible industries.

Turnaround time : Depending on the financing method you apply for, you can receive your funds within two to three days. However, SBA loans may take several weeks due to long underwriting turnaround times, which typically take up to three weeks.

Best for Loan Options

$25,000 to $6 million

Biz2Credit is a business financing lender that provides three loan options—term, working capital and commercial real estate (CRE) loans—ranging from $25,000 to $6 million. It only takes a few minutes to apply and, depending on the loan type, 24 hours to receive a decision.

Biz2Credit can connect business owners with working capital loans between $25,000 and $2 million and term loans between $25,000 to $500,000. Working capital loans are paid back with your business receipts through daily, weekly or bimonthly payments while term loans are repaid through weekly, bimonthly or monthly payments over the course of 12 to 36 months. Biz2Credit also offers CRE loans between $250,000 and $6 million with terms between 12 and 36 months; payments are due monthly.

In the event that Biz2Credit cannot provide a financial product, it may present third-party options to qualified prospective borrowers. However, Biz2Credit confirms that “in the vast majority of cases, [it] will make a financing decision without referral to any external party.”

Eligibility : To qualify for a working capital loan, applicants must have a minimum personal credit score of 575, have been operating their business for at least six months and have annual revenue greater than $100,000. Term loans, on the other hand, require a minimum score of 660, 18 months in business and annual revenue greater than $250,000. CRE loans share the same minimum requirements as term loans but also require that prospective borrowers already own commercial property.

Funding time : Business owners can typically apply within four minutes, get a decision as fast as 24 hours and receive funds in 72 hours from approval. However, CRE loan approvals may take up to 30 days.

We reviewed 15 popular lenders based on 16 data points in the categories of loan details, loan costs, eligibility and accessibility, customer experience and the application process. We chose the best lenders based on the weighting assigned to each category:

Within each major category, we also considered several characteristics, including available loan amounts, repayment terms and applicable fees. We also looked at minimum credit score and time in business requirements and the geographic availability of the lender. Finally, we evaluated each provider’s customer support tools, borrower perks and features that simplify the borrowing process—like online applications, prequalification options and mobile apps.

Where appropriate, we awarded partial points depending on how well a lender met each criterion.

To learn more about how Forbes Advisor rates lenders, and our editorial process, check out our Loans Rating & Review Methodology .

Consider these tips when comparing small business loans :

An online business loan is a type of financing business owners can use to fund operational expenses, large purchases and other costs of doing business. Unlike loans from many traditional lenders, online loans can typically be applied for entirely online without visiting a brick-and-mortar branch and without an existing banking relationship. Online loans also may be easier to qualify for and may come with more competitive fee structures than traditional loans.

Loan amounts generally range up to around $500,000, with repayment terms varying widely by loan type and lender. Business loan annual percentage rates (APRs) generally start around 9%, with origination fees ranging from 3% to 5% of the total loan amount.

To meet the unique needs of businesses, there are several forms of online loans available to finance operations. Consider these options when choosing an online business loan:

Term loans are what borrowers typically think of when applying for a business loan. Loan amounts generally extend up to $500,000 or more, and funds are paid out in a lump sum. Interest on term loans accrues on the entire loan amount, with payments due over a period of up to 10 years. For this reason, term loans are best for business owners who need cash to make a large purchase or need a substantial, one-time cash infusion to get their business off the ground.

Line of Credit

Unlike a term loan, a business line of credit lets borrowers qualify for a certain amount and then draw against it on an as-needed basis. In general, lines of credit have lower borrowing limits than term loans, maxing out around $250,000. Interest accrues only on the portion of the line of credit that the business draws against, with lenders charging anywhere from 5% to 80% APR.

Borrowers also can pay off and reuse the credit during the draw period, making lines of credit an excellent option for business owners who need to access funds gradually over time. More lenient eligibility requirements also make lines of credit a more accessible source of funding for some businesses.

Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring is the process of a business selling its outstanding invoices to a factoring company for an upfront payment between 70% and 95% of the total invoice amounts—the advance rate. Under this form of financing, the factoring company takes responsibility for collecting payments from customers. Once the invoice is paid, the borrower typically receives the remaining invoice amount minus monthly factoring fees between 0.50% and 5%.

