The Best Business Loans for Women of 2020

Our reviews of the best business loans for women are the result of over 40 hours of research on 20+ financial services companies from across the web. These reviews and our business loans for women guide help woman-owned businesses and startups find the best loans for their business.

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How We Chose the Best Business Loans for Women

Women currently own more than 12 million businesses in the US.., representing 42% of all American companies. Yet the National Business Women’s Council reports that female entrepreneurs continually face significant barriers to accessing capital for starting and expanding their enterprises. At least two-thirds of them have found it difficult to obtain enough funding to thrive, according to Visa’s 2020 State of Female Entrepreneurship study.

While women business owners will not find loans designed exclusively for female entrepreneurs, they will likely come across a plethora of business loan companies offering multiple services and features. We realize that each company and business owner are unique, with different goals and needs. We evaluated dozens of online lenders based on the types of loans they offer and how clearly they explain their services.

Many of the lenders on this list offer financing to women with fair or poor credit, and are willing to fund start-ups and new businesses. Most of the lenders we highlight offer easy online applications with fast decisions and funding. During our selection process, we also looked for online lenders with dedicated customer support and nontraditional underwriting.

But in order for you to choose the best business loan for your business, it’s important that you consider the type of loan available and how transparent the loan features are.

Type of Loan

The reasons why women-owned businesses need loans vary. Firms often need more working capital to upgrade or expand operations. Other companies want to build business credit for larger-scale financing in the future. Sometimes, a business wants to hire help but currently lacks the funds to do so. We chose lenders that offer different types of loans to fit different needs, including short-term loans and line of credit options.

Transparent Loan Features

We selected lenders that were transparent about their loan features, including time to fund, interest rates, repayment terms, qualifications, and the loan process. This helps equal funding policies for both men and women business owners. Transparency also helps business owners avoid predatory practices and unexpected obligations.

The 14 Best Business Loans for Women of 2020

CompanyType of LoanLoan AmountMore
AccionTerm Loan$300-$1,000,000Visit Accion
BlueVineTerm Loan
Line of Credit
$5,000-$250,000Visit BlueVine
CAN CapitalTerm Loan
Line of Credit
$25,000-$250,000
$50,000-$150,000
Visit CAN Capital
Credibility CapitalTerm Loan$25,000-$350,000Visit Credibility Capital
FundationTerm Loan
Line of Credit
$20,000-$500,000
$20,000-$150,000
Visit Fundation
FundboxTerm Loan
Line of Credit
$1,000-$100,000
$1,000-$100,000
Visit Fundbox
Funding CircleTerm Loan$25,000-$500,000Visit Funding Circle
KabbageLine of Credit$2,000-$250,000Visit Kabbage
KivaTerm Loan$25-$10,000Visit Kiva
LendioShort-Term Loan
Line of Credit
Business Term Loans
$2,500-$500,000
$1,000-$500,000
$5,000-$2 million
Visit Lendio
National FundingTerm Loan$5,000-$500,000Visit National Funding
OnDeckTerm Loan
Line of Credit
$5,000-$500,000
$6,000-$100,000
Visit On Deck
SmartBiz LoansTerm Loan Line of Credit$30,000-$350,000
$500,000-$5 million
Visit SmartBiz Loans
StreetSharesTerm Loan
Line of Credit
$2,000-$250,000
$5,000-$250,000
Visit StreetShares

Accion

Accion
Since 1991, nonprofit community lender Accion has been providing flexible financing solutions ranging from microloans to major working capital for millions of small businesses. Features include:

  • As little as $25 up to $1 million available within two weeks
  • Low credit score minimum and no set minimum revenue or time in business
  • Repayment terms up to 25 years
  • Business mentoring

Borrowers can expect to pay 7% to 34% interest on their Accion loans, significantly lower than what many online lenders charge. Accion offers generous repayment terms of up to 25 years, whereas most financing companies expect repayment within months or a few years at the most.

