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Best low-interest business loans in June 2024

Apr 19, 2024
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Business loans can get you the cash you need to start, grow or keep your business up and running. But rising interest rates have increased the cost of borrowing and made it harder for business owners to find affordable financing.

Our top picks for low-interest business loans offer affordable solutions for many types of borrowers. Banks and credit unions will offer the lowest rates but typically only to those with good or excellent credit. That’s why we’ve also selected online lenders who offer affordable business loans to businesses with fair credit and may even be able to help you if you have bad credit

Compare the best low-interest business loans in June 2024

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to determine which low-interest business loan is best for your company. We list our top picks for the best low-interest business loans below, showing who or what type of loan the lender would be best for, plus loan amount and APR ranges to help make deciding easier.

LENDER BEST FOR LOAN AMOUNT APR
Long-term loans Up to $5 million Up to 16.50%
Startups Up to $50,000 8.00% to 13.00% (average)
Secured business loans $250,000 to 10 million Starts at 5.25%
Bad credit $10,000 to $500,000 5.99% to 74.99%
Bank term loans Starts at $10,000 As low as 7.25%
Unsecured line of credit $10,000 to $150,000 10.25% to 18.25%
Fast line of credit Up to $250,000 Starts at 6.20% (simple interest)
Accessible loans $5,000 to $250,000 From 8.49% (simple interest)
Equipment financing Up to $10 million 4.90% to 22.00% (simple interest)
Interest-free microloans $1,000 to $15,000 N/A

A closer look at our top low-interest business loans

There are several factors to consider when choosing a lender for your business loan needs. Some factors to aid in your search are what loan types it offers, requirements you need to meet for approval, where to apply, what fees may be involved and where funding is available. Let’s look at our top lender picks to help you narrow down your options.

SBA 7(a) loans: Best for long-term loans

Overview: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides affordable small business loans with high loan amounts, financing terms as long as 25 years and some of the best business loan rates for long-term loans, capped by the SBA. With multiple SBA 7(a) loan types to choose from, like the SBA Express loan, with a fast-track approval process on loans up to $500,000, or SBA CAPLines, which are lines of credit up to 10 years, most small business owners can find a loan to meet their financing needs.

Who it’s for: Small business owners that need a long-term loan with affordable repayment terms and can afford to wait for funding, as SBA loans can take up to 90 days to receive

SBA microloans: Best for startups

Overview: Brand-new businesses can sometimes struggle to qualify for traditional financing options, especially in underserved communities. SBA microloans up to $50,000 are available with repayment terms of up to six years. Interest rates and lending requirements vary by microlender but typically require collateral and a personal guarantee from the business owner. 

Who it’s for: SBA microloans are best for small businesses that need smaller loan amounts and have struggled to get financing with other lenders.

SMB Compass: Best for secured loans

Overview: SMB Compass offers nine business loan types, including business lines of credit, invoice financing, bridge loans and equipment financing. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $10 million, with interest starting at 5.25 percent. You can prequalify without a hard credit check, and you can access your funds as soon as 24 hours after approval. 

Who it’s for: Business owners who want a secured loan, have been in business for at least a year and have a personal credit score of at least 650. Qualifications and requirements vary by loan type.

Triton Capital: Best for bad credit

Overview: Triton Capital offers working capital, offer financing, SBA loans and equipment loans for small business owners, even those with bad credit who may struggle with getting approved elsewhere. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $250,000, with interest rates starting at 5.99 percent. Triton has simplified the loan process, allowing applicants to go from applying to funding in as little as 48 hours. 

Who it’s for: Startups and business owners with bad credit (a minimum score of 600) who may have been turned down before and can benefit from Triton’s lowest price guarantee and fast funding process.

Bank of America: Best for bank term loans

Overview: Bank of America is one of the oldest banks in the country, offering a wide variety of business loans for different needs, including unsecured lines of credit and term loans that don’t require collateral. Secured term loans have interest rates as low as 7.00%, with loan amounts starting at $25,000. Unsecured term loans start at $10,000 with fixed rates as low as 7.50 percent and repayment terms up to 60 months. Preferred Rewards for Business members can save up to 0.75 percent on their interest rate.

