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Best short-term business loans of 2024

Compare the best short-term business lenders to access funding for a range of needs.

Short-term business loans have terms of three years or fewer — and can be a good choice when you need fast cash to keep your business running smoothly. Short-term loans include term loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, invoice financing, equipment loans and more. Here’s a closer look at the best short-term business loans by category.

7 Best short-term business loans

Best short-term business loan marketplace: Lendio

Lendio business loans

4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

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Lendio marketplace is a popular business loans marketplace with 75+ partners that cater to a range of credit scores. At Lendio, you can compare a wide range of short-term loans with a single application, including bad credit loans, term loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, invoice financing, equipment loans and credit cards.

Customers like Lendio for its fast, streamlined application process and knowledgeable loan officers who can answer your questions and help you narrow down the best loan for your needs. And it's known to be fast: You could have funds within 24 hours of approval, depending on the loan type.

Pros
  • Options for bad credit
  • Rates as low as 3% APR
  • Wide range of financing options
  • Help with ERC tax credits
  • Excellent customer reviews
Cons
  • Not a direct lender
  • Funding fees apply to your loan
  • APRs can run high on some types of loans
  • Marketing may continue after being funded
Loan amount$1,000 – $5,000,000
APRStarting at 3%
Min. Credit Score500
Loan term3 months to 25 years
RequirementsOperate business in US or Canada for 6 months or more, have a business bank account, minimum 500 personal credit score, at least $50,000 in annual revenue

Best short-term loans: OnDeck

OnDeck short-term loans

4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

OnDeck is a highly rated short-term business loan lender with two types of products: a 24-month term loan and a revolving line of credit with 12-, 18- and 24-month terms. To qualify, you'll need a minimum personal FICO score of 625, at least one year in business and $100,000 in annual revenue.

Customers love OnDeck for its fast and streamlined application process. But it's not the cheapest option — OnDeck's average rates are 60.9% APR and 52.6% APR for its term loans and lines of credit, respectively. But this may be a fair tradeoff for its relaxed eligibility requirements and fast funding, which could be as soon as the same day you apply.

Pros
  • Low-doc application
  • Excellent customer reviews
  • Same-day funding possible
  • No prepayment penalties or draw fees
Cons
  • Potentially high APRs
  • Not all industries are eligible
Loan amount$5,000 – $250,000
APRAverage is 60.9%
Min. Credit Score625
Loan term3 to 24 months
RequirementsCompanies in business at least 1 year, $100,000+ in gross annual revenue, majority owner with a 625+ personal credit score, active business checking account

Best line of credit: BlueVine

Bluevine business lines of credit

4.3 / 5 ★★★★★

BlueVine's competitively priced line of credit (LOC) is a revolving line of credit up to $250,000 with rates as low as 6.2% APR. A BlueVine LOC is ideal when you have ongoing cash needs and don't know how much you need to borrow in advance — since you only pay interest on what you use.

To qualify with BlueVine, you need a minimum FICO score of 625 and at least 24 months in business with a minimum of $40,000 in monthly revenue. As you pay down the line, funds are available again for use. Repayments are weekly for new businesses or monthly for businesses with at least three years in operation.

Pros
  • Starting APR similar to banks
  • Relatively low FICO score requirement
  • Same-day funding for a small fee
Cons
  • Weekly repayments may be required
  • High revenue requirements
  • Not all industries qualify
Loan amount$5,000 – $250,000
APRStarting at 6.2%
Loan term6 or 12 months
Requirements24+ months in business, $40,000+ in monthly revenue, 625+ credit score

Best merchant cash advance: Credibly

Credibly business financing

3.8 / 5 ★★★★★

Merchant cash advances are a type of short-term financing you repay out of your credit card sales. Credibly merchant cash advances offer up to $400,000 with factor rates as low as 1.11 — some of the lowest in the industry. Due to its relaxed eligibility requirements, it's best for newer businesses or those with a low credit score.

