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

Small Business Loan Reviews

buyers guide
Sort By
  • Dealstruck Review

    Read Review Visit Site

    Note: Dealstruck is no longer originating new loans (though they are continuing to service borrowers who already have a loan). For lenders similar to Dealstruck, take a look at StreetShares or Fundation. Highlights Mid-prime business lender Term loans Working capital loans Asset based lines of credit Inventory lines of credit Competitive rates and fees Excellent customer […]

  • Funding Circle Review

    Read Review Compare

    Pros Competitive terms and fees No prepayment penalty Few additional fees Excellent customer support Cons Relatively long application process Relatively stringent borrower requirements Overview Funding Circle is an online lender that originated in the UK. The company was established after one of its founders started a gym franchise and realized how expensive other sources of […]

  • National Funding Review

    Read Review Visit Site

    Pros Early repayment incentives Relaxed credit score requirements Cons Potentially high origination fees Opaque terms and fees Overview National Funding is a California-based company that provides funding to small businesses that cannot yet get a bank loan. Like many of its competitors, you won’t have to worry about collateral or having good credit. On the […]

  • CAN Capital Review

    Read Review Visit Site

    Pros Low factor rates Low origination fees Cons Difficult application process Opaque terms and fees Overview At 18 years in business, Georgia-based CAN Capital (formerly known as Capital Access Network and AdvanceMe) is one of the oldest alternative lenders on the market. Following a lending hiatus and a management shake-up, the company resumed funding this summer […]

  • World Business Lenders Review

    Read Review Visit Site

    Pros No credit score requirements Easy application process Cons High factor rates Fair public reputation Overview World Business Lenders (WBL) is a Jersey City-based small business alternative funder. Like its competitors, it offers high-interest funding to businesses that may otherwise fail to qualify for a traditional loan. If you decide to enter the world of […]

  • Forward Financing

    Read Review Visit Site

    Pros Excellent public reputation Relaxed credit score requirements Transparent terms and fees Fast time to funding Cons High factor rates Expensive terms and fees Overview Forward Financing is a Boston-based funder that specializes in providing small businesses with capital on short notice, emphasizing technology, transparency, integrity, and speed. It’s one of a growing industry of […]

  • Bond Street Review

    Read Review Visit Site

    Bond Street has stopped originating loans. Head over to our Small Business Loan Comparison page to find similar lenders. Highlights Term loans Working capital loans Business expansion loans Competitive rates and fees Bi-weekly fixed ACH repayments No prepayment penalty Excellent resource center Overview Founded in 2013, Bond Street offers business loans to small but established […]

  • Lending Club Business Loans Review

    Read Review Compare

    Pros Relaxed borrower qualifications Competitive terms and fees No prepayment penalty 1 – 4 week time to funding Excellent customer support Cons At least fair credit required Potentially high origination fee Overview Founded way back in 2006, Lending Club is credited as one of the first companies to offer fast, online loans. Although originally Lending […]

  • LoanMe Review

    Read Review Compare

    Pros Relaxed borrower qualifications Short application process Cons High interest rates High origination fees Poor public reputation Overview Founded in 2014, LoanMe (also called Cash4Rent) is a lender that offers personal and business loans to eligible candidates. The company specializes in lending to businesses that need money fast or cannot get funding from other sources. […]

  • Avant Review

    Read Review Compare

    Pros Suited for startups Competitive terms and fees Easy application process Cons Unsuited for large businesses Some additional fees Overview Founded in 2012, Avant is a lender that offers personal loans to qualified borrowers. Although Avant does not deal directly with business loans, entrepreneurs can use personal loans to fund a startup or new business. […]

What is a Business Loan?

A business loan is a way for merchants to secure funds without giving up equity or control of their company. Business loans are a type of debt financing, meaning the merchant takes on debt they must repay in exchange for access to immediate funds.

There are many types of business loans available, from traditional installment loans to invoice financing and business lines of credit. Some types work better than others depending upon the business’s history, financial situation, and assets.

Types of Small Business Loans

Below are descriptions of the most common business loan terms and types you may find during your search for a loan. Which is best for your business?