Who it’s for: Bank of America bank terms loans are best for business owners with excellent credit, two years in business and at least $100,00 in yearly revenue.

Wells Fargo: Best for unsecured lines of credit

Overview: Wells Fargo offers two types of unsecured lines of credit, one for businesses that have been open for at least two years and one for new companies. There are no annual fees for new businesses, but established businesses that are new customers can get the annual fee waived in the first year. Rates start as low as prime plus 1.75 percent for established businesses with revolving credit from $10,000 to $150,000. New business owners can borrow $5,000 to $50,000 at rates starting at prime plus 4.50 percent. Approvals come with automatic enrollment in Wells Fargo’s free rewards program. 

Who it’s for: Business owners needing an unsecured line of credit who have a minimum personal credit score of 680 and can provide a personal guarantee.

Bluevine: Best for fast line of credit

Overview: Fintech company Bluevine provides lines of credit with instant access after approval. Business owners will also receive a free Bluevine Business Checking account. Credit lines up to $250,000 are available, with rates starting at 6.20 percent simple interest. Bluevine reports repayment history, helping business owners establish or improve their business credit score to make future lending easier with more favorable terms.

Who it’s for: Business owners wanting a fast-funded business line of credit who have a minimum personal credit score of 625 and annual revenue of $480,000.

Accion Opportunity Fund: Best for accessible loans

Overview: Nonprofit lender Accion Opportunity Fund lends primarily to women, people of color and low-to-moderate income business owners. Accion offers a working capital loan and a truck equipment loan with flexible rates starting at 8.49 percent and loan amounts of $5,000 to $250,000. Accion looks beyond your credit score to determine eligibility. As you repay your loan, Accion Opportunity uses the funds to invest in other small businesses.

Who it’s for: Minority small business owners needing accessible loans who own at least 20 percent of their business, are at least 18, have a minimum of $50,000 in annual sales and have been in business for at least a year. 

Creditfy: Best for equipment financing

Overview: Creditfy offers multiple business financing options, including equipment financing, bridge loans, business term loans and invoice financing. Funding for equipment loans of up to $5 million can occur in as little as 24 hours after approval, with terms of up to seven years and rates as low as 6.49 percent. Full financing without a down payment is available, and Creditfy boasts a 90 percent approval rate. Pre-approval is available without a hard credit check.

Who it’s for: Business owners with bad credit who need an affordable equipment loan with 100% financing.  

Kiva: Best for interest-free microloans

Overview: Kiva is a nonprofit offering small businesses microloans up to $15,000 with no fees or interest. Term lengths range from six months to three years. Rather than requiring a minimum credit score or standard loan requirements, applicants crowdsource funding from family and friends and then a wider range of lenders. 

Who it’s for: Business owners living in the U.S. who are at least 18, have strong community support and have small funding needs should consider applying for an interest-free microloan from Kiva.

What are low-interest business loans and how do they work?

Low-interest business loans offer financing to business owners with lower-than-average interest rates. This helps keep borrowing costs low and makes it easier to pay down debt. 

Loans with the lowest interest rates are reserved for businesses with excellent credit and a proven track record of generating revenue and maintaining sufficient cash flow. Depending on the type of loan, businesses with the best qualifications can get a loan with rates as low as 5.25 percent. 

New businesses and business owners with bad credit likely won’t see rates this low but can take steps to secure as low a rate as possible. This includes providing collateral and generating enough income to cover your debts.

How does a low-interest business loan work?

Applying for a low-interest business loan is just like applying for any other loan. You’ll fill out an application and provide details about your business. The lender reviews that information and makes a decision about whether to approve your loan or business line of credit.

If you’re approved, you’ll get the funds and will need to repay the loan (including interest and fees) on a regular basis. The main difference is that some low-interest loans may have stricter credit requirements than loans with higher rates.

Requirements for a low-interest business loan

Each lender is free to set its own eligibility requirements for business loans. To find the best low-interest loan for you and to avoid getting denied, make sure you meet a lender's eligibility before applying. Common requirements relate to:

  • Monthly or annual revenue
  • Time in business
  • Credit score

For example, it’s not unusual to see a requirement of six months in business and a 600+ credit score. To get a low-interest loan, the requirements may be higher, such as two or more years in business, annual revenue of $250,000 and personal credit scores of 700 or higher.