Accion also provides support and education for women business owners, including advice on obtaining a federally recognized Women-Owned Small Business certification. The lender can refer borrowers to small business development centers, banks, law firms and other organizations to help them grow their enterprises.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan$300-$1,000,000>Time to fund: 2 weeks
>Minimum credit score: 575
>No minimum annual revenue
>More features at Accion

Pros & Cons of Accion
An Accion loan may be beneficial for women business owners just starting out with their enterprise, even if their credit is subpar. The lender offers extensive support for female entrepreneurs in addition to funding as well. However, Accion limits financing to 20% of a company’s projected or actual annual revenue. In addition to a business guarantee, a personal guarantee is likely necessary as well.

ProsCons
>Low minimum credit score and no minimum time in business
>No prepayment penalty
>Business mentoring
>Financing amounts limited to 20% of annual revenue
>Requires weekly repayments
>Personal guarantee required in most cases

What Customers Are Saying
Accion customers see the company as a powerful advocate for small businesses. One client remarked: “To have that vote of confidence from Accion meant more than the money did.” Customers also appreciate the company’s interest in their big picture beyond immediate funding needs, as another client stated: “Accion’s financial advisors helped me with business principles and a plan for growth.”

BlueVine

BlueVine
Since 2013, BlueVine has delivered over $6.5 billion to more than 125,000 small businesses through a suite of banking services. Features include:

  • Business term loans and lines of credit for $5,000 to $250,000 in addition to a separate invoice factoring product
  • Quick online sign-up process with no fees
  • Participation in the federal Paycheck Protection Program
  • Funding within two to seven business days
  • Funding integration with a Business Banking account

Customers with strong revenue who need a large amount of working capital and more time to repay it may benefit from BlueVine’s services. To qualify for a six-month line of credit, BlueVine customers with a minimum personal credit score of 600 must have been in business for at least six months with a minimum monthly revenue of $40,000. A 12-month LOC requires a personal credit score of 620, at least two years in business and a minimum of $450,000 in annual revenue.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$5,000-$250,000>Time to fund: 2 to 7 days
>Minimum credit score: 600
>Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
>More features at BlueVine

Pros & Cons of BlueVine
BlueVine can provide quick funding to start-ups and small businesses with less-than-ideal credit. Borrowers have the option of making weekly or monthly payments. However, the loans must be repaid over a short term of six or 12 months. The maximum interest rate can be quite high, and the lender charges an extra fee on lines of credit. Borrowers must also give a personal guarantee to get funding.

ProsCons
>Low minimum credit score
>Low minimum time in business
>LOC draws can be repaid weekly or monthly over 6 or 12 months
>High minimum annual revenue
>High maximum interest rate, in addition to draw fee on lines of credit
>Loans require a personal guarantee

What Customers Are Saying
BlueVine has garnered much praise for serving new businesses with organized, responsive communication. One customer noted: “Excellent experience so far! The application process was smooth and seamless. I sent them the information requested and in two days my account was open! I appreciate the no/low fees and the no minimum balance (This really helps, being a startup).”

CAN Capital

CanCapital
Founded in 1998, CAN Capital has supported almost 200,000 small businesses with more than $7 billion in working capital. Features include:

  • Short-term loans of $2,500 to $250,000 with terms of six to 18 months
  • Quick funding
  • Prepayment discount

Applying involves completing a short online form and a soft credit pull. Upon prequalification, customers can choose the loan amount and term length that best suit their needs. CAN Capital customers must have at least $100,000 in annual revenues.

CAN Capital’s cost of capital is quite expensive, but the company offers rapid financing for small businesses that may not qualify for traditional lending. It does not charge an application fee, but it collects a one-time origination fee of 3% at the time of funding a term loan. There is a $595 administration fee for merchant cash advances (MCAs).

