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Best low-interest business loans of January 2024

Best low interest business loans for January 2024 – compare and save.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional bank loan, SBA loan or short-term funding to keep your business running smoothly – finding the best rate keeps your payments as low as possible while reducing the overall interest paid.

The Federal Reserve effective funds rate is sitting at 5.33% as of January 23, 2024, which is one point higher than a year ago. This means borrowing is still relatively expensive as we head into the new year. Borrowers with high credit scores tend to get the best rates, but APRs vary across lenders – so it pays to compare. Our January 2024 list of the best low-interest loans includes options for borrowers of all credit types and financing needs.

We chose these lenders based on their starting annual percentage rate (APR) – which is a more accurate representation of cost than interest.

8 best low-interest business loans

These nine lenders offer some of the lowest interest rates available compared to other similar types of financing.

LenderType of loanStarting APR
LendioBusiness loan marketplace3%
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BluevineLine of credit6.2%
Read review
KivaMicroloan0%
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Funding CirclePeer-to-peer loan7.49%
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Live Oak BankSBA expansion loanVaries
Read review
SBG FundingWorking capital loanFrom 1.75% a month
Accion Opportunity FundCDFI loan8.49%
Bank of AmericaUnsecured bank loan7.25%

Best low-interest business loans

Read about how each of our best low-interest business loans works before you apply.

Best business loan marketplace

Lendio business loans

4.8
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review
Lendio is a highly rated online marketplace with 75+ partners that can connect you with a range of short- and long-term business loans for different financing needs. Compare term loans, SBA loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, invoice financing and more. Lendio also offers quick turnaround financing options for bad credit borrowers and loans for startups that may be harder to find elsewhere. And unlike some other marketplaces, you never pay a fee to use its services.

Best line of credit

Bluevine business lines of credit

4.3
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review
Bluevine is an online lender that offers lines of credit with some of the lowest starting interest rates available. There's no origination or monthly maintenance fees, and you could have funds as soon as 24 hours. You also don't have to pay a draw fee when you borrow, and the line replenishes as you pay it down. Each withdrawal turns into a loan with a term of 6 to 12 months, which you repay weekly or monthly, depending on how long you've been in business.

Best microloan

Kiva business loans

3.7
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site
on Businessloans.com's secure site
Kiva is a nonprofit offering interest-free microloans to entrepreneurs and small businesses. It's one of the best deals out there, but it's not the right choice for everyone. You'll have to raise funds from at least 10 people in your social network to get approved, and the whole process can take up to 45 days. It's best for community-oriented businesses that need small amounts of funding off the ground, as its loan amounts max out at $15,000.

Best peer-to-peer loans

Funding Circle business loans

4.4
★★★★★

Finder score

Go to site Read review
Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer platform that offers business loans with rates as low as 7.49%. It accepts fair credit scores and doesn't advertise a minimum business revenue cutoff. But its rates start relatively high and can reach up to over 30% APR. And regardless of your credit score, you'll also be on the hook for an origination fee of 4.49% to 10.49% to cover platform costs — common for a P2P lender but higher than your typical direct provider.

Best SBA expansion loans

Live Oak Bank SBA loans

4.4
★★★★★

Finder score

Read review
Live Oak Bank specializes in government-backed financing for large projects, like business acquisitions. It's one of the most active SBA lenders in the country — and funds some of the largest loans. Its team of lending specialists has experience in a wide range of industries that can help you find some of the lowest-cost financing available to your small business. But expect the lengthy application and long turnaround you'll find with most SBA lenders. And look elsewhere for working capital financing.

Best working capital loan

SBG Funding small business term loans

4.2
★★★★★

Finder score

SBG Funding is a highly-rated lender of quick turnaround working capital loans. The company offers low rate revolving lines of credit up to $250,000 and business term loans from $5,000 to $5,000,000. Rates on some of its loan programs start as low as as 1.75% a month and the company gets great reviews on Trustpilot from thousands of customers for its stellar service and competitive rates. And you could qualify with a FICO score of just 500.

Best CDFI loan

Accion Opportunity Fund business loans

3.6
★★★★★

Finder score

Accion Opportunity Fund is one of the few community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, that offers financing across the country with an online application. It has some of the lowest starting rates out there, paired with flexible requirements — you only need to make $50,000 in annual revenue, and there’s no stated credit score minimum.

And it offers coaching and mentoring programs to help your business grow successfully. But AOF is relatively new — it’s the product of a merger between two nonprofit lenders — and may be working out some kinks. Both Accion and Opportunity Fund have gotten mixed reviews on the quality of customer service in the past.

Best unsecured bank loan

Bank of America business loans

3.6
★★★★★

Finder score

Bank of America HAS some of the lowest rates on unsecured business loans out there, especially if you can score an existing customer (relationship) discount. In addition to business loans, it offers business auto loans, business checking and savings accounts and merchant processing services.

It's also one of the few national banks that's truly available in all 50 states, with thousands of branches you can visit nationwide. But like with most traditional bank loans, it can be difficult to qualify unless you have very good to excellent credit or aren't an existing customer.

7 types of lenders that offer low-interest business loans

Under normal circumstances, banks, nonprofits and other providers that offer government-backed loans have the lowest interest rates on the market.

1. SBA lenders

SBA lenders offer government-guaranteed loans to established businesses that might not qualify for a bank loan. The SBA sets limits to interest and fees for all SBA loans that these lenders can charge, depending on the program and loan size.

