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Best fast business loans in February 2024

Dec 22, 2023
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Fast business loans provide short-term working capital. You can use these loans to cover issues like emergencies, seasonal cash shortages or to take advantage of fast-moving opportunities. 

In many cases, the best fast business loans can get you funds in as little as 24 hours. Some types are accessible to startups and business owners with lower credit scores, though they won’t offer the best interest rates

Read on to learn more about fast business loans. We’ll show you our top picks based on important factors like speed, affordability and availability to business owners with bad credit. We’ll also show you how to choose the right type of fast business loan and offer up alternatives to help you choose the right type of loan for you.

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Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best small business loan for fast funding

4.7

Bankrate Review
Loan amount
$10k- $10M
Term: 3 - 96 months
Interest rate
4.90- 22.00%
Fastest funding
2 business days

Best for fast short-term loans

4.6

Loan amount
$5k- $250K
Term: 18 - 24 months
Interest rate
Starting at 29.90% APR
Fastest funding
1 business day

Best for discounts for early repayment

4.6

Loan amount
$5k- $400K
Term: 3 - 15 months
Interest rate
1.11 factor rate
Fastest funding
1 business day

Best for bad credit

4.5

Loan amount
$5k- $1.4M
Term: 6 - 16 months
Interest rate
Starting at 1.10 factor rate
Fastest funding
1 business day

Best for flexible repayment terms

4.6

Loan amount
$25k- $500K
Term: 6 - 84 months
Interest rate
Starting at 7.49% simple interest
Fastest funding
2 business days

Best for unsecured fast loan

4.4

Loan amount
$5k- $250K
Term: 6 - 12 months
Interest rate
Starting at 6.20%
Fastest funding
1 business day

Best for large loan amounts

4.4

Loan amount
$25k- $5M
Term: 6 - 300 months
Interest rate
Starting at 7.99%
Fastest funding
1 business day

Best for fast equipment loan

4.3

Loan amount
$10k- $500K
Term: 12 - 60 months
Interest rate
Starting at 5.99% APR
Fastest funding
1 business day

BEST FOR LOAN VARIETY

4.2

Loan amount
$10k- $500K
Term: 4 - 24 months
Interest rate
Varies
Fastest funding
1 business day

BEST FOR ALTERNATIVE FINANCING

4.1

Loan amount
$5k- $5M
Term: 3 - 15 months
Interest rate
1.1 - 1.5 factor rate
Fastest funding
1 business day

Compare the best fast business loans in February 2024

LENDER AND LOAN TYPE BEST FOR MIN. FICO CREDIT SCORE LOAN AMOUNT MIN. TIME TO FUNDS
Creditfy term loans Startups 500 Up to $2.5 million 1 day
OnDeck short-term loans Fast short-term loans 625 $5,000 to $250,000 1 day
Credibly working capital loan Discounts for early repayment 550 $25,100 to $400,000 1 day
Fora Financial small business loan Bad credit 500 $5,000 to $1.5 million 1 day
Funding Circle term loan Flexible repayment terms 660 $25,000 to $500,000 2 days
Bluevine line of credit Line of credit 625 $5,000 to $250,000 1 day
SMB Compass bridge loan Large loan amounts 650 $25,000 to $5 million 1 day
Triton Capital equipment financing Fast equipment loan 600 $10,000 to $500,000 1 day
QuickBridge Fast short-term loans 600 $10,000 to $500,000 1 day
Lendzi Alternative financing 500 $5,000 to $5 million 1 day

A closer look at our top fast business loans

Creditfy term loans: Best for startups

Overview: Creditfy offers several types of loans, equipment financing and lines of credit. The company has term loan limits up to $2.5 million dollars and up to $10 million for equipment financing, with the potential for funding as fast as one business day. Creditfy is a great match for startups because the loan qualifications are more lenient than what you’ll find at a traditional lender. 

Why Creditfy is the best for startups: Companies only need six months in business for some loan products, including an equipment loan. You will need an annual revenue of $180,000 to be considered for a term loan or $100,000 for an equipment loan. The company has a 90 percent approval rate for loans and lines of credit. 

Who Creditfy is good for: Newer businesses are good candidates for loans from Creditfy. The company also considered applicants with personal credit scores as low as 500, which makes it a good fit for those with poor credit. A Creditfy loan may help struggling small businesses not only fund their financial needs but establish a good credit history. 

