Key takeaways

  • Both Lendio and Credibly offer similar types of business loans
  • Lendio is best for startup business loans
  • Credibly is best for flexible repayment terms

Both Lendio and Credibly offer a range of business loans and may accept businesses with lower credit scores. Lendio is more transparent about the interest rates, terms and loan amounts across all its loans and lending partners. They may also charge less in borrowing costs because it charges an annual percentage rate (APR) rather than the factor rate charged by Credibly. That said, Credibly may be the better option if you can’t qualify for favorable interest rates or terms elsewhere and prefer to work with a direct lender.

Lendio vs. Credibly at a glance

While both lenders offer similar loan amounts, Lendio offers smaller loan sizes. Lendio and Credibly are also top-rated based on their Bankrate score — and for good reason, since they both offer a variety of business loans suitable for different funding purposes.

Only Credibly makes our list of the best small business lenders, though. Take a look at each lender’s loan offerings and terms:

Lendio Credibly
Bankrate Score 4.6 4.6
Best for Startup business loans Alternative to traditional lenders and flexible terms
Number of loan products 7 7
Loan amounts $1,000 to $5 million $5,000 to $10 million
Interest rates From 4.63% APR From 1.11 factor rate
Term lengths Up to 25 years 3 months to 10 years
Personal credit score 500 for merchant cash advances<br />600 for conventional loans 550
Minimum time in business 6 months 6 months
Minimum business revenue $50,000 $300,000
Bankrate insight

An APR is the total percentage of interest you’ll pay over one year, along with some loan fees rolled in. A factor rate is calculated by multiplying the entire loan by the rate given, 1.11 in this case.

While a factor rate seems more simplified, it’s usually charged as a fee upfront. That means you’ll pay the entire fee even if you pay off the loan early. Factor rates also don’t weave in other loan fees like an APR.

Lendio business loans

Lendio stands out from most online business lenders because it has one of the most extensive lender networks available. You can apply for business loans from term loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing or merchant cash advances. Looking for an SBA loan? Lendio partners have you covered by offering:

Plus, while different lenders may charge different interest rates, Lendio publishes low starting interest rates in the 4.63 percent to 8 percent range, depending on which business loan and lender you’re looking at. The one downside is that its SBA loans and term loans require at least two years in business.

If you have bad credit, even as a business owner, Lendio has options that can help you. You can apply for its merchant cash advance with a 500 personal credit score. If you have a fair 600 personal credit score, you could go with its SBA loans or apply for its business line of credit.

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  • 75+ partner lenders
  • Accepts bad credit
  • Low interest rates
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  • Strict time in business for some loans
  • Doesn't offer its own loans
  • May need extra paperwork

Credibly business loans

Credibly offers a spread of loan choices, providing working capital loans and merchant cash advances directly. It also offers long-term loans, lines of credit, equipment financing, invoice factoring and SBA loans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide much information about its equipment or SBA loans, and some loans may be offered through lending partners.

You can qualify for a business loan with a bad personal credit score of 550. With that score, you could get a short-term loan or merchant cash advance. Its other loans require fair to strong credit of at least 650 or 700. Credibly also prefers small businesses with strong credentials to be approved for a loan.

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  • Variety of loans
  • Direct lender and has loan partners
  • May accept bad credit
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  • Average loan sizes
  • Potentially high fees
  • High revenue requirement

How to choose between Lendio and Credibly

Lendio and Credibly have similar types of loans, and both have minimum requirements that accept bad credit. Yet, Lendio still comes out ahead as it allows bad or fair credit across most of its loans. Credibly prefers strong candidates with high business revenue and longer time in business in their markets.

Lendio also showcases an APR for its partners’ loans, suggesting that its loans may cost less than a loan through Credibly. Credibly charges factor rates and doesn’t advertise a prepayment discount for paying off your loan early. That said, you might choose one over the other in these instances:

Choose Lendio for startup business loans

Lendio’s lending partners offer some of the most lenient credit and time in business requirements. Their laidback loan criteria can help startups with four months’ experience find small business financing to keep them running and growing. Lendio partners also extend a business line of credit to businesses with six months’ experience or equipment financing if you have at least one year in business.