With typically fast approval, CAN Capital can deposit funds as quickly as the next business day. Customers repay with fixed daily payments through automated deductions. With MCAs, terms and payment amounts adjust according to payment card sales.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$25,000-$250,000
LOC: $50,000-$150,000
>Time to fund: 2 days for term loan, 1-30 days for LOC
>Minimum credit score: 600 for term loan, 680 for LOC
>Minimum annual revenue: $4,500 per month for term loan, over $350,000 preferred for LOC
>More features at CAN Capital

Pros & Cons of CAN Capital
Customers can access up to $250,000 as quickly as the next business day. There is no cost to apply, and CAN Capital does not impose extra fees beyond the origination fee. However, clients must commit to daily automatic repayments. Also, lines of credit are not available for new businesses.

ProsCons
>Up to $250,000 available as fast as the next business day
>No fees charged outside origination fee
>LOC requires 7 years in business
>Daily repayments

What Customers Are Saying
Customers appreciate CAN Capital’s streamlined application process, quick funding and overall pleasant customer experience. One reviewer commented: “Very efficient. Prompt communication. Data collection is smooth, up to the point. Friendly staff.” Another pleased customer stated: “Everything was taken care of in a professional way … I appreciate all of the consideration and trust.”

Credibility Capital

Credibility-Capital
Founded in 2013, Credibility Capital offers short-term business loans to low-risk borrowers. Major features include:

  • Term loans for $25,000 to $350,000
  • 1-, 2- and 3-year repayment options
  • Low APRs and no extra fees

Businesses can check eligibility and apply online with Credibility Capital in just minutes. The lender pulls a soft credit check and may ask for additional documentation such as bank statements or tax returns. Credibility places a blanket Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing on the borrower’s business to secure the loan. It charges a one-time origination fee of 3% to 5% with no additional fees.

Established businesses may consider Credibility for funding if they cannot qualify for traditional bank loans. Although the lender takes a holistic approach to assessing creditworthiness, a business needs to demonstrate positive cash flow that can support repayments. Credibility is not available in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan$25,000-$350,000>Time to fund: 1-3 days
>Minimum credit score: 680
>Minimum annual revenue: Currently generating revenue
>More features at Credibility Capital

Pros & Cons of Credibility Capital
Credibility Capital offers bank-funded loans that come with lower APRs than many business funding programs. Customers repay with fixed monthly payments with no prepayment fees. However, the company requires a high personal credit score and revenues. Further, customers must back their loan with a business lien and possibly a personal guarantee.

ProsCons
>Low-APR term loans
>Fixed monthly payments
>No prepayment penalty
>Requires strong personal credit and high revenue
>Requires business lien and possibly a personal guarantee
>Not available in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont

What Customers Are Saying
Credibility Capital customers overwhelmingly praise the company for its professionalism and straightforwardness. One satisfied client commented: “Superb service, simple process, lightning-fast funding.” Another remarked: “The people at Credibility actually want to help and do not make you feel as if they are doing you a favor.”

Fundation

fundation
Founded in 2011, Fundation partners with leading financial institutions to offer credit and working capital to established small businesses. Features include:

  • $20,000 to $500,000 for term loans and up to $150,000 in lines of credit
  • Customer relationship manager to help guide borrowers through application process
  • 1- to 4-year repayment options
  • Funding available within one to three business days

Companies in certain industries with fair or better credit and strong revenue may consider Fundation for quick, flexible funding. However, the lender requires a personal guarantee and places a UCC blanket lien on the borrower’s business assets. Companies must have at least three employees including the borrower to qualify.

Borrowers make loan repayments twice a month, automatically deducted from their bank account. After six to nine months of timely payments, clients may be eligible for refinancing and borrowing more with Fundation. Fundation does not offer loans in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$20,000 - $500,000
LOC - $20,000-$150,000
>Time to fund: 1-3 days
>Minimum credit score: 600 for term loan, 660 for LOC
>Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
>More features at Fundation

Pros & Cons of Fundation
Fundation business loans can be a quick funding solution for established companies that need flexible term lengths. Thanks to strong financial backing, Fundation can pass on reasonable rates to customers. However, this lender requires a UCC blanket lien on business assets. Further, solopreneurs and businesses in real estate, retail and certain other industries do not qualify.