To qualify, you just need a minimum credit score of 500 and 6 months in business. But you must have at least $15,000 monthly in average bank deposits. Customers give the company excellent ratings, but be aware it charges a one-time fee of 2.5% on your total advance amount and a $50 monthly admin fee.

Pros
  • Quick source of working capital
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews
  • Relaxed eligibility requirements
Cons
  • Doesn't disclose remittance percentage
  • Funding fee and monthly admin fee
Loan amount$5,000 to $400,000
Starting Factor Rate1.11
Min. Credit Score500
Loan Term3 to 15 months
Requirements500+ credit score, 6+ months in business, $15,000+ average monthly bank deposits

Best invoice factoring: AltLINE

AltLine invoice factoring

If you're looking for a way to access the value of your invoices, AltLINE may buy 90% of the value of your outstanding invoices in exchange for cash now. For this service, it charges a factoring rate typically between 1% and 5% of your invoice value and a filing fee between $350 to $500. Once the invoices are paid, you get the rest of the value of the invoices minus AltLINE's factoring rate.

Unlike other lenders, AltLINE specializes in invoice factoring and serves various industries, including small businesses, B2B, manufacturing, consulting, apparel, agriculture, food and beverage, trucking and many more. It gets excellent reviews from customers on Trustpilot, who praise the company for its reliable and fast service.

Pros
  • 24- to 48-hour turnaround
  • Cash to keep your business running smoothly
  • Excellent customer reviews
Cons
  • Filing fees apply
  • Not much information online
  • Fees can be as high as 5% of your invoice
Loan AmountUp to 90% of the value of outstanding invoices
Fee for Terms1% to 5%
Loan TermNot stated
RequirementsNot stated

Best equipment financing: National Funding

National Funding business loans

4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

National Funding is a highly rated direct lender that offers new and used equipment financing and leasing up to $150,000. Instead of tying up your lines of credit or credit cards to buy equipment, National Funding can help you get the equipment you need, offering 100% funding on equipment with $0 down.

There are few limitations on the types of equipment you can buy or lease, and if you decide to lease, it offers a lowest guaranteed payment promise. If you find a lower payment elsewhere, you'll get $1,000 in cash. National Funding also offers early payment discounts to help you save and gets overwhelmingly positive customer reviews.

Pros
  • Competitive rates
  • Quick turnaround funding
  • No down payment required
Cons
  • Origination fee may apply
  • Low maximum loan amount
  • Rates not advertised
Loan amount$5,000 – $500,000
APRStarting at 6.25%
Min. Credit Score600
Loan term24 to 60 months
RequirementsIn business 6+ months and make at least $250,000 in annual sales. Other loan types have additional requirements.

Best CRE loans: Biz2Credit

Biz2Credit business loans

4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

A CRE loan is a commercial loan secured by real estate. Unlike most lenders, Biz2Credit offers a short-term CRE loan of up to $6,000,000 million with terms ranging from 12 to 36 months. To qualify, you need to be a commercial real estate holder with at least $250,000 in annual revenue and 18 months in business.

Biz2Credit's CRE loans require monthly payments and offer interest-only payment options to help maximize your cash flow during the loan term. While approval times can take longer for this type of loan, it may be a good choice for a larger loan you intend to pay off within three years. The company also gets overwhelmingly positive reviews online.

Pros
  • Relatively low 660 FICO score requirement
  • Highly rated by past customers
  • Qualify in just 48 hours
Cons
  • Interest-only payments
  • Predictable monthly payments
  • Larger loan maximum
Loan amount$25,000 – $6,000,000
APRStarting at 6.50%
Loan term12 to 36 months
Requirements6+ months in business; $100,000+ annual revenue; 600+ credit score

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 and newer business owners.