Bank Loans

Banks loans are, simply, business loans originated by a bank. Banks may offer many types of business financing, including installment loans, lines of credit, and equipment loans. These institutions can normally offer the best rates and fees, but also have a reputation for low acceptance rates and very long application processes.

Bank loans are alternately referred to as traditional financing or traditional business loans.

Business Expansion Loans

These are loans used to purchase and open additional business locations. Most business expansion loans are installment loans, but some businesses may use lines of credit if they do not know exactly how much the project will cost.

Equipment Loans

These are loans used to purchase equipment. Normally, the lender will loan about 80% of the cost of the equipment, and the merchant is responsible for paying the remaining 20%. Equipment loans are an alternative to leasing or purchasing equipment outright.

Installment Loans

Also commonly called term loans, installment loans are loans repaid in fixed, regular installments over a set period of time. The repayment period for business installment loans is normally between one and 10 years, though some lenders will allow for shorter or longer terms.

Installment loans may also be called short-term loans (loans with repayment terms under two years), medium-term loans (repayment terms between two and five years), or long-term loans (repayment terms of six years or more).

Invoice Financing

A catch-all term that includes (among other non-loan financing products) loans that are backed by unpaid invoices. If you have cash flow problems caused by unpaid invoices, invoice financing may be for you.

Lines of Credit

Loans that grant you a credit facility from which you can draw any time without the need for application. These loans are convenient for businesses that have occasional cash flow problems, those that often have to deal with unexpected expenses, or any other businesses that need financing but don’t want to go through an application process each time. For our full list of line of credit reviews, head over here.

Online Loans

Also called marketplace loans or alternative loans, online loans are originated by a variety of non-bank lenders that utilize technology to make fast and easy lending decisions. Individual online lenders may offer products including installment loans, lines of credit, short-term loans, or other loan types, but are similar in that most can offer funding within two weeks or less.

SBA (Small Business Association) Loans

While SBA loans are usually originated by banks, the application process is handled by the Small Business Association itself. The SBA also guarantees a portion of the amount borrowed, which means these loans are often easier to get and require less collateral than standard bank loans.

Short-Term Loans

Unlike most loans, in which the fee is calculated by an interest rate, short-term loans carry a fee that is calculated once based on the original borrowing amount. As you would expect, short-term loans carry short term lengths; normally they are intended to be repaid in under two years, but some lenders allow term lengths up to three.

Head over here for a list of all our reviews of short-term loans (and their non-loan counterpart, merchant cash advances).

Startup Loans

Quite simply, these are loans used to finance startups. As startups are very risky, there are very few lenders that will finance this type of business. However, entrepreneurs may be able to get a loan through certain nonprofits or by utilizing their personal creditworthiness to get a personal loan for business.

Working Capital Loans

These loans are used to cover business operating costs while business funds are tied up elsewhere.

Are You Eligible For a Loan?

Eligibility for a loan is contingent upon a number of different factors; lenders cannot make the final decision about whether or not you’re eligible, and what rates they can give you, until they have performed the full underwriting and verification process. However, lenders can look at a few business factors to determine whether you have a good chance of getting a loan from their company.

Here are four big factors lenders will look for when deciding if your business is eligible for a loan:

  • Time in business: Lenders want to be able to see that your business has successfully been operating for some time.
  • Personal credit score: You must have a track record of making payments in a timely manner.
  • Business revenue: Your business has to be making enough money to meet the incremental payments. Many lenders will not let you borrow more than 15% – 18% of your total business revenue.
  • Collateral: In the event that you can no longer pay, some lenders want collateral so they will be able to recoup the lost money. While plenty of lenders do not require collateral (or don’t require specific collateral) businesses that can put up collateral will find the search for a business loan much easier.

Each lender has different requirements regarding each of these categories; the stronger your case, the more lenders you will have access to. However, most businesses will have access to some form of business loan.

Each of our reviews list the borrower qualifications for individual lenders, so don’t spend your time considering lenders you aren’t yet qualified for!

For more information on the business loan process, take a look at our Small Business Loans 101 series: