Portions of this article were drafted using an in-house natural language generation platform. The article was reviewed, fact-checked and edited by our editorial staff.

Key takeaways

  • Fast business loans can provide funds in one to three days, much faster compared to traditional business loans and SBA loans which can take weeks or months
  • Several types of fast business loans are available, including term loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing, invoice factoring and financing, and merchant cash advances
  • Alternatives to fast business loans include traditional loans, business credit cards, SBA loans and microloans

Fast business loans provide quick approval and funding. Depending on the lender and its requirements, these loans can often provide funds within one to three days, while traditional business loans can take weeks or months to receive funding.

Business owners may consider a fast small business loan if they need to jump on a growth opportunity, are at risk of losing their business or have unexpected expenses. Understanding the different types of fast business loans, the pros and cons, where to get them and the eligibility requirements can help you determine which quick loan is best for your business.

Types of fast business loans

Type of fast business loan Best for
Term loans Operational needs, inventory and specific purchases or projects.
Lines of credit Emergency funds, operational needs or any other need for credit.
Equipment financing Equipment purchases, especially if a business owner does not have assets to secure other types of business loans.
Invoice factoring and financing Seasonal expenses and working cash flow.
Merchant cash advance Emergency or seasonal expenses and cash gaps.

Pros and cons of fast business loans

Before deciding between a fast or a regular business loan, weigh the pros and cons of fast business loans.


  • Provides fast funding for emergency expenses
  • Subprime borrowers are eligible
  • Speedy application process
  • Fast funding


  • Borrowing amounts may be low
  • Fees and interest rates can be high
  • Full repayment is usually required within 24 months or less
  • Personal or business asset seizure can occur from defaulting

Where to get a fast business loan

Online lenders typically provide business loans faster than banks and credit unions, especially if you’re looking to have funds deposited in your business bank account within 24 hours. But fast business loans from online lenders are typically more expensive than traditional loans from banks or SBA loans.

Determining your fast funding needs and whether you can provide capital, along with reviewing multiple lenders, can help you find the best fast business loan. But before applying, make sure you understand the total costs and see if you’re able to wait and possibly qualify for more affordable financing.

Requirements for a fast business loan

Being prepared can help you get small business loans fast. To ensure the application process goes smoothly, make sure you understand how to apply for a fast business loan.

1. Determine how much you can afford to borrow

Determining your borrowing limits can help minimize the risk of defaulting on loan payments. Many lenders use your annual revenue to determine what you can afford, usually between 10 percent and 30 percent of your business’s revenue.

A business loan calculator can help you determine which loan amount, including interest and fees, best fits your budget.

2. Decide which type of loan is best

There are several types of fast business loans to choose from. Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer loans with various requirements and approval and funding timelines. After determining how much you can afford, compare lending types to decide which works best.

3. Compare lenders

Once you determine your loan type and budget, it’s time to compare lenders. Besides loan type, look at the lenders’:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Application process
  • Funding timeline
  • Interest rate and fees

Online lenders typically have more flexible guidelines and can be better for businesses with bad credit or startups. While some lenders may not require collateral, you might have to provide a personal guarantee, which means the company can come after your personal assets if you default on the loan.

4. Gather your documents

The documents you need to qualify for a fast business loan depend on the lender and type of loan you choose. Verifying lender requirements and having everything ready before you apply can speed up the application process, which means you’ll get faster funding.

Although documentation can vary, lenders may require the following:

    • A photo ID
    • Business owner’s Social Security number
    • Proof of personal and business address
    • Employer identification number (EIN)
    • Business formation documents
    • Business plan
    • Bank account statements
    • Tax returns
    • Financial forecasts
    • Profit and loss (P&L) statement
    • Proof collateral or a personal guarantee
    • Insurance and lease documents

5. Apply for a fast small business loan

Applying for a fast business loan is the last step to receiving a fast small business loan. Be sure to fill out the entire application correctly to avoid denial. Uploading all the documents the lender requires with the application can also help prevent delays in processing.

If you are approved, carefully read the loan agreement in full and review the loan terms, asking any questions of the lender before signing and submitting the completed contract. Once done, the lender will release funds according to its timeline.

Alternatives to fast business loans

If you don’t require fast funding, you may want to consider alternatives to fast small business loans. These alternative options may be better suited for your business, sometimes offering more favorable terms, lower interest rates or extended repayment periods.

Alternatives to fast business loans include:

  • Traditional loans: Although they often have more robust eligibility guidelines, they usually come with more flexible repayment terms and better interest rates. Banks and credit unions can generally offer higher loan amounts than fast business lenders.
  • Business grants: Many businesses and nonprofits offer to help entrepreneurs. Though these can be hard to qualify for, funds don’t have to be paid back. So it’s worth applying for any that you qualify for.
  • Business credit cards: Business credit cards can be ideal for day-to-day purchases. If you diligently pay the balance in full, there is no interest to pay. Other perks could include 0 percent APR periods and cash back or points rewards.
  • SBA loan: The Small Business Administration offers loans through credit unions, online lenders and banks, but must meet SBA guidelines to qualify. While funding can take up to 90 days, SBA loan terms are usually the most favorable compared to other alternatives with multiple loan types.
  • Microloan: A microloan usually comes from local governments, the SBA or community groups for funding up to $50,000. Terms can vary but often have long repayment periods and lower interest rates than other alternatives.

Bottom line

Fast business loans offer a quick solution for business owners needing capital for operational needs, inventory or unexpected expenses. But they may not be the best fit for you. To get a fast business loan, decide which type of loan best fits your needs, compare lenders to review their eligibility requirements and funding timelines and be prepared with the necessary documents. With the right information and preparation, you can get the capital you need quickly.

Frequently asked questions about fast business loans

  • The quickest way to get a business loan is to use a fast short-term lender. To get small business loans fast, determine which type of loan best meets your financing needs and what documents you need to qualify. Then compare rates and terms to determine which lender is the best choice. Have everything ready when you apply so you can complete the application fast and get approved quickly.
  • It’s possible to receive funding for a fast business loan within one to five days, depending on your capital needs, eligibility and lender choice. Some online lenders could even fund a fast small business loan the same day. Comparing lenders, terms and funding timelines can help you determine which lender will offer the quickest funding.
  • The easiest loan to be approved for depends on the loan type and funding needs. Established businesses with good business credit scores have a better chance of approval for different kinds of loans than those with bad credit scores or newer businesses. Reviewing all your options before applying for a loan can ensure you find the correct financing for your needs, making the application and approval process easier.