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Loans For Lawyers, Law Firms, & Attorneys: The 6 Best Financing Options For Your Business

A business loan is a great way to get cash flow for your law firm. But which loan is right for your needs? Explore 6 loan options for lawyers to find the best financing.

    Shannon Vissers
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Loans for lawyers

Loans for lawyers — that is, law firm financing — are often necessary but can be difficult to obtain. Lawyers commonly go long periods without being paid for their services. At the same time, smaller law firms have a higher risk profile, making banks wary of lending to this type of small business — especially if you have bad credit. Fortunately, many alternative lenders have stepped up to provide law firm financing options. Whether you need capital for legal fees, jury trial costs, marketing, or something else, there is a good chance you can secure financing with one of these online law firm loans.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Lendio

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Best for multiple loan options.
Best for multiple loan options.

Apply Now

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SmartBiz

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Best for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
Best for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

Apply Now

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Fundera by NerdWallet

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Best for high-quality financing.
Best for high-quality financing.

Apply Now

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OnDeck

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Best for smaller loans.
Best for smaller loans.

Apply Now

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Credibly

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Best for attorneys with bad credit.
Best for attorneys with bad credit.

Visit Site

Read More

Other Featured Options:

  • Fundbox: Best line of credit for lawyers.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Best Lenders For Lawyers, Attorneys, & Law Firms

Here are some top lenders offering loans for lawyers:

  1. Lendio: Best for multiple loan options.
  2. SmartBiz: Best Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
  3. Fundera: Best for high-quality financing.
  4. OnDeck: Best for smaller loans.
  5. Credibly: Best for attorneys with bad credit.
  6. Fundbox: Best line of credit for lawyers.

1. Lendio: Best For Multiple Loan Options

Lendio



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Pros

  • Multiple types of financing are available
  • Apply to multiple loans with one application
  • No matchmaking fee

Cons

  • Slower than some online lenders

Lendio Features

Here are some of Lendio’s key features:

  • Online business loan matchmaking service
  • Compare 75+ lenders
  • 10+ types of funding options
  • 15-minute application
  • No hard credit pull until you accept a loan offer
  • Funding as soon as 24 hours (though it can take up to several weeks)

Lendio Terms & Fees

Terms and fees vary widely due to the large number of financing types and different lenders that belong to the Lendio network.

Loan Types/Amounts

  • Startup Business Loans: $500 to $750,000
  • SBA Loans: Up to $5 million
  • Business Lines Of Credit: $1,000 to $500,000
  • Equipment Financing: $5,000 to $5 million
  • Business Term Loans: $5,000 to $2 million
  • Merchant Cash Advances: $5,000 to $200,000
  • Commercial Mortgages: $250,000 to $5 million
  • Short-Term Loans: $2,500 to $500,000
  • Accounts Receivable Financing: Up to 90% of receivables
  • Business Acquisition Loans: $5,000 to $5 million

Application Process

Lendio’s application process starts with a simple online application in which you answer some basic questions about your business. It takes about 15 minutes to fill out. Lendio will then perform a soft pull on your credit, and within about 72 hours, you may be presented with a lender match and loan offer. If you accept the offer, Lendio will proceed with the underwriting process, during which you may have to provide more information.

Lending Requirements

There are no hard and fast lending requirements to apply to Lendio. Generally, the higher your credit score is, and the longer you’ve been in business, the more loan options will be available to you.

Where Lendio Really Shines

If you are new to business financing and/or don’t have the time to research and apply for multiple loans, Lendio can help. With this online loan marketplace, you can apply for dozens of loans with a single application. Lendio will take your loan requirements and your business’s credentials (credit score, time in business, revenues, etc.) and use that information to match you with pre-offers for loans your firm qualifies for.

Lendio’s vast lending network includes numerous types of financing, such as short-term loans, SBA loans, lines of credit, and others. The range of interest rates and maximum loan amount depends on which lender Lendio hooks you up with, but Lendio itself does not charge a fee.

Get Started with Lendio

Read our in-depth review

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2. SmartBiz: Best For Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

SmartBiz



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Simplifies the SBA loan application process
  • Lower fees than other online SBA loans
  • Faster than other SBA loan providers

Cons

  • Only established businesses will qualify

SmartBiz Features

Here are some of SmartBiz’s key features:

  • Online SBA loans, bank loans, and custom financing
  • Facilitates loans via a network of partnered SBA and non-SBA bank lenders
  • Large business loans up to $5 million
  • Funding as fast as three to seven days
  • Low-interest rates
  • Long repayment terms
  • Excellent customer service

SmartBiz Terms & Fees

  • SmartBiz SBA loans have repayment terms of 10-25 years and interest rates ranging from 4.75-7.00%
  • SmartBiz non-SBA bank loans have repayment terms of two to five years and interest rates as low as 6.99%
  • SmartBiz custom financing loans have repayment terms of 24-60 months and interest rates as low as 6.99%

Loan Types/Amounts

  • SBA Loans: $30,000 to $5 million
  • Bank Term Loans: $30,000 to $500,000
  • Custom Financing: $30,000 to $500,000

Application Process

The initial application for a SmartBiz loan takes just five minutes and doesn’t impact your credit score. If you prequalify, a representative will reach out to you about what types of financing will work best for your business and help you proceed with the full application.