Some SBA loans might even offer options to startups and business owners with bad credit, like the SBA Community Advantage and microloan programs. But generally, you need to have at least three years in business and good credit to qualify for most SBA loan programs.

2. Large national banks

Large national banks like Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo tend to offer the lowest interest rates out there on loans. However, national banks are highly risk-averse and offer some of the hardest loans to qualify for as a small business. Startups, business owners with credit scores below 670 and businesses in traditionally high-risk industries like construction may want to look into other options.

3. Regional and community banks

Regional banks like Citizens Bank and small community banks might offer slightly higher rates than most national banks — usually, they start at around 5% APR. But they’re generally cheaper than online lenders, are better suited to work with small businesses and offer more than just financing.

Community banks in particular are often intimately familiar with the local market and can offer personalized advice. And since these lenders are small, they can often be more flexible with credit requirements, such as the time in business or credit score minimum.

4. CDFIs

Community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, are small nonprofit lenders with a mission to support the economy in the community they serve. They often offer relatively low-cost loans to small businesses that can’t qualify for an SBA or bank loan. But they’re generally more expensive than a bank or SBA loan.

5. Microlenders

Microlenders are nonprofits that offer small-dollar financing to entrepreneurs and startups. While rates often top 12% APR, they’re cheap compared to the other options available to the borrowers they target. For example, interest rates on online loans available to startups and borrowers with bad credit typically top 60% APR.

6. Credit unions

While most credit unions don’t have business loan programs, those that do often have rates comparable to a regional or community bank. For example, Lake Michigan Credit Union’s business loan rates start at 5%. Requirements also often compare to regional or community bank loans — plus, you typically have to become a credit union member.

7. Government loan programs for Covid-19

Some local governments have loan and grant programs for local businesses that suffered hardship due to the pandemic. But as the economy recovers, fewer and fewer of these programs will be available.

Consider a personal loan for low-cost startup financing

Personal loans may be a better choice if you have a startup with less than six months of revenue — as long as you have good credit and a source of income outside of your new company. That’s because lenders consider new businesses to be risky and will charge high rates — if they offer the loan at all. A personal loan from a lender like Upstart, which considers factors like your education and career alongside income and credit, may be a better option.

What is considered low interest on a business loan?

Any business loan with an annual interest rate (AIR) of 3% to 10% is considered low interest, depending on where you borrow from. However, it’s more common for lenders to display the APR on a loan – which is the rate with fees factored in – instead of AIR.

Since business loans typically come with origination fees of 1% to 5% of the loan amount, APRs of 6% to 15% APR are usually considered low. That’s because business loans can reach 100% APR or higher — especially with online short-term loans.

How to qualify for a low-interest business loan

You typically need to meet the following requirements to qualify for a low-interest business loan:

  • At least three years in business
  • Good or excellent credit score of at least 670
  • Profitable business with regular revenue
  • Low debt obligations compared to revenue
  • Low-risk industry

While requirements generally depend on the lender and type of loan, the lowest rates tend to go to these types of businesses.

Each lender has its own underwriting criteria. That’s why comparing offers from multiple providers can help you find the lowest interest rates available to you.

More ways to compare business loans

While the interest rate is a large factor in your loan’s cost, it’s not the only thing you should compare. These factors can help you find financing that’s a good fit for your business.

  • Available loan amounts are key to comparing lenders. Look for a provider that offers the exact amount you need to avoid over-borrowing.
  • Loan terms tell you how long you have to pay off the loan and determine your monthly payment. A longer term gives you a lower payment but a higher total cost.
  • Monthly payments are how much you owe each month and will have an immediate effect on operations. Looking for a monthly payment you can afford is important to avoid defaulting on a loan.
  • Origination fees are a percentage of your loan that the lender either deducts or adds to the balance at closing. This can affect how much funding you receive and should factor into the amount you apply for.
  • Minimum requirements for credit score, revenue and time in business tell you where the lender isn’t willing to budge. For the best rates, look for a lender with requirements you comfortably meet.
  • Customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau tell you what you can expect from customer service and alert you to red flags to watch for.

Low-cost alternatives to business loans

Business loans aren’t always the right choice for every financing need. You may want to consider these alternatives before you apply.

  • Business grants offer funds that your business doesn’t have to repay, usually up to around $15,000. However, grants are mostly available to nonprofits and can be highly competitive.
  • Business credit cards offer revolving financing better suited for day-to-day expenses than a loan — like lunch orders and office supplies. And you won’t pay interest if you can pay the balance in full each month.
  • Personal loans can be a good choice if you need seed funding to start a new business. But a personal loan to fund a business comes with some risk: You’ll be responsible for payments even if your business shuts down.

Recap: These lenders offer the best low-interest business loans

These providers offer some of the lowest interest rates available compared to other similar types of financing.

Visit our guide to the best business loans of February 2024 for more options.

FAQs

What is a good rate for a business loan?

The prime rate is the rate that banks give to their most creditworthy borrowers, and is the benchmark for all other interest rates. So, the closer a business loan’s interest rate is to the prime rate, the better it is. Always compare quotes from multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Can I get a business loan with bad credit?

Yes, it’s possible to get a business loan with bad credit, but you typically won’t get a competitive interest rate. To get a lower rate, consider putting up collateral, like real estate or equipment, to secure your loan and offset the risk for the lender.

How does business debt consolidation work?

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

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