How to compare short-term business loans

Here are the top things to keep in mind when comparing online business loans:

  • Repayment terms. Each type of loan has its own set of loan repayment terms, while term loans usually have monthly payments, merchant cash advances might require weekly or even daily payments. Make sure you understand how your loan’s repayments work to avoid a cash crunch.
  • APRs. APRs on short-term business loans can range from 6% to 80%+ APR — and depend on the loan type, your credit score and time in business. We recommend comparing multiple quotes on the same loan type to make sure you’re paying a reasonable APR.
  • Origination fees. Depending on the lender and your credit score, you may be charged an origination fee from 5% to 10% of the loan’s value. However, not all lenders charge these, and you may not have to pay them if you have good to excellent credit.
  • Other fees. Ask about any additional fees you may be responsible for, including prepayment penalties, late fees and ongoing administrative fees. Not all lenders charge these, but some do.
  • Customer support options. Many lenders have experienced loan offers who can answer your questions and walk you through your loan options. You may qualify for loans you didn’t know about — but could work well for your situation.
  • Digital experience. Most of the online lenders on this list offer a fast, streamlined digital application. But if having a mobile app to help manage your loan and repayments is important to you, be sure to check the app’s reviews on Google Play or the App Store.
  • Customer reviews. Customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website are a great place to research previous customers’ experiences with a particular lender.

How short-term business loans work

Short-term business loans typically offer two types of funding: a lump sum or a line of credit that you can access on an as-needed basis. With a lump sum loan, you start paying interest immediately once it hits your bank account. With a line of credit, you only pay interest on what you borrow.

Terms on short-term loans are generally three years or less. This includes lines of credit, which may have a term of just a year or two. Repayments on short-term business loans can be monthly, bi-monthly, weekly or daily, depending on which type of loan it is. This means you’ll be making higher payments with a short-term loan than with a long-term loan, but you’ll likely pay less interest.

This makes short-term loans best for more immediate business expenses and to cover cash flow gaps. If you need to pay for long-term investments and need a longer payment timeframe — up to 25 years — consider a long-term business loan option, such as an SBA loan.

Pros and cons of short-term business loans

Pros
  • Many loan options available
  • Can help smooth over cash flow during slow periods
  • Can be used to take advantage of quick business opportunities
  • Provides working capital for a range of needs
Cons
  • Loans may have high APRs
  • Frequent repayments may be required
  • Repayments higher than with a long-term loan
  • Balloon payment may be required at the term’s end

Compare other short-term business loans

Use our table to compare lenders, and then select Learn more to visit the lender’s site or More info to read our review.

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Filter Values Min. Amount Max. Amount APR Requirements
Lendio business loans
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Lendio business loans
$1,000
$5,000,000
Starting at 3%
Operate business in US or Canada for 6 months or more, have a business bank account, minimum 500 personal credit score, at least $50,000 in annual revenue
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 75 legit business lenders.
Lendzi
Finder Score: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Lendzi
$5,000
$2,000,000
Starting from 3.9%
525+ credit score, one year in business, at least $50,000 annual revenue
Compare lending options and get funded fast.
Fundible
Finder Score: 4.9 / 5: ★★★★★
Fundible
$1,000
$10,000,000
Rates start at 1% per month
500+ FICO score, $200,000 annual revenue, 6 months in business, most recent business bank statements
Same day approval
Nav business loans
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Nav business loans
$500
$5,000,000
Varies by lender
550+ credit score
Get connected with personalized matches from over 100 lending options. Plus, get the best rates with the help of dedicated funding managers.
BusinessLoans.com
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
BusinessLoans.com
$5,000
$3,000,000
Varies by loan type and lender
Must have been in business between 1 to 2 years, have a minimum revenue of $75,000 to $250,000 and have a minimum credit score of 500 to 650.
Complete a three-minute form to see loans that fit your business’s needs. Compare offers without a hard credit check.
Fundera business loans
Finder Score: 4.9 / 5: ★★★★★
Fundera business loans
$2,500
$5,000,000
Varies based on lenders
$60,000+ of annual revenue, 550+ personal credit score, in business for 6+ months
Get connected with short-term funding, SBA loans, lines of credit and more.
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Types of short-term business loans

Here are the main types of short-term business loans:

TypeTypical loan amountsTypical term lengthsBest for
Term loan$5,000 to $500,0001 to 2 yearsBusinesses looking for working capital
Business line of credit$1,000 to $500,0001 to 2 yearsBusinesses needing a flexible source of funding
Merchant cash advance$5,000 to $2,000,000Up to 2 yearsNewer businesses and those with a lower credit score
Accounts receivable financingTied to receivablesUp to 1 yearB2B businesses and those with a lower credit score
Equipment financing$5,000 to $5,000,0001 to 5 yearsBusinesses that need equipment and don’t want to tie up cash and other loans

In addition to these short-term loan options, business credit cards can be a great way to track business expenses and earn rewards while you increase your working capital for ongoing expenses.

