Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

Best small business loans of 2023

Compare business loans with rates starting as low as 5% APR.

As a small business owner, a business loan can help you add to your inventory, free up cash flow or even open a site or storefront. With rising interest rates, and recent bank failures, the Federal Reserve is warning of a looming credit crunch, where it may become more difficult to find all the financing you need.

The latest report on median variable interest rates for new small business term loans is 7.44%, up from 6.25% in the prior quarter. Fixed-rate new term loans are standing at 6.44%, up from 5.56% in the prior quarter. But no one knows how long rising rates will last, and you’ve got choices beyond your local bank to find the funding you need.

Online lenders are built to support the smallest businesses with fewer than 10 employees, which can struggle to qualify for traditional financing. Government-backed loans may offer slightly larger firms a great way to grow even more. Online lenders and microlenders also offer financing programs catered to startups with less rigid requirements. The best lender for your business ultimately depends on factors like its finances, why it needs the funds and how long it’s been around.

10 best small business loans

Best small business loan marketplace: Lendio

Lendio business loans

Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5 ★★★★★

Lendio can be a good place to start if you want to save time searching for a lender that fits your needs. You complete an online form with your information to sort through potential lenders that suit your circumstances. Lendio's network includes more than 75 lenders that offer a wide array of business loans, including SBA loans. For some loans, you may even qualify with a credit score around 560. But you may receive marketing calls and emails from lenders, even after you take out a loan.

Best for fast funding: OnDeck

OnDeck short-term loans

Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

OnDeck offers short-term loans to businesses looking for quick funding and who might not qualify for a bank loan. Its line of credit requires very little documentation to apply and funding can be as soon as the same business day. Requirements are in line with other providers, requiring one year in business and $100,000 in annual revenue. And the credit score requirement is at a low 625, so borrowers with fair credit have a shot. There are no prepayment penalties or draw fees on the line of credit (LOC), but repayments are weekly.

Best for SBA loans: SmartBiz

SmartBiz business loans

Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5★★★★★

SmartBiz speeds up the SBA application process by streamlining the information you need to provide. By working with multiple banks and online lenders, it may take just a few weeks to get funding — rather than the normal multimonth waiting period. Prequalification takes a few minutes, and the rates its lenders offer start low. But you'll need to borrow at least $30,000, and the process isn't free: SmartBiz charges a 2% referral fee and 2% packaging fee if you're approved.

Best line of credit: BlueVine

Bluevine business loans

Finder Rating: 4.45 / 5 ★★★★★

BlueVine's low starting APR and lack of fees make it a good choice for small businesses that need frequent access to funds. After you're approved, you can pay a $15 wire transfer fee to accelerate your funds in a few hours. Otherwise, withdrawals take one to three business days to process. Its lines of credit are revolving, so you can borrow and repay as needed. But repayments are weekly if you go with the line of credit — which may strain your budget during slow seasonal periods.

Best merchant cash advance: Credibly

Credibly business financing

Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5★★★★★

With factor rates starting at 1.11, Credibly is among the least expensive merchant cash advances out there. It's also more transparent about its rates and fees than similar providers, and you can access your funds as soon as the day you're approved. While its $15,000 monthly minimum revenue requirement is higher than other competitors like Fora Financial, it's not restricted to credit card sales. But like other merchant cash advances, it's still an expensive product.

Best bank loan: Bank of America

Bank of America business loans

Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5 ★★★★★

Bank of America offers a wide range of secured and unsecured loans and lines of credit for most business needs. It even offers business auto loans — which can be hard to find at large banks. This nationwide lender has some of the lowest starting rates for unsecured financing. But, as with most big banks, it can be difficult to qualify. Especially if you aren't already a customer. Smaller businesses might have more luck with a community bank.

Best for high-risk industries: United Capital Source

United Capital Source business term loans

Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

If you own a newer business, work in a high-risk industry or have poor credit, United Capital Source could be a helpful stop. It's an alternative business loan connection service that helps borrowers who struggle to qualify for traditional lending options. Search for a business line of credit, merchant cash advance, SBA loan or invoice and receivables factoring. It's cannabis-business friendly, it accepts bad credit borrowers and customer reviews are high on average. You must have been in business for at least a year, which means startups must look elsewhere.

