Skip to Main Content

SmartBiz small business loans: 2024 Review

Updated Dec 19, 2023

Bankrate logo

The Bankrate promise

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .

At a glance

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down
Rating: 3.1 stars out of 5
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
Customer experience
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
How Bankrate Scores work Arrow Down


SmartBiz is a business loan marketplace that works with bank partners to offer SBA loans, term loans, lines of credit and alternative financing at competitive interest rates. It’s served over 230,000 small business owners with fair-to-excellent credit.

Lender Details

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount


  • Rates

    Interest rate

    6.99%-35.30% APR

  • Clock Wait

    Term lengths

    12 months to 10 years

  • Dollar

    Min. annual revenue


  • Business

    Min. time in business

    2 years

Who SmartBiz is best for

If you have fair-to-excellent credit and are in the market for an SBA loan under $500,000, SmartBiz is an ideal loan marketplace where you can find one. It partners with banks to offer loans and uses its own online platform to streamline the application process.

SmartBiz is also dedicated to serving underserved businesses. Some 60 percent of loans approved through SmartBiz have gone to women, veterans and minority businesses

Who SmartBiz may not be best for

SmartBiz’s network of partner lenders doesn’t work with startups or businesses needing small amounts of funding. The loan sizes available to get prequalified start at $25,000. If you need to cover small business expenses, you may need to look at other lenders that offer a wider range of loan sizes.

SmartBiz: in the details

SmartBiz pros and cons


  • Checkmark

    Specializes in SBA loans

  • Checkmark

    Competitive interest rates

  • Checkmark

    Helps underserved communities


  • High closing fees

  • Can't apply for all loans online

  • No short-term business loans

Business loan types offered

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $30,000 to $500,000
  • Terms: Up to 10 years
  • APR: 11.25% to 12.25%

SmartBiz SBA loan overview

SmartBiz partners with banks to provide SBA loans, using its online platform to improve the efficiency of processing a loan known for slow approvals.

To get matched with an SBA lender through SmartBiz, business owners need a personal credit score above 650, or 675 for commercial real estate loans. These are common lender requirements for SBA loans, but this criteria pushes some small businesses out of the running. 

It does accept businesses with as little as $50,000 in annual revenue, which is a rare and lenient allowance for any business loan. 

Depending on the bank, you could get charged up to $2,500 for an application fee and $450 for closing costs. These fees could add significant borrowing costs to your business loan. 

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $30,000 to $350,000 
  • Terms: 2 to 5 years
  • APR: from 9.99%

SmartBiz business term loan overview

Small businesses that have been around for at least two years are eligible to prequalify for term loans with SmartBiz. Most lenders in its network are looking for a good credit score and steady cash flow to be deemed creditworthy. 

SmartBiz doesn’t specify what it means by “good credit score,” though many lenders consider a personal credit score of 670 or higher good. 

Unlike other online marketplaces, though, you won’t be offered a short-term business loan. Many online lenders offer terms of six to 24 months, but SmartBiz sticks with two- to five-year terms.

If you’re approved for funding, you’ll be charged a 3 percent fee for the lender referral and 3 percent loan packaging fee. These fees are higher, especially compared to lenders that only charge origination fees between 1 percent and 3 percent. 

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $25,000 to $150,000
  • Terms: from 12 months
  • APR: 15.30 to 35.30%

SmartBiz business line of credit overview

You could qualify for a business line of credit with a credit limit up to $150,000. This isn’t the highest loan amount you’ll find for lines of credit. Many lenders go up to $250,000 or higher, but it’s a great fit for small businesses that don’t need large loan amounts. 

SmartBiz may be able to match you with a line of credit, even if you have little time in business or fair-to-bad credit. It doesn’t give specifics on what would help you get approved or disqualify you. But the marketplace encourages those with subprime credit to apply. For reference, many lenders consider a personal credit score under 670 to be subprime credit. 

There’s no fee to withdraw funds, and you can make interest-only payments for 12 months if you need payment flexibility. The downer is that you’ll pay a 6 percent origination fee and $750 in closing costs. 

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $30,000 to $500,000
  • Terms: 24 to 60 months
  • APR: from 6.99%

SmartBiz custom financing overview

SmartBiz’s mission is to connect you with a lender and a loan that meets you where your business is at. If you’re a new business without much revenue coming in, you may be able to find a suitable business loan or alternative financing.  

Do you qualify? 

Since SmartBiz is a loan marketplace, the minimum requirements for getting a loan are set by its lending partners. It states that most loans offered through its network need a minimum personal credit score of 640 and at least two years in business.

To get an SBA loan through SmartBiz, your business will need to meet these qualifications:

  • Personal FICO score of 650
  • FICO score of 675 for real estate
  • 2 years in business
  • Annual revenue of $50,000 to $5 million 

But SmartBiz is less detailed about what’s required for other business loan options. At a glance, SmartBiz could match you with a loan if you fit these general descriptions:

  • Term loans: 2 years in business, good credit and steady revenue
  • Business lines of credit: Business owners with subprime credit can apply
  • Custom financing: Startups and low-revenue businesses may be able to find options

What we like and what we don’t like

SmartBiz is one of the few online marketplaces that lets you prequalify for an SBA loan, and it boasts a speedy application process compared to other SBA lenders. But its lenders charge a slew of high fees that other business lenders may not charge.

