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Best banks for small business loans in March 2023

Mar 23, 2023
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Compare the banks for small business loans in March 2023

Bank of America Startup loans $10,000-$5 million or more All states and Washington, D.C.
PNC Bank Fast approval $10,000-$3 million 28 states and Washington, D.C.
Chase Bank Small loans $5,000-$5 million 28 states
Live Oak Bank SBA loans $150,000-$15 million All states
U.S. Bank Easy application Up to $10 million 26 states
TD Bank Regional bank $10,000-$5.5 million 15 states and Washington, D.C.

Bank of America: Best for startup loans

Loan amount
$10,000-$5 million or more
Interest from


Overview: Bank of America is one of the largest originators of commercial loans. With over 3,900 retail financial centers nationwide, it currently serves more than 3 million small business owners through an assortment of funding solutions. Borrowers also have access to a suite of small business resources, including free Dun & Bradstreet business credit score monitoring and interest rate discounts. 

  • Term loans: The Business Advantage Term Loan is an option if you’ve been in business for at least two years and earned $100,000 or more in gross sales in the prior year. Loans start at $10,000 with interest rates as low as 6.75 percent and terms from 12 to 60 months. An origination fee of $150 applies if you’re approved for funding. 
  • Business lines of credit: Bank of America offers secured and unsecured business lines of credit. The Cash Secured Line of Credit requires a minimum security deposit of $1,000, six months in business and $50,000 in annual revenue to qualify. Plus, you’ll have the option to have your deposit refunded and graduate to an unsecured line after demonstrating you can responsibly manage the account for two years and earning $100,000 in annual revenue. The Business Advantage Credit Line, an unsecured option, has more stringent requirements. You’ll need two years in business and $100,000 in annual revenue. You can access a business line as small as $10,000, and interest rates start at just 8.75 percent. 
  • SBA loans: Bank of America offers three types of SBA loans. SBA 7(a) loans between $200,000 and $5,000,000 are available with fixed-rate terms of up to 25 years and down payments as low as 10 percent. The SBA 504 Loan Program also requires a 10 percent down payment and comes with the same loan terms, but the starting loan amount is $400,000. Or you can explore the SBA Express Loan which offers between $25,000 and $500,000 with fixed-rate terms of up to 25 years if you need funding sooner. SBA loans are available to sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLC and corporations. In 2022, Bank of America approved 506 SBA 7(a) loans worth $201,069,100.
  • Health care practice loans: These loan products are reserved for doctors, dentists and veterinarians. Loan amounts and terms aren’t disclosed online.
  • Other loans. Bank of America offers equipment loans and commercial real estate loans starting at $25,000. Vehicle financing is also available with loan amounts from $10,000 and terms ranging from 48 to 72 months. 

Why Bank of America is the best for startup loans: Most traditional banks want two years of business experience before they’ll consider you for funding. However, Bank of America allows you to access capital in just six months and start building business credit with its secured business line of credit. 



  • Free access to business credit score monitoring through Dun & Bradstreet
  • Interest rate discounts on select loan products through the Preferred Rewards for Business membership 
  • Line of credit available to six-month-old companies
  • Most business financing solutions unavailable to new companies 
  • Origination fees assessed on most business loan products

PNC Bank: Best for fast approval

Loan amount
$10,000-$3 million
Interest from
Prime + .51%

Overview: PNC Bank has over 2,500 in 28 states across the nation. It offers loan opportunities that cater to established businesses. In 2022, it originated 427 SBA 7(a) loans worth $155,869,500. Other loan options include: 

