Skip to Main Content

Best short-term business loans in July 2024

Jun 04, 2024
Bankrate logo The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict editoral integritythis post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for how we make money.

Small business owners may face financial issues at some point, such as running low on cash or needing some additional funds to stock up before the busy season. Unlike long-term loans, which are usually for large amounts and best suited for major purchases or expansion, short-term business loans are designed for these smaller needs.

We looked for some of the best short-term business loans, all with minimum repayment periods of 24 months or less. We selected these options based on factors like their eligibility requirements and overall cost. You’ll find lenders that offer fast business loans, help startups and may even help business owners with credit scores as low as 500. You’ll also find guidance about how much a short-term business loan costs, when they’re worth pursuing and how to apply.


Filter results

Close X

Best for bad credit


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


Best for merchant cash advances


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


Best for secured loans


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


Best for fast funding


Loan amount
$5k- $750K
Term: 6 - 12 months
Interest rate
Starting at 30.00% APR
Fastest funding
1 business day
Apply nowArrow Right


Best for early payoff discount


Loan amount
$10k- $500K
Term: 4 - 18 months
Interest rate
Factor Rates Starting at 1.1%
Fastest funding
1 business day
Apply nowArrow Right

on partner site

Best for flexible funding


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

on partner site

Best for established businesses


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


Best for invoice factoring


Loan amount
Up to $30m
Interest rate
Starting at 1.00% discount rate
Fastest funding
1 business day
Read our reviewArrow Right

on Bankrate

Best for building business credit


Loan amount
$6k- $100K
Term: 12 - 12 months
Interest rate
Starting at 29.90% APR
Fastest funding
1 business day
Apply nowArrow Right


Best for lines of credit


Loan amount
$2k- $250K
Interest rate
Fastest funding
Not disclosed
Apply nowArrow Right


Compare the best short-term business loans in July 2024

See the best short-term business lenders side by side, along with what they’re best for and their loan features in the table below. 

Merchant cash advance 550 $5,000 to $400,000 3 to 15 months
Bad credit 500 $5,000 to $1.5 million Up to 16 months
Secured loan 660 $25,000 to $500,000 6 to 84 months
Fast funding 600 $10,000 to $750,000 6 or 12 months
Early payoff discount 660 Up to $500,000 4 to 18 months
Flexible funding 660 Up to $500,000 Up to 18 months
Established businesses 625 $5,000 to $250,000 6 or 12 months
Invoice factoring 600 Up to $30 million Invoices up to 90-day terms
Building business credit 625 $6,000 to $100,000 12, 18 or 24 months
Line of credit Minimum FICO score of at least 660* at the time of application $2,000 to $250,000 6, 12, 18 or 24 months

A closer look at our top short-term business loans

After comparing lenders, take a closer look at them here to help you choose the right option for your business. We’ll review what each lender is best for, when to consider them and any standout features that can make your decision to select a lender easier.

Credibly: Best for merchant cash advances

Overview: Credibly is a fintech lender offering a variety of loan choices either directly or through lending partners. As a direct lender, Credibly offers working capital loans and merchant cash advances. Business lines of credit and long-term loans are available through partners, allowing Credibly to offer a wider variety than other online lenders. 

Fora Financial: Best for bad credit

Overview: Fora Financial is a short-term lender offering one of the highest loan sizes available for a fintech lender. Its loans span from $5,000 to $1.5 million, helping small businesses in a range of situations. You can get either a short-term loan or a revenue advance, akin to a merchant cash advance, from Fora Financial. Its loan options are limited, but merchant cash advances are hard to find in the market compared to other business loans.

Funding Circle: Best for secured loan

Overview: Funding Circle offers term loans, lines of credit and SBA loans. It welcomes businesses with personal credit scores of 660 or higher and 630 for SBA loans — one of the lowest credit requirements for this type of loan. You’re also eligible to receive a loan with just $50,000 in annual revenue. Most lenders set annual revenue requirements at least $100,000 or higher.

Backd: Best for fast funding

Overview: Backd specializes in working capital loans and lines of credit for small business borrowers. It’s lenient with its credit and business requirements to apply, similar to other online lenders. Despite its leniency, it doesn’t hold back with how much you can borrow through the lender. Its line of credit goes up to $750,000, and its working capital loan caps at $2 million, well outpacing the $250,000 to $500,000 you’ll find elsewhere. 

National Funding: Best for early payoff discount

Overview: National Funding’s specialty is short-term loans and equipment financing with terms up to five years. Its term loans offer some of the shortest terms available, starting at four months to help you pay off your loan as quickly as possible.

QuickBridge: Best for flexible funding

Overview: QuickBridge prides itself on providing short-term funding solutions to a variety of industries and small businesses, from a small-town plumber to a large corporation. QuickBridge offers loans with terms of up to 18 months, which is common for short-term lenders. Unlike traditional bank lenders, Quickbridge works with startups and borrowers with fair personal credit scores of 660 or higher.

