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Best small business cash flow loans of 2024

Business cash flow loans provide fast turnaround funds to keep your business running smoothly.

Business cash flow loans offer a quick cash flow solution. Offering amounts between $5,000 and $2 million, they can be used for a range of needs. Common uses include making payroll, purchasing inventory or hiring seasonal employees. The best lenders offer competitive rates and fast, low-doc applications — with funding in as little as 24 hours.

7 best small business cash flow loans

Best business loan marketplace: Lendio

Lendio business loans


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If you're looking to compare multiple cash flow loans and narrow down your options quickly, look no further than Lendio. Lendio works with over 75 partners in the business lending space and offers a quick, streamlined application and funding as soon as 24 hours after approval.

Lendio works with all credit types — including bad credit — and offers multiple cash flow loans like lines of credit (LOCs), merchant cash advances and accounts receivable financing with rates starting at 3% APR. Lendio is highly rated by past customers, but you may receive a large number of marketing calls and emails.

Best for a line of credit: OnDeck

OnDeck business lines of credit


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OnDeck offers a revolving line of credit with amounts from $6,000 to $100,000. Its terms range from to 24 months, and it offers both weekly and monthly repayments. But rates on its LOCs can run high if you have less-than-stellar credit, with an average rate of 52.6% APR.

To qualify, you need a business checking account, a minimum FICO score of 625, a year in business and $100,000 in annual revenue. With an OnDeck LOC, there are no draw fees to use the line, and you only pay interest on what you borrow.

Best for fast turnaround: Rapid Finance

Rapid Finance small business loans


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Rapid Finance is a highly rated fintech lender offering a range of cash flow loans with fast turnaround. It offers lines of credit, merchant cash advances and business term loans — and you may only need a credit score of 600 to qualify.

It's highly rated by past customers who praise the company's loan officers, streamlined process and quick funding. To apply, you may only be required to provide three months of business bank statements and a business tax ID. If approved, you could have funds in just a few hours.

Best for merchant cash advances: Credibly

Credibly business financing


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Credibly is a direct lender that offers working capital loans and competitively priced merchant cash advances (MCAs) for business owners of all credit types. Its MCA amounts reach up to $400,000, with factor rates starting at 1.11 — some of the lowest in the industry.

To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 500, six months in business and an average of $15,000 a month in bank deposits. If approved, you could have cash in as little as 24 hours. But it charges a one-time fee of 2.5% and a $50 monthly admin fee.

Best for invoice factoring: AltLINE

AltLine invoice factoring

AltLINE is an invoice factoring company that offers up to 90% of the value of your outstanding invoices. It serves various B2B industries, including small businesses, manufacturing, consulting, apparel, agriculture, food and beverage, trucking and more.

It charges a factoring rate typically between 1% and 5% and a filing fee of $350 to $500. Once the outstanding invoices are paid, you receive the remaining value minus AltLINE's factoring rate. It gets high marks from customers on Trustpilot, who praise its fast response times and service.

Best for equipment financing: National Funding

National Funding business loans


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National Funding is a direct lender with a focus on new and used equipment financing and leasing. Its equipment loans go up to $150,000 and have repayment terms between two and five years. If approved, you can get up to 100% of your equipment funded with $0 down.

And if you're looking for the cheapest lease, it has a lowest guaranteed payment promise on its equipment lease payments. If you find a lower payment elsewhere, it will give you $1,000 in cash. To qualify, you need at least 6 months in business and $250,000 in annual sales.

Best for businesses with low revenue: American Express

American Express business loans


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If you're struggling to meet a lender's monthly revenue requirement for a loan, American Express could be a good option. American Express is one of the few business lenders that offers a business line of credit with a low monthly revenue requirement of just $3,000 a month.

Its online application reviews your financial data in real time to provide a fast lending decision. To qualify, you need a credit score of at least 660 and a minimum of one year in business. Repayment terms range from 6 to 18 months with no repayment penalties.

Methodology: How we chose these lenders

Our lending experts analyze dozens of business loan providers to narrow down the best options for business owners. We weigh lenders against 12 key metrics:

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

We also search for lenders that cater to a range of needs, including those that work with bad credit, newer businesses and high-risk industries. Why you can trust us.

How to compare cash flow business loans

Here are some key things to keep in mind when comparing online business loans:

  • APRs. APRs on cash flow loans range from 3% to 60%+ APR, and depend largely on loan type, your credit score, revenue and time in business. Compare quotes from multiple lenders or use a loan marketplace like Lendio to get the best deal.
  • Origination and other fees. Some lenders charge origination fees from 0.05% to 10% on their loans, but not all do. And while most cash flow loans don’t have prepayment penalties, you may be on the hook for ongoing administrative fees and late fees.
  • Repayment terms. Cash flow loans have varying repayment schedules. Term loans typically have monthly repayments, while merchant cash advances often have weekly or daily repayments. Make sure you understand how your loan’s repayments work.
  • Customer support options. If you’re new to the world of cash flow loans, consider a lender that offers personalized support. You may find loans you didn’t consider but may be a better fit for your business.
  • Digital experience. Most cash flow lenders offer a fast, streamlined digital application. But also having a mobile app to help manage your loan and repayments could be important down the line.
  • Customer reviews. Customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website are a good source of honest feedback so you can evaluate different lenders.