Factoring companies typically look at the creditworthiness of a business’ clients when reviewing an application. This is because the likelihood of repayment determines the risk borne by the factoring company. For that reason, invoice factoring may be a good option for business owners who haven’t yet established strong credit.

The application process for online business loans varies by lender. However, there are some general steps that prospective borrowers must take to obtain business financing.

1. Evaluate your borrowing needs . Start the borrowing process by evaluating your business’ borrowing needs. First, consider why you need to borrow funds and determine how much you need to borrow. Use a business loan calculator to estimate monthly payments and review your budget to determine how much you can afford in loan payments each month.

2. Review your credit score and reports . Many business lenders check applicants’ personal credit scores and may require a personal guarantee on business loans. So, review your personal credit report and check your credit scores before choosing a lender. If you have an established business, it may have its own business credit score that can improve your approval odds.

3. Familiarize yourself with eligibility requirements . Once you’re familiar with your credit score, compare lenders based on their business loan requirements . Most business lenders impose minimum credit score requirements, require that borrowers be in business for a minimum amount of time and require a minimum annual revenue. However, others evaluate applicants based on nontraditional metrics and alternative credit data.

4. Compile necessary documentation . The documents necessary to apply for an online business loan depend on the lender. However, many lenders require tax returns for at least two years and financial records like bank statements, accounts receivable and outstanding invoices. It may also be necessary to provide a business plan to demonstrate the business’ ability to make on-time payments, though this is most common with less-established businesses.

5. Submit a loan application . After organizing your business’ application documents, complete an online application and submit the necessary supporting materials. Some online lenders further streamline this process by letting applicants connect their bank accounts and other financial tools.

6. Await verification and approval . Many online lenders offer same-day lending decisions, but the verification and approval process can take longer. For example, it may be necessary to provide additional documentation or speak with a lender representative prior to loan approval, which can extend the approval process to up to 30 days.

Are small business loans hard to get?

Small business loans can be difficult to qualify for—especially for new businesses and borrowers with poor personal credit. Not only do lenders often require that businesses be operational for a minimum period of time, but businesses must also demonstrate minimum annual revenue. Applicants should aim to have a personal credit score of around 700 to qualify for a loan.

Can I get a business loan with a 500 credit score?

Getting a business loan with a 500 credit score can be difficult, but is not impossible. In general, prospective borrowers should have a personal credit score of around 700 to qualify for a business loan. However, credit score requirements vary by lender, and some short-term and alternative lenders specialize in borrowers with low credit scores. Some business lenders also offer secured loans that come with less stringent qualification requirements.

Low-credit business owners may also access funds through other types of financing options like invoice factoring or merchant cash advances. This type of financing is generally secured by a business’ invoices or credit card sales, making it easier for less qualified applicants to get funds.

Related : Best Business Loans For Bad Credit 

Can you get a business loan with no revenue?

Many business lenders require borrowers to demonstrate minimum monthly or annual revenue. This can make it difficult for newer businesses to qualify for funding. Still, some lenders offer financing to new businesses that don’t yet have established income. This typically requires submitting additional application materials such as a comprehensive business plan and financial projections that demonstrate the business’ ability to make loan payments.

Kiah Treece is a licensed attorney and small business owner with experience in real estate and financing. Her focus is on demystifying debt to help individuals and business owners take control of their finances.

💸 See if your business qualifies  for a tax credit worth up to $26k per employee. 📞 Call Now: 855-979-9597

Home > Finance > Loans

Best Small Business Loans of 2023

We use Lendio's marketplace to help business owners find which alternative lender has the best loan option for their unique needs. Data effective 2/15/23. At publishing time, loan amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas. *Does not represent the typical rate for every borrower, and other fees may apply.

Chloe Goodshore

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .

With all the financing options out there, trying to compare business loans can feel overwhelming. You can borrow from traditional lenders (banks or credit unions) to get the best deals, or you can borrow from online lenders for lower loan qualifications. You can choose from term loans, lines of credit, invoice financing, microloans, and more. It’s a lot. 

Which is why we’ve taken all those financing options and narrowed them down to the best small-business loans out there. In this roundup, we’ll tell you what makes these lenders great and help you decide which is the best fit for your business.