SBA loans require more documentation than other loan types, but SmartBiz simplifies the SBA loan application process, walking you through every step.

Lending Requirements

To qualify for a loan through SmartBiz, you’ll need to have been in business for at least two years and have a credit score of at least 650 (or 660 for bank loans). Requirements for custom financing are not disclosed.

Where SmartBiz Really Shines

SBA loans are highly coveted loans for any small business, including lawyers, since they have low-interest rates and long repayment terms. However, they can be somewhat difficult to qualify for and apply for. SmartBiz is a service that connects qualified businesses with SBA loans online, simplifying and speeding up the SBA loan application process. These loans are for established law firms that need working capital or money to expand, refinance debt, or buy commercial property.

If you don’t meet the qualifications for an SBA loan or need the funds sooner, SmartBiz also makes it easy to apply for a bank loan or custom financing options, such as lines of credit or invoice financing. Non-SBA SmartBiz loans are typically deposited within three to seven days, compared to two to six weeks with SBA loans (though some SBA loans are funded as quickly as seven days).

Get Started with SmartBiz

Read our in-depth review

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3. Fundera: Best For High-Quality Financing

Fundera by NerdWallet



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Pros

  • Multiple types of financing are available
  • Very selective about which business funders it partners with
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • May charge some additional fees

Fundera Features

Here are some of Fundera’s key features:

  • Online business loan matchmaking service
  • Compare offers from multiple lenders
  • Seven+ types of funding options
  • Application takes minutes to complete
  • No hard credit pull until you accept a loan offer
  • Loans are typically funded within one to seven business days

Fundera Terms & Fees

Since Fundera works with multiple lenders that offer various loan types, terms and fees will vary.

Loan Types/Amounts

  • SBA Loans: Up to $5 million
  • Business Term Loans: Up to $600,000
  • Business Lines Of Credit $10,000 to $1 million
  • Invoice Financing: Up to 100% of the invoice value
  • Equipment Financing: Up to 100% of equipment value
  • Short-Term Business Loans: Up to $250,000
  • Merchant Cash Advances: Up to $500,000

Application Process

You will start by answering a few basic questions about your business in an online application to determine which types of financing you qualify for. After that, Fundera will set you with a Funding Advisor who will walk you through your options. Once you accept a firm offer, you will be asked to submit more documentation for the loan underwriting process.

Lending Requirements

There are no minimum universal borrower requirements to apply for a Fundera loan because different lenders in Fundera’s network each have their own borrower requirements. Fundera states that to have the most loan options at your disposal, you will ideally want to have at least two years in business and a credit score of at least 600.

Where Fundera Really Shines

Like Lendio, Fundera is another reputable online loan marketplace that lawyers can use to find business financing. Fundera works with fewer partnered lenders, but the lenders it works with are carefully selected and thoroughly vetted. Some recommended lenders in Fundera’s partnership network include BlueVine, Kabbage, Live Oak Bank, and over a dozen others.

Fundera itself does not charge a finder’s fee to borrowers, but there is a possibility that some of Fundera’s lending partners may pass the 2-5% fee that Fundera charges these lenders on to you.

Get Started with Fundera by NerdWallet

Read our in-depth review

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4. OnDeck: Best For Smaller Loans

OnDeck



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Funds are disbursed quickly
  • Accepts sub-prime credit scores
  • Builds business credit
  • Lower costs for repeat borrowers

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Not available in all states

OnDeck Features

Here are some of OnDeck’s key features:

  • Short-term loans and revolving lines of credit
  • 10-minute application
  • Funding as quickly as 24 hours
  • Transparent pricing
  • Reports payments to credit bureaus
  • A lower or 0% origination fee for repeat customers
  • Interest on a current loan is waived if you apply for a second loan

OnDeck Terms & Fees

OnDeck term loans have a term length of up to 24 months. These loans have an origination fee of 0-5%, and APRs start at 35%.

OnDeck lines of credit have a 12-month repayment term which resets after each withdrawal. There is no draw fee, but you will typically have a $20/month maintenance fee. APRs start at 35.9%.

Loan Types/Amounts

  • Term Loan: $5,000 to $250,000
  • Line Of Credit: $6,000 to $100,000

Application Process

Applying for OnDeck starts with a simple 10-minute online application. If you are preapproved for a loan offer, OnDeck will reach out for more information before funding your loan. All of this typically takes less than 24 hours.