What we like

  • Specializes in SBA loans. SmartBiz puts a priority on helping small business owners get SBA loans through an efficient application process. 
  • Competitive starting rates. Its network of lenders offers interest rates as low as 6.99% APR, a low rate for small businesses that qualify.   
  • Helps underserved communities. About 60 percent of loans approved are for minority businesses, women and veterans. 

What we don’t like

  • High fees. SmartBiz’s lenders charge a variety of one-time fees for originating a loan. Fees go as high as 6 percent of the loan amount.
  • Can’t apply for all of its loans online. You can get prequalified for an SBA loan, term loan or business line of credit up to $500,000 through SmartBiz’s online application. You’ll need to call about other loan types. 
  • Doesn’t offer short-term business loans. The marketplace’s term loans start repayment terms at two years, while other marketplaces and online lenders provide loans for six to 24 months.

How SmartBiz compares to other lenders

You can apply for a variety of loans through the SmartBiz platform, including SBA loans. But other business loan marketplaces may offer SBA loans and a wider range of loan sizes. 

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount


  • Interest rate

    6.99%-35.30% APR

  • Term lengths

    12 months to 10 years

  • Min. time in business

    2 years

  • Min. business annual revenue


Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $1,000-$10 million

  • Interest rate


  • Term lengths

    3 months-25 years

  • Min. time in business

    6 months

  • Min. business annual revenue


Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $200-$3 million

  • Interest rate

    1.03-1.52 Factor rate

  • Term lengths

    Up to 36 months

  • Min. time in business

    6 months

  • Min. business annual revenue


Read our review

on Bankrate

SmartBiz vs. Lendio

Lendio is a loan marketplace that can connect you to over 75 lenders offering a similar variety of business loan options as SmartBiz. SmartBiz doesn’t disclose how many lending partners it has, but Lendio’s sheer number of lenders is extensive. 

Like all marketplaces, business requirements will vary from lender to lender. Lendio is welcoming to businesses with low revenue or owners with bad credit. For example, its minimum acceptable revenue is $50,000 and personal FICO scores can go as low as 500. 

Through Lendio’s partners, you can access wide-ranging loan sizes from $1,000 all the way up to $10 million. SmartBiz’s network has a shorter range of $25,000 to $500,000. All in all, Lendio provides more accessible loans with a wide lender network to give you the best chance at qualifying. 

SmartBiz vs. is a loan marketplace that primarily matches you with term loans, lines of credit and merchant cash advances. It’s a bit lighter on loan options than what’s offered through SmartBiz, and you also can’t get an SBA loan through’s partners can accommodate loans of just over $5,000 to $1 million for term loans. Meanwhile, SmartBiz lenders have term loans spanning $30,000 to $350,000. 

But’s flexible loan range comes at a cost. Its lenders charge factor rates between 1.03 to 1.52 and its highest term offered is 36 months. Factor rates can easily convert into high interest costs, even if you’re getting a short-term loan. 

SmartBiz lenders start APRs at 9.99 percent for term loans while offering longer terms from two to five years. But the platform also charges a one-time 3 percent referral fee and 3 percent loan packaging fee, which significantly offsets interest savings. 

To know for sure which one will save you the most money, you’ll need to compare interest rates and fees closely when getting prequalified through these marketplaces.

How to apply for a loan with SmartBiz 

You can fill out an application online in just minutes, using basic information about your business. Once you’re prequalified, you’ll need to upload financial and business documents according to the lender’s individual guidelines. 

You may need some or all of these documents to apply:

Required application information

  • Personal and business tax returns
  • Business formation documents
  • Profit and loss statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Commercial lease
  • Personal financial statement

SmartBiz frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates SmartBiz

Overall Score 4.1
Accessibility 3.1 Most loans offered through SmartBiz require at least two years in business, and it doesn’t offer small loans under $25,000.
Affordability 3.7 While interest rates are reasonable, SmartBiz and its lenders charge high fees for originating the loan.
Transparency 5.0 SmartBiz provides ample details about loan rates, terms and fees from its lending partners.
Customer experience 4.1 SmartBiz provides ample details about loan rates, terms and fees from its lending partners.
Flexibility 4.5 Startups and small businesses with subprime credit may still find options through SmartBiz.


Clock Wait
years in business
Credit Card Search
lenders reviewed
loan features weighed
data points collected

To select the top small business lenders, Bankrate considers more than 20 factors. These factors include loan amounts, approval and funding times, credit requirements, APR or factor rate ranges, fees, and easy-to-find rate and fee disclosures. Bankrate reviewed more than 30 lenders and gave each a rating, which consists of five categories:

  • Accessibility: Factors considered in this category include minimum loan amounts, approval and funding speed, minimum annual revenue and minimum credit score.
  • Affordability: This section measures interest or factor rates and fees.
  • Transparency: How easy it is to find important rates, fees and eligibility requirements are considered in this category.
  • Customer experience: Customer service hours, online applications and app availability are considered in this category.
  • Flexibility: This category considers factors like the number of loan products and ability to change payment due date.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.