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Business Lenders business loans review

This former SBA loan provider no longer offers loans — but you can find a lender through its partner SmartBiz.

Business Lenders used to be an online lender that underwrote and funded Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. And you might think it still is, based on its out-of-date website.


Min. Amount$30,000
Max. Amount$350,000
Min. Credit Score680
APR8.96% to 10.26%
Requirements680+ credit score, 2+ years in business, profitable, 10% down payment

First, do I qualify?

You and your business must meet the following criteria to qualify for a loan serviced by Business Lenders:

  • 680 personal credit score or higher
  • At least two years in business
  • Profitable
  • Able to make a 10% down payment

You also need to meet other SBA loan requirements to get a loan, such as meeting the administration’s small business size requirements. You don’t need to fully back your loan with collateral. But the more business or personal collateral you can bring to the table, the easier it will be to qualify.

What makes Business Lenders business loans unique?

Business Lenders used to be part of the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program (PLP), which meant it had the authority to underwrite and close on government-backed business loans. This streamlined the application and cut down on your turnaround time. Now it’s an SBA loan servicer, meaning it only handles repayments on SBA loans.

However, you can still find a loan through its partner SmartBiz — a marketplace that connects businesses with SBA Preferred Lenders. Business Lenders links to the SmartBiz application on its website. After you get funded, Business Lenders might handle your repayments, depending on who you borrow from.


  • Get connected with an SBA Preferred Lender
  • Streamlined application through SmartBiz
  • Over 25 years of SBA experience


  • Misleading, out-of-date website implies it still funds loans
  • No longer an SBA lender
  • Might be funded by another bank

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$25,000 – $6,000,000
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Get only the capital you need through secure, prescreened lenders with this highly rated company offering SBA, expansion, working capital and other loans.

Lendio business loans
Finder Rating: 4.75 / 5: ★★★★★

Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
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ROK Financial business loans
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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 short-term loans
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★

OnDeck short-term loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 35%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue, active business checking account
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.

Fundbox lines of credit
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★

Fundbox lines of credit
$1,000 – $150,000
Not stated
6 + months in business, $100,000+ in annual revenue, 600+ credit score
Get flat rate, short-term financing based on the financial health of your business, not your credit score.

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How do I apply?

Even though Business Lenders no longer underwrites loans itself, you can still apply for a loan from its website:

  1. Go to the Business Lenders website.
  2. Click Apply for a Loan. You should get a message letting you know that you’re leaving the Business Lenders website for SmartBiz, which handles the application.
  3. Answer questions about yourself, your funding needs and your business. Click Continue to Prequalify.
  4. Click Let’s get started.
  5. Answer questions about why you need the funds, your business, yourself and any other owners that own 20% or more of the business.
  6. Click See what I prequalify for.
  7. Review your offers if you prequalify. Click Continue to move forward with the lender you like best.
  8. Upload any required documents and answer more detailed questions about you and your business.
  9. Review your answers and submit your application.

What documents do I need to apply?

You need to provide the following documents to complete your application:

  • At least two years of business tax returns
  • At least two years of personal tax returns
  • Profit and loss statement
  • Business balance sheet

You may be asked to provide more documents, depending on your application.

How do repayments work?

It depends on the type of SBA loan you applied for and the lender you’re connected with. Check your loan contract to make sure you understand when repayments are due each month.

If Business Lenders is your loan servicer, you can reach out to customer service with any questions by calling 860-244-9202. Otherwise, contact the company you make repayments to if you run into any problems.

Compare even more lenders with our guide to business loans.

Review by

Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.

Expert review

You might still think Business Lenders offers SBA loans thanks to its extremely out-of-date website. But it doesn’t. Instead, it partners with SmartBiz to help connect you with an SBA Preferred Lender through its marketplace. Business Lenders only handles SBA loan repayments now.

Read our review of SmartBiz to learn more about how this marketplace works. Or compare other business loan options below.

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