Short-term vs. long-term business loans

Short-term business loans tend to offer lower amounts and shorter repayment terms than long-term loans. Here are more key differences:

Short-term loanLong-term loan
Typical loan amount$5,000 to $500,000$10,000 to $5,000,000
Term length1 to 2 years3 to 30 years
Interest rate8% to 36% APRAs low as 6% APR
Repayment scheduleMonthly, bi-monthly, weekly or dailyMonthly
Eligibility criteriaMore lenientMore strict
Time to fundTypically within a few days or less1 day to 2 months

How to prequalify for a short-term 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 quotes, you can formally apply for a loan with the lender of your choice.

How to apply for a short-term business loan

Applying for a short-term business loan typically follows these five steps:

  1. Determine the financing you need. Short-term business loans come in many forms. Choosing the right option ensures you have enough cash, in the right form, when you need it. Talk to a loan officer if you need guidance in choosing the right loan.
  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. Required documents typically include bank statements, tax returns, financial statements and other documents. You may also need to provide a business plan and personal guarantee if you’re a newer business owner.
  4. Complete the application. Fill out the full application and upload the required documents or link to your financial accounts. Be sure to review the application for accuracy before submitting to avoid delays in processing.
  5. Wait for approval and funding. Online lenders tend to have fast approval and funding times — which means if you’re approved, you could have a decision same-day and funds in 72 hours or less.

Where can I find a short-term loan?

Short-term business loans are available from online lenders, banks and credit unions.

  • Banks and credit unions. You may be able to secure a lower rate with a bank or credit union if you’re an established business.
  • Online lenders. Online lenders stand out for a few reasons:
    • Higher approval rates. Online lenders rely on technology to assess your business’ overall financial health — not just your credit score — and are usually willing to work with lower credit borrowers and newer businesses.
    • Quick processing time. Because they rely heavily on technology to make underwriting decisions, same-day approval and next-business-day funding is common with online lenders.
    • A wide range of loan types. Online lenders are known for their wide selection of short-term loan types to suit a range of financing needs. A bank may only have a couple of options, like term loans or LOCs.

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

If you’ve been denied a business loan, here are three steps you can take to potentially correct the situation:

  1. Ask the lender why they said no. Call the lender to discuss your application and ask why your application was turned down. You may be able to correct the problems and resubmit the application.
  2. Take corrective action. Once you know the reason it was denied, try to rectify the situation. For example, there may have been missing or inaccurate information on your application, or your credit score could have been stronger before you applied.
  3. Prepare a new application. When you’re in a position to reapply, try applying with the same lender or consider an alternative form of financing where you’re more likely to get approved.

It’s often easier to get approved for a secured loan backed by business assets. You could also apply for a personal loan.

Alternatives to a short-term loan

Not ready to take out a short-term business loan? Consider these alternatives:

  • Personal loan. Some lenders let you use a personal loan for business expenses. Personal loans aren’t dependent on your business financials or time in business, making them ideal for new business owners.
  • Business credit card. For small cash flow needs, consider a business credit card. They help boost your business credit score while you earn perks like points or cash back on your business expenses.
  • Grants. Business grants are free money through federal and state government agencies, as well as private corporations. But grants are competitive, and if you get chosen, money could take months to receive.
  • Investor financing. If you’re an entrepreneur, money from an angel investor can give you the cash you need to get your business started — but you must give up equity in your company in return.
  • Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a popular marketing tool and a good way to judge interest in your product or service and gain potential customers while you drum up funding for your business.

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