Lending Requirements

To qualify for an OnDeck loan, you’ll need 12 months in business, a credit score of 600, and $100,000 in annual revenues.

Where OnDeck Really Shines

OnDeck is one of the top online small business lenders, period. Though you can’t get a very large loan from OnDeck, it works great if you need a quick, small loan or line of credit.

This prolific lender is known for its transparency, simple application process, easy-to-meet borrower requirements, and fast funding that can deliver funds into your account as quickly as the same business day.

OnDeck loans can have high APRs. The average APR is about 50%, but there are discounts for repeat borrowers, and the amounts aren’t as large as those offered by some online lenders. Nevertheless, an OnDeck loan might be the perfect option if your law firm needs a fast, easy cash infusion for payroll or working capital purposes.

Get Started with OnDeck

Read our in-depth review

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5. Credibly: Best For Attorneys With Bad Credit

Credibly



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Pros

  • Bad credit-friendly
  • Multiple types of financing are available
  • Discounts for repaying early

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive

Credibly Features

Here are some of Credibly’s key features:

  • Short-term and medium-term financing options
  • Financing for lawyers with unpaid invoices
  • Easy-to-meet borrower qualifications
  • Easy application process
  • Funding as soon as 48 hours
  • Early repayment discounts
  • Good customer service

Credibly Terms & Fees

Credibly has numerous different financing products available, so terms and fees vary by loan type. Generally speaking, maximum term lengths are 18 or 24 months, and factor/interest rates start at 1.09 and 9.99%, respectively.

Loan Types/Amounts

  • Working Capital Loans: $5,000 to $400,000
  • Merchant Cash Advances: Up to $400,000
  • Business Expansion Loans: Up to $250,000
  • Lines Of Credit: Up to $250,000
  • Invoice Factoring: Up to $400,000
  • SBA Loans: Up to $150,000 for working capital loans; up to $20 million for commercial real estate loans
  • Equipment Financing: Unknown

Application Process

You can fill out Credibly’s online application in about 10 minutes. Credibly will then conduct a soft pull on your credit. After you prequalify, Credibly will reach out for additional information and documentation regarding your business before approving the loan and conducting a hard pull before funding your loan.

The entire time-to-funding can be as quick as 48 hours from your initial application but can take as long as a few days.

Lending Requirements

Depending on the loan type, Credibly will accept credit scores as low as 500 (560 for lines of credit). Most Credibly lending products require six months in business and business revenues of at least $50,000 annually. Business expansion loans and SBA loans require scores in the 600s and a lengthier time in business.

Where Credibly Really Shines

Credibly is another notable online lender that offers funding to attorneys, including attorneys with very poor credit. Credibly has multiple types of short-term and medium-term business financing available, all with transparent pricing and fast service.

Credibly’s fees can be on the high side, but there are discounts for repaying early, as well as low credit score requirements and longer repayment terms compared to a lot of other short-term online lenders.

Credibly also offers invoice factoring, which can be a good financing solution for attorneys with unpaid invoices.

Read our in-depth review

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6. Fundbox: Best Line Of Credit For Lawyers

Fundbox



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Fast, easy lines of credit
  • Short-term loans and vendor financing options are also available
  • Few additional fees
  • Easy to qualify for

Cons

  • Borrowing fees can be expensive
  • Small credit limit

Fundbox Features

Here are some of Fundbox’s key features:

  • Cash flow financing for attorneys
  • Relaxed borrower qualifications
  • Quick, automated application
  • Next-day funding
  • No origination fee on term loans
  • No draw fee on lines of credit
  • A line of credit comes with Flex Account to pay vendors
  • Free business cash flow predictions (with connected bank account)

Fundbox Terms & Fees

Fundbox revolving lines of credit have a term of 12 or 24 weeks and a borrowing fee starting at 4.66%. Fundbox short-term loans have a term of 24 or 52 weeks, with a borrowing fee starting at 8.33%.

Loan Types/Amounts

  • Lines Of Credit: Up to $150,000
  • Term Loan: Up to $150,000

Application Process

Fundbox has a quick, simple application on its website. The Fundbox application is fully automated, as the algorithm uses AI to determine your eligibility. If approved, you can start withdrawing funds within minutes, and they should hit your bank account the following business day.

Lending Requirements

Fundbox requires a credit score of 600, $100,000 in annual revenues, and ideally six months in business.

Where Fundbox Really Shines

Fundbox is super easy to qualify for and is even open to startup law firms. Fundbox offers the most accessible lines of credit for attorneys, even those without good credit. If fast, easy, and ongoing access to cash is what you’re looking for, Fundbox is your answer. Fundbox also has short-term loans and tools that make it easier to pay your vendors and predict your firm’s cash flow.