Best equipment financing: National Funding

National Funding business loans

Finder Rating: 4.65 / 5★★★★★

National Funding offers customized loans directly and with its lending partners. It offers equipment financing and leasing of up to $150,000 for new or used equipment. It guarantees you won't find a lower monthly payment elsewhere, or it pays $1,000 toward the equipment lease. And there's no down payment requirement. National Funding advertises fast approvals and funding in as soon as 24 hours, with early payment discounts and excellent customer reviews.

Best for startups: Finance Factory

Finance Factory business loans

Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5★★★★★

Finance Factory is an online lender marketplace with multiple financing options for startups. Entrepreneurs can also find services to roll over a retirement account into a new venture and personal loans to fund a new business. While it's not a direct lender, it's uniquely transparent about terms and rates — which are lower than average. But some financing options may require good to excellent credit, and funding can take a few weeks.

Best microloan: Kiva

Kiva business loans

Finder Rating: 3.7 / 5★★★★★

Kiva's interest-free microloans are ideal for entrepreneurs looking to turn an idea into reality. It doesn't have any time-in-business requirements, and you can borrow up to $15,000 without paying fees. Borrowers are also granted a six-month grace period before payments are due. But know that Kiva is a nonprofit crowdfunding platform — so if you don't have a large social network willing to contribute, you may not get anything. Loans that aren't fully funded aren't dispersed.

Methodology: How we choose the best business loans

Our lending experts analyze dozens of business loan providers to narrow down the best for business owners and startups. We search for lenders that suit a range of lending needs, highly-rated lenders that offer loans of $100,000 or less because most small business loans fall into that range.

We weigh lenders against 12 key metrics:

  • Rates
  • Fees
  • Application process
  • Lender reputation
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Credit score minimums
  • Products offered
  • Willingness to work with risky industries
  • Minimum and maximum loan amounts
  • Customer service reviews
  • Funding turnaround times
  • Extra features

How small business loans work

A business loan is a form of financing designed to help you start, grow or operate your small business, offering access to capital to cover payroll, purchase real estate, invest in equipment or other business needs.

Most business loans are secured, requiring collateral to back the loan. Even lenders that advertise unsecured business loans typically require a lien on business assets, meaning they can seize the assets if your business defaults. On top of this, almost all lenders ask for a personal guarantee from majority business owners, which means you’re responsible for the loan if the business fails.

You can find business loans through traditional banks and credit unions, online lenders and marketplaces, and community lenders. While a traditional business loan is a lump sum of funds you repay in monthly installments plus interest and fees, there are several other types of financing that lenders may refer to as loans, even if they’re structured differently. Rates vary widely by business loan type, ranging from 5% to 300% APR.

Compare other small business loans

1 - 7 of 7
Name Product Filter Values Min. Amount Max. Amount APR Requirements
Lendio business loans
Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5: ★★★★★
Lendio business loans
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560 personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
Finder Rating: 4.38 / 5: ★★★★★
Varies depending on the lender
Must have been in business between 1–2 years, have a minimum revenue of $75,000–$250,000 and have a minimum credit score of 500–650.
Complete a three-minute form to see loans that fit your business’s needs. Compare offers without a hard credit check.
ROK Financial business loans
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
ROK Financial business loans
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 1+ year in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
Apply for up to $5 million with a 15-second online application. Choose your best offer and get funded as soon as the same day.
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
2+ years in business, $300K+ annual revenue, 640+ FICO, business bank account, US based business
Get pre-approved for a business loan in minutes with no impact to your credit score.
OnDeck short-term loans
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
OnDeck short-term loans
29.9% to 65.9%
625+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue, active business checking account
Receive flexible financing at competitive fixed rates from this A+ rated business lender.
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Starting at 1%
600+ personal credit score, 1+ years time in business, $140,000+ minimum annual revenue, active business checking account required
Prequalify with this lending marketplace using an easy application process. Plus, work with real loan experts to make the best decisions on loan programs for ERC, SBA, e-commerce, cannabis and other loan categories.
Bluevine business lines of credit
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bluevine business lines of credit
Estimated 8% to 86%
24+ months in business, $40,000+ in monthly revenue, 625+ credit score
Get approved for a revolving credit line in as fast as 5 minutes.

