The best small business loans get money in your hands fast, easily, and without crazy high interest rates.
I’ll walk you through the best lenders for your small business. And how to decide which borrowing option is right for you.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that banks issued $114.3 billion in loans to US businesses with revenues of $1 million or less.1 So do NOT feel intimidated when looking for a loan.
The money is out there. You just need to reassure the lender you’ll be able to pay it back.
I like that business loans are usually cheaper than running up debt on even the best business credit cards. I also like that business loans do NOT require you to give up a percentage of ownership (equity), like you’d do with an investor.
My best business loan recommendations include traditional banks and alternative lenders, depending on your situation. Alternative lenders approve the highest percentage of small business loans (28.4%)2, so I’d look carefully at this option.
Table of Contents
What is the Best Small Business Loan?
- Lendio – Best Budget-Friendly Option
- OnDeck – Best for Low Credit Scores
- TD Bank – Best Value
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Trusted by thousands of customers, Lendio is an online business loan marketplace connecting prospective borrowers with traditional and non-bank online lenders.
Just fill in one online application, and Lendio can connect you with over 75 lenders.
With more than 12 billion loaned to small business owners and an excellent 4.8/5 Trustpilot rating, Lendio can provide you with the best small business loan.
Also, Forbes Advisor named Lendio the “Best Small Business Loan of 2022.”
Top 5 Benefits of Lendio
1 – Save time – Lendio has over 75 lenders enrolled, so don’t waste your precious time by applying to multiple lenders individually.
2 – Cash when you need it most – When starting, you will need more cash than most small business loans offer. Lendio provides start-up loans for up to $750,000.
3 – Not sure what you need? – If you're unsure what financing option works best for your business, Lendio can help you pick the one that fits.
4 – Get a loan no matter where you live – Geography doesn't stand in your way of getting a good finance deal, with Lendio available in all fifty states.
5 – Get money fast – Apply through Lendio in 15 minutes and receive your funds within 24 hours, depending on the lender.
Lendio boasts over ten funding options, including SBA loans, start-up loans, small business loans, lines of credit, and business acquisition loans. Loan amounts range from a modest $500 to a mega $5 million.
Here’s what Lendio customer and owner of Bobbee O's BBQ restaurant, Chloria Chandler, had to say about her experience:
“Lendio literally saved my business. Corona would have taken us off the market for sure if it was not for the moves we made with Lendio right before the onset of the virus.”
Get started with Lendio here.
Here’s a quick video sharing a Lendio customer’s success story.
|Start-up business loans for up to $750,000, term loans for up to $2 million, and business acquisition loans for up to $5 million.
|No face-to-face consultation.
|The online Lendio application connects you with over 75 lenders.
|Lendio is not a financial institution; it acts as a “middleman” to connect small business owners with potential lenders.
|Wide range of loans, from small business administration (SBA) loans to lines of credit.
|Available across all fifty states.
|Apply in 15 minutes, and get your cash in as little as 24 hours (depending on the lender).
|Only recommends a 600 credit score to apply.
OnDeck is my number one choice for the best small business loan. OnDeck offers loans up to $250,000 and lines of credit up to $100,000.
OnDeck has earned an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and an excellent Trustpilot score of 4.7/5.
It has extended $14 billion in funding to small businesses in the U.S. for almost 20 years.
OnDeck was also the recipient of LendingTree’s Customer Satisfaction Award.
Top 5 Benefits of OnDeck
1 – Get Cash Fast – Unlike other banks, where your application takes what feels like 26 weeks to get approved, OnDeck is speedy. Apply within ten minutes and receive money on the same day (if you qualify).
2 – Low Credit Score? No Problem – At a 625 minimum credit score requirement, you stand a better chance with this lender than (most) banks that don’t accept less than 720.
3 – Save Money on Future Loans – When you’re a repeat customer, your second loan will be cheaper. Renewal loans are eligible for lower origination fees as low as 0% (excluding 24-month term loans).
4 – Borrowing Made Easy – According to customer reviews, OnDeck’s customer service is excellent, with dedicated loan advisors available throughout the process.
5 – Build Credit With Each Payment – OnDeck reports your payments to the major credit bureaus, so you’re building your credit every time you pay on time.
Ready to check out OnDeck? Sign up here for the best small business loan!
OnDeck offers small business loans from $5,000 to $250,000 and lines of credit between $6,000 and $100,000.
Do you need cash fast? Learn why OnDeck is a good fit for your business.
Brandi Nichols, co-owner of Gotta Dance Studio & Company in Bend, Oregon, used OnDeck financing to boost her business. Here’s what she had to say:
“We looked for something that had an easy application process. Something that we could get pretty swiftly, and OnDeck seemed to be that business that we were able to get in with immediately, and the customer service was amazing. I’ve actually never gotten funding that quickly before.”
Sign up here with OnDeck for the best small business loan!
In addition, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, Karen G. Mills, says:
“There's a credit gap in the small-dollar loans, those under $250,000. That's the size loan that 70 percent of small businesses want. In fact, almost 40 percent of small businesses want loans for even less than that: under $50,000.”
With fewer banking options available to small business owners, Mills adds: “There's more of these lenders on the market every day. You can go online and get approval in a few minutes or a few hours, and the money is in your account in just a few days.”