Note that Fundbox does not lend to lawyers collecting funds for any purpose other than to pay fees owed for services provided by the firm. For example, Fundbox won’t lend to lawyers involved in debt collection.

Get Started with Fundbox

Read our in-depth review

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The Right Business Loan For Your Law Firm

Choosing the right type of loan for your law firm practice can be tricky and confusing due to a large number of available options and frequently complicated terms and fees. Here are some tips to help you navigate the world of law firm loans.

Choose The Right Type Of Loan Financing

With so many financing options, you may not know the right one for your needs. If this applies to you, you should consider the purpose and amount of financing you need. For example, a short-term loan is best if you quickly need a lump sum, usually of $250,000 or less, while a line of credit is better if you need ongoing access to working capital whenever you need it.

Learn about the different types of business loans for attorneys to help figure out the one that will best suit your firm’s funding requirements.

Apply For Multiple Loans

The online nature of modern loan applications makes it easy to apply for multiple loans so that you can cast a wider net when looking for financing options and compare offers to make sure you choose the best one.

Furthermore, most online loans do not do a “hard” credit pull during the preapproval stage, so applying to multiple loans will not negatively affect your credit.

Understand The Fine Print

It’s important that you fully understand the costs and terms of your loan before accepting the final loan offer. For example, parsing the APR of a short-term loan can be tricky, so be sure to use a loan calculator to ensure you can afford the monthly payments. Additionally, make sure you find out if there is a prepayment penalty or a blanket lien.

Some online lenders may claim a right to the assets of your attorney trust account if you default on the loan. You will definitely want to find this out before signing rather than down the line.

Consider An Industry-Specific Loan

While most online small business lenders lend to lawyers, others do not lend to attorneys as a rule. Also, some online small business lenders won’t lend to nonprofit law firms or firms operating within certain industries, such as bail bonds, debt collection, insurance, or real estate.

If you cannot find an SMB lender that will lend to your type of law firm, you might consider an industry-specific loan from a lender that specializes in loans for lawyers. Keep in mind, though, that these industry-specific law firm loans may cost a lot more than a standard small business loan.

What's The Best Loan For Lawyers?

Online loans are not the most affordable type of business capital for attorneys; firms with riskier profiles will pay handsomely for an online loan. However, this doesn’t mean that established businesses with good credit should avoid online loans.

When applying for online loans, firms with strong business credentials and good credit will qualify for much lower rates and higher quality online loans, such as online SBA loans. Rates may still be a bit higher than a traditional bank loan, but you’ll get the funds a lot quicker, which can make the added cost worth it for lawyers in need of fast capital — often within just a day or two. Online loans are particularly useful for smaller expenditures under $150,000.

Looking for a larger or traditional bank loan for your law firm? Check out Which Are The Best Banks For Small Business Loans?

FAQs About Loans For Lawyers

How much working capital does a law firm need?

The amount of capital your law firm or legal practice needs will depend on a variety of factors, included projected financial needs, short term expenses, and overhead versus existing cash flow and assets. As a backup to working capital, getting a business line of credit could be useful for funding short-term gaps between collections of accounts receivable.

How can law firms make more money?

To increase profits, law firms and legal practices can streamline operations, secure more fee-based clients, and maintain a healthy cash flow. If your law firm needs a cash flow injection, you might consider financing options like a business line of credit or a short term loan.

What is a lawyer budget?

Your law firm’s budget is instrumental when it comes to managing your business’s financial obligations and daily operations. An attorney’s budget generally covers overhead, salaries, operational costs, and client-related expenses, while also providing a cushion for planning, growth opportunities, as well as unexpected costs associated with running a business. To provide a buffer and create predictability, attorneys and legal businesses may opt for convenient financing options, like accounts receivable financing to help your law firm liquidate unpaid invoices more quickly.

What is law firm overhead?

For law firms and legal practices, overhead is defined as a cost not associated with an attorney’s salary. This would include rent for commercial real estate, computers, internet connectivity, utilities, office supplies, marketing, shipping, and anything else needed to run your law firm successfully or grow your practice.

In Summary: Best Lenders For Lawyers, Attorneys, & Law Firms

  1. Lendio: Best for multiple loan options.
  2. SmartBiz: Best for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
  3. Fundera by NerdWallet: Best for high-quality financing.
  4. OnDeck: Best for smaller loans.
  5. Credibly: Best for attorneys with bad credit.
  6. Fundbox: Best line of credit for lawyers.
Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
The former editor-in-chief of SteelOrbis, Shannon has been researching and writing about small business software and financing since 2015. Her shopping and retail expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including Reader's Digest, MSN, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates . She has also published articles for LIVESTRONG.COM, eHow, Life'd, and other websites. Shannon attended San Diego State University, graduating in 2005 with a BA in English.
Shannon Vissers
View Shannon Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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