Types of small business loans

Term loans and lines of credit may be the most popular types of financing. But several other options might be better suited to certain businesses — especially those that struggle to qualify for traditional bank financing.

What are the benefits of a small business loan?

There are several benefits to using a small business loan or another type of debt financing:

  • Keep control of your business after receiving funds
  • Get funds to expand operations and meet demand
  • Cover operating expenses during a slow season
  • Deduct interest on your business tax returns

How to get the best small business loan

Watch our 60 second video below!

While small business loan requirements depend on the financing you need, you’ll get the lowest rates and strongest terms by meeting general requirements that include:

  • Good credit. If you don’t have a score of at least 670, consider bringing a cosigner along for better approval odds.
  • At least $100,000 in revenue. If your business is new or still in the startup phase, look into our top editorial picks for startup business loans.
  • At least one year in business. Startup loans may come with less rigid or even no requirements around specific time in business.
  • A low-risk industry. High-risk industries in adult entertainment, cannabis and gambling may struggle to find financing.
  • Collateral requirements. If you’re looking for a secured business loan, know what collateral you’ll use to secure it. For example, with equipment financing, the loan is secured by the asset you’re financing.
  • Personal and business documentation. Lenders will ask for tax returns, profit and loss statements and much more when applying. Know what you’ll need to have on hand before applying.

Don’t meet these requirements? Set up an appointment at a local bank. Community banks tend to have more flexible requirements than their larger counterparts. Even if you don’t qualify for financing, the bank can point you toward other options and advise you on how to strengthen your application. Or, consider a personal loan from a lender like Upstart if you need funding fast.

Business loan documentation checklist

Prepare to submit personal and business documents when applying for a small business loan, including:

  • Business and personal tax returns for your business and all owners
  • Government-issued identification and Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Profit and loss statements and balance sheets for up to three years
  • Business and personal bank statements
  • Business plan and future projections
  • Personal credit score requirement — typically 670+

What is the largest business loan I can get?

How much of a loan you can qualify for depends on factors like your business’s revenue, debts and what you’re financing. Generally, your loan amount is based on the value of a self-liquidating asset you’re using the funds to purchase.

  • SBA loan — from $500 to $5,000,000, depending on the program
  • Lines of credit — highs of $250,000 to $500,000
  • Equipment financing — value typically equal to the equipment’s value

Business loan alternatives

If you own a newer business, haven’t yet reached $100,000 in revenue or have poor credit, you may not qualify for the lowest rates. Look to other financing options to grow your business.

Personal loans

A personal loan is a popular choice for entrepreneurs looking to fund a startup. These loans typically max out at $50,000, though sometimes reach $100,000. The best personal loans require good credit — so they’re not right for all business owners and needs.

Use our table to compare rates, credit score requirements and loan amounts to see if a personal loan is the right choice for your business. Select Compare for up to four loan products to see their benefits side by side.

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. credit score Loan amount
Upstart personal loans
Finder Rating: 4.15 / 5: ★★★★★
Upstart personal loans
4.60% to 35.99%
$1,000 to $50,000
This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
Best Egg personal loans
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Best Egg personal loans
8.99% to 35.99%
$2,000 to $50,000
Fast and easy personal loan application process. See options first without affecting your credit score.


You might not need to take on debt or pay anyone back at all if your business needs to fund a project that’s easy to communicate in a short video. Friends, fans or investors can help you raise money through crowdfunding. But keep up with regulations that are developing around it.

For example, all crowdfunding transactions must be done online through a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered intermediary, and you can’t raise more than $5 million through crowdfunding offerings in a 12-month period, as stated by the U.S. SEC.

Equity investments

You could finance your business needs by bringing on an investor. An investor allows you to get funding for your business that you never have to pay back in exchange for partial ownership in your company. But make sure you have a lawyer on retainer to avoid getting in legal trouble with the SEC.

Business credit cards

For small expenses or working capital, a business credit card can be easier to manage than a loan. Plus, many business credit cards come with 0% APR promotional periods, giving you a window to make a big purchase and pay it off without interest over a few months or a year.

