Best Small Business Loans in January 2024

Compare top lenders to find the right funding for your business

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
Privacy Secured  |  Advertising Disclosures
Written by Jill A. Chafin | Edited by Kurt Adams and Janet Schaaf | December 27, 2023

Best small business loans in 2024

Small Business Administration: Best for SBA loans

Loan amountsUp to $5,000,000
Maximum interest rate
  • Variable: Prime + 3.0% to Prime + 6.5%
  • Fixed: Prime + 5% to Prime + 8%
Term lengthUp to 300 months
Minimum credit score680 (recommended)
Minimum time in business24 months (recommended)

See Your Business Loan Offers

OnDeck: Best for short-term business loans

Loan amounts$5,000 to $250,000
Starting interest rate35.40% (for at least 5% of customers)*
Term length18 to 24 months
Minimum credit score625
Minimum time in business12 months

*Minimum APR offered to at least 5% of customers (not the lowest rate offered).

See Your Business Loan Offers

Funding Circle: Best for long-term business loans

Loan amounts$25,000 to $500,000
Starting interest rate11.29%
Term length6 to 84 months
Minimum credit score660
Minimum time in business24 months

See Your Business Loan Offers

American Express Business Line of Credit: Best for business line of credit

amex business line of credit logo

Loan amounts$2,000 to $250,000
Starting interest rate
  • 3 to 9% for 6-month loans
  • 6 to 18% for 12-month loans
  • 9 to 27% for 18-month loans
Term length6, 12 or 24 months
Minimum credit score660
Minimum time in business12 months

See Your Business Loan Offers

Credibly: Best for working capital loans

Loan amounts$5,000 to $400,000
Starting interest rate1.11 factor rate
Term length3 to 3 months
Minimum credit score500
Minimum time in businessThree months

See Your Business Loan Offers

Taycor Financial: Best for equipment financing

Taycor Financial lender logo

Loan amounts$500 to $2,000,000
Starting interest rate3.49%
Term length12 to 84 months
Minimum credit score550
Minimum time in businessStartup

See Your Business Loan Offers

Wells Fargo: Best traditional bank for business loans

Wells Fargo logo #1

Loan amounts$10,000 to $15,000,000
Starting interest rateVaries by product
Term lengthUp to 84 months
Minimum credit score680 for unsecured line of credit (not disclosed for other products)
Minimum time in business24 months for unsecured line of credit (not disclosed for other products)

See Your Business Loan Offers

Fundbox: Best for startup business loans

Fundbox logo

Loan amountsUp to $150,000
Starting interest rate
  • 4.66% for 3-month terms
  • 8.99% for 6-month terms
Term length3 or 6 months
Minimum credit score600
Minimum time in businessSix months

See Your Business Loan Offers

Fora Financial: Best for bad credit business loans

Loan amounts$5,000 to $1,500,000
Starting interest rate1.10 to 1.40 factor rate
Term lengthUp to 15 months
Minimum credit score500
Minimum time in businessSix months

See Your Business Loan Offers

National Funding: Best for fast business financing

Loan amounts$5,000 to $500,000
Starting interest rate1.11 factor rate
Term length4 to 24 months
Minimum credit score600
Minimum time in businessSix months

See Your Business Loan Offers

Headway Capital: Best for unsecured business loans

Loan amountsUp to $50,000
Starting interest rateNot disclosed
Term length12, 18 or 24 months
Minimum credit scoreNot disclosed
Minimum time in businessSix months

See Your Business Loan Offers

eCapital: Best for invoice factoring

Loan amountsUp to $30,000,000
Invoice factoring rates0.90% to 2.50%
Minimum credit scoreNot needed
Minimum time in business12 months

See Your Business Loan Offers

Accion Opportunity Fund: Best for business microloans

Loan amounts$5,000 to $250,000
Starting interest rate7.49%
Term length12 to 60 months
Minimum credit scoreNot disclosed
Minimum time in business12 months

See Your Business Loan Offers

Why do millions of Americans trust LendingTree?

25+ years in business. 110+ million Americans served. $260+ billion in funded loans.


Instead of sharing information with multiple lenders, fill out one simple, secure form in five minutes or less.


We’ll match you with up to five lenders from our network of 300+ lenders who will call to compete for your business.


We provide ongoing support with free credit monitoring, budgeting insights and personalized recommendations to help you save.

Business loan calculator

Estimate how much you can borrow

loading image

What is a small business loan?

Small business loans help new and established companies access capital for various business needs. With business financing, you can purchase inventory, invest in new equipment, build an expansion or cover unexpected expenses.

Traditional banks, online lenders and government agencies all offer small business loans.

