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Best business loans for fair credit

Lenders won't reject you outright if you don't have the best score.

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Fact checked

If your credit score falls between 580 to 669, your business loan options are slightly more limited than those with good or excellent credit. However, these lenders offer clear terms and a wide variety of loans to help you finance the next phase of your business.

How we picked these best business lenders

These lenders represent some of the more flexible and transparent options available to borrowers with fair credit. To compile our list, we considered the loan types available, minimum and maximum APR, repayment terms and the loan amount.

5 best business loans for fair credit

  • Best for same-day funding: Bluevine
  • Best for microloans: Kiva

LendingClub business loans logo

Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

Check eligibility

on LendingClub business loans's secure site

Best for businesses with low annual revenue: LendingClub business loans

580
Min. Credit Score
12.15%
Starting APR
$500,000
Loan Amount

Unlike many other lenders, LendingClub only requires businesses to have an annual revenue of $50,000 — or around $4,000 a month. This allows newer businesses that haven't made a large amount of money to qualify. But its maximum APR is high. For many business owners, especially those with low revenue, this means high monthly repayments that could be difficult to handle.

Pros

  • Less strict eligibility requirements
  • Get funds in just a few days
  • Accepts fair credit
  • Only requires $50,000 in annual revenue

Cons

  • High origination fee of 5.99%
  • APRs capped at a high 29.97%
  • Requires collateral on loans over $100,000
Min. Loan Amount $5,000
Max. Loan Amount $500,000
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 580
Minimum Loan Term 6 months
Maximum Loan Term 60 months

Lendio business loans logo

Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5

★★★★★

Check eligibility

on Lendio business loans's secure site

Best marketplace: Lendio business loans

560
Min. Credit Score
6%
Starting APR
$5,000,000
Loan Amount

The lenders in Lendio's network can accept business owners with bad credit, which may mean you could qualify for a better APR with fair credit. However, Lendio isn't a fully free service. If you do finalize a loan with one of its lenders, you will need to pay an origination fee to Lendio.

Pros

  • Network of over 300 lenders
  • Wide range of business loan options
  • Bad personal credit accepted

Cons

  • Must pay origination fee after loan is finalized
  • May receive marketing material from lenders
Min. Loan Amount $500
Max. Loan Amount $5,000,000
APR Starting at 6%
Interest Rate Type Variable
Min. Credit Score 560
Minimum Loan Term 12 months
Maximum Loan Term 300 months

SmartBiz business loans logo

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Check eligibility

on SmartBiz business loans's secure site

SmartBiz business loans

650
Min. Credit Score
6.25%
Starting APR
$5,000,000
Loan Amount

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 multi-month 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 will charge a referral and packaging fee if you’re approved for a loan.

Pros

  • Compare regular bank loans and SBA loans
  • Cuts weeks out of SBA loan turnaround time
  • Simplified online application

Cons

  • Charges SBA referral and packaging fees
  • No loans under $30,000
  • Relatively high starting APR of 7.99% on non-SBA loans
Min. Loan Amount $30,000
Max. Loan Amount $5,000,000
APR 4.75% to 7.00%
Interest Rate Type Variable
Min. Credit Score 650
Minimum Loan Term 120 months
Maximum Loan Term 300 months

Best for same-day funding: BlueVine business loans

600
Min. Credit Score
4.8%
Starting APR
$5,000,000
Loan Amount

While you will have to pay a $15 fee for same-day funding, BlueVine is one of the few lenders that even offers the option on its lines of credit. It also has small term loans and invoice factoring — which is available to business owners with a lower personal credit score — so your business will have access to three common funding options. But while its APRs start at a low 4.8%, they can get much higher. With a minimum draw requirement of $5,000, your business may be stuck making weekly repayments on an expensive loan.

Pros

  • Starting APR compares to banks
  • Flexible credit and revenue requirements
  • Same-day funding available

Cons

  • Short terms of six or 12 months
  • Not all industries qualify
Min. Loan Amount $5,000
Max. Loan Amount $5,000,000
Interest Rate Type Fixed
Min. Credit Score 600
Minimum Loan Term 6 months
Maximum Loan Term 12 months

Best for microloans: Kiva business loans

None
Min. Credit Score
0%
Starting APR
$15,000
Loan Amount

Kiva doesn't have a minimum credit score requirement, which makes it a good choice for business owners who may be on the lower end of fair credit. It also doesn't have any fees, but you will need to have a sizable social network to make the most out of its crowdfunding system. Because of this, it may take over a month to raise your loan funds.

Pros

  • No interest or fees
  • No credit or residency requirements
  • Loans as low as $25

Cons

  • Turnaround of up to 45 days
  • No loans over $15,000
  • Qualifying depends on social network
Min. Loan Amount $25
Max. Loan Amount $15,000
APR 0%
Interest Rate Type N/A
Minimum Loan Term 1 months
Maximum Loan Term 3 months

Summary of best business loans for fair credit

LendingClub

Fair or better

Businesses with low annual revenue

★★★★★

4.5 / 5.0

Small businesses don't need to meet strenous revenue requirements to qualify.