Ready to find your funding?

Your best chance of securing funds is with a  personal loan  because of their looser borrower requirements.

We've included 2 options for young businesses:  Avant  and  Upstart .

Compare the best small business loan providers

Lendio partners with over 75 lenders, which improves your odds and efficiency to get the funding you need.


$50k in revenue

6 mos. in business

560 credit score

5 Best Small-Business Loans

Lendio: Best overall for small business

Starting at 4.25% interest

Data effective 2/15/23. At publishing time, loan amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Bottom line:  Lendio  offers the best loans for most small-business owners.

As a lending marketplace, Lendio partners with more than 75 lenders. Just fill out its 15-minute application, and within 72 hours, Lendio will get back to you with a list of loan offers. Pick your favorite option, finalize your application, and enjoy your new loan.

Lendio loan details

Lendio partners with over 75 lenders (including some on this list), which improves your odds—not to mention your efficiency. Those lenders offer everything from short-term business loans to merchant cash advances to equipment financing to real estate loans. (The table above shows just a small sampling of Lendio’s financing options.)

Given its many options and personalized loan matchmaking, Lendio should be a no-brainer for just about any business.

OnDeck: Best for repeat borrowers

If you think you’ll need plenty of credit over the next few years, you may want to give  OnDeck  a look. OnDeck offers unique perks for repeat borrowers, making it a good deal for business owners who expect to seek more funding in the future. These benefits include reduced  loan origination fees , lower interest rates and even waived interest on existing loans.

Keep in mind, though, that OnDeck is far from the cheapest loan option out there, even with those perks. It has a high starting APR ( annual percentage rate ), so even if you’ve got a great credit score, you won’t get a low interest rate. But to be fair, plenty of other online lenders have pricey loans too (like Fundbox, for example).

That means that OnDeck can still be a good deal for businesses that will have more credit needs in the future.

Bluevine: Best for fast funding

Starting at 4.8% interest

If you need funding right away―like you can’t wait two days―Bluevine is the lender you want. It offers same-day funding with its line of credit and next-day funding through invoice factoring. Put simply, it’s fast.

It all starts with an automated application process. You submit information about your business, and Bluevine can make a decision on your loan application near instantly or within a few hours. Then, if you opted for the line of credit, you can pay a small wire transfer fee to get your funds in just a few more hours. Otherwise, your funds should show up the next day via ACH transfer.

And to be clear, Bluevine has more going for it than just fast funding times. It offers two flexible kinds of working capital, lines of credit and invoice financing . And while it has stricter revenue requirements than other lenders on this list, Bluevine has relatively lax application requirements otherwise―three months in business and a 530 personal credit score can get you invoice factoring.

That means that whether you need fast funding or just good working capital, Bluevine can help.

Fundbox: Best for low credit

Starting at 4.66% draw rate

Fundbox  offers lines of credit with flexible repayment terms that you pick each time you draw. But unlike other lenders that offer lines of credit, Fundbox is willing to work with young startups. So if your business is too new to get financing from other lenders, take a look at Fundbox.

While Fundbox prefers to work with businesses that have been around for at least six months (which is already a pretty competitive requirement), it will work with even younger businesses in some cases. In fact, Fundbox will consider businesses that have just two months of accounting software history or just three months of business checking history.

Of course, Fundbox is more likely to work with your very young business if you exceed its other borrower requirements. Fortunately, those are pretty moderate too. Fundbox accepts 600 credit scores and $100,000 in annual revenue.

While Fundbox’s lines of credit aren’t the cheapest out there, its accessibility makes it a great option for businesses that can’t qualify for low-interest  term loans .

SmartBiz: Best for SBA Loans

Starting at 4.75% interest

If you’re interested only in U.S. Small Business Administration loans, then give  SmartBiz  a try. It claims to simplify the SBA application process with its loan marketplace. Much like Lendio, SmartBiz delivers your one application to multiple lenders, matching you with your best options. 

Unlike other lending marketplaces, SmartBiz deals exclusively in government-backed  SBA loans . That makes its application requirements stiffer, but it also means you can get super low rates.

If your business meets the qualifications for SBA loans, use SmartBiz to streamline your application process.

