Key takeaways

  • Fast business loans are a type of financing for business owners who want quick access to capital
  • Fast business loans can be unsecured or secured, and some lenders may require you to sign a personal guarantee
  • Fast business loans are typically offered by online lenders, but there are other options such as SBA Express loans

Business loans come in many different forms. Some are easier to access than others, and both loan amounts and funding times vary by loan product.

If you’re a small-business owner who needs cash now, a fast business loan could be ideal. But before applying, understand how it works and how it’s used. It’s also best to understand the benefits and drawbacks a fast business loan offers to decide if it’s a good fit.

What is a fast business loan?

A fast business loan is a type of financing for business owners who want fast access to capital. Like any business loan, fast loans can be a lump sum of cash or a business line of credit. But instead of having to wait weeks, these loans offer quick online applications, minimal documentation requirements and approvals that can happen in minutes and funding that is in your account within one to three business days.

How does a fast business loan work?

You typically need to apply for a fast business loan through an online lender specializing in quick applications as well as fast approvals and funding. These lenders often have relaxed eligibility requirements and even offer fast business loans for business owners with bad credit.

Fast business loans can be unsecured or secured. If you aren’t eligible for an unsecured loan, you will have to provide an asset or assets, also known as business collateral. This can make it easier to get approved for a loan with better rates and terms, but your asset could be seized if you fall behind on the financing payments.

Some lenders also require you to sign a personal guarantee, which means you agree to accept personal liability for the debt if your company can’t make payments. This is a common practice, even for businesses registered as limited liability companies (LLC).

What are fast business loans used for?

Fast business loans can serve various purposes, ensuring much-needed financial support for businesses. Here are six ways you can utilize a fast business loan:

  • Emergencies: A fast business loan can help address an unexpected financial crisis, such as equipment breakdowns, inventory losses or debt consolidation to avoid business closure.
  • Cash shortfalls: Covering temporary cash shortages ensures bills are paid on time and avoids disruptions or negative impacts on credit.
  • Seasonal / short-term borrowing: Loans can support businesses with seasonal fluctuations, aiding during slower periods.
  • Unplanned expenses: Loans provide a buffer for unforeseen costs that may impact cash flow.
  • Disaster recovery: Aid in quickly rebuilding a business after a disaster.
  • Time-sensitive opportunities: Capitalize on growth opportunities quickly with access to immediate funds.

What are fast business loans used for?

Fast business loans are used for a variety of reasons. Some business owners access funding to fill cash flow voids during slow periods. These loans are also useful when an unexpected expense arises that depletes reserves. Others use fast business loans to cover expenses needed to keep operations afloat or to consolidate business debt.

You can also use the loan proceeds to capitalize on time-sensitive opportunities. Or, if your current demand exceeds supply and you don’t have the funds to acquire inventory, a fast business loan could help.

Are you eligible for a fast business loan?

Each lender has its own set of eligibility requirements for fast business loans. Some lenders, like traditional banks and credit unions, typically want to see that your business has been around for at least two years and has sizable revenue of $250,000 and above. But it’s possible to find loans that only require six months’ time in business and an annual revenue of around $100,000.

You may be able to get a business loan with a personal credit score of 500, but it depends on the lender and the type of business loan. Most loans typically require fair credit and above.

Pros and cons of fast business loans

Fast business loans can be beneficial if you need quick financing, but they aren’t without downsides. For more information, check out our guide on the pros and cons of fast business loans.


  • Can cover emergency costs
  • Accessible to subprime borrowers
  • Streamlined application process
  • Rapid funding


  • Expensive due to higher interest rates
  • Low borrowing limits
  • Short repayment terms
  • Personally liable if you default on the loan

Where to get a fast business loan

Online lenders are known for their fast funding times compared to traditional banks and credit unions. Here’s a look at a few of the top small business lenders that offer fast business loans:

Lender Fastest funding times Best for
OnDeck 1 business day Working capital
SMB Compass 1 to 2 business days Low starting interest rates
Fora Financial 1 business day Bad credit
Triton Capital 1 business day Equipment loans
Credibly 1 business day Short-term loans
QuickBridge 1 business day Loan variety
Creditfy 1 business day Fast funding
Lendzi 1 business day Alternative financing
Funding Circle 2 business days Flexible repayment terms
Bluevine 1 business day Unsecured fast loan

Fast small business loans are a convenient form of financing, but they tend to charge higher interest rates and fees. It’s also not uncommon for online small business loans to come with shorter repayment terms.

If you’d prefer to explore other options, consider an SBA Express loan, which typically comes with more favorable interest rates and repayment terms. Unlike other SBA loans, SBA Express loans are known for their swift response times, thanks to lenders making all decisions directly. Unfortunately, closing the loan and receiving funding can still take 30 days or longer.

Bankrate insight
To avoid having to take out a small business loan to cover short-term needs, consider keeping a business credit card on hand. If you can pay your balance in full each month, you can avoid interest charges. Business credit cards also typically have useful features like discounts on business-related purchases, free employee cards and rewards programs.

Bottom line

The best fast business loans can help your company overcome financial setbacks or expand operations. But before applying, carefully review the pros and cons of fast business loans to decide if it’s worthwhile or if you should explore other options.

If you decide to apply, use a business loan calculator to figure out how much of a business loan you can afford.

Frequently asked questions

  • It depends on the lender. Some business loans can be in your business checking account in as little as one day.
  • You can get a fast bad credit business loan.  Many lenders are willing to work with business owners with personal credit scores of 600 and above. Some are even willing to help people with even lower scores. This includes Fundible, which has a credit score requirement of 450. Expect hefty borrowing costs, and collateral may be required to secure funding. You’ll also generally have limited funding options than you would with a higher credit score.
  •  The SBA Export Express and Express loans are known to have faster turnaround times compared to other SBA loans; however, the lender determines the processing and funding for these loans.