Mark Kruger, the CEO of CF Webtools, explains how OnDeck has helped him turn his company into a success story.
|Opportunity to access your money on the same day (if you qualify).
|$100,000 minimum annual revenue requirement.
|Great for lower credit scores (you’ll need a minimum personal credit score of 625).
|Your small business must have been operating for at least one year prior to application submission.
|Second and third loans are eligible for lower fees.
|OnDeck does not lend to businesses based in Nevada, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
|Awesome customer service. With OnDeck, you can talk to real people on the phone, and you’ll get a friendly, dedicated loan advisor.
|Apply in only 10 minutes!
|Get transparency with the SMART Box Capital Comparison tool, a disclosure form that breaks down your cost of capital in plain English.
|Plenty of options. OnDeck has a range of loans that can be suited to your needs.
Get started with OnDeck. Sign up here for the best small business loan!
TD Bank is another awesome option for the best small business loans. Trusted by millions of customers, with this small business administration (SBA) approved lender, you can apply for traditional term loans and lines of credit, SBA loans, credit cards, and checking accounts.
TD Bank is in the top ten largest US banks with over 150 years of history, over $401.2 billion in assets, and over 1,100 branches along the East Coast.
Forbes even recognized TD Bank for several awards, including World's Best Banks. And Kiplinger’s named TD Bank the “Best National Bank” in 2020.
Top 5 Benefits of TD Bank
1 – Save money with lower payments – TD Bank is an SBA loan preferred lender.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) partially guarantees an SBA loan. This also means you’ll have lower payment options, which allows you to keep capital in your company.
2 – Fund your healthcare practice – TD Bank is an excellent option if you're a dentist, physician, or optometrist, with tailor-made loans to finance your practice.
3 – Get more cash on the go – You can access funds anywhere with an online application and mobile banking platform.
4 – Plan ahead – Utilize fixed monthly payments for the entire loan term.
5 – Choose when you pay – Flexible terms from 1 to 5 years, so you choose the best repayment schedule for your business.
Check out TD Bank for the best small business loan today!
TD Bank will offer you a small business loan between $10,000 and $1 million. You can arrange to pay it back within one year or up to five years.
If you prefer access to a line of credit, TD Bank offers credit lines between $25,000 and $500,000.
Watch how Sue started her business, The Compassion Cafe, with a TD Bank Business loan.
|Access money online wherever you are, whenever you want.
|For loans over $100,000, you need to apply in person.
|Specialist loan options for funding healthcare-related practices.
|Physical branches are located in only 16 states.
|SBA monthly loan payments are typically lower than payments for a traditional bank loan.
|It can take up to two business days to receive your funds and several weeks to get your SBA Loan.
|You only need a minimum credit score of 660.
|Same-day approval (if you qualify).
Get started with TD Bank for the best small business loan here.
Common Questions About Small Business Loans
Are Small Business Loans Hard to Get?
The ease of securing small business loans depends on your financial situation and business plan. I recommend checking out Lendio, TD Bank, and OnDeck. Factors that help make it easier to qualify for small business loans include:
- A “good” credit score (680 minimum although OnDeck only requires a 625 credit score)
- A solid business plan (explaining what you intend to use the loan for)
- No delinquencies on your credit report
What Documents Are Needed to Apply for a Small Business Loan?
According to the Small Business Administration, a lender may require the following documents:
- Loan application form,
- Personal background information,
- Business plan (overview and history),
- Credit report (both personal and business),
- Income tax returns,
- Financial statements (including profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and reconciliation of net worth),
- Bank statements,
- Loan application history,
- Business certificate and/or license,
- Business lease,
- Proposed Bill of Sale with Terms of Sale, and
- Licensing agreements, etc.
What is the Most Useful Type of Loan for a Small Business?
I'd recommend a small business administration (SBA) loan for the best small business loan. SBA loans are backed by the government, and they typically have longer terms and lower down payment requirements than other loan options. They're attractive because they have capped interest rates and no balloon payments.
What Other Loans Are There Besides SBA?
- Term loans
- Short-term loans
- Business credit cards
- Business lines of credit
- Merchant cash advances
- Equipment or inventory financing
- Invoice factoring or invoice financing
- Friends and family (if you’re desperate)
Which Bank Loan is Best for Business?
SBA loans are best for small business owners because they feature interest caps, guarantees and offer small loans (from $500) to extremely large ($5.5 million). However, the approval period is often slow, so it might take a lot of time to receive funds.
How Do Small Business Loans Work?
You put capital into your business when you take out a business loan. This money helps your business continue to grow. Business loans are available from banks, non-bank online lenders, and peer-to-peer lending platforms. All lenders have different rates, fees, and repayment terms. Check out Lendio to get started.
Where to Get a Small Business Loan?
You can get a small business loan from a range of lenders, including banks, financial institutions, non-bank online lenders, and even peer-to-peer lending platforms. Check out my top pick, Lendio, for the best small business loan.
What Can I Use a Small Business Loan For?
You can use your small business loan for business-related expenses. Examples include ongoing operational costs, buying equipment, hiring staff, launching a marketing campaign, etc.
Small Business Loans for Startups?
My #1 pick, OnDeck, is the best small business loan for startups because it has a ten-minute application and offers same-day funding (if you qualify). Also, if you take out secondary or tertiary loans, you’ll likely qualify for lower fees.
Best Small Business Loans for Bad Credit?
My #1 pick for the best small business loan is OnDeck. OnDeck only requires a 625 credit score to apply, and the application can be completed in as fast as 10 minutes!
Post-Game Report: Best Small Business Loan Champions
- Lendio – Best Budget-Friendly Option
- OnDeck – Best for Low Credit Scores
- TD Bank – Best Value
1 – https://advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Small-Business-Economic-Profile-US.pdf
2 – https://www.statista.com/statistics/754738/small-businesses-loan-approval-rates-usa/