Avant: Best personal loan for business


Starting at 9.95% APR

Don’t think you’ll qualify for a small-business loan quite yet? Try a personal loan from Avant instead.

Unlike many personal lenders, Avant lets you use its personal loans for your business. And since it’s a personal lender, not a business lender, Avant doesn’t care about things like your business revenue and business age (as long as you meet other requirements, of course). That makes Avant easier to qualify for than many lenders on this list. But Avant’s personal loans max out at well under $50,000, making them too small for many business uses. And while the starting APR isn’t that high, you can definitely find cheaper business loans. So overall, we do recommend using a business loan if you can.

But if you want to use a personal for your business , Avant is the best lender to do it with.

Upstart: Best personal loan lending experience


Starting at 5.42% APR

Data effective 2/9/23. At publishing time, loan amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

There’s a lot to like about Upstart , and we’re not the only ones to think so: Upstart has the best customer reviews of the lenders on this list.

Upstart has a 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot, giving it an excellent score. 1 That’s not from a handful of customers, either―   32,000 people have reviewed Upstart, with 97% of them giving it an excellent score.

What do these rave reviews say? Well, they praise a lot of the things you’d expect: fast approval and funding, helpful customer service, and fair pricing. (We saw many reviews praising Upstart’s competitive rates and fees.) In other words, people like pretty much everything about Upstart―even though it doesn’t have the lowest rates or the biggest loans.

If you’re looking for a tried-and-true lender for your personal loan that also happens to have a super low credit score requirement, then give Upstart a try. See our full review here.

Choosing the right small-business financing

As you’ll see throughout this article, you’ve got tons of business financing options. So how do you choose the right lender and loan type for your business?

We suggest you consider a few key factors as you look at lenders:

Borrower requirements may be the most obvious way to tell if a lender will work for you or not. After all, if a certain online lender only funds businesses that have been around for three years, and you’ve got a one-year-old business, you’ll know to move on to a different lender. The same applies to things like minimum credit scores and revenue requirements.

Then you can look at what kinds of financing a lender offers. If you have your heart set on a business term loan, for example, you won’t want to go with a lender that has just merchant cash advances. Likewise, if you just want a short-term loan to free up some cash flow, a lender with super long loan terms may not be the best fit. 

And of course, the same thing applies to loan amounts. You’ll want to find a lender that offers a large enough loan size for your small-business financing needs.

Once you’ve narrowed your choices down a bit, you’ll want to start looking at loan costs. In most cases, you’ll want to look for the lowest interest rates and fewest fees.

Finally, funding times can help you further narrow things down. If you’re not in a big rush, most lenders can work just fine. But if you need to grab a time-sensitive deal on inventory, for instance, then you’ll probably want a lender that can get you money ASAP.

FAQS about small-business loans

To figure out which loan is best for you and your business, you need to compare things like types of loan, loan amounts, interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. You’ll want to figure out both what kind of loan you need as well as what kind of deals you can qualify for.

For example, if you’re making a big commercial real estate purchase, you’ll want a big real estate loan rather than a small line of credit—but the qualifications on the real estate loan might be stricter.

We’ve done a lot of the legwork for you with our rankings, but remember that lenders may not offer you the lowest rates or the biggest loan amounts. So before you accept a loan offer, make sure you understand the details of your offer. (This is one of the reasons we like Lendio: it lets you compare loan offers for your specific business.)

Want more help narrowing things down? We’ve got a guide to choosing a business loan .

Direct lending means that you get your business loan directly from a financial institution, like banks or alternative lenders. With peer-to-peer lenders, on the other hand, your “lender” is really a platform that connects you with investors—and those are the people actually giving you money.

For more nitty-gritty details, you can take a look at our explanation of peer-to-peer lending .

Not exactly; the same anti-discrimination laws that keep lenders from denying someone because she’s a woman also keep companies from approving someone because she’s a woman. That being said, there are small-business lending companies that have programs to help women access loans or that have loans that might work well for women business owners.

You can find out more in our guide to business loans for women .

There used to be several loans specifically for veterans, but most of those programs have expired. But it’s not all bad news; there’s still several grants, franchising opportunities, and business programs for veterans—all of which we round up in our article on financing for veteran-owned businesses .

Sure, you can. In fact, some personal loan companies (like Prosper) advertise their personal loans for business use. But is it a good idea? Maybe. A personal loan won’t build business credit, which could make it harder to get business financing in the future. But if you can’t qualify for a business loan yet, you might find that a personal loan is better than nothing.

We can’t tell you what’s right for your business; we trust you to figure it out, though. And if you need a little more guidance, we’ve got a guide to using personal loans for business .


We researched more than 60 online and traditional lenders to come up with our list of the best small-business loans. We scored lenders based on factors such as loan amounts, interest rates, borrower requirements, customer reviews, funding times, and more. These scores formed the basis of our rankings as well as our recommendations.

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6 Best Banks for Small-Business Loans in 2023

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Banks are best for small-business loans if your company has been around more than a year and doesn’t need cash fast. Approvals can take months and are far from a sure thing — even with good credit.

Banks approve only about 15% of business loan applications, according to the latest data from the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index [0] Biz2Credit . Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™ December 2022 . Accessed Jan 12, 2023. View all sources . That means the right bank for you not only offers the type of business loan you need, but also funds enough loans to make financing possible.

How Much Do You Need?

Here are the best banks for small-business loans based on their commercial and industrial lending volume and product offerings, as well as alternative options to consider.

1. Bank of America

Bank of America had the most commercial and industrial loans among banks as of September  2022 — surpassing the next closest lender by nearly $130 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence [0] S&P Global Market Intelligence . Top 25 U.S. Banks and Thrifts by C&I Loans in Q3'22. . Accessed Jan 12, 2023. View all sources .

Bank of America business loans are a good choice if you value rewards. By meeting certain account requirements, you can qualify for interest rate discounts, no fees on wire transfers and other benefits. Bank of America may also make sense for veterans and service members, as it offers them a 25% discount on loan administration or origination fees.

» MORE: Best small-business loans for veterans

Term loans. Bank of America offers both fixed-rate secured and unsecured term loans. Its secured loan requires greater annual revenue: $250,000 versus $100,000 for the unsecured option. But it offers higher borrowing limits — up to $250,000 — and a potentially lower interest rate. Both business loans require at least two years in business and can have repayment terms of up to five years, which is less than other banks may offer.

Business lines of credit. Bank of America also offers secured and unsecured business lines of credit, with the same revenue requirements as its term loans. The secured line of credit comes with additional borrowing power — starting at $25,000 compared with $10,000 for the unsecured option. There is no set borrowing maximum. Both have revolving terms, meaning you use the money as needed, that renew annually.

SBA loans. Bank of America is a preferred Small Business Administration lender, but it is less active in issuing SBA loans . For example, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank lend more 7(a) loans [0] U.S. Small Business Administration . 7(a) & 504 Lender Report . Accessed Jan 12, 2023. View all sources — the most common type of SBA funding.

Other business loans. Bank of America offers business auto loans starting at $10,000. The bank also has commercial real estate loans and equipment loans, which both start at $25,000.

2. JPMorgan Chase

Chase offers a variety of products for small-business owners, including checking accounts , credit cards and payment solutions. Chase business loans include:

Term loans. Chase offers fixed- and adjustable-rate loans starting at $5,000, which is less than lenders like Bank of America or PNC Bank. Repayment terms can last from one to seven years.

Business lines of credit. Chase has business and commercial lines of credit. Its business line of credit provides $10,000 to $500,000 in funding on a renewable five-year revolving term. The commercial line is $500,000 and up, with one- to two-year terms that may be renewed.

SBA loans. Chase is an SBA-preferred lender and funds multiple types of SBA loans. That includes SBA Express loans and credit lines, which offer faster funding of up to $500,000.

Other business loans. Chase offers commercial real estate loans with fixed or variable rates that start at $50,000. Terms are available up to 25 years. Chase also gives you the option to pay back the loan on a standard repayment schedule — or pay it back with a balloon payment at the end of the term.

3. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers SBA loans and multiple types of lines of credit, however, its lending maximums are less than some banks — so consider other options if you have collateral and need more than $500,000 in financing.