  • Term loans: PNC offers both unsecured and secured small business term loans. Unsecured loans from $20,000 to $100,000 with two- to five-year terms are available, and they come with fixed interest rates. Secured loans are available in much higher amounts, from $100,001 to $3 million, and you’ll receive a loan term between two and seven years with a fixed or variable interest rate. 
  • Lines of credit: Both secured and unsecured options are available. Unsecured lines range from $20,000 to $100,000, while secured lines range from $100,001 to $3 million. Both require an annual fee and monthly payments.
  • Other loans: Small business commercial real estate loans between $100,001 and $3 million are also offered with fixed or variable interest rates and five- to 15-year terms. Or you can finance a new or used vehicle with a commercial vehicle loan between 10,000 and $250,000 with a two- to six-year term and fixed interest rate. 
Why PNC Bank is the best for fast approval:  If you’re approved for an unsecured small business term loan, funding is available in just one to five business days. However, the timeline varies for other loan types.
  • Rapid approval and funding timeline
  • Commercial vehicle financing available
  • Stringent eligibility criteria 
  • Loan application not available online

Chase Bank: Best for small loans

Loan amount
$5,000-$5 million
APR from
Not disclosed

Overview: Chase Bank holds the second largest commercial and industrial loan portfolio in the US. The lender features an assortment of funding options for small businesses, including business credit cards and these loan products: 

  • Term loans: Chase offers installment loans between $5,000 and $500,000 to small business owners with repayment periods of up to five years. You can also choose a draw loan that lets you pull from a pool of funds for up to one year or an advised line that works in a similar manner and lets you draw from a commitment amount. There’s no origination fee, but an early repayment penalty applies to loans over $250,000 that are paid off early. 
  • Business lines of credit: For working capital, Chase offers business lines of credit of $10,000 to $500,000. Lines come with five-year draw terms with optional renewal and five-year repayment periods. Interest rates are variable, and borrowers are required to make payments equivalent to one percent of the accrued interest and 1 percent of the balance during the draw period. Commercial lines of credit are also available if you need access to more than $500,000. 
  • SBA loans: Chase offers SBA 7(a), 504 and Express loans of up to $5 million. Fixed or variable rates and flexible loan terms are available. Chase approved 700 SBA 7(a) loans worth $174,572,400 in 2022. 
  • Other loans: Chase also offers commercial real estate financing solutions with terms of up to 25 years to buy, remodel or refinance commercial properties. 

Why Chase is the best for small loans: Chase offers small business loans for as little as $5,000. Even better, there are no early repayment penalties for term loans under $250,000.  


  • Small minimum loan amounts 
  • No origination fees on select small business loan products


  • Must visit a branch to apply 
  • Documentation fee applies to some loans 
  • Qualification requirements and interest rates not disclosed online

Live Oak Bank: Best for SBA loans

Loan amount
$150,000-$15 million
APR from
Not disclosed


Overview: Live Oak Bank was a top originator of SBA 7(a) loans in 2022. It’s a financial institution that caters to small businesses and offers banking and lending tools and resources to accelerate growth. The lender employs experts who have extensive experience helping small business owners access government-backed loans and other funding opportunities, including: 

  • SBA loans: Live Oak Bank offers SBA 7(a) loans and SBA 504 loans of up to $5 million and $15 million with a 10 percent down payment, respectively. Borrowers can get a loan term of up to 25 years. SBA 504 loans come with fixed or variable interest rates.
  • Other loans: Live Oak Bank also offers non-SBA commercial loans, but very little information is disclosed about these loan products on the website. 

Why Live Oak Bank is the best for SBA loans:  In 2022, Live Oak Bank was the top originator of SBA 7(a) loans by dollar amount with $1,696,498,500 in loan approvals. Additionally, like other lenders on this list, Live Oak Bank is an SBA Preferred Lender. Preferred Lenders offer SBA loan approvals between three and four weeks faster than many others.  


  • Faster SBA loan approvals  
  • No prepayment penalties on select loan products 


  • Limited information available on other commercial loan products
  • Eligibility requirements aren't public

U.S. Bank: Best for easy application

Loan amount
Up to $12.375 million
APR from
Not disclosed


Overview: U.S. Bank also made the list of the top institutions originating commercial and industrial loans in 2022 with 1,907 SBA 7(a) business loans. With branches scattered throughout the western half of America, it serves small business owners seeking flexible funding solutions and a streamlined application process. 