The best business loan for your company depends on how much you need, your business’s qualifications and how quickly you need the funds.

Types of small business loans

Business loans come in a variety of flavors, with terms as short as a few months or as long as 25 years. You can find business loans with traditional brick-and-mortar banks, credit unions, online lenders and even the U.S. Small Business Administration. Here are some common types of business loans to choose from:

Term loans

Business term loans provide a lump sum of cash upfront, paid with interest in fixed monthly or weekly installments. Short-term business loans have repayment terms of a few months to a year or more and are commonly available from online lenders. Long-term business loans, usually offered by traditional brick-and-mortar banks, can last 10 years or more.

Line of credit

Similar to a credit card, a business line of credit is a revolving form of funding that requires you to pay interest only on the amount you borrow. Lines of credit are best for recurring expenses like rent and inventory purchases or seasonal fluctuations in income..

Equipment financing

Also known as equipment loans, equipment financing enables businesses to purchase heavy machinery, computers, vehicles or other necessary equipment to operate the business. The equipment acts as collateral for the loan.

Commercial real estate loans

Commercial loans help large companies to purchase materials, finance equipment or build property for business uses. Commercial real estate loans are similar to a home mortgage, but often require a higher upfront down payment.

SBA loans

SBA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offering long repayment terms with comparatively low interest rates.The SBA 7(a) loan provides up to $5 million for various business purposes, while the504/CDC loan is more commonly used for purchasing equipment or real estate. You’ll apply with a bank or online lender, not directly through the SBA.


Microloans are loans for $50,000 or less. The SBA offers microloans, along with several nonprofit or community organizations. Microloans are often geared towards startups or underrepresented business owners, such as women or people of color.

Working capital loans

Working capital loan is an umbrella term for financing that covers short-term operating expenses, like payroll or cash flow gaps. Working capital loans can come in various forms, like working capital lines of credit, term loans and cash advances.

Invoice factoring

Invoice factoring enables businesses to sell unpaid invoices to a factoring company in exchange for a cash advance. This may be a good option for cash-strapped businesses or businesses with poor or limited credit, but you can typically get only 70% to 90% of your invoice face value. It can also get expensive, with factoring rates going as high as 8.25%.

Additional business funding options

In addition to traditional business loans, there are several other sources of business funding to consider.

Merchant cash advance

A merchant cash advance also gives you a lump sum of cash upfront, but the advance is against your future sales. Because of this, the merchant cash advance is repaid through a preset percentage of daily or weekly credit card sales. This type of funding can deliver cash fast, but it can be a very expensive method of borrowing.

Credit cards

You probably have one or more personal credit cards, but business credit cards can help track business expenses, unlock travel or cash-back rewards or just help monitor employee spending. To avoid paying a high annual percentage rate, make sure to pay off your statement balance in full by the due date.

Small business grants

The federal government, state governments and private corporations and foundations offer grants for small businesses. Because grants are free money that usually doesn’t need to be repaid, competition can be quite stiff. There are also minority business grants and women-owned business grants.


Business crowdfunding is when you ask family, friends and the general public for donations to kickstart your business. This method helps you test out a business idea and may appeal most to startups or other businesses struggling to get funding. Just be aware that crowdfunding platforms may charge a fee.

Personal loans

Personal loans for business may be easier to get if you struggle to meet the strict eligibility criteria for a business loan. Because this relies on your personal credit and income, your personal credit and assets are at risk. And personal loans won’t help you build business credit, nor can you claim the loan interest as a qualified business tax deduction.


Bootstrap financing is when you use your own financial resources to fund your business. Startup businesses may use bootstrapping to get off the ground, but you risk not recouping your investment if your business fails to thrive.

Business loan requirements

When you apply for a business loan, lenders want to know that your business and credit history are stable. Common business loan requirements include reviewing your credit profile, time in business, capacity to take on debt and any collateral you may have.


    In general, your business will be in a stronger position to borrow if you can prove you have a track record of solid revenue over the past two years. This is more attractive to a lender than a company with spotty revenue over the past six months.


    Lenders use your credit score to determine your riskiness as a borrower. In most cases, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score in the mid-600s or higher to get a business loan, although certain lenders allow scores as low as 500. Your business credit score should be at least 80, although some lenders may rely on just your personal score when reviewing your loan application.


    A business cash-flow projection shows when money is collected, when cash goes out and what’s left. Lenders typically like to see that you understand where your business’s money is going each month.


    Collateral is an asset that lenders can legally seize if you can’t make payments. Common forms of collateral including real estate, equipment, accounts receivable and even cash. Some business owners use their personal assets — including their homes — as collateral on a business loan.