How cash flow business loans work

Cash flow business loans are typically offered by online lenders, banks and credit unions. However, online lenders are known for having streamlined, low-doc applications and faster turnaround times than traditional brick-and-mortar institutions.

While most cash flow loans have a minimum credit score requirement, eligibility may depend more on your revenue and receivables. With merchant cash advances, many lenders may accept credit scores as low as 500 — as long as you have sufficient revenue. And for invoice factoring, your credit score doesn’t matter at all — instead, the value of your outstanding invoices is more important.

Depending on the type of cash flow loan you choose, you may receive a lump sum or a line of credit you access with a credit card or checking account. With cash flow loans, repayments may be monthly, weekly or daily with rates from 3% to 60%+ APR.

Pros and cons of cash flow business loans

Here are the main pros and cons of cash flow business loans:

  • Faster funding
  • Flexible loan amounts
  • Relaxed eligibility requirements
  • Streamlined, low-doc applications
  • Potentially high APRs and fees
  • Frequent repayments may be required
  • Can lead to a cycle of borrowing
  • May require collateral and liens

Here are the main types of cash flow business loans:

TypeTypical loan amountsTypical term lengthsBest for
Business line of credit$1,000 to $500,0001 to 2 yearsA revolving source of funds
Merchant cash advance$5,000 to $2,000,000Up to 2 yearsNewer businesses that rely on credit card sales
Invoice factoringTied to receivablesB2B businesses
Invoice financingTied to receivablesUp to 1 yearB2B businesses
Short-term loan$5,000 to $500,0001 to 2 yearsA source of working capital
Equipment financing$5,000 to $5,000,0001 to 5 yearsEquipment and vehicles

How to apply for a cash flow business loan

Applying for a cash flow business loan typically follows these steps:

  1. Determine the financing you need. Cash flow loans come in many forms. Choosing the right option ensures you have enough cash when you need it and repayment terms that work for your budget. Talk to a loan officer if you have any questions.
  2. Check your eligibility. This step involves checking your personal and business credit scores, tallying your revenue, verifying your time in business and determining if you have any collateral to pledge if you choose a secured loan.
  3. Gather your documentation. Be prepared to provide bank statements, financial statements and possibly tax returns. You may also need to provide a business plan and personal guarantee for some loans.
  4. Complete the application. Fill out the full application, link your financial accounts and upload any requested documents. Review the application for accuracy before submitting to avoid unnecessary delays.
  5. Wait for approval and funding. Cash flow loans are designed to get you cash quickly. After approval, you could have funds in your bank account within 24 to 72 hours. Some lenders may charge a small fee for same-day transfers.

Alternatives to cash flow loans

Cash flow loans aren’t the only source of quick funding for your business. Consider these alternatives:

  • Personal loan. Some lenders may let you use a personal loan for business expenses. Unlike cash flow loans, personal loans aren’t dependent on your business financials or time in business, making them ideal for startups.
  • Business credit card. For ongoing cash flow needs, consider a business credit card. Not only can they help build your business credit score, but you can also earn perks like points or cash back on your business expenses.
  • Home equity loans or HELOCs. If you own a home with at least 20% equity, a home equity loan or HELOC may be a cheaper borrowing option than a personal loan or credit card. But if you can’t keep up with the payments, you risk your home.
  • ACH business loan. These types of cash flow loans , also called ACH cash flow loans, offer a lump sum of cash in exchange for allowing the lender to deduct payment directly from your business bank account. They’re typically easy to qualify for and offer quick cash.
  • Rollover for business startups (ROBS). A ROBS is a tax loophole that allows your business to access funds in your retirement account without penalty if it’s the right type of corporation. To qualify, you need at least $50,000 in your account. But you could face heavy fines with a ROBS — so consider hiring a professional if you go down this route.
  • Grants. For free funding, consider a business grant. These are available through federal and state government agencies, as well as private corporations. But they’re generally competitive and funding can take months.
  • Investor financing. For those in innovative industries, money from an angel investor can give you the cash you need to get your business idea off the ground. But you give up equity in your company in return.
  • Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is not only a popular marketing tool — it’s a smart way to judge interest in your product or service and gain potential customers while you drum up funding for your business.

Where can I find a cash flow loan?

The widest variety of cash flow loans are available from online lenders — although many banks and credit unions also offer business lines of credit and short-term loans. Online lenders may have more relaxed eligibility requirements and faster turnaround times than banks, but banks may offer more competitive rates. Consider how fast you need funds when choosing a lender.

How to prequalify for a business loan

Prequalification involves answering a series of questions about yourself and your business to determine your eligibility before you formally apply for a loan.

Here are the general steps:

  1. Visit the lender’s website and fill out the prequalification form.
  2. Provide information about yourself and your business.
  3. View your loan options and compare offers.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options based on your prequalification offers, you can formally apply for a loan with the lender of your choice.

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