OnDeck term loans: Best for fast short-term loans

Overview: OnDeck is a business lender that offers same-day funding, making it one of the fastest available lenders. Eligibility guidelines for its term loans and business lines of credit are also less stringent compared to other lenders. You only need one year in business, FICO score of 625 or higher and $100,000 in annual revenue to be considered for funding.

Why OnDeck is the best for fast short-term loans: OnDeck offers same-day funding to eligible borrowers. So you don’t have to wait to receive your funds if approved. Plus, terms of up to 24 months are available, which are lengthy compared to other lenders that only offer six to 18 repayment periods on short-term fast business loans.

Who OnDeck is good for: OnDeck is good for companies seeking fast funding options with extended terms. Borrowers get a longer repayment period, which helps make loan payments more manageable and possibly prevent cash flow issues.

Credibly working capital loan: Best for early repayment discounts

Overview: Credibly is an online lending platform that connects small business owners with funding opportunities. It services companies in more than 325 industries nationwide and provides direct working capital loans of up to $400,000, along with merchant cash advances. 

Why Credibly is the best for early repayment discounts: Credibly is one of few lenders that will give you an early repayment discount on a loan that uses factor rates. If you qualify, you could receive a 20 percent discount on your remaining factor.

Who Credibly is good for: Credibly is good for companies with relatively low credit scores thanks to its low minimum score requirement. Companies with good credit may find cheaper loans elsewhere.

Fora Financial small business loan: Best for bad credit

Overview: Fora Financial is a direct lender offering small business lending solutions. Its term loans provide between $5,000 and $1.5 million in working capital with up to 16-month terms. Plus, you won’t have to put up collateral. Fora Financial also offers revenue advances to help manage cash flow. 

Why Fora Financial is the best for bad credit: Unlike traditional banks and many other lenders, Fora Financial gives small business owners with bad credit a chance. The minimum credit score requirement of 500 is far lower than you’ll find with a bulk of its competitors.

Who Fora Financial is good for: Fora Financial offers high maximums and low minimums, making it good for credit-challenged borrowers who need to customize the amount they borrow.

Funding Circle term loans: Best for flexible repayment terms

Overview: Funding Circle is an online lender that offers quick applications and low rates for companies with strong personal credit. Unlike most fast business loans, its loans are secured by business assets.

Why Funding Circle is the best for long repayment terms: Funding Circle allows borrowers to stretch payments for up to seven years or pay them off in as little as six months.

Who Funding Circle is good for: Funding Circle is best for companies that have strong credit and a long operating history. It offers low-cost loans and can disburse funds within 48 hours. Though that timeline is the longest on this list, many bank lenders take weeks to approve a business loan. 

Bluevine line of credit: Best for unsecured fast loan

Overview: Established in 2013, Bluevine is a financial technology company offering innovative business banking and funding solutions. Its business line of credit lets you access up to $250,000. You can repay borrowed amounts weekly or monthly and then borrow again. 

Why Bluevine is the best for unsecured fast loans: You don’t need perfect credit to qualify for this loan product, nor do you need to put down collateral. But if you have a solid credit rating, you can qualify for a simple interest rate as low as 6.20 percent. Keep in mind that this rate doesn’t include loan fees, so the actual APR could be much higher. Another key benefit of this loan product is the ability to receive a lending decision and access to capital as soon as one business day. 

Who Bluevine is good for: Bluevine is good for larger companies that can meet its revenue requirements of $40,000 to $80,000 per month. 

SMB Compass bridge loans: Best for large loan amounts

Overview: SMB Compass offers a variety of loan types through lending partners with starting rates of just 5.25 percent APR and terms up to 25 years. Some loans are open to business owners with a 600 credit score, and you could receive funding in as little as 24 hours. Bridge loans are available to borrowers with a 650 personal credit score or higher.

Why SMB Compass is the best for large loan amounts: SMB Compass offers several small business loans with high maximum loan amounts. Its bridge loan can be as high as $5 million, while loan amounts for invoice financing and purchase order financing can go over $10 million.