Business lines of credit. Wells Fargo has three different lines of credit — two unsecured and one secured by collateral — ranging from $5,000 to $1 million. Credit lines of up to $150,000 have variable rates and are revolving. You’ll typically need at least $2 million to $10 million in annual sales to qualify for Wells Fargo’s most generous business line of credit . This line of credit has a one-year term. Fees vary by product.

SBA loans. SBA loans. Wells Fargo is one of the most active SBA loan lenders. As of January 2023, it had approved more than $114 million in SBA 7(a) loans in the 2023 fiscal year — the most among large national banks [0] U.S. Small Business Administration . 7(a) & 504 Lender Report . Accessed Jan 12, 2023. View all sources .

Other business loans. Wells Fargo offers semi truck financing , commercial real estate purchase loans and equity financing, as well as specific products for starting or buying a medical practice.

» MORE: Compare the best SBA lenders

4. Citibank

Citibank may be better known among entrepreneurs for its small-business credit cards . But the bank also offers business loans — though it has fewer products than other lenders. You might prefer that simplicity, but it also means you may want to consider other lenders if Citi doesn’t advertise the kind of loan you want.

Term loans. Citibank’s term loan ranges from $5,000 to $5 million. Interest rates are fixed, terms last up to seven years and loans require a personal guarantee. Citi doesn't offer an equipment loan, but term loans can be used for this purpose.

Business lines of credit. Citibank offers two business lines of credit, with amounts ranging from $10,000 to $5 million. Both lines come with variable interest rates and revolving terms and require a personal guarantee.

PNC’s business loans are best for more mature businesses. You generally need to have been in business for at least three years to qualify, which is longer than other banks may require.

Term loans. PNC offers $20,000 to $100,000 for unsecured term loans and $100,001 to $3 million for loans secured by collateral. Unsecured loans come with a fixed interest rate and terms of up to five years, whereas rates on secured loans can be fixed or variable and terms can last up to seven years.

Business lines of credit. The amounts for PNC’s lines of credit mirror the bank’s term loans, with unsecured options ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 and secured options from $100,001 to $3 million. Both have variable interest rates and revolving terms. The unsecured line has an annual fee of $175, while the secured line charges 0.25% of the committed line amount.

SBA loans. PNC is a preferred SBA lender, but the bank is less active than others issuing these loans. As of January 2023, PNC had approved just about 130 SBA 7(a) loans, compared to Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, which each approved over 500 in the 2023 fiscal year (which began in October 2022) [0] U.S. Small Business Administration . 7(a) & 504 Lender Report . Accessed Jan 12, 2023. View all sources .

Other business loans. PNC business auto loans range from $10,000 to $250,000 with repayment terms up to six years. The bank’s commercial real estate loans come with fixed or variable interest rates, repayment terms up to 15 years (with up to a 25-year amortization) and financing amounts from $100,001 to $3 million.

6. U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has fewer locations than other brick-and-mortar banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. But if there’s a branch near you, U.S. Bank may be a good choice for startups, as you may be able to qualify for certain products with less than a year in business.

Term loans. U.S. Bank offers fixed-rate, secured term loans of up to $1 million. It also offers a fast business term loan , which has a lower borrowing maximum ($250,000) but a quicker application process. The Quick loan can be secured or unsecured and offers repayment terms up to seven years. This product can be a good option for newer companies as you only need a minimum of six months in business to apply.

Business lines of credit. U.S. Bank’s business line of credit also goes up to $1 million and has an interest-only payment option. The bank’s revolving line of credit, called CashFlow Manager, goes up to $250,000 and only requires a minimum of six months in business to qualify. That product has a $150 annual fee if the line of credit is less than $50,000.

SBA loans. U.S. Bank may be another good choice if you’re in the market for an SBA loan. As of January 2023, it had approved just over 530 7(a) loan applications in the 2023 fiscal year. Plus, you may be able to qualify for an SBA loan from U.S. Bank with less than two years in business.

Other business loans. U.S. Bank offers equipment loans of up to $1 million, and soft costs of up to 25% can be included. The bank has fixed- and variable-rate commercial real estate loans of up to $10 million with five-, 10- or 15-year repayment terms, with amortizations up to 25 years.

