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Best Emergency Business Loan Options For Your Small Business

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No matter how good you are at planning, it’s impossible to prepare for every possible emergency that may affect your business. Acts of God such as hurricanes, floods, and fires aside, invoice payments might be late. You may have experienced a fluke sales slump. Or maybe you need to restock before a big event next week to maximize your sales.

You’ve already shaken out your pants for loose change, so now what do you do? Where do you look for an emergency business loan?

Read on, and we’ll try to help you out. Here are seven ways to get business funding fast.

Need more information and resources geared toward small business owners during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Please check out the resource hub we've created.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
OnDeck

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Best for an emergency business line of credit.
Best for an emergency business line of credit.

Apply Now

Read More

Fundbox

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Best for same-day business funding.
Best for same-day business funding.

Visit Site

Read More

Lendio

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Best for an emergency business term loan.
Best for an emergency business term loan.

Apply Now

Read More

Riviera Finance

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Best for funding unpaid invoices.
Best for funding unpaid invoices.

Visit Site

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Best Emergency Loans For Small Businesses

The best emergency loan options will vary from business to business, as each small business has its own unique needs and challenges. With that in mind, here are a few good options if you need a loan in an emergency.

1. OnDeck: Best For An Emergency Business Line Of Credit

OnDeck



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OnDeck offers both fixed-term business loans and business lines of credit.

While OnDeck isn’t the cheapest way to get a line of credit (APRs range from 19.9%-61.9%), its fast application process and relatively low borrower requirements make OnDeck a solid option to fall back on.

Credit limits range from $6,000 to $100,000, with repayment terms of six months with no draw fees. You’ll have a slightly less punishing repayment schedule than you would with most short-term loans with weekly, rather than daily, payments.

Pros

  • Borrower qualifications are lower than a traditional bank’s would be
  • Lower costs for repeat customers
  • The application process is fast and easy
  • Funds are disbursed quickly

Cons

  • Financing isn’t available in some states
  • Not available to businesses in some industries
  • Rates can be expensive

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2. Fundbox: Best For Same-Day Business Funding

Fundbox



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Sometimes your emergency can’t wait even a single day. While many online lenders are fast, far fewer can get you your money on the same day you apply. Fundbox is one of the lenders that can pull it off.

Though not the cheapest option, Fundbox is willing to work with most borrowers. You only need to have a credit score of 500+. The quick and easy application process is done by linking your accounting or invoicing software. Fundbox then uses your activity on that software to evaluate your account.

You can borrow up to $100,000 through Fundbox, with term lengths of 12 weeks or 24 weeks. Flat rates start at 4.66%.

Pros

  • Quick time to funding
  • A fast and easy application process
  • Low credit score requirements

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Frequent repayments are required

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3. Lendio: Best For An Emergency Business Term Loan

Lendio



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Getting a more traditional term loan during an emergency can be tricky, as they frequently have slower application vetting processes. One way to maximize your chances of getting the loan you need quickly is to use an aggregator service such as Lendio. Lendio doesn’t originate its own loans. Instead, it passes your application through its network of lenders to find a fit.

Lendio’s borrowing qualifications are easy to meet. You just need to have been in business for at least six months, have a credit score of 550, and monthly revenue of at least $10,000. Lendio does not charge borrowers for using its service.

You’re looking at, on average, a day or two to get your money through Lendio, so keep that in mind if you need the money immediately.

Pros

  • Borrower qualifications are lower than a traditional bank’s would be
  • High borrowing amounts
  • Long-term financing options available
  • The application process is fast and easy

Cons

  • Rates can be expensive
  • Not as fast as some other options

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4. Riviera Finance: Best For Funding Unpaid Invoices

Riviera Finance



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One particularly frustrating scenario in an emergency is when you have money due to come in, but your invoices haven’t been paid yet. It turns out that you can get an advance on those invoices through invoice factoring. Essentially, you’re selling your unpaid invoices to a factoring company at a small discount. If you’re in a hurry, one of the best companies to do this with is Riviera Finance.

Riviera Finance can buy up to $2 million of your unpaid invoices, paying 95% of their value upfront. Riviera Finance then goes to work on trying to collect on the invoices. Discount rates β€” the amount Riviera Finance keeps from every settled invoice β€” start at 2%. Riviera Finance is a non-recourse factoring company.