Who SMB Compass is good for: SMB Compass has nine types of loans that can cover the needs of many types of businesses. All have competitive rates and high loan amounts. Some even have relaxed eligibility requirements, making them a good fit for businesses with bad credit.

Triton Capital equipment loans: Best for fast equipment loans

Overview: Triton Capital is a loan marketplace. It partners with financial institutions to provide funding solutions to small businesses in as soon as one business day. Secured equipment loans range from $10,000 to $500,000 and feature competitive interest rates. Borrowers can also access working capital loans and SBA loans through this platform. 

Why Triton Capital is the best for fast equipment loans: It’s not uncommon for lenders to have a minimum time in business requirement to qualify for equipment financing. But that’s not the case with Triton Capital, as a spokesperson stated that it generally can lend to startups. Plus, Triton's funding time of one or two days is much faster than many equipment loans.

Who Triton Capital is good for: Triton Capital is good for startup companies that need equipment to get up and running and credit-challenged borrowers. It is willing to offer loans to recently established businesses and business owners with credit scores as low as 600.

QuickBridge loans: Best for fast short-term loans

Overview: QuickBridge offers several different types of loans, which is more variety than many competitors. Options include short-term loans, bridge loans, no-collateral loans and working capital loans. The company gears products toward companies with at least fair credit.

Why QuickBridge is the best for fast short-term loans: QuickBridge has minimal application requirements, only asking for a driver’s license and bank statements. Between that and the fast funding turnaround, it can be an excellent solution for businesses that need money for an emergency expense. 

Who QuickBridge is good for: QuickBridge is good for businesses that are interested in short-term loans but are interested in exploring funding options. The many financial products at QuickBridge offer choices once approved. It’s a good fit for companies with good credit who don’t mind that the company doesn’t offer a ton of information online. 

Lendzi merchant cash advances: Best for alternative financing

Overview: Lendzi works with a partner network of 60 lenders to help small business owners who struggle to qualify for traditional financing. Loans can be approved in as little as one hour and funded in as little as 24 hours. 

Why Lendzi is the best for alternative financing: Lendzi small business loans include short-term merchant cash advances. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $5 million and factor rates anywhere from 1.1 to 1.5. Eligibility requirements are minimal: You only need a 600 personal credit score, be in business for six months and have an annual revenue of $100,000.

Who Lendzi is best for: Small business owners who have been denied business loans and lines of credit and who need a fast business loan may want to look into a merchant cash advance from Lendzi. But keep in mind these types of loans can cost far more than other business loans. Make sure to convert factor rates to interest rates and compare them with other loans.

What is a fast business loan?

A fast business loan is any type of business loan that has a short time from application to funding. Many lenders manage to offer approval within minutes or hours and funding as soon as the same or next day.

These loans are typically offered by online lenders and can be secured or unsecured. Repayment terms can be short, usually less than two years. The best rates for fast business loans are reserved for business owners with great credit. 

If you have fair or bad credit, options are available to you, but expect smaller loan amounts. Some businesses may only qualify for loans of $100,000 or less. Plus, the rates and fees can make fast business loans expensive options. If you have time to wait and build your credit score, you’ll improve your chances of approval and qualify for better terms that can save you money.

How does a fast business loan work?

Fast business loans work much like other loans but often have a streamlined application process. Because speed is the goal, the lender may have a shorter application and ask for fewer documents than a typical lender would.

The loans may also have shorter repayment periods, usually ranging from a few months to a year or two at most. Weekly or biweekly repayment rather than monthly repayment is common.

Because of the short terms and frequent high rates, it’s important to manage your fast business loan carefully. Falling behind on payments can have consequences that range from:

Secured vs. unsecured fast business loans

You can get fast business funding whether you plan to secure the business loan or not. A secured business loan could add extra steps to funding, such as getting an appraisal and having the lender review the assets’ value when approving the loan. Getting an equipment or accounts receivable loan often has quick approvals since the lender can more easily see the value of new equipment or unpaid invoices. 

Yet, if you don’t have many business assets, you could choose an unsecured business loan. Funding time may only take a few days if you have all your financial documents in order. But it could take several weeks if business revenue and credit history aren’t solid. Lenders will emphasize your business’s financial strength when the loan isn’t backed by collateral.

Requirements for a fast business loan

Fast business lenders typically focus on three things to determine eligibility: credit score, time in business and revenue.