Bluevine: Best for established businesses

Overview: Bluevine focuses on business checking accounts and business lines of credit with credit limits up to $250,000. It also offers term loans through its lending partner. With its business line of credit, you get a low starting rate of 6.20 percent simple interest. Though simple interest doesn’t factor in additional loan fees, Bluevine doesn’t charge origination or prepayment fees.

eCapital: Best for invoice factoring

Overview: Alternative financing company eCapital has been offering invoice factoring, asset-based lending and equipment refinancing since 2006. Many small businesses that don’t qualify for conventional business loans need to turn to alternative lending, but these types of loans aren’t on every lender’s product shelf. The lender is also known to offer the highest loan sizes, ranging from $250,000 to $50 million across all its products, according to a spokesperson.

OnDeck: Best for building business credit

Overview: OnDeck focuses its lending products on short-term loans and business lines of credit, offering loans from $5,000 to $250,000. Though loan options and amounts come standard, OnDeck can fund your loan within one business day or even the same day if you apply early enough. Plus, you may qualify for OnDeck’s prepayment benefit, waiving any remaining interest if you repay your loan early.

American Express Business Blueprint™: Best for lines of credit

Overview: American Express Business Blueprint™ specializes in its accessible business line of credit. You can qualify for its credit line with $3,000 in monthly revenue, one of the lowest requirements among lenders. You also need a minimum FICO score of 660* at the time of the application. By comparison, bank lenders often require a FICO score of 670 or higher.

* The required FICO score may be higher based on your relationship with American Express, credit history, and other factors. All businesses are unique and are subject to approval and review.

What is a short-term business loan?

Short-term business loans are like any other business loan, just with a shorter repayment period. They’re often referred to as working capital loans. Typically, the lender will want you to repay the loan in three to 18 months, but you may find terms up to 24 months.

Due to their short repayment terms, some loans require weekly or even daily payments rather than monthly payments. Before committing, make sure your business can keep up with the repayment schedule.

Secured vs. unsecured short-term business loan

Repayment terms stay relatively the same between secured and unsecured short-term business loans. But with secured business loans, some lenders offer higher loan amounts, lower interest rates or a better chance of approval for bad credit borrowers. That’s because a secured short-term loan is backed by business assets as collateral, guaranteeing to the lender that your business can repay. 

An unsecured short-term loan works well if you don’t want to tie assets directly to the loan. But keep in mind that many loans require a personal guarantee anyway, which guarantees the loan using your personal assets. You and your business will also need a solid credit profile, such as a personal credit score of 670 or higher and growing revenue, to qualify.

How does a short-term loan work?

Short-term small business loans include everything from term loans and lines of credit to invoice factoring and merchant cash advances. You’ll need good-to-excellent credit for the best rates. But there are short-term bad credit business loans tailored for business owners who are still in the credit-building phase. These loans may have loan amounts of $100,000 or less and cost more in interest rates and fees compared to business loans for business owners with good-to-excellent credit scores.

You can get short-term business loans at banks and credit unions, but it can take days and possibly weeks to get approved and funded. Online lenders typically offer fast approval and funding.

You’ll start by visiting the lender’s website, where you can typically submit some information about your company and see if you prequalify for their product. Prequalification often requires only a soft credit pull.

If you’re approved, the lender will provide information about the next steps, but you can usually expect to get access to the funds within several days. 

Depending on the lender, you may need to make daily, weekly or monthly repayments. Most expect you to pay your short-term loan back within six months to a couple of years.

Requirements for a short-term business loan

Lenders have different eligibility requirements for short-term financing, but in short, they want to feel confident that you’re going to repay what you borrow. Because of this, they’ll often require a combination of the following: 

  • Length of time in business: Typically, six months or more.
  • Annual revenue: Some lenders let you apply for a short-term business loan with just $50,000 in annual revenue, but more commonly, you’ll need at least $100,000 in yearly revenue.
  • Credit score: Most short-term loans require you to have a personal credit score over 600, but some lenders have looser standards.
  • Personal guarantee: Since these types of loans are often targeted at businesses in need of fast access to cash, many lenders require a personal guarantee to secure the loan.

Before applying for a short-term business loan, you’ll need to have some important information and key documents ready to share with your lender.

Types of short-term business loans

Some common types of short-term small business loans include:

Pros and cons of short-term business loans

Short-term financing can get your company through a rough patch or unexpected expense, but there are also some downsides to tapping into this type of funding. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of short-term business loans.


  • Fast funding. Whether you need money to cover payroll, inventory or other urgent expenses, many short-term business loans are funded within a few days.
  • Flexible financing. Short-term loans often have flexible financing options, giving a borrower a variety of options for financing — from weekly to monthly repayments and repayment terms ranging from weeks to two years. 
  • Simple application process. These loans are usually offered by online lenders, who let you submit your application through their website. The entire process takes just a few minutes in some cases.
  • Easier to qualify for than some other business loans. It depends on the specific loan, but some short-term small business loans accept applicants with bad credit. Others work with startups that haven’t yet established a track record of business success.