Pros

  • No credit score requirements
  • Competitive terms and fees
  • Easy application process
  • No monthly minimums

Cons

  • Unsuited for B2C businesses

Read our in-depth review

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Funding Options For COVID Relief & Other Disasters

Some emergencies are beyond simple disruptions (such as equipment breaking). Sometimes, they fundamentally affect your ability to earn revenue, which in turn can make it impossible to service debt effectively. Of course, when we’re talking about emergencies in 2020, few loom as large as the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re affected by a disaster, you’ll often be better served by taking advantage of programs offered through government agencies. Your options include:

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):Β EIDLs are reserved for small business owners facing financial hardship due to a disaster. These loans have very low-interest rates and long terms. In some cases, as with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), these loans may even be forgiven under specific circumstances.
  • SBA Physical Damage Loans: SBA Physical Damage Loans are reserved for business owners (and homeowners) whose private property has been physically damaged as the result of a disaster. These loans have repayment periods of up to 30 years, with interest rates under 4% for businesses that can’t get credit elsewhere.
  • State & City Loans & Grants:Β Depending on where you live, you may be able to tap one of the many state and/or local programs designed to help businesses. Many of the COVID-related programs have exhausted their funding, but a new round of federal stimulus could change what’s available.

4 Tips For Getting An Emergency Business Loan

When you’re looking for emergency funding for your small business, you don’t have a lot of time to weigh your options the way you would during normal times.

Here are some tips for when time is of the essence:

  • Get The Right Type Of Loan: Some types of loans disburse much faster than others, but that’s only one part of the picture. Consider the repayment schedules and whether your business will bounce back quickly enough to service your debt. You don’t want to compound your emergencies.
  • Get An Online Loan: There are some very good reasons to stick with traditional banks. They offer better rates and longer terms in most cases. But what they don’t usually offer is speed. Online loans, on the other hand, are designed to be fast and easy to apply for. If there’s ever a time where that model shines, it’s when you need money quickly.
  • Avoid Scams: Desperate people make good marks, which is something you don’t want to be. While you may be in a hurry, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable lender. Read reviews of the company on sites such as Merchant Maverick, and search for user reviews to see what the lender’s reputation looks like.
  • Understand The Cost Of The Loan: Loans can be complicated, especially since the lending industry is notorious for hiding costs. Remember that you’re effectively buying money for more than it’s worth, and be sure to ask about any fees involved beyond interest. Make use of online tools to evaluate your offer.

Get The Right Emergency Loan For Your Business

There’s no shortage of options for getting emergency small business loans. The trick is making sure you get it on the schedule you need at a rate you can afford.

Not sure where to start looking?

We can help you out.

Loan TypeWhat Is It?Typical Time To Funding

Short-Term Business Loans

Loans disbursed in one lump sum and repaid in periodic, fixed installments. Fees for borrowing are determined by a factor rate.

2 - 5 days

Online Lines of Credit

Credit lines from which the business can draw funds at any time, without going through an application process.

2 - 7 days for the initial application; 1 - 2 days for funds when the credit line is secured

Invoice Financing

Financing in which the business's unpaid invoices are leveraged to access business funds.

2 - 5 days

Bridge Loans

Fast business loans used to fulfill funding needs until slower financing comes in.

2 - 7 days

Traditional Installment Loans

Loans disbursed in one lump sum and repaid in periodic, fixed installments. Borrowing fees are determined by an interest rate.

1 - 3 weeks

Business Credit Cards

Credit lines for everyday business expenses.

About 7 days

SBA Disaster Loans

Loans offered by the SBA to businesses that have been affected by a disaster.

7 - 21 days

In Summary: Best Emergency Loans For Small Businesses

  1. OnDeck: Best for an emergency business line of credit.
  2. Fundbox: Best for same-day business funding.
  3. Lendio: Best for an emergency business term loan.
  4. Riviera Finance: Best for funding unpaid invoices.
Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Finance Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris Motola is a writer, programmer, game designer, and product of NY. These days he's mostly writing about financial products, but in a past life he wrote about health care and business. He's a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
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2 Comments

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    venturecapital

    If traditional financing isn’t the best fit for your business’s needs, you may want to consider pursuing Venture Capital (VC) funding. In addition to angel investing, equity crowdfunding and other seed funding options, venture capital is attractive for new companies with limited operating history that are too small to raise capital in the public markets and have not reached the point where they are able to secure a bank loan or complete a debt offering.

      Kate Sloae

      Thank you so much for this. So many businesses I know are looking for options during this COVID-19 pandemic and it’s encouraging to see all the choices out there.

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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