Many lenders will require a personal credit score of at least 600. But minimums ranging as low as 500 or as high as 660 aren’t unusual. 

Similarly, lenders will require that your company has the revenue to repay the loan. Some lenders look for annual revenue while others look at monthly averages.

It’s also common for a lender to only approve companies with at least 6 to 24 months of operating history under their belts. Because so many small businesses fail during their first year, lenders fear that new businesses could shutter and leave their debts unpaid.

Types of fast business loans

There’s no shortage of fast business loan options to meet your company’s needs. Popular solutions include:

Term loans

These loans can be secured or unsecured and give you a lump sum of money. Most come with fixed interest rates and are payable over one to five years in equal monthly installments. They can be used to cover an assortment of business expenses but generally come with stringent eligibility requirements and steep interest rates for newly established companies. 

Lines of credit

Lines of credit are more flexible. You can pull what you need on an as-needed basis, and you’ll only pay interest on what you borrow. They operate similarly to business credit cards and reset as you pay down the balance. But you may be subject to a draw period: a limited amount of time during which you can access funds. 

Merchant cash advances

Merchant cash advances (MCAs) are a short-term financing solution. The amount you can borrow with an MCA is based on your credit card sales volume. This can be a good option if you don’t have good credit or high annual revenue. But this is a type of high-risk alternative loan that uses factor rates instead of interest rates to determine costs. 

Factor rates are typically fixed: Interest doesn’t compound on the amount you borrow and paying off your debt early doesn’t save you money. The cost of a loan that uses factor rates can be steep. To make sure this is the right loan for you, make sure to convert a factor rate to an interest rate. That will help you compare a merchant cash advance with similar loans. 

Invoice factoring and financing

These funding solutions, while not technically loans, allow you to use outstanding invoices to secure working capital in a jiffy. You can borrow up to 90 percent of the total invoice amount, but there’s a key difference between the two.

Invoice factoring requires you to sell the invoice directly to the lender, and they will remit the remaining balance that’s owed minus factor fees. But if you choose invoice financing, you’ll collect the funds and repay the lender the advanced amount and any applicable fees.

Equipment financing

Equipment financing is a type of business loan you can use to purchase business-related equipment. The equipment you purchase acts as collateral for the loan, making it easy for business owners who don’t already have assets to help secure the loan. You’ll also generally get a fixed interest rate, loan term of up to 10 years and a set, predictable monthly payment. 

You can get an equipment loan through a bank, credit union or equipment financing company. Some equipment manufacturers also offer in-house financing. Regardless of which you choose, you may be required to make a down payment between 10 and 20 percent to secure a loan.

Pros and cons of fast business loans

Fast business loans can get you the cash you need quickly, but they’re not right for every situation. These are some pros and cons to fast business loans:
 

Pros

  • Accessibility: You could get approved for funding with a lower credit score as any online lenders offer loans to subprime borrowers.
  • Quick funding: These loans offer next- or even same-day funding when you need money fast.
  • Fast application process: Fast business loans usually have short applications and lenders often have low requirements to qualify.
  • Good for emergencies: Even if a loan is expensive, it can be better than the alternative, such as missing a vendor payment. 

Cons

  • High cost: If you don’t have stellar credit, most fast business loans will be quite expensive. Even with good credit, you may find cheaper options if you can wait a few days more for funding.
  • Smaller loan amounts: It’s not uncommon for lenders to offer lower maximums on fast business loans. This can be a problem if you need to make a large purchase or invest a hefty sum to expand your business.
  • Short repayment terms: Most fast business loans have repayment terms measured in months rather than years. Short term can mean high payments that are difficult to fit in your budget. Some even require weekly payments.
  • Collateral requirements: Because the short underwriting process may not allow time to assess collateral’s value, lenders may instead insist on a blanket lien against all business assets. That could be especially bad news if you default.

Who should get a fast business loan?

A fast business loan may be sensible if you have significant cash flow issues, aren’t able to qualify for other forms of funding and are on the brink of having to close the doors to your business.

A fast business loan could also help you take advantage of a limited-time opportunity to grow your business, whether it’s investing in inventory, services, equipment or staff. 

