Compare Small Business Loans

From loan options and application process to rates & fees and reputation, we research everything you need to compare small business loans and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of small business loans below.
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How we Compare Small Business Loans

Loan Options - 20%
Application Process - 25%
Rates & Fees - 30%
Reputation - 25%

Loan Options

With the advent of alternative lending, small businesses in the United States have more options than ever, despite traditional lenders' reluctance to provide financing for growing enterprises. However, when seeking funding for their company, small business owners should follow a number of guidelines. The first is taking a good look at themselves and their financial situation, figuring out exactly how much money they really need. Learn the particulars of different types of loans and the become familiar with all the terms thereof. Finally, always consider loans backed by the Small Business Administration, though these may take more time to get approved. 

Small Business Loans with the Best Loan Options:

OnDeckKabbageLendingTreeTorroRapid AdvanceFastPayLendzaFunderaFundia
SBA LoanYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Loans Against Accounts ReceivableNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
MicroLoansYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
Commercial Real Estate FinancingYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
Merchant Cash AdvanceYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Short Term LoanYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Long Term LoanYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Line of CreditYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Start-Up LoanYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

Application Process

The application process for any type of small business loan is very similar, whether it's backed by the SBA or not. Generally speaking, lenders require that the company has been in business for a minimum of two years (alternative lenders can be more flexible in this regard), a minimum personal credit score of 600 (SBA loans require 680), collateral, personal guarantee, and that you provide a business plan and detailed financial data. Short-term loans and lines of credit issued by alternative lenders are slightly more relaxed in their qualifications: credit scores can be as low as 500, they only require 12 months in business, and monthly business revenues above $2,500.

For a list of some of the terms on this page, check out our Small Business Loans Terminology article.

Small Business Loans with the Best Application Process:

OnDeckKabbageLendingTreeTorroRapid AdvanceFastPayLendzaFunderaFundia
Time in BusinessAt least 1 yearAt least 1 yearAt least 1 yearVaries on the lenderAt least 1 yearNot Stated3 monthsVaries on the lenderAt least 1 year
Minimum Credit Score500Not StatedVaries on the lenderVaries on the lender600Not StatedVaries on the lenderVaries on the lenderNot Stated
Personal GuaranteeYesNoYesVaries on the lenderNoNoYesYesNot Stated
CollateralNoNoVaries on the lenderNoNoNot StatedYesNoNo
Annual Revenue Minimum$100,000$50,000$100,000Varies on the lender$120,000Not Stated$100,000$100,000Not Stated
Business PlanYesNoVaries on the lenderVaries on the lenderNoNoNoNoNo

Rates & Fees

As you’ve seen in the previous sections, the specifics of each loan vary wildly, depending on a number of factors, from loan type and amount to the borrower’s qualifications, and even the lending institution itself. Loan amounts can start at $1,000 and rise all the way up to $20 million. Likewise, loan terms can be anywhere from 3 months to 20 years, but be aware of any prepayment penalties. We cannot remind you enough to always read the fine print, and ask questions, no matter how silly they may seem. By far the most common thread in every negative review of any financial company has to do with not truly understanding the terms of your contract. Small things have a way of adding up, and catching you unawares. We divided loan terms into the following categories, but bear in mind that these aren’t set in stone, and that we only evaluated the most common types of loans.

Small Business Loans with the Best Rates & Fees:

OnDeckKabbageLendingTreeTorroRapid AdvanceFastPayLendzaFunderaFundia
Minimum to Maximum Loan Amount$5,000-$500,000$2,000-$100,000Up to $250,000 depending on the lender$10,000-$500,000$15,000-$500,000$5,000-$100,000$5,000-$350,000$2,500-$5,000,000`$25,000-$250,000
Loan Term3 to 36 months6 to 12 months1 to 10 years12 to 48 months9 to 18 months30 to 120 daysUp to 25 yearsUp to 120 monthsNot Stated
Interest Rates1.20%1%-12%Varies on the lenderVaries on the lenderNot StatedNot Stated6%-13%Starts at 5%Not Stated
APR9% to 99%24% to 99%Varies on the lenderVaries on the lender15% to 80%3% to 52%Not StatedVaries on the lenderNot Stated
Average Time to Funds24 hoursFew minutes to several days48 hours48 hours3 days2 business daysUp to 30 days3 weeksNot Stated
Prepayment PenaltyNoneNoneVaries on the lenderVaries on the lenderNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Origination Fees1st loan: 2.5%-4% of loan amount, 2nd loan: 1.25%-3% of loan amount, 3rd+ loan: 0-3% of loan amount NoneVaries on the lenderVaries on the lenderNoneNoneNoneNot StatedNone

Reputation

A company's reputation is where their bread and butter lies. When you're looking for a lender for your business, it's important to verify their trustworthiness and how they stack up to their competition. To that end, it's important to do research on consumer-based review websites such as the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot. Another good tip is to look up the lender in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) database, which keeps records of consumer complaints. Likewise, a lender's time in business, though not necessarily a reliable indicator of honesty, does establish a track with which to evaluate said honesty. Lastly, we wanted to make sure that each company was easy to get in contact with, as that is one of the complaints that always crops up, regardless of the type of service.

Small Business Loans with the Best Reputation:

OnDeckKabbageLendingTreeTorroRapid AdvanceFastPayLendzaFunderaFundia
BBB GradeA+A+A+A+A+A+N/AA+A
BBB Reviews72%0%42%0%97%0%N/A0%100%
TrustPilot TrustScore9.59.29.45.79.5N/A7.89.68.9
Years in Operation108204116N/A32
Free ConsultationYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Toll-Free PhoneYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
EmailYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYes
Online ChatYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo

Full Small Business Loans Comparison

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Latest Reviews

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Small Business Loans
A
angelina
Los Angeles, California
12/19/2016
I really appreciate if I can get loan I would be glad that I can have a little help .

J
Joel J
Riverton, Utah
12/13/2016
Nav is the only business loan site that helps make decisions based on actual credit scores. It's great to get recommendations BEFORE credit is pulled and apps are filled out.

T
Tiffany C
Riverton, Utah
12/13/2016
Nav gave me the guidance that I needed to get funded. Now my business is doing well and thanks to them I have the education I need to be a successful small business owner.

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Small Business Loans