Lendio is also lenient in the credit department. It can offer merchant cash advances with a personal credit score of 500 or a business line of credit with a 600 personal credit score minimum.

Credibly may accept a 550 credit score with its short-term loan or merchant cash advance. But, Credibly prefers small businesses with at least a 675 FICO score, $540,000 in annual revenue and three years in business. These standards are much higher than typical for an online lender. Credibly also prefers working with contractors, health practitioners, repair shops or businesses in the electrical and restaurant industries.

Choose Credibly for flexible loan terms

Credibly is a good choice if you’re looking for flexibility in loan terms. Credibly’s loan terms max out at 15 months for its working capital loan and merchant cash advance, 24 months for its line of credit and up to 10 years for longer term loans through lending partners. Credibly also has a wider range of loan amounts, which offers businesses more flexibility for funding and repayments.

Lendio offers similar terms for its lending products. But, since Lendio only works with a partner network, what you qualify for will depend on each lender, which could limit your options.


If Lendio or Credibly don’t offer the small business financing you need, you can look into Fundible, an online lender with a variety of business loans that caters to bad credit borrowers.

Fundible has been known to take personal credit scores as low as 450, offering limited loan options for this group. You can get a term loan, line of credit, equipment financing, bridge loan, invoice financing or SBA loans through this lender.

Another lender to look into is SMB Compass, which offers one of the widest varieties of alternative loans in online lending. Here, you can get invoice financing, purchase order financing or asset-based financing, among other conventional loan choices.

If you’re looking for a bank with plenty of loans and leniency toward startups, you could try Bank of America. The traditional bank offers a credit-builder line of credit that you can use to build credit until you’re eligible for one of its other loans.

But don’t overlook getting a business credit card. Business credit cards are useful as you can access credit at any time. It’s also an interest-free option if you pay off the card in full each month. The best business credit cards also often offer rewards, cash back or introductory APRs.

SBA loans

Both Credibly and Lendio offer SBA loans, which are loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. Approved lenders can choose from a long list of SBA loans it can offer, but most stick with SBA 7(a) and 504 loans.

Some lenders, like Lendio, offer SBA microloans, which can help underserved business owners receive funding up to $50,000.

You can also find non-profit or mission-based lenders like Community Development Centers (CDCs) offering Community Advantage loans. These are a form of 7(a) loans offering loan sizes up to $350,000 to minority or low-income borrowers.

Bottom line

Lendio and Credibly are online lenders offering similar loan options. The main difference is that Lendio offers loans through an extensive marketplace of over 75 lenders.

Lendio is also more lenient with loan requirements, and its lenders may charge less in borrowing costs than Credibly. But, Credibly comes close to Lendio in most categories except eligibility requirements.

Frequently asked questions

  • The best financing option will depend on your business’s financial status and funding needs. If you need regular access to credit, a business credit card or business line of credit may be the right choice. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider the other types of financing. For example, term loans are best used when you know you can work the payments into your budget until the loan is paid off. If you have significant assets, you might want to look into asset-based, inventory, purchase order or invoice financing.
  • The cheapest way to finance a company is to use your personal savings or extra business profits as financing. This way, you won’t have to worry about repaying a third party or interest and fees. You can also try fundraising or applying for a business grant to obtain funds you don’t have to repay. Keep in mind that debt financing can help you fund a project quickly, allowing faster growth.
  • Yes, you can achieve an SBA loan with a 500 credit score, but you may be limited in the types of SBA loans. SBA microloans and Community Advantage loans often lower the minimum criteria to help disadvantaged businesses. Yet other types of SBA loans may have higher requirements, such as a 670 personal credit score or higher for SBA 7(a), 504 and other loans.