ProsCons
>Flexible term lengths
>Competitive APRs
>UCC blanket lien required
>Must have at least 3 employees including borrower

What Customers Are Saying
While testimonials are scarce, Fundation has garnered an impressive reputation in the fintech sector. The lender has earned spot 1398 on the Inc. 5000 list for the year 2020, a testimony to its dynamic growth. Further, The Financial Technology Report recognized Fundation’s cofounder and CEO Sam Graziano as one of the Top 50 Financial Technology CEOs of 2020.

Fundbox

Fundbox
Fundbox offers quick, streamlined invoice financing and line of credit options for small businesses. Features include:

  • Loans for $1,000 up to $100,000
  • Rapid funding
  • More lenient credit and time in business requirements than most lenders
  • Mobile applications

To apply for funding, customers will need to sign up for an account and link their accounting software and bank account. Fundbox pulls a soft credit check and reviews the borrower’s financials to render a decision within minutes. Once approved, the borrower can draw funds with a few clicks and receive the funds as soon as the next business day.

Borrowers can save on interest costs by repaying early. The online Fundbox dashboard or app for Android and iOS lets customers view available credit and draw history. The accounting information stays connected, allowing Fundbox to evaluate eligibility for more credit.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$1,000-$100,000
LOC - $1,000-$100,000
>Time to fund: 1 day
>Minimum credit score: 500
>Minimum annual revenue: $25,000
>More features at Fundbox

Pros & Cons of Fundbox
Fundbox can be a quick, simple option for financing for businesses with low credit scores and revenue. This lender does not charge origination, maintenance or termination fees, and it does not require collateral for lower amounts. However, borrowers must repay their loan or line of credit weekly over a 12- or 24-week term. The interest rate and weekly fees can be extremely high as well, depending on Fundbox’s assessment of the borrower’s business.

ProsCons
>Does not charge origination fees, maintenance fees or termination fees
>Low credit, revenue and time in business requirements
>No collateral required for lower credit limits
>Short repayment terms of weekly payments
>Potentially high interest rates and weekly fees

What Customers Are Saying
Fundbox customers appreciate how easy it is to work with the lender. One client stated: “The whole application process was seamless, and Fundbox communicated with me clearly and promptly at every step.” Another commented: “No hidden fees, no mumble jumble that I can’t understand! Everything is always to the point. Service is Key and Fundbox has a very BIG KEY!”

Funding Circle

Funding-Circle
Founded in 2010, peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle has served over 80,000 businesses with $11.7 billion in a variety of funding solutions. Features include:

  • Six-minute application and decision within 24 hours
  • Term loans from $25,000 to $500,000
  • Term lengths from 6 months to 5 years
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Special information regarding small business loans and additional resources for women entrepreneurs

Funding Circle offers competitive fixed rates of 1.8% to 7.0% APR, among the lowest of online lenders. The lender charges a one-time 3.49% origination fee and no prepayment fees. Funding Circle does not operate in Nevada or serve select industries including speculative real estate, nonprofits or gambling businesses.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan$25,000-$500,000>Time to fund: 24 hours
>Minimum credit score: 620
>Minimum annual revenue: None
>More features at Funding Circle

Pros & Cons of Funding Circle
Funding Circle can provide substantial financing faster than a typical bank and some other online providers. Its credit score threshold is low, and rates are competitive. This lender is not suited for new businesses or those with weak revenue, however. Further, borrowers must put up a business lien and personal guarantee.

