Best Small Business Loans

It is important to consider the best small business loans for startups and entrepreneurs since borrowing capital is one of the greatest strategies for growing and leveraging a business. Most entrepreneurs need a business loan to:

  • Pay their business insurance
  • Take care of payroll
  • Capitalize on business opportunities
  • Have the necessary funds to weather financial ups and downs

Your business type and reasons for wanting a loan will determine which of the best small business loans you might want to consider. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Our Approach:

Choosing the best small business loan comes down to three things:

  • Type of business you have
  • Needs of your business
  • What you want for the future of your business

In this review, we’ll look at some of the best lenders for small business and figure out what makes them the top choice for different types of businesses.

Our Top 5 Business Loans for 2021:

  • Lendio is the best overall small business loan marketplace because they make business lending convenient and hassle-free.

  • Kiva offers the best options for microloans. Microloans are good for smaller businesses that want to expand, but don’t require as much capital. And you don’t have to worry about repaying interest on the loan.

  • Accion offers the best loans for startups because in addition to lending, they provide further advice, strategies, and support to help entrepreneurs qualify for a loan if they haven’t yet.

  • OnDeck offers the best loans for businesses with bad credit because they provide workable repayment options and easy approval.

  • Fundbox offers loans for businesses needing quick cash to fund a short-term project.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: Learn more about small business loans by reading our comprehensive guides! You can also check out our free business loan calculator tool!

Best Overall Small Business Loan Marketplace: Lendio

If you want the best small business loan overall, Lendio takes the gold. Lendio is best suited for businesses needing capital fast without the hassle traditional banks put you through. Lendio is also probably one of the best online lending resources for all businesses in general since they have no cap on how much they will fund, and work to get you approved for whatever type of loan your business needs, not to mention great rates too.

When you get a loan through Lendio, you will be provided with great customer support and gain instant access to competing lenders. For example, Lendio can often get you offers within a couple days, so you get approved for a loan faster than applying at each individual lender yourself. The biggest benefit, though, is that they offer any type of business loan you’d need.

Lendio makes business lending convenient and hassle-free. Their customer support is excellent. Their website and mobile app are user-friendly, cutting-edge, and ultra-convenient for the online business person who likes innovation without having to read the fine print. We really like Lendio.

Here is a quick summary of Lendio’s business loans:

  • Any business loan you need
    • Lowest rate: No limit
    • Loans sizes up to: No limit

To apply for a Lendio business loan, you will need to provide the following:

  • Apply online at Lendio.com in 20 minutes providing basic details about your business.
  • Get loan offers in a few days.
  • Accept loan offer.
  • Get funded as early as the same day.

PROS

  • Low credit score approval
  • Money can be any business expense
  • Free up your cash
  • Transparent fees
  • Easy, fast approval
  • Don’t need collateral
  • Average loan is $96,000
  • Get better rates as lenders are competing for your business
  • Great customer support

CONS

  • 6 months of bank statements
  • 2 years of tax returns
  • Soft credit check before being approved
  • Fewer lending partners than pre-COVID-19

Best Microlender Loans: Kiva

Kiva is a great solution for businesses that need a boost to take things to the next level. Though the loan amounts are deemed on the low-end, the money can be used to innovate a process, purchase equipment, take care of office rent, utilities, or other fixed costs, while the business owner works on implementing strategies to grow the business.

Kiva has been around since 2005, and to date has backed $1.48 billion worth of loans. Its mission is to create a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives.

They don’t charge interest on their loans. The power of the people is what backs their microlending strategy.

People around the world, who otherwise would never be bankable, are able to get the funds needed to start a business and improve their communities and certainly their own lives. This happens because varying individuals lend $25 each until the entire loan amount is met. The borrowers repay Kiva; Kiva repays the individuals.

Here is a quick summary of Kiva business loans:

  • Microloans
    • Lowest rate: 0%
    • Loan sizes up to: $15,000

To apply for a Kiva business loan, you will need to provide the following:

  • General information about your business, including its story/purpose, financials, etc.
  • What you intend to use the loan for

PROS

  • Crowdfunding based
  • Free marketing to 1.6 million supportive lenders
  • Borrowed monies can be utilized for nearly any purpose
  • Ongoing support and resources

CONS

  • Application process and funding time is longer than other types of loans
  • Not best for larger businesses

Best Startup Small Business Loan: Accion

Accion is the best small business loan for startups since you will also gain access to advice and support as you get your business off the ground. They'll even help you get “loan ready” to ensure you get funded. Though Accion lends money for other purposes, besides starting a business, Accion offers the best small business loans for individuals needing a startup business loan.

Most lenders refrain from lending money to new businesses because new businesses have no proven track record. This means there’s no way to judge if a business will be successful or not. Lenders don’t like the risk.

Accion is different. They offer money for businesses by taking a slightly different approach. They lend along with offering advice and support. This partnered approach ensures that the business owner at least has some sound business strategies for getting the business up off the ground and running. 

Accion has your best interest at heart from the word “accepted.” Also, they will help business people who do not yet qualify for a loan to become qualified by putting together an action plan for them. Mainly, they’re best for the entrepreneur who wants to take their dream and turn it into a reality.

Here is a quick summary of Accion business loans:

  • Term Loans
    • Lowest rate: 7%
    • Loan sizes up to: $250,000

To apply for an Accion business loan, take note of the following in advance:

  • You will need to have an alternative source of income for repaying the loan
  • You will need to have all former personal debts paid off before you’ll qualify for a business loan with them
  • Accion typically lends smaller amounts of money than traditional lenders, but it will depend solely on your individual circumstances how much they lend you

PROS

  • Need only a 12-month cash flow plan
  • Determination is based on how much you borrow
  • Many uses for the money such as purchasing inventory, buying or leasing equipment, professional expenses, hiring employees, and financing any of the many expenses involved with being an entrepreneur
  • Get funding for restaurant startups and other higher-risk industries

CONS

  • Can be more expensive
  • Some poor customer reviews

Best Loans for Building Business Credit: OnDeck

OnDeck offers term loans and working capital loans, and offers the best loans for small businesses with less than perfect credit. They are a great starting point for repeat borrowers too. We like Ondeck because they offer several repayment options and can often get a business approved for a business loan when nobody else will.

Here is a quick summary of OnDeck business loans:

  • Term Loan
    • Lowest rate: 11.89%
    • Loan sizes up to: $250,000
  • Line of Credit
    • Lowest rate: 10.99%
    • Loan sizes up to: $100,000

To apply for an Ondeck business loan, take note of the following qualifications in advance:

  • Be in business for at least a year.
  • Have a personal FICO score of 600
  • Need annual revenues of at least $100,000
  • Need a business bank account

PROS

  • Borrow as little or as much as you need. Term loans from $5,000 to $250,000.
  • Simple process. Apply in as little as 10 minutes, with a decision as soon as the same day—all to save you time.
  • Tailored options. Multiple loan types, amounts, and repayment terms, so you can get exactly what you need.
  • Real help. A large team of loan advisors to help you find the right solution. And one dedicated to you.

CONS

  • Can be more expensive than other loans
  • Unavailable for some states and industries

Best Loans for Quick Cash: Fundbox

A business line of credit is perfect for small businesses that frequently run into cash flow problems. Eighty percent of businesses fail due to a lack of cash flow. Fundbox only offers lines of credit, but their rates are low and they work fast to get you funded. We like Fundbox because they offer the benefits of a business credit card with lower rates. You only pay interest on the money you spend, not the whole of the loan.

Here is a quick summary of Fundbox business loans:

  • Line of Credit
    • Lowest rate: 4.66%
    • Loan sizes up to: $100,000

To apply for a Fundbox line of credit, meet the following qualifications:

  • 500+ credit score
  • 3+ months in business
  • $25,000 in annual revenue

PROS

  • Larger credit limits
  • Free up your cash
  • Fund only what you want
  • Transparent fees
  • Easy approval
  • Funds available on demand
  • Access to a revolving line
  • Only pay for what you use

CONS

  • Not a long-term finance solution
  • No early payment incentive
  • Pay most of the interest on the front-end of the loan

Recommended: Before going out and opening just any business bank account for your small business, do your due diligence by reading up on the best business checking accounts.

Small Business Loans FAQ

How do business loans work?

Companies that specialize in lending money to businesses, called lenders, make money by charging interest and fees to businesses that borrow money from them. Learn more about how business loans work

How do I get a business loan?

Apply with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan. Read more about how to get a small business loan.

What is the best loan for small business?

The best small business loan depends on your company and its needs. However, we recommend Lendio because they make business lending convenient and hassle-free.

What are the benefits of business loans?

A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business.

How do I determine which business loan is best for me?

To determine which type of business loan is best for you, visit our comprehensive guides on the types of business loans.

How do I qualify for a business loan?

Ask these questions to determine if you qualify for a business loan and to assess how likely you are to be approved.

Where can I find loans for women-owned businesses?

Here is a list of the top business loans for women.