What is a fast business loan and how does it work?
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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, 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 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 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
- Accessible to subprime borrowers
- Fast and flexible financing
- Streamlined application process
- Higher interest rates
- 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. Still, you’ll pay a cost for the convenience as 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 loan offerings with slow approval timelines, the response time for SBA Express loans is capped at 36 hours. Unfortunately, closing the loan and receiving funding can still take 30 days or longer.
The best fast business loans can help your company overcome financial setbacks or expand operations. But before applying, carefully review the pros and cons 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 bad credit business loan with a credit score as low as 500. 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 loan is the fastest SBA loan option available. Applicants receive a response within 24 hours. But it could still take several weeks or months to finalize the process with your lender.