Types of low-interest business loan

There are many different types of low-interest business loans, each with pros and cons. Some may have stricter requirements, while others may have faster funding. It’s important to consider your company’s needs before you select a type of loan.

Pros and cons of low-interest business loans

Before you apply for a low-interest business loan, consider the pros and cons.
 

Pros:

  • Low cost. Low-interest loans help you save money since you spend less on interest. 
  • Access to extra cash. Borrowing low-interest money can help you pay for unexpected costs or expand your business more quickly.

Cons:

  • Harder to qualify. Some low-interest options will have strict eligibility requirements. This may include good-to-excellent credit, two years’ time in business and higher annual revenue requirements. 
  • Collateral requirements. To get the best interest rates, you’ll typically need to offer collateral.

Who should get a low-interest business loan? 

Anyone who can qualify for a low-interest loan should look into these low-cost options. They’re typically reserved for established businesses with strong revenues and an established history of paying their debts. New companies whose owners have great personal credit may also qualify for a cheap business loan.

Even if you don’t have the best credit, it’s important to try and find the most affordable loan option available. Make sure to do your research and always compare multiple lenders to see who offers the best rates and terms for you.

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Bankrate Insight

As you’re exploring low-interest business loans, watch out for these red flags:

  • Upfront fees. Avoid paying application or other fees before your loan is approved. You might pay a fee and never hear from the lender again.
  • Early repayment penalties. If there’s a chance you want to pay your loan off early and save on interest costs, make sure to avoid loans that penalize you for good financial habits.
  • Lack of clarity. If you have questions about terms and conditions and a lender isn’t helpful, get help from an attorney or look elsewhere before signing.
  • Pressure tactics. Look for lenders that give you time to compare offers and don’t push you to make a decision before you’re ready. 

Alternatives to low-interest business loans 

If you need cash for your company but are not able to qualify for the best rates, consider these other options, which may be a more affordable option or have different features that are a better fit for you.

Where to get a low-interest business loan

If you’re looking for a low-interest business loan, consider these sources.

Banks and credit unions

Banks and credit unions are a popular choice for low-interest loans. According to the 2023 Small Business Credit Survey, low-risk borrowers were more likely to apply for business loans through banks. Even though the application process is slower than online lenders, the lower rates make them more appealing. Applicants were also more satisfied with their experience applying with a small bank or credit union instead of an online lender. 

Online lenders

Business owners who don’t qualify for the best rates at banks and credit unions may still be able to get a low-interest loan through an online lender. These lenders tend to have faster and more streamlined applications and can fund your account in one to three days, which is typically much faster than banks and credit unions. 

Community Development Financial Institutions

Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDIs) are special entities that focus on a broad base of low-income communities, such as urban or rural areas, Native American and other underserved minority communities. If you’re running a business in an eligible community, they can be a great way to get a low-cost loan or business grant.

Minority Depository Institutions

Like CDFIs, Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) help communities that have historically lacked adequate access to financial opportunities found elsewhere. But MDI’s are institutions that are 51% or more owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals” and serve minority communities, including Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American and Asian American communities.

MDIs may have programs that offer low-interest business loans for minorities and other underserved communities. They can also be a good source of SBA loans, as a 2019 FDIC study found that MDIs originate more SBA loans to borrowers in these disadvantaged communities.

SBA lenders

SBA lenders can be banks, credit unions, CDFIs or MDIs. They’re supposed to help make loans more accessible since the SBA backs a large percentage of the loan, which makes the loans less risky for lenders.

Frequently asked questions about low-interest loans

How we chose our best low-interest business loan lenders

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To choose the best low-interest business loans, we researched banks that offered low rates for term loans, business lines of credit and other loan types. We also looked for lenders with relaxed eligibility requirements and programs that are specifically geared toward helping borrowers with lower credit scores. We also considered features, including interest rates, whether the loans are secured or unsecured, minimum annual revenue and fees. 

Additionally, lenders are reviewed using a 22-point scale. We 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