Alternatives to fast business loans

If you aren’t sure that a fast business loan is right for you, there are some other options to consider. Some of the best alternatives to fast business loans include:

Loans from banks and credit unions

Banks and credit unions offer traditional loans like term loans and business lines of credit. Rates are notably lower than what you’ll find with online lenders, but eligibility requirements can be strict, and funding time can take weeks.

Business credit cards

With a business credit card, you can borrow money very quickly and pay it back over a short period of time. These cards often come with perks like the chance to earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel or statement credits. Business credit cards also come with grace periods. If you consistently pay your balance off each month, you can avoid paying interest on the charges you make with the card.

Business credit cards are great for covering short-term expenses. But the starting loan amounts aren’t always as high as what business loans may offer. You may also have to wait two or more weeks for a business credit card to arrive in the mail before you can start using it. There also aren’t a lot of business credit cards for fair credit or bad credit.

SBA loans

Backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are several types of SBA loans.

SBA 7(a) loans are the most popular, but can be hard to qualify for if you don’t have personal credit scores of 670 or higher and high annual revenue. There are also SBA loans created to help provide access to capital for underserved communities. These include SBA microloans and Community Advantage loans. 

One of the biggest downsides to SBA loans is their speed of funding. On top of the in-depth paperwork you’ll have to fill out, it can take 45 to 90 days to get an SBA loan. Even their fastest loan — the SBA Express and Export Express loans — can take two or more weeks to receive funds.

Business grants

Business grants provide free money that business owners can use to start or grow their businesses. Since you don’t have to repay the funds you receive, competition for grants can be tough. But they’re still worth taking the time to find and apply for. 

To help you find business grants, you can use our guides to help you research business grants:

Additional alternatives

You may also want to consider one of the following alternatives:

  • Bootstrapping. You may decide to avoid loans and self-fund your company. This could involve working a 9-to-5 job or gig work while you start and grow your business. 
  • Crowdfunding. Raise small sums of capital from large groups of donors. 
  • Peer-to-peer lending. Instead of going through traditional banks and other financial institutions, peer-to-peer lending helps you raise capital from individual investors. 
  • Microloans. Small loans of $50,000 or less. Microloans are usually offered by nonprofits like Community Development Financial Institutions

Where to get a fast business loan

If you’re looking for a fast business loan, there are a few different places you can look.

Two of the most common types of fast business lenders are online banks and financial technology companies. These companies have quick applications and funding processes, but may charge higher interest rates. 

Fintechs, in particular, may set flexible eligibility requirements and use algorithms to make funding decisions. These steps for approval allows fintech to approve borrowers who can’t qualify with traditional lenders.

Traditional banks and credit unions can offer relatively fast business loans, but they usually take longer to approve and fund loans than online lenders. You won’t typically find same-day funding, but some can fund within one or two days.

Traditional lenders also tend to have stricter requirements. The benefit of these lenders is that their loans usually have lower interest rates.

Invoice factoring or financing companies are also an option to get fast funding for your business. These options are ideal for business owners with lower credit scores since the customer’s credit rating is used to determine eligibility. Still, it can be rather costly and should only be used if other alternatives with more attractive terms are available.

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Bankrate Insight

Before applying for a fast business loan, make sure to watch out for these red flags.

  • Application and other upfront fees. Avoid lenders that demand an upfront payment to let you apply. You might find yourself giving away money for nothing in return.
  • Early repayment penalties. Try to find a loan that doesn’t penalize you for good financial habits and paying it off early.
  • Pushing you to overborrow. Don’t work with a lender that tries to upsell you into getting a larger loan than necessary.

Frequently asked questions about fast business loans

Methodology

Clock Wait
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Credit Card Search
30+
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To choose the best fast business loans, we ensured all loans featured are broadly available across the United States, have a funding time of three days or less and offer an online application process. We then considered features that make loans affordable and accessible to businesses with different characteristics and needs, including interest rates, credit score requirements, minimum annual revenue and fees.
 

We assess lenders using a 22-point scale to measure quality in five key areas: Accessibility, affordability, transparency, customer service and flexibility. Based on the results, lenders are given a rating between 1 and 5:

  • 4.5 or higher: Outstanding
  • 4 to 4.5: Excellent
  • 3.5 to 4: Good
  • 3.5 and under: Average