ProsCons
>Low minimum credit score and no minimum annual revenue requirement
>Quick funding
>Low APRs
>Not suited for start-ups >Business lien and personal guarantee required

What Customers Are Saying
Funding Circle customers appreciate the lender’s speedy, personable customer service. One happy client remarked: “We applied to Funding Circle for a CBIL loan after being frustrated by the lack of customer care, service, impenetrable call centers and support by our own bank. Funding Circle were a breath of fresh air. They dealt with the application, completed the process and transferred the funds into our account in a matter of days.”

Kabbage

Kabbage
Online lender Kabbage has been funding more than 225,000 small businesses since 2009. Unlike traditional loan providers, this lender offers a reusable line of credit. Features include:

  • No documents required
  • Funds available immediately or within a few days
  • Access to funds anytime through computer, mobile app or the Kabbage Card
  • 6-, 12- or 18-month payment terms

Borrowers can complete an online application in a few minutes and gain approval immediately in some cases. Kabbage focuses on alternative information including banking and eCommerce data when underwriting as opposed to credit history. With repayment terms of up to 18 months, the lines of credit may be suitable for business owners who need cash fast but desire a short repayment period.

Kabbage requires borrowers to link their business checking accounts or online payment platforms to the lender. Customers make monthly payments with no early payment fees. The lines of credit come with APRs between 24% and 99%, rather expensive compared to those of some other online lenders.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Line of Credit$2,000-$250,000>Time to fund: 24-72 hours
>Minimum credit score: 600
>Minimum annual revenue: $50,000
>More features at Kabbage

Pros & Cons of Kabbage
Kabbage may be able to help business owners with poor credit and low revenue. The platform allows for withdrawals at any time with monthly repayments. Borrowers can expect to pay hefty interest charges, and the fixed-rate structure does not offer a benefit for prepaying early.

ProsCons
>Low minimum credit score and annual revenue
>6-, 12- or 18-month repayment options
>Withdrawals anytime from any device
>High APRs
>Early repayment does not save interest
>Must connect online checking to verify income

What Customers Are Saying
Kabbage customers praise the company for its timely, efficient service. One borrower had this to say: “I applied with many Lender with no success or having some delays with the process, Kabbage was very quick and responsive regarding my application and the process. I applied got approved the same next day, and received my documents to sign in 2 day, now funds are heading in to my account, so far this is the most efficient lender on the market right in my opinion.”

Kiva

Kiva
Founded in 2005, nonprofit crowdfunding organization Kiva has funded $1.48 billion to 3.7 million borrowers around the world. Major features include:

  • Crowdfunded by individual lenders who invest in $25 increments
  • 0% interest
  • Microloans starting at $25 up to $10,000 with no fees
  • Terms of 12-36 months
  • ”Social Underwriting” during application process

Start-ups, new businesses and established businesses can work with a field partner who screens borrowers’ financial history and social standing. Borrowers will need to demonstrate trustworthiness by asking community members to finance a portion of the loan. Then, the loan goes on Kiva’s public profile to raise more funds. Once the loan is fully crowdfunded, it will be disbursed within 5-7 business days.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan$25-$10,000>Time to fund: 5-7 days
>Minimum credit score: None
>Minimum annual revenue: None
>More features at Kiva

Pros & Cons of Kiva
Small businesses looking for an interest-free microloan can consider working with Kiva. Unlike most online lenders, this platform has a lengthy application process of 30-45 minutes. Dedicated field partners are available to review the application. Because of the nature of crowdfunding, it may take weeks to secure funding, and raising the full amount is not guaranteed.

ProsCons
>0% interest
>Small loans possible
>Field partners available for guidance through application process
>Could take up to 45 days to raise funds
>Requires borrowers to raise support from their own network and Kiva’s broader network of lenders

What Customers Are Saying
Kiva’s website offers dozens of testimonials of businesses that benefited from its interest-free, fee-free financing. Borrowers especially appreciate the sense of community this platform cultivates between them and lenders. One borrower stated: “I have not only been able to accomplish my dream of ownership, but with [Kiva lenders’] support I am moving forward with my dreams of expansion.”