Lendio

560

Comparing lenders

★★★★★

4.75 / 5.0

A large network makes it easy to find a suitable lender with competitive rates.

Smartbiz

650

Finding an SBA lender

★★★★★

4.3 / 5.0

Streamlined SBA loan process for established businesses.

BlueVine

600

Same-day funding

★★★★★

4.45 / 5.0

No waiting period for funding — for a small $15 fee.

Kiva

None

Microloans

★★★★★

3.70 / 5.0

No credit score requirement and 0% APR — provided you have a large social network.

Other business loans you can apply for today

Select your loan amount, annual revenue, time in business and Fair on the table. Then click Show loans to view your results.

Data indicated here is updated regularly

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
First Down Funding business loans
$5,000 – $300,000
Fee Based
At least 1 year in business, an annual revenue of $100,000+, and a minimum credit score of 400
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
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.
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
OnDeck small business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 9.99%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Rapid Finance small business loans
$5,000 – $1,000,000
Fee based
Steady flow of credit card sales, bad credit OK
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Compare up to 4 providers

Where can I find a lender that accepts fair credit?

If you have fair credit, you may be able to qualify for a business loan from a variety of lenders.

Online lenders

Lenders that operate online offer a wide range of loans for borrowers with fair credit. These include standard term loans and lines of credit — with rates comparable to banks — and short-term options like invoice financing, invoice factoring and merchant cash advances.

Because of all the options available, it's important to compare lenders carefully. Fortunately, online lenders typically have lower credit requirements and are more lenient than banks, which can make it easier to qualify for a loan with fair credit.

Banks

Some banks, like Regions and PNC, accept business owners with fair credit — provided they have an established credit history. Rates at banks are generally lower, and you may have access to experienced bankers that understand your industry.

But most banks require you to have a checking account or visit a branch to apply. You'll also need to meet other strict requirements to qualify, so expect the process of applying with a bank to take longer than an online lender.

Credit unions

Local and regional credit unions generally offer term loans to business members, although you may find other options with your credit union. Requirements tend to be more lenient than banks, but you will still need to meet a minimum credit score to apply.

And like banks, you may need to fill out your paperwork at a branch — though more and more credit unions are moving their initial application process online. Rates are also competitive, but you will need to become a member to qualify for most financing options.

Alternative lenders

Alternative lenders should be used as a last resort if you or your business are unable to qualify for a loan from another source. Because of the fixed-fee structure, alternative loans require daily repayments and may be much more expensive than other loan options. You should consider an alternative business loan carefully before borrowing.

How do I get a business loan with fair credit?

You can improve your chances of approval by keeping these points in mind:

  1. Develop a business plan. You should be able to demonstrate why you need funding through a strong business plan. It should show a lender that you know how your funds will be used and how you plan on repaying what your business borrows.
  2. Check your credit report. If there are any mistakes on your credit report, you should have them fixed before applying for a business loan — especially if your payment history is incorrect.
  3. Gather your paperwork. Lenders want to see tax returns and proof of revenue at minimum. Each application process is different, but you can check with your lenders to ensure you have the documents you need before you apply.
  4. Pick the right time. If you're able, apply during your busy season when you have a few months of strong revenue. This will show your lender that your business is doing well.
  5. Prequalify — if possible. Not all lenders offer a prequalification option. But if you can, check your rates with your top choices to avoid a hit to your credit.

Once you have a few prequalification offers, compare the APR, payment schedule and terms to choose the best choice for your business.

6 alternatives to fair credit business loans

These alternatives won't fault you for having fair credit. But some choices can be expensive for businesses with low revenue.

  • Short-term business loans. Short-term business loans are an expensive alternative to term loans. However, borrowers with fair credit may qualify for lower rates. So if you don't qualify for a traditional term loan, a short-term business loan could be a good alternative.
  • Rollover for business startups (ROBS). You can invest your retirement funds into your business without paying any penalties — provided you have at least $50,000 in savings.
  • Equity financing. Equity financing involves selling partial ownership of your company to an investor. This can take multiple forms, but if you sell at least 20%, your investor's good credit could improve your chances of qualifying for a business loan later.
  • Grants. There are federal, state and private grants available to businesses that work in underserved communities. Your credit score won't matter since you don't have to repay your grant funds.
  • Business credit cards. These can be used to finance smaller purchases if your business can handle the high APR. There are even business credit cards for owners with fair credit that may be easier to qualify for.
  • Personal loans. As a last resort, there are personal loans you can qualify for with fair credit. These won't offer the best rates, but they can often be used to finance your business.

What should I do if I was denied a business loan?

Your lender should provide information on why you weren't approved for a loan. Revisit your application and ensure neither you nor your lender made any mistakes. If everything is correct, review the reason you were rejected. Even if you meet a lender's minimum credit requirements, your business's revenue and financial history may not meet the lender's standards.

Rework your application and business plan to suit the feedback you received. If the problem is with your revenue, sales or other metrics, it may be better to consider alternative sources of financing — including short-term business loans, personal loans or business credit cards — which may be easier to qualify for.

Bottom line

Fair credit won't stop you from qualifying for one of these top business loans. But you should still explore your full range of options to ensure you're making the right financial move for your business.

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