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How to Get a $10,000 Small Business Loan

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Sometimes the most frustrating crises are the small ones: the delivery vehicle that breaks down, the emergency restock, the last minute marketing push. These are pretty routine, banal problems that can be addressed with a relatively small amount of money. But whether you’re short $100,000 or $10,000, a shortfall can wreak havoc on your business.

We’ll take a look at how you can get a $10,000 loan to cover those small, but critical gaps.

The Right Type of Loan

One of the most important things to consider is what, exactly, you intend to spend the money on. This is important because some lenders will have restrictions on the type of industries and circumstances they’ll lend to.

Just as important to understand is that equipment lending follows a different kind of logic than does working capital. Because the equipment you’re purchasing can act as collateral, equipment loans tend to have better rates than comparable working capital loans. Equipment financing also opens up leases as an option, which can be faster and more comprehensive (though generally more expensive) than loans.

Another deciding factor can be how quickly you need the funds. Often, when a company needs a relatively small amount of money, they need it sooner rather than later. While many traditional banks have begun streamlining their processes, it’s not unusual for the vetting and underwriting process to drag out for weeks or even months. In these cases, it can be a tradeoff between the (generally) lower rates of traditional banks and the speed and convenience of alternative lenders. If you can afford to wait–and clear their lending hurdles–the traditional route is often still the best.

Getting Approved

If there’s one aspect of the loan process that’s likely to keep you up at night, it’s figuring out how to navigate seemingly opaque standards lenders use to decide who is worthy of funding. In the wake of the 2008 housing crash, traditional banks have been considerably more conservative about who they’ll lend to, a trend that hasn’t really subsided in the 10 years since.

Profitable companies that have been around for three years, whose credit ratings exceed 650 shouldn’t have too much trouble securing cash from traditional sources. If your business is younger and your credit burdened by years of financial struggle, you may have to look to the alternative lending industry.

It’s easy to think of the alternative lending industry as a bunch of grifters with slick websites and, to be fair, a significant number of them earn that reputation. But you can also find fast, unconventional funding at fairly reasonable rates if you approach the process with caution. The best way forward will likely depend on the state of your credit.

If You Have Decent Credit

Businesses that are young, but don’t have poor credit, you can approach the alternative lending market similarly to how you would a traditional loan. You should be able to qualify for most short-to-medium term financial products so long as your company is taking in enough revenue to cover the amount you borrow.

Consider looking at installment loans from lenders like StreetShares and Fundation, which combine speed with reasonable rates and repayment frequencies.

If You Have Poor Credit

You aren’t out of luck, but you’ll need to be a bit more open-minded and will probably need to take a hit on your interest rate.

There are a few types of products that are designed to specifically cater (and take advantage of) profitable businesses with poor credit. They are:

  • Short-term loans (STLs): Sometimes called cash-flow loans, STLs have term lengths of less than a year and are paid back daily or weekly. They don’t accrue interest like term loans. Instead they charge a flat fee that frontloads the full costs of borrowing into your principal. Payments, in most cases, will be debited directly from your business checking account.
  • Merchant cash advances (MCAs): On the surface, MCAs closely resemble STLs, but there are a few key differences. The first is that MCAs aren’t technically loans, so they aren’t restricted by state laws governing loans. Except in rare cases, you’ll need to do a significant portion of your sales via credit or debit card. Instead of debiting a bank account, a MCA funder will hold back a percentage of your daily credit sales until the advance is repaid.
  • Invoice factoring: One of the lesser known funding niches, invoice factoring lets you sell unprocessed invoices to a funder at a loss. You can avoid a lot of the short-term burdens that come with STLs and MCAs this way, although your ability to take advantage of invoice factoring will be circumstantial.


Small loans are big business for the lending industry. Finding one that works for your circumstances is just a matter of research. If you aren’t sure where to begin, be sure to look at some of our favorite lenders.

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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