Lendio

Lendio
Lendio is a loan matching service that has helped fund over $10 billion in loans to more than 216,000 small businesses. Major features include:

  • Short- and longer-term business loan options and lines of credit
  • Low credit score, annual revenue and time in business requirements
  • Funding available from $1,000 up to $2 million
  • Short-term loans starting at 8% APR
  • Business term loans starting at 6% APR
  • Lines of credit ranging from 8%-24% APR

Lendio helps borrowers compare options from over 75 lenders. Customers can complete an application in about 15 minutes with no fee or impact on credit. Upon approval, they may be able to access funds within a day or so.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Short-Term Loan
Line of Credit
Business Term Loan
Short-Term Loans - $2,500-$500,000
LOC - $1,000-$500,000
Business Term Loans - $5,000-$2 million
>Time to fund: 1-2 days
>Minimum credit score: 550
>Minimum annual revenue: $50,000
>More features at Lendio

Pros & Cons of Lendio
Lendio can connect customers with dozens of lenders that look past rocky credit histories and low revenue. Borrowers get quick funding at fair interest rates. This platform is a free service, but it does not originate loans. The partner funder may require a business lien or charge origination fees.

ProsCons
>Low credit score, annual revenue and time in business requirements
>Competitive interest rates
>Quick funding with no fees
>Not a direct lender
>Partner lender may require collateral or charge fees

What Customers Are Saying
Lendio has received high commendations for its thorough, personable service. One customer remarked: “I’d like to thank Lendio for their fast, smooth, and effective assistance. … During the very busy and trying times of our current days, I felt as though my time and concerns mattered.”

National Funding

National-Funding
Since 1999, National Funding has provided over $3 billion in working capital to more than 50,000 businesses. Features include:

  • Term loans from $5,000 to $500,000
  • Low credit score and time in business requirement
  • Repayment terms of 6-15 months
  • Simple online application with decision in 24 hours
  • 2% origination fee
Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan$5,000-$500,000>Time to fund: 1-3 days
>Minimum credit score: 500
>Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
>More features at National Funding

Pros & Cons of National Funding
With the help of a dedicated loan specialist, borrowers can see customized loan options within minutes. National Funding does not require collateral. Although the lender can forgive poor credit, it is looking for strong revenue.

ProsCons
>Quick funding decisions
>Dedicated loan specialist
>No collateral
>High annual revenue requirement

What Customers Are Saying
Many reviews of National Funding highlight the company’s personalized, expert service. One borrower commented: “National Funding showed up at just the right time. The application process was smooth and straightforward. They’ve lived up to their agreements so far. I’d recommend them. “

OnDeck

OnDeck
OnDeck has delivered $13 billion to businesses globally. Features include:

  • Term loans and lines of credit
  • Repayment terms of 3 to 36 months
  • 24-hour funding

OnDeck grants funding to companies with fair credit, provided they are established and can show strong annual revenue. A business bank account is required. For term loans, OnDeck offers the option to apply for more cash when the loan is paid halfway down.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$5,000-$500,000
$6,000-$100,000
>Time to fund: 1 day
>Minimum credit score: 600
>Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
>More features at On Deck

Pros & Cons of OnDeck
OnDeck provides several financing options with flexible payment terms. Once the lender has approved your application, it typically disburses funds within a business day. However, its interest rates vary widely, from 9.99% to 99% APR for term loans and 13.99% to 63% APR for lines of credit. Lines of credit also come with a $20 maintenance fee.

ProsCons
>Variety of financing options
>Quick funding
>Higher rates than many competitors
>Personal guarantee required

What Customers Are Saying
OnDeck customers are impressed with the lender’s transparent, thorough and quick assistance. One happy client noted: “When our business hit a rough stretch, the big banks bailed on us; fair weather friends. But OnDeck saved our bacon and functioned as our line-of-credit.”

