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Compare non-bank business loans

Looking for better rates and more flexible terms on a business loan? See what non-bank lenders have to offer.

Non-bank lenders often provide businesses with added flexibility as they’re privately-owned institutions that aren’t subject to the confinements of a banking license. They also get their funding from numerous sources that offer better flexibility and options, making non-bank business loans increasingly preferable among Canadian businesses.

If you’re thinking about financing, limiting your options to regular banks could cost you. Your business deserves to know all the options available, especially if these options can provide you with better rates, fees, loan terms and even customer service.

3 things to know about getting a business loan from an alternative lender

  1. The number of alternative business lenders has grown considerably in recent years, giving you more choice than ever.
  2. These loans are usually unsecured and available for amounts up to around $300,000. Terms differ but are usually between 6 months and 5 years.
  3. To apply, you’ll need to meet minimum requirements (set by the lender) typically covering your annual turnover and how long you’ve been in business.

What types of non-bank business loans are available?

  • Online direct lenders. These lenders usually process your application by using algorithms that work a lot faster than banks’ traditional underwriting process. They also typically consider alternative information like shipping records to help you qualify for a more competitive deal.
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders. Peer-to-peer platforms connect business owners with investors who fund the loan and collect on the interest. From the borrower’s perspective, they work a lot like online direct loans, but have a longer turnaround.
  • Business lines of credit. A business line of credit provides ongoing access to funds and allows you to withdraw funds up to a maximum limit. As you pay back the loan, you regain access to your full limit.
  • Unsecured business loan. This type of loan doesn’t require you to attach assets as security for your lender. It’s usually a fixed term loan with a predictable repayment schedule.
  • Secured loan. This type of loan requires you to attach assets as security for your lender. It could be a term loan or a line of credit. One common type of secured business loan is a business equity loan which uses the equity you own in a property as security.
  • Micro loans. These nonprofits often offer small-dollar financing to businesses that are just starting out, usually at a low cost. They typically also offer other services like free business training and support.
  • Credit unions. Credit unions are owned by their members and can be more flexible when it comes to business requirements. But they have some of the pitfalls of borrowing from a bank, like a slow turnaround.
  • Business loan broker. While technically not a lender, some business loan brokers can help you find a lender with suitable terms and submit an application. Using a service like this will cost you a fee, but it may be worth it if you’re having trouble finding financing.

Compare non-bank business loans from these online lenders

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Revenue Minimum Time in Business Loans Offered Broker Compliance
Journey Capital Business Loan
16.00% – 25.00%
$5,000 - $300,000
4 - 24 months
6+ months
Term Loan, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months with a minimum annual gross revenue of $100,000.

Journey Capital offers fast and simple financing. Apply in less than 10 minutes with your basic business information and see your loan offers without hurting your credit score. Get approved within 1 business day, and choose your term, amount and payback schedule once approved.
Merchant Growth Business Loan
12.99% – 39.99%
$5,000 – $800,000
6 – 24 months
$10,000 /month
6 months
Unsecured Term, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months and have a minimum of $10,000 in monthly sales.

Merchant Growth offers financing tailored to business needs. It specializes in providing capital based on future cash flows, but it also offers fixed solutions. Fill out an application within 5 minutes and get your funds within 24 hours.
Loans Canada Business Loan
6.60% - 29.00%
$4,000 - $500,000
3 - 60 months
over $10,000/month
100 days
Unsecured Term
Loans Canada is a loan search platform with access to multiple lenders. Applicants will be matched with a suitable lender based on credit history and borrowing requirements.
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 100 days, have a Canadian business bank account and show a minimum of $10,000 in monthly deposits ($120,000/year).

Loans Canada connects Canadian small business owners to lenders offering financing up to $500,000. Complete one simple online application and get matched with your loan options.

Pros and cons of borrowing from nonbank lenders

It can be easier to get a loan from an alternative lender than going to a bank. But there are some drawbacks — namely, the cost.


  • Options for all credit types and industries
  • Available for businesses as young as six months
  • Low revenue requirements compared to bank loans


  • Higher APRs than bank loans
  • Potentially low funding amounts
  • Not all lenders are transparent about costs

How to find the best non-bank business loan for you

There is no one “best” business loan on the market, as it will depend on your particular situation. However, keep the following in mind when comparing your options:

  • Can my business afford it? As the most important factor in your decision making, be well aware of all loan costs as well as your repayment ability over the next few months.
  • What’s the interest rate? Make sure you know the difference between fixed and variable interest rates and how they can impact your business. Also be cautious of variable interest rates that exceed your repayment ability.
  • What’s the APR? This combines the loan’s interest rate, fees and other charges into one single percentage to help you better compare your options.
  • What are the fees? Be aware of one-off fees such as application fees, exit fees and termination fees. Other charges include ongoing fees such as service and advance fees.
  • How will I repay the loan? Lines of credit don’t have fixed repayment terms, but lump-sum term loans do and will usually cost you the loan amount plus interest over the loan’s term. Also keep in mind that lenders are usually more flexible with repayments for business loans than personal loans, so check your lender’s repayment terms before applying.
  • Secured or unsecured? The difference between a secured and unsecured loan is huge, with one requiring you to put up assets as collateral for the lender while the other loan type has no collateral requirement (usually meaning higher rates). The right choice depends on your particular situation.

What should I avoid?

Nonbank lenders sometimes face fewer regulations as the law catches up to the new underwriting technology they use. Because of this, watch out for the following:

  • Borrowing without comparing APRs. If a lender only discloses the cost as a flat fee, ask about the equivalent APR — often those loans are the most expensive.
  • Hard credit checks to check your rate. Stay away from lenders that don’t allow you to get a ballpark estimate of your rate without running a hard credit check, which affects your credit score.
  • Payments your business can’t handle. Daily or weekly repayments offer less flexibility and increase the likelihood that you’ll miss a payment and have to pay a fee.
  • Taking on too much debt. Many of these lenders will offer financing to businesses that already have debt. If you have a loan, be sure you can handle another repayment before you apply.
  • Brand new lenders. Nonbank lenders have to meet fewer requirements than a bank to open their virtual doors. Try sticking with a more established provider to avoid working with a lender that shutters its doors.

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Leanne Escobal is a publisher for Finder. She has spent over 11 years working with financial products and services, specializing in content and marketing. Leanne has completed the Canadian securities course (CSC®) as well as the personal lending and mortgages course by the Canadian Securities Institute. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English literature and creative writing from Western University. See full bio

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Associate editor

Stacie Hurst is an editor at Finder, specializing in a wide range of topics including stock trading, money transfers, loans, banking products, online shopping and streaming. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Writing, and she completed one year of law school in the United States before deciding to pursue a career in the publishing industry. When not working, Stacie can usually be found watching K-dramas or playing games with her friends and family. See full bio

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