  • Term loans: U.S. Bank offers a Quick Loan with fixed interest rates to businesses at least six months old. Loan amounts are between $5,000 and $250,000 with terms of up to 84 months, and there are no origination fees. Or you can apply for a conventional business term loan of up to $1,000,000 that’s secured by business assets.
  • Business lines of credit: There are four options for business lines. The Cash Flow Manager requires at least two years in busnesses and caps at $250,000; there's a $150 annual fee if the amount you’re approved for is under $50,000. There’s also the standard business line of credit of up to $1 million with an interest-only payment option, the business equity line of credit of up to $500,000 with a five-year repayment period and the business reserve line of up to $5,000 for current U.S. Bank checking account holders that provides protection against overdraft fees.
  • SBA loans: U.S. Bank offers 7(a) loans and SBA 504 real estate loans. SBA 7(a) loans are capped at $5 million and repayment periods are seven, 10 or 25 years. SBA 504 real estate loans are limited to $12.375 with loan terms of up to 10 or 25 years. 
  • Other loans: Commercial real estate loans and equipment financing options for up to $10 million and $1 million, respectively, are available through U.S. Bank. There’s also practice financing for dentists, ophthalmologists and veterinary professionals looking to buy into a practice or expand their current practice. 

Why U.S. Bank is the best for an easy application process: You can apply for Quick Loans and the Cash Flow Manager line of credit from your computer or mobile device while on the go. If you’re a current U.S. Bank customer, the process is even easier, as some parts of the application will be prefilled for you.


  • Some loan products available for startups
  • Streamlined online application process for select loan products 
  • No origination fee on Quick Loans of up to $250,000
  • Not available in all 50 states
  • Limited lending disclosures published online
  • Some loans have prepayment penalties

TD Bank: Best for regional banks

Loan amount
$10,000-$5.5 million
Interest from
Prime + .74%


Overview: In 2022, TD Bank approved 2,093 or $243,534,100 in SBA 7(a) loans, making it the second-largest originator by approval numbers in the nation. But that isn’t all this Eastern U.S. regional bank offers. You’ll also find business term loans, business lines of credit, USDA loans and commercial real estate loans. TD Bank states it considers all loan applications, regardless of the business's establishment date.

  • Term loans: TD Bank offers installment loans between $10,000 and $1 million with terms of up three to five years and fixed monthly payments. 

  • Business lines of credit: The business line of credit from TD Bank ranges from $25,000 to $500,000. Payments are automatically deducted from your checking account. 

  • SBA loans: TD Bank is also an SBA-preferred lender offering 7(a), 504 and Express loans. SBA 7(a) loans require a 10 percent down payment, and loan amounts of up to $5 million are available with amortization periods of up to 25 years. SBA 504 loans have the same down payment requirement but a slightly higher maximum loan amount of $5.5 million with an amortization of up to 20 years. Or you can opt for an SBA Express loan, which is a faster funding solution with loans amounts of up to $350,000 that come with terms of up to 25 years. 

  • USDA loans: These loan products are an option for businesses operating in rural communities. Loan amounts of up to $10,000,000 with fixed and variable interest rates are available with terms of up to 30 years.  

  • Other loans: Commercial real estate loans and mortgages are also available through TD Bank. You’ll get a rate that’s fixed for three or five years and a repayment period of up to 20 years. 

Why TD Bank is the best for regional banks:  TD Bank has locations throughout the East Coast, making it a top option for funding opportunities if you’d prefer to do business with a regional bank. It’s also a leading provider of SBA loans in this region. 


  • Online application available for some loans up to $250,00
  • Fast loan approvals
  • No set minimum time in business


  • Only available in 15 states and Washington, D.C. 
  • Origination fees apply

The Bankrate guide to choosing the bank for a business loan

In 2022, five of the top banks in the U.S. originated over $100 million each in business funding, according to data from American Banker. These loans often come with attractive terms, generous loan amounts and competitive interest rates. 

However, qualifying for a small business loan with a bank is often challenging for startups and businesses without strong financial backgrounds. So, you’ll need to do some research to find the best option for you. 