SmartBiz Loans

smartbiz
Since 2009, SmartBiz Loans has been offering an online platform that connects business owners with financial institutions in its extensive network for funding. More than half of the 20,000 small businesses served are owned by women, minorities or veterans. Its major features include:

  • Term loans, lines of credit, invoice financing and unsecured credit cards
  • 2-5 years repayment terms
  • Fixed interest rate from 7.99% to 24.99%
  • 5-minute pre-qualification

Business owners with less-than-ideal credit looking for quick access to cash may consider SmartBiz Loans for financing. The lender lets you lock in interest rates that range from 7.99% to 24.99%, which are quite reasonable compared to many online companies. The loans are designed to be repaid within a shorter time period than that of an SBA loan. SmartBiz financing can help business owners get the funds they need and build credit until they can qualify for an SBA loan.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$30,000-$350,000
$500,000-$5 million
>Time to fund: 5-90 days
>Minimum credit score: 650 for term loan, 675 for LOC
>Minimum annual revenue: $100,000
>More features at SmartBiz Loans

Pros & Cons of SmartBiz Loans
SmartBiz Loans lets customers complete one easy application, whether they are applying for a bank term loan or SBA loan. Borrowers can obtain sizable fixed-rate loans with set monthly payments. New companies and certain industries are ineligible for SmartBiz Loans services.

ProsCons
>Same simple application for bank term loan or SBA loan
>Fixed-rate loans with monthly payments
>No prepayment penalties
>Not suited for start-ups
>Excludes certain industries including life insurance, religious teaching, political activities, real estate development, private clubs and others

What Customers Are Saying
Satisfied SmartBiz Loans clients praise the lender for its courteous, prompt and patient support staff that treats borrowers like business partners. A customer commented: “After I lost all hope with many different loan officers. I found Smartbiz are very caring and were willing to help me with all my business needs. They understood my thoughts on wanting to expand my business and helped me as much as they could.”

StreetShares

Street-Shares
Founded in 2013, StreetShares offers term loans and lines of credit to small business owners, especially veterans. StreetShares combines traditional and alternative underwriting practices but primarily considers cash flow to assess a borrower’s ability to repay the loan. Major features include:

  • Time to fund: 1-2 business days for term loans and 2-5 days for lines of credit
  • Low minimum credit score, annual revenue and time in business requirements
  • Flexible repayment terms ranging from three months to three years

StreetShares can provide funding at interest rates starting at 7% for term loans and 6.5% for lines of credit, maxing out at 39%. This lender comes with an origination fee between 3.95% and 4.95%, with an average fee of 4.45%. Lines of credit also come with a draw fee of 2.95%.

Currently, StreetShares does not serve businesses in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or South Dakota. Sole proprietorships in Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey and New York cannot use StreetShares products.

Type of LoanLoan AmountFeatures
Term Loan
Line of Credit
$2,000-$250,000
$5,000-$250,000
>Time to fund: 1-2 days for term loan, 2-5 days for LOC
>Minimum credit score: 600
>Minimum annual revenue: $25,000
>More features at StreetShares

Pros & Cons of StreetShares
StreetShares can be lenient toward business owners with fair credit. The lender is open to financing new companies that cannot show substantial revenue yet. However, it will only finance up to 20% of the projected or actual revenue. Further, borrowers must commit to weekly repayments, which may be difficult depending on the amount and stability of income.

ProsCons
>Low minimum credit score, time in business and annual revenue requirements
>Small loans and lines of credit available with no prepayment penalty
>Financing amount limited to 20% of annual revenue
>Weekly repayments required

What Customers Are Saying
StreetShares customers appreciate the company’s transparency and caring service. One happy borrower remarked: “I shopped around for several weeks before deciding to use StreetShares for a Line of Credit that my firm needed for hiring more team members. My experience has been nothing short of stellar. They have been quick to respond, we got approved and had our money in 2 days. It was a painless process and I highly recommend them!”

