9 Best Banks for Small-Business Loans in 2024

Business bank loans offer low interest rates and competitive repayment terms, but you’ll typically need strong credit and an established business to qualify.
Lisa Anthony
Randa Kriss
By Randa Kriss and  Lisa Anthony 
Updated
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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Although qualifying can be difficult, banks remain the most common source of credit for small businesses — compared with options such as online lenders, community financial institutions and credit unions

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Business bank loans offer low interest rates, long repayment terms and can be used for a variety of purposes. The right bank for you should offer the small-business loan you need, as well as fund enough loans to make financing possible.

Here, we reviewed the best banks for small-business loans based on their commercial and industrial lending volume, product offerings and qualifications, among other features.

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Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

1. Bank of America

Best for: Customer relationships and loyalty programs.

Bank of America is the biggest commercial and industrial loan bank lender in the U.S. — according to data released by S&P Global Market Intelligence in June 2023 — surpassing the next closest lender by nearly $130 billion

S&P Global Market Intelligence. US banks' commercial and industrial loan growth slowed in Q1. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
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Bank of America business loans are a good choice if you value rewards and use other Bank of America or Merrill products. By meeting certain account requirements, you can qualify for interest rate discounts, no fees on wire transfers and other benefits. Bank of America may also make sense for loans for veterans and service members, as it offers them a 25% discount on loan administration or origination fees.

Here’s what Bank of America has to offer:

Bank of America issues both fixed-rate secured and unsecured term loans. Its secured loan requires greater annual revenue: $250,000 versus $100,000 for the unsecured option. But it also offers higher borrowing limits — up to $250,000 — and a potentially lower interest rate. Both business loans require at least two years in business and can have repayment terms of up to five years, which is less than some other banks may offer.

Bank of America offers secured and unsecured business lines of credit, with the same revenue requirements as its term loans ($250,000 and $100,000, respectively). The secured line of credit comes with additional borrowing power — starting at $25,000 compared with $10,000 for the unsecured option. Borrowing maximums are not disclosed. Both have revolving terms, meaning you use the money as needed, that renew annually.

For newer businesses (those with at least six months in operation and $50,000 in annualized revenue), Bank of America offers a cash secured business line of credit. With this product, you must provide a security deposit to match your credit line limit with minimum initial deposits starting at $1,000. You can then use the line of credit to cover daily expenses, make regular payments and establish a positive account history — with the goal to transition to an unsecured business line of credit.

Bank of America is a preferred Small Business Administration lender, but other banks on this list are more active in issuing SBA loans. For example, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank approved a higher number of 7(a) loans — the most common type of SBA funding — in the 2023 fiscal year.

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.

Bank of America offers business auto loans starting at $10,000, as well as commercial real estate loans and equipment loans, which both start at $25,000.

2. JP Morgan Chase

Best for: Variety of small-business products.

Chase offers small business loans, lines of credit and commercial real estate financing for small business owners in addition to checking accounts, credit cards and payment solutions.

Chase business loans include:

Chase offers fixed-rate and adjustable-rate term loans starting at $5,000 — which is a small starting amount than lenders like Bank of America or PNC Bank — and repayment terms that can last up to seven years. Some small-business loan options have amounts as high as $500,000 