Bankrate conducted extensive research to compile a list of top banks for small business loans. Each lender listed is also a part of the Small Business Administration’s Preferred Lender Program. Below,  you’ll find guidance on choosing a lender and applying, plus alternatives in case a bank loan isn’t right for your business.

How to get a small business loan from a bank

Before applying for a small business loan from a bank, it’s best to prepare to help streamline the lending process. 

1. Select a loan product

There are several types of business loans to choose from, including term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans and commercial real estate loans. Evaluate each option and weigh the benefits and drawbacks to determine which makes the most sense for your business. 

2. Decide on a loan amount

Run the numbers to come up with the amount you need to borrow. Add up your projected expenses and compare them with how much capital you have available to contribute to determine how much funding you need. It can be tempting to accept the maximum loan amount the lender offers, but doing so can lead to cash flow issues if you can’t afford the loan payments. 

3. Research lenders

Explore at least three banks and their business loan options. Start with your current bank or credit union, as they may be more willing to lend to you based on the established relationship. Ask about loan amounts, terms, interest rates and fees to determine which lender is most ideal to meet your company’s funding needs. 

4. Determine your eligibility

Most lenders have minimum credit score, time in business and annual revenue requirements for their loans. You’ll also likely need to operate in a stable industry and demonstrate a track record of success for at least two years to qualify for a small business loan from a bank. And if you’re seeking a secured loan, you’ll also need some form of collateral to get funding.

Lending criteria vary, and these requirements may not be made public on the bank's website. Speak to a bank employee to help determine if you qualify for funding. 

5. Gather documentation 

When you’re ready to apply, gather any information and documents the lender will need to avoid hiccups or delays during the application process. In most cases, you’ll need: 

  • Business and personal tax returns 
  • Company bank statements 
  • Intended loan use 
  • Business license (if applicable) and registration
  • Articles of incorporation (if applicable) 
  • Business tax ID or EIN (employer identification number) 
  • Financial statements, including profit and loss statement and balance sheet
  • Financial projections 
  • Business insurance documents
  • Accounts payable and accounts receivable 
  • Payroll records (if applicable)
  • Commercial lease agreements (if applicable) 
  • List of business debts and other financial obligations 

Contact the lender before applying to determine if there’s anything you’ll need to provide that’s not listed here. 

6. Submit the loan application 

Complete the loan application in its entirety and review it for accuracy to avoid being denied. The lender will typically compare your documents to the information you entered in the application to confirm there are no discrepancies. 

7. Read the fine print

If approved for funding, review the loan documents and be sure to ask any questions you have before signing on the dotted line. Once the agreement is signed and the final approval is issued, the loan will close and the lender will disburse funds to you.

Alternatives to bank business loans

If you’re having trouble getting a bank business loan or prefer to explore alternatives, here are some funding sources to consider.

  • Online lenders: They are ideal for companies who are just getting started or don’t quite meet the bank's credit or annual revenue requirements. Many online lenders also have fast funding times.. While they are a more flexible funding source, you may be offered shorter loan terms and higher interest rates than you would with a traditional bank — especially if you have a lower credit score. 
  • Crowdfunding: This form of funding allows you to solicit financial assistance from others to fulfill your company’s objectives. This is generally a one-time solution. Plus, you will likely have to pay a portion of the fee to the crowdfunding platform to use their service. You may also have to give up equity in your company or something else of value in exchange for contributions. 
  • Family and friends: A loan from someone in your network could also be an option. You likely won’t have to jump through hoops or provide excessive documentation to get approved, but there’s a significant downside. The relationship could turn sour if you’re unable to make timely payments or pay the loan in full. 

FAQs about bank loans for small businesses


To choose the best banks for small business loans, we ensured all banks featured serve small businesses and are part of SBA’s Preferred Lender program. We then considered features that make loans affordable and accessible to businesses with different characteristics and needs, including loan amounts, interest rates, credit requirements and fees. Additionally, the featured lenders were evaluated for notable qualities such as borrower benefits and funding speed.