  • Smaller loan amounts. Short-term loan amounts from online lenders tend to have smaller limits than longer term loans. Expect most short-term loans to have a maximum borrowing limit of $100,000, whereas long-term business loans often have maximum amounts in the millions.
  • Rates and fees can be steep. Lenders know that the companies applying for these types of loans are often desperate for cash. As a result, they may charge high interest rates or origination fees in exchange for the speed and convenience that they offer.
  • Tight repayment schedules. Since short-term business loans need to be repaid faster than other types of loans, you’ll have to make more frequent payments. Weekly or daily payments are common.
  • Can create a cycle of debt that’s hard to overcome. If you’re focusing on repaying your loan every day or week, you might not be able to put as much money toward other debts or business needs.

Who should get a short-term loan?

Consider a short-term business loan if: 

  • You’re facing a budget shortfall. A short-term loan can give you an infusion of cash if you need funds to buy inventory or cover emergencies.
  • You want to take advantage of an opportunity. Sometimes, a great deal falls into your lap and it could be a boon for your company, if only you could afford it. Imagine you own a restaurant and the chance to open a new location in a popular area appears, but you need cash tomorrow. A short-term loan could help.
  • You don’t have collateral. Many short-term loans don’t require collateral, making them an option for newer companies or those without significant assets.

But short-term business loans can be expensive and, in some cases, dangerous for your company’s future. You might want to avoid them in these situations:

  • You have long-term cash flow issues.  If you’re facing a more long-term or repeated problem with your company’s cash flow, a loan will only make it worse by saddling you with payments. 
  • You can’t find a reasonable rate. Since most short-term loans are accessible to startups and borrowers with fair or bad credit, they come with high interest rates.

How much do short-term business loans cost?

The cost of a short-term business loan can be higher than other types of loans. Some short-term loans use a factor rate rather than interest. To determine how much you’ll owe using factor rates, multiply your loan amount by the factor rate. For example, if you borrow $10,000 at a factor rate of 1.15, you’ll have to repay $11,500.

Factor rates are common for high-risk loans like merchant cash advances and business lines of credit open to borrowers with fair or bad credit.

Typical business interest rates range from 5.00 percent to over 84.00 percent APR, depending on the type of lender and your company’s creditworthiness. Factor rates can range from 1.09 to 1.50 or more. To ensure you’re getting the most affordable loan possible, make sure you convert loans with factor rates to interest rates so you can better compare your options and see how much more expensive factor rates can be.

Other costs include business loan fees like origination fees and early repayment fees, so be sure to read the fine print to determine the full cost of a short-term business loan.

Alternatives to short-term business loans

While short-term financing serves a specific purpose, there are also other options to consider. Some won’t let you access the funds as quickly as short-term loans, but each may have advantages that could make them a better choice. Alternatives to short-term business loans include:

Where to get a short-term business loan

Depending on your credit history and lender requirements, you may have an easier time getting a short-term small business loan with online lenders rather than banks or credit unions. On the plus side, online lenders tend to have more relaxed requirements, more streamlined application processes and faster funding times than traditional financial institutions. But loan amounts are usually smaller and interest rates may be higher.

Banks and credit unions sometimes offer short-term loans, typically term loans or lines of credit. Bank of America and PNC Bank are two banks that offer both, making them a good choice if you are an established business that doesn't need fast funding. 

How to manage a short-term business loan

While you won’t have to manage a short-term loan as long as other business loans, you’ll need to stay on top of loan payments. For one, short-term loans can come with aggressive repayments, such as a higher payment or rapid schedule like daily or weekly payments. To make all payments, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your business’s cash flow and adjust as needed based on current revenue. 

Some short-term loans also work differently than standard business loans. To manage these loans, you should gain a solid understanding of how your particular loan’s fees work. For example, invoice factoring charges a fee based on a percentage of unpaid invoices you used to gain funding. Factoring companies may charge it as a one-time fee, or the percentage may increase the longer your invoices go unpaid. 

No matter which short-term loan you choose, keep up with repayments by setting up automatic withdrawals from your bank account. And if you think you’ll miss payments or you’re running into hard times, be upfront with your lender so that you can work out a plan. Lenders could delay payments for a short time or restructure the payments to fit your current finances.


Bankrate Insight

If you see these red flags when looking for a short-term business loan, consider going with a different lender. 

  • Upfront payments. Watch out for lenders that ask you to hand over any cash (including application fees) before you’re approved for a loan.
  • Penalties for early repayment. If you’re able to pay off your debt earlier than you anticipated, you should be able to  — without a fee or penalty.
  • Rushed process. Taking out a loan can have major implications for your business, so you should never be coerced into accepting a loan or taking out more than you need. 

Frequently asked questions about short-term business loans

How we choose the best short-term loan lenders

Bankrate's trusted small business loan industry expertise


years in business


lenders reviewed


loan features weighed


data points collected

To choose the best short-term business loans, we ensured all loans featured are broadly available across the United States, have a minimum term of no longer than 12 months and offer a minimum funding speed of fewer than five days. We then considered features that make loans affordable and accessible to businesses with different characteristics, including interest rates, loan amounts, credit score requirements, minimum annual revenue and fees. We selected a variety of loan types to best serve businesses with differing needs.
When evaluating lenders, we use a 22-point scale to measure quality in five key areas: