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Excelsior Growth Fund business loans review

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Funding up to $100K with an 11.9% APR for everyone.’s rating: 3.9 / 5.0


  • Best for affordable small business loans under $100,000.
  • Pick something else if you have a startup or sole proprietorship.


Min. Amount


Max. Amount


Product NameExcelsior Growth Fund SmartLoan
Min. Amount$10,000
Max. Amount$100,000
Loan TermUp to 5 years
Requirements2+ years in business, 2+ employees, break-even or positive cash flow, average owner credit score of 640+, $120,000+ annual revenue, no liens or judgments filed within the past 3 years, no prior owner or business bankruptcies, eligible industry

Expert review

Anna Serio

Review by

Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 800 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 Fundera,, and ValueWalk feature her professional advice, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.

Expert review

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) with a focus on small businesses in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — though businesses across the country can qualify.

Its SmartLoan could be a great option if your business is looking for a loan under $100,000 and you usually qualify for rates on the higher end — all qualifying businesses get an 11.9% APR. But that includes a 5% commitment fee for taking out the loan, and you can’t qualify if you’re a startup or sole proprietorship.

Not sure EGF is right for you? Compare your other business loan options below.

First, do I qualify?

You must meet the following requirements at a minimum to qualify for a business loan from Excelsior Growth Fund:

  • Two or more years in business
  • Two or more employees
  • Break-even or positive cash flow
  • Average owner credit score of 640 or above
  • Over $120,000 in annual revenue
  • No liens or judgments in the past three years
  • No prior owner or business bankruptcies
  • Eligible industry

What makes EGF unique?

EGF’s nonprofit status as a CDFI makes it possible to offer the same affordable rate to all borrowers: 11.9%. As a community-centered lender, it’s on a mission to boost job growth in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — though it works with business owners in all 50 states.


  • Everyone gets a 11.9% APR
  • Mission to boost job growth in NJ, NY and PA
  • No prepayment penalty


  • No one-person business
  • 5% commitment fee when you get approved
  • Requires lien on business assets and personal guarantee
  • Five days to get your funds

Compare other business loan options

Updated February 25th, 2020
Name Product Filter Values Min. Amount Max. Amount Requirements
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Annual business revenue of at least $42,000, at least 9 months in business, personal credit score of 550+.
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National Business Capital Business Loans
Your company must have been in business for at least 6 months and have an annual revenue of at least $100,000.
Get a large business loan to cover your financing needs, no matter what the purpose is.
OnDeck Small Business Loans
600+ personal credit score, 1+ years in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
BlueVine Business Loan
6+ months in business, $10,000 in monthly revenue, 600+ personal credit score.
Get approved for a business loan in as little as 5 minutes. Applications won't affect your credit score.
First Down Funding business loans
Varies by type of loan
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
Kabbage Small Business Line of Credit
1+ years in business, $50,000+ annual revenue or $4,200+ monthly revenue over last 3 months
A simple, convenient online application could securely get the funds you need to grow your business.
First Union Lending Unsecured Long-Term Business Loan
450+ credit score, 3+ months in business, $15,000+ monthly revenue, no open bankruptcies
Unsecured funding and more for all credit types.
Sheer Funding Business Loans
6+ months in business, 550+ credit score, $150,000+ annual revenue, eligible industry
Multiple financing options available for business owners with less-than-perfect credit scores.
Efundex long-term business loans
2+ years in business, 620+ credit score, not a sole proprietorship or nonprofit, strong financial history
Financing for high-risk industries with transparent rates and terms.
Lendio Business Loan Marketplace
Must operate a business in the US or Canada, have a business bank account and have a personal credit score of 560+.
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 75 legit business lenders.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

You can apply online, over the phone or even in person at one of EGF’s New Jersey, New York or Pennsylvania offices. Here’s how to get started online:

  1. Go to the EGF website.
  2. Click Apply Now.
  3. Enter your desired loan amount and business ZIP code.
  4. Select your time in business, loan purpose and credit score range.
  5. Enter your email and create a password to set up an account. Click Next.
  6. Follow the directions to answer questions about your business, yourself and other owners, clicking Next between sections.
  7. Upload any required documents.
  8. Review your answers and submit your application.

What documents do I need to apply?

While it depends on your application, you likely need to provide the following documents at a minimum:

  • Year-to-date accounting information
  • Most recent business tax returns
  • Most recent personal tax returns

How do repayments work?

EGF’s SmartLoans come with fixed monthly repayments that can last up to five years. You can find information about your loan term, due date and how much you owe by looking at your loan contract. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out by calling 866-466-9232. Customer service representatives are available weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.

Find out how EGF compares to other providers by reading our guide to business loans.

Business loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We rate business loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.

Read the full methodology of how we rate business loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.

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