A closer look at our top business loans
Credibly working capital loan: Best for bad credit
Overview: Credibly is a direct lender for working capital and merchant cash advance loans, offering additional products to partners The company focuses on small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses may be funded in as little as 24 hours following approval.
Why Credibly is the best for bad credit: Credibly has a minimum credit score of only 550. The company doesn’t just look at credit scores, but also weighs other data like bank statement information.
Who Credibly is good for: Businesses that have generally good revenue but have encountered short-term funding needs. Businesses that plan to repay their loan early may benefit from a 20 percent discount on their remaining factor, though conditions apply.
Triton Capital equipment loan: Best for equipment loans
Overview: Triton Capital states it’s helped thousands of businesses in over 175 industries acquire needed equipment. Its online application is short and simple. This loan helps businesses to access funds for large-scale equipment and technology, so the annual revenue requirement is higher, at $350,000.
Why Triton Capital is the best for equipment loans: Triton has a large loan amount range of $10,000 to $500,000, so it could fund anything from a point-of-sale system to larger-scale manufacturing equipment. Though Triton Capital doesn’t state a minimum time in business, a representative told Bankrate that the company is “typically able to offer equipment loans to startup businesses” — a rarity for this type of loan.
Who Triton Capital is good for: Startups that require a major equipment investment to get their business up and running.
Quickbridge small business loans: Best for term loans
Overview: Quickbridge, which National Funding owns, was founded in 2011 to provide working capital to small businesses that can’t get approved by traditional lenders. Quickbridge offers term loans up to $500,000 that can be funded as quickly as 24 hours after application.
Why Quickbridge is the best for term loans: Quickbridge has a simple application process, and borrowers can receive funds within days. The company also has short-term loans and offers an early payoff discount that could help you save money.
Who Quickbridge is good for: Startups that need fast cash. The company advertises a particular specialty in funding startups in restaurant, healthcare, trucking and real estate industries.
Fundbox line of credit: Best for fast funding
Overview: Fundbox has been around since 2013. It’s an embedded working capital platform for small businesses. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $150,000, making it a good source for a possible microloan. The company does not use traditional interest rates but instead an amortized weekly fee.This loan is unsecured.
Why Fundbox is the best for fast funding: The application is online, and approval can come in as little as three minutes. You can apply and draw funds from Fundbox’s app. The time to funds is also listed as soon as the next business day.
Who Fundbox is best for: Startups who need a small cash injection within a day or two.
Fora Financial revenue advance: Best for working capital
Overview: Fora Financial started in 2008 as Paramount Merchant Funding. A key feature of the revenue advance is the low credit score needed. Revenue advances allow you to borrow within the loan amount range against future revenue. Terms on the loan are variable. Payback works as a fixed percentage of daily or weekly receipts. You can also increase the amount borrowed after you pay back 60 percent of the original loan.
Why Fora Financial is the best for working capital: A standout feature is the loan’s range, going from just $5,000 up to $1.4 million. And if you want to pay your loan off early, Fora doesn't charge prepayment penalties and even offers prepayment discounts.
Who Fora Financial is best for: Startups with healthy revenue and big plans to expand.
Kiva microloan: Best for community support
Overview: Kiva is an international nonprofit founded in 2005 in San Francisco. Its website states that 1.7 billion people around the world don’t have access to a bank. To serve those entrepreneurs, Kiva offers zero-interest loans for up to $15,000 and an unusual crowdfunding model.
Why Kiva is the best for community support: Kiva states that 2.5 million people globally have raised over $1 billion on Kiva. Because Kiva requires no credit check, this could be a good option for businesses with poor or limited credit history but high visibility and grassroots support.
Who Kiva is best for: Small online businesses that only need a few thousand dollars for a short-term project that can improve their operations.
Types of startup loans
Most types of business loans are available to startups, so long as you can find a lender that will work with you. Types of startup loans that may particularly interest you include:
Line of credit
Business lines of credit include set credit limits and draw periods. You can borrow, pay back the loan and then borrow again during the draw period.
One plus: You can take out what you need in credit limits while only paying interest on what you borrow. It can also help businesses that make frequent purchases.
This is financing for technology and equipment you may need. It could be anything from a computer system to manufacturing equipment. These loans offer competitive interest rates and the loan amount is set to cover the equipment you need.
However, they tend to be secured by the property you buy, so you could lose that property if you default on the loan.
Microloans are small loans meant to help a business get off the ground. Interest rates tend to be lower, but microloans might not be a good option if you need more than $50,000.
This popular loan type is backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans come in various subtypes based on your needs, like microloans or real estate purchases.
However, they’re more difficult to get approved for, and the application and funding process can take longer than other small business loan types.
Where to get a startup loan
You have a few options for getting startup loans. The most traditional lender is a bank or credit union, but you should investigate all your options to find the best rate.
But banks may have more stringent requirements, like higher credit scores or time in business requirements. But building a relationship with a bank or credit union early on may help a business get approved for other lending products later. Approval may also take longer. However, you can often go into a physical office and ask questions or do in-person transactions with a traditional bank.
The other main option is to go through an online lender. These services often have mobile or web applications for managing your loans. These lenders often advertise easy applications and fast approvals. Because of these features, online lenders can be a more convenient option for small businesses and startups. Research the lender’s legitimacy before applying, though.
Some nonprofits administer microloan programs, such as SBA microloans. These lenders may take a while to process applications.
To decide which type of lender holds the most promise, consider:
- Your company’s time in business
- Your credit score
- How fast your company needs money