Invoice financing

This alternative type of financing is an advance on unpaid accounts receivables — also called accounts receivable financing. It’s an asset-based loan to help give your business cash flow while you wait for invoices to be paid. However, invoice financing is an advance, so it can get expensive.

Inventory financing

Got orders but not enough inventory? Typically, inventory financing is a line of credit that you use to purchase product, and the inventory is collateral on the loan. However, if you need to buy perishables like produce, you can find inventory financing options for which the inventory doesn’t secure the loan.

Merchant cash advance

Considered an alternative borrowing option, a merchant cash advance is a lump sum loan based on a percentage of your business’s card sales. It’s often for emergencies, used to cover expenses in a pinch or during slow seasons. Merchant cash advances don’t charge traditional interest. Instead, you’re charged a fee called a factor rate expressed as a decimal — usually between 1.09 to 1.5 — and the factor is multiplied by the amount borrowed.

This type of financing can get expensive, and many providers require weekly repayments.

Grants and other resources for small businesses

Whether you’re just starting out or need help with crafting a business plan, check out these no- or low-cost resources:

  • Small Business Development Centers — SBDCs are the US’s network of small business development centers, all sharing the goal of helping small businesses grow. With over 1,000 local centers, SBDCs offer no-cost consulting to assist entrepreneurs in growing or starting a business.
  • — Search for grants, training programs or financing options in your state through this government site.
  • Federal grants for tech businesses — Tech-centered businesses may be eligible for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) program grant. Each grant is suited for tech businesses or those with scientific research.

How to manage payments

Business owners may not be strangers to debt. But if you’re looking to take on your first business loan or you’re struggling to manage multiple credit lines, keep these tips in mind:

  • Autopay. Sign up for autopay to avoid missing payments. As a bonus, many lenders offer rate discounts if you enroll in autopay, often around 0.25%.
  • Keep your lender in the loop. Even when things are going great, stay in contact with your lender because they may offer you new products, and business lenders tend to prefer lending to businesses with existing relationships.
  • Ask about hardship programs. Hard times can fall on anyone. If you can’t repay your loan, even temporarily, contact your lender and ask about a hardship program or deferment plan. Lenders would often rather offer a deferment option than have you default.
  • Only borrow when you need it. Don’t be tempted to take on a larger loan simply because it’s offered, and make sure the loans you do take on will be beneficial.
  • Consider consolidating if you have multiple loans. If you have multiple loans or your loan’s interest rates are super high, you could consolidate your business debt for a lower rate and more manageable payments — if your business is in a strong financial situation and has decent credit.

How business debt consolidation works

Debt consolidation works by paying off one or more loans with a new loan, usually to save on interest charges. Most business debt consolidation loans are term loans, but it’s also common to consolidate debt with a low-rate credit card, a balance transfer credit card. You can also consolidate business debt with a personal or home equity loan, though you’ll be responsible for repayment if the business fails.

Debt consolidation might be a good idea if you have good credit and you have high-interest debt. But if you have poor credit and your company isn’t profitable, your business isn’t likely to qualify for a low rate on the consolidation loan. Even if you do, it may not save you money in the long run.

Visit our guide to business loans to learn more about how it works.

More guides on Finder

  • How to buy DRAC (Ordinals) (DRAC)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy DRAC (Ordinals), lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on DRAC.

  • How to buy VMPX (VMPX)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy VMPX, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on VMPX.

  • How to buy BANK (Ordinals) (BANK)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy BANK (Ordinals), lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on BANK.

  • How to buy ZBIT (Ordinals) (ZBIT)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy ZBIT (Ordinals), lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on ZBIT.

  • How to buy WHEE (WHEE)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy WHEE, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on WHEE.

  • How to buy PIZA (Ordinals) (PIZA)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy PIZA (Ordinals), lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on PIZA.

  • How to buy BISO (BISO)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy BISO, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on BISO.

  • How to buy PEPE (Ordinals) (PEPE)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy PEPE (Ordinals), lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on PEPE.

  • How to buy ALEX Lab (ALEX)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy ALEX Lab, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on ALEX.

  • How to buy NALS (NALS)

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy NALS, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on NALS.

Ask an Expert provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site