How to get a small-business loan from a bank

Due to the pandemic and market conditions, business loan approvals at banks were down nearly 50% in December 2022 compared with the same time in 2019, according to Biz2Credit. To be able to still get a business loan from a bank, you’ll likely need the following:

An existing relationship. Most banks require you to have at least a business checking account at their institution. While you can simply open an account at some banks to meet this qualification, you can often benefit from a longer-term relationship. For example, you need an account with Wells Fargo for at least one year to apply for financing online.

Good credit. You’ll likely need a personal credit score in at least the 700s. Potential deal-breakers could include too much debt, too many open accounts or negative marks — like late payments, loan defaults and bankruptcies. The bank will check your business credit score for similar red flags.

Strong revenue. When you apply for a small-business loan , the bank will look to see whether your business is in good shape and has enough revenue to support how much you want to borrow. For example, Bank of America’s unsecured business loans require at least $100,000 in annual revenue; its secured options increase that number to $250,000.

Enough time in business. Two years under the same ownership is the standard. But there are exceptions — in both directions. For example, some U.S. Bank lending products are available if you’ve been in business for six months, whereas PNC Bank generally requires at least three years of operations for you to qualify.

Collateral. You don’t necessarily need to put up business collateral like commercial property or equipment to get a bank loan. Some banks offer both unsecured and secured business loans. But the bank may fund larger amounts for secured loans, while also providing longer terms and lower interest rates to make payments more affordable.

» MORE: How to qualify for a business loan

Alternatives to bank business loans

If you can’t get a business loan from a big bank, consider these alternatives:

Community banks. Business loan applicants report higher approval rates with smaller banks than big-name financial institutions, as well as greater overall satisfaction, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2022 Small Business Credit Survey [0] U.S. Federal Reserve . Small Business Credit Survey: 2022 Report on Employer Firms . Accessed Jan 12, 2023. View all sources . However, the number of community banks is dwindling, and a local bank may lack benefits you want — like online loan management or multiple locations.

Online lenders. Online business loans come with faster funding and higher approval rates than bank loans. Some online lenders even specialize in small-business loans. For example, as of January 2023, Live Oak Bank is the most-active SBA 7(a) lender by loan volume. Online lenders are also less likely to require traditional collateral and may provide funding for newer businesses. But the trade-off will likely be higher costs than a traditional bank offers.

Microlenders. Nonprofit organizations offer microloans , and these can be a good choice for startups or small businesses that need working capital but can’t qualify for a bank business loan. Microloans are typically less than $50,000 and can come with short repayment terms. Their costs may also be higher than a bank business loan.

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Many businesses choose to borrow money to finance expensive purchases, invest in growth, or to improve their cash flow. However, borrowing comes at a cost. T o know whether borrowing money will benefit your company, you should know what average business loan interest rates look like.

With good or excellent credit, you could see interest rates in the mid-single digits.

Knowing typical rates will also help you spot a bad deal and give you more information to use when shopping around.

What is a business loan interest rate?

Interest is the cost of borrowing money. Interest is typically expressed as a percentage of the amount you borrowed that is added to your balance each year.

For a simple example, imagine you borrow $10,000 for one year at an interest rate of 10%. With no payments, at the end of the year, you’ll owe $11,000. $10,000 is the amount you borrowed and the additional $1,000 is the interest that accrued.

Usually, you’ll see interest rates on loans quoted as an annual percentage rate (APR) . The APR for a loan reflects interest plus any fees or other charges that you might have to pay, such as:

That means that the APR of a loan is usually higher than its interest rate, but that it provides a more complete view of the cost of borrowing. If you know your loan amount, term and interest rate, you can use a calculator to figure out your business loan’s cost.

What is a factor rate?

Factor rates are another way to express the cost of borrowing money. They’re usually expressed as a decimal. To find the total cost of repaying a loan, multiply the principal by the factor rate.

If your loan uses a factor rate, you can calculate your total cost of borrowing with this formula:

Principal loan amount x factor rate = total cost

So, if you borrow $10,000 and the factor rate is 1.2, you’ll have to pay back $10,000 x 1.2 = $12,000.

Additionally, unlike an APR, loans that use a factor rate aren’t amortized. That means your interest amount is calculated based on the original principal, instead of scaling as you make payments on the loan.