What Is a Business Loan?

Women business owners who need extra cash face many business loan options, including short term loans, lines of credit and microloans.

  • Term loan. A term loan is a form of financing in which the borrower obtains a lump sum of funds upfront. The money gets repaid with interest over a set period, normally shorter than 10 years. However, online loans are usually more expensive than those from traditional financial institutions. They often require business collateral or a personal guarantee, or both.
  • Business line of credit. A business line of credit or credit card can be a more flexible option compared to a term loan. A borrower can access funds up to a set credit limit, paying interest only on the cash withdrawn. This is typically unsecured, but lenders will likely look for robust revenue and strong credit. Lines of credit may come with draw fees, maintenance fees, or other additional costs.
  • Microloan A microloan is a loan of $50,000 or less. Nonprofits and mission-based lenders offer this type of funding for start-ups, new businesses, minorities, and businesses in disadvantaged areas. The microloan usually comes at a low cost and is supplemented with training and consulting. Borrowers can expect to face stringent prerequisites to qualify.

Benefits of Business Loans 

The inevitable ups and downs of operating a small business often create a need for an influx of funds. In many circumstances, the advantages outweigh the risks and disadvantages of taking out a business loan with an online lender.

  • Online business loan providers can typically offer funding much faster than banks, in hours or days compared to weeks or months. Businesses can fill short-term financial needs and sustain or expand their enterprise.
  • Many online lenders design their products for small business owners who need funding but fall short of the credit, revenue and time in business requirements that most conventional financial institutions impose. Online lenders are more willing to assess creditworthiness by taking a holistic view of a business and the owner’s situation.
  • Business loan providers can offer flexible repayment options ranging from daily to monthly, according to the needs and profitability of the borrowing business. The terms are typically short, so owners won’t have to deal with a cloud of long-term debt.
  • For some business loans, the borrower does not have to provide documentation or submit to a hard credit inquiry during the application process. Thus, it is easier to apply to various lenders easily without affecting credit scores.
  • Some business loans charge high interest rates, but borrowers can find lenders with competitive rates or even no interest.
  • Many online lenders offer financial education, business counseling and moral support.

What to Look for in a Business Loan

Every small business and owner are different, and only you can determine what you, your business, and your customers need with extra funding. Here are a few factors to keep at the forefront of your decision-making:

  • Type of financing. Look for a lender that offers the kind of financing that best suits your business. Term loans can be ideal for small businesses that want to make a one-time purchase or expand. A business line of credit usually works well for small companies with short-term cash needs or seasonal business.
  • Clear requirements. Be sure you understand and meet the credit, revenue and other requirements of the loan you want to pursue. If putting up a personal guarantee is difficult or undesirable, you’ll want to steer away from loans that require it.
  • Time to fund. Research prospective lenders to see how long they take to approve loans and disburse funds. You may need to allow for extra time if the lender calls for documentation. Term loans usually take longer to process than business lines of credit.
  • Interest rates, fees and repayment. Be clear on the interest rates and fees you’ll be paying, and be certain you can handle the repayment terms. Do you want a loan that you can repay within a few months or years?

The Cost of Business Loans

Understanding the costs inherent in securing a business loan can help you find the best option for your company. The loan amount, repayment period, interest rate and fees are all important factors that play into what you’ll be paying.

Term loans are fixed-rate loans, so you can expect to pay the same amount until the end of the term. If your lender doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, you can save on interest by paying the loan off early.

A business line of credit usually comes with a variable interest rate. Thus, payments can vary and make budgeting a challenge.

Many online lenders charge a one-time origination fee, an upfront cost for processing a new loan.

The annual percentage rate includes the interest rate and loan fees. Your lender computes this according to how much you are borrowing, the length of the repayment period, your credit history and business revenue. This is where it really pays to shop around.