    Your business’s fixed-charge coverage ratio measures how well your company can pay its fixed expenses, including any debts and interest you have. Lenders use this metric to help determine whether or not to approve a business loan application.


    Your working capital refers to the available money you have to fund your company’s day-to-day operations. You can calculate your working capital by subtracting the business’s debt liabilities due within a year from current assets that you can convert to cash.

View Your Small Business Loan Options

Getting a business loan in three easy steps

The process to get a business loan depends on the lender and the type of funding you need. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Start by answering these questions.

Why do you need the funds?

Are you looking to buy a vehicle for your new food truck business? Are you looking for commercial real estate so you can expand to a second location across town? Or maybe you need some quick cash to fill in the gaps during the off-season.

What you can afford?

Look at your business budget to decide what you can afford. Some business loans are repaid monthly over long periods, while others require weekly or even daily repayment. Business loans are debts you must repay, so make sure your business can handle the extra payment.

How can you get the best rates?

Before you decide to apply, take the extra time to shop around. Compare offers to get the best rates. This extra bit of legwork may reduce your interest or fees in the long run. Read small business lender reviews to ensure you are working with a reputable lender.

Small business loan application checklist

Once you’ve determined that your business can handle taking on debt, the process of applying for a small business loan involves rounding up the necessary documents for your loan application. The exact paperwork differs across business funding partners, but will most likely include the following documents:

  2+ years of personal and business tax returns

  Recent profit-and-loss statement

  Past business bank statements

  Recent balance sheet

  Legal filings related to ownership

  Information on existing debts

  Business license (if applicable)

  Business plan

  A certificate of good standing

How to compare small business loans

In order to pick the best business loan, make sure to compare the following:

  • Interest rate: Is the business loan interest rate variable or fixed? Does the lender charge a factor rate? How much will you pay in interest charges over the life of the loan?
  • Repayment term: When do payments start? Do you prefer daily, weekly or monthly payments?
  • Time to fund: How long does the application process take? Keep in mind that the quickest business loans aren’t always the most affordable.
  • Additional fees: Read your loan contract’s fine print for extra fees, such as origination fees, late charges and business loan prepayment penalties.

Before closing your loan

After approval, the closing process involves reviewing documentation that will determine the terms of your selected loan. A business loan agreement is a legally binding contract that dictates your interest rate and repayment schedule.

Ensure you thoroughly understand what the lender is asking of you and the implications these terms have on your business’s financial future. After you sign, you’ve agreed to everything in the contract — including what happens when you make late payments or default.

How we chose the best small business loans

We reviewed the leading small business lenders to determine the overall best 13 small business loans. To make our list, lenders must meet the following criteria:

  • Maximum amounts no less than $150,000
  • Funding available within two weeks of approval
  • No more than two years in business required
  • Personal credit score requirements below 680
  • Transparent rates and repayment terms

We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide unique perks to customers, like free business coaching.

Frequently asked questions

Business owners can take out small business loans — generally between $5,000 and $500,000 or more — to finance expenses like payroll financing, inventory, equipment and other costs. Repayment terms could be as short as three months or as long as 25 years. Both traditional financial institutions and alternative online lenders offer small business loans.

Yes, bad credit business loans are available for business owners with personal credit scores as low as 500. However, lenders may offer you a higher interest rate if you want to borrow money and have a lower credit score.

A personal guarantee requires you as the business owner to be personally responsible for the company’s debt in case of default. A personal guarantee is pretty common on small business loans because it lowers the risk for a lender. But as the business owner, it may limit any protections your business structure offers.

Online lenders may be the best option to get a startup business loan with no revenue. Unlike brick-and-mortar banks that often have stricter eligibility requirements, alternative lenders typically require only a few months in business. Other options beyond new business loans include crowdsourcing, self-funding or grant funding.

Each lender will have its own criteria based on the loan type. In general, you need a personal FICO Score of at least 500 and a business credit score of 80 to get a small business loan. But, the lowest business loan interest rates are typically reserved for borrowers with higher credit scores. If this doesn’t fit your business, online lenders may be more lenient with credit score requirements.

Most lenders look for minimum monthly or annual revenue when you apply for a loan. Many traditional banks do not publish their minimum revenue requirements, but online lenders tend to be more transparent. It’s common to expect a minimum annual revenue requirement of $50,000 or more for unsecured loans. However, you may be eligible for a business loan with a lower annual revenue if you can provide collateral.

If you were rejected for a business loan, revisit the reason why. Focus on improving your personal credit and business credit scores. If you haven’t operated in business long enough, wait a bit. In the meantime, consider a small business credit card or a personal loan to access capital for any immediate business needs.