That means that you won’t save as much by repaying a loan with a factor rate ahead of schedule. However, some lenders will offer an early repayment discount to compensate for this.

Factor rates are most common with loans where businesses borrow against their accounts receivables, using them as collateral, such as merchant cash advances.

Is a small business loan a variable or fixed rate?

Small business loans can come with both variable and fixed interest rates. It depends on the type of loan that you choose.

A variable interest rate is one that can change throughout the life of the loan. They’re typically based on an interest rate benchmark and move along with the benchmark. Your loan can get cheaper if rates fall but also get more expensive if they rise.

Fixed-rate loans have a single, fixed interest rate that doesn’t change. These offer predictability in your monthly payments.

Term loans, equipment loans, and other lump sum loans have fixed rates more often than not. Things like lines of credit , credit cards, and merchant cash advances are more likely to have variable interest rates.

Average business loan interest rates

The cost of a business loan can vary widely based on the type of loan and lender. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City , the average interest rate for all small business term loans in the third quarter of 2022 was 5.39 percent for fixed-rate loans and 6.25 percent for variable-rate loans.

However, because the federal funds rate has risen since Q3 — and other rates tend to rise along with it — these averages are likely higher today.

These are some typical starting rates based on loan type and lender. But note that many lenders don’t publicly disclose the upper end of their rate range — so the rate you’re offered may be significantly higher, especially if you have poor credit.

Factors that can affect interest rate

Many factors influence the interest rates — some that borrowers can influence and others that they can’t.

Federal funds rate

Business owners can’t control market and economic conditions. The Federal Reserve sets the federal funds rate , a benchmark interest rate, based on the economy. It tends to raise rates when the economy is overheating or inflation is high and drop them when recession looms.

Because the federal funds rate can be a benchmark for other loans, the rates you’ll pay for new business loans can change as the fed funds rate changes. If you choose a variable interest rate, your rate will change with market conditions over your loan’s life; with a fixed rate, it remains the same.

Your business’s characteristics

Lenders look at a few aspects of your business to predict how risky lending to you might be. 

Some characteristics they examine include:

The lender type

Different types of lenders offer different types of loans and have different interest rates.

Traditional lenders, like banks and credit unions, offer a variety of loan types and their rates can vary significantly. It’s worth checking with your bank to see if they offer a good deal to borrowers that also have bank accounts.

Online and other alternative lenders often focus on a specific type of loan and a specific type of borrower. You can find great rates from online lenders that focus on companies with great credit. If you choose a lender that focuses on young companies or those with bad credit, rates may be very high.

SBA loans — which are backed by the federal government and administered through both traditional and online lenders — may be easier to qualify for if you don’t have great credit and offer reasonable interest rates . However, they come with a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork . Don’t expect a quick approval if you opt for an SBA loan.

Some business lenders let you select between a secured or unsecured loan. A secured loan is backed by collateral — an asset such as inventory or property — that the lender can seize if you default on your loan. 

Secured loans reduce the lender’s risk, leading to lower interest rates. Unsecured loans have higher rates but don’t require collateral.

How to get the best business loan interest rate

The number one thing you can do to secure the best loan rates is to make sure your business looks like a low-risk borrower to lenders. That means high revenue, strong cash flow and a good credit history. 

Another way to appear low-risk is improving your credit score. Both your personal and business credit can matter. Personal credit is especially important if you’re running a startup or a smaller business. Always pay your bills on time and keep your debts low relative to your income to strengthen your credit.

However, those steps won’t be enough on their own. You’ll need to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best deal. Many lenders offer online prequalification tools and other ways to get quotes with just a soft credit pull (which doesn’t impact your credit score).

Even if you’re shopping for a bad credit business loan , it’s worth comparing lenders to try to save some money.

Once you have several quotes, compare them to find the most favorable rate and terms that work for you. You can try negotiating with each lender to secure an even lower rate or simply select the o ne with the lowest APR.

Another option for lowering rates is to choose a secured loan over an unsecured loan. 

The bottom line

Business loans are one of the best ways to finance your company’s purchases or to deal with cash flow problems. Landing the lowest rates can help your business save money in the long run.

Before signing up for a loan, consider the best type of business loan for your situation and make sure to shop around to compare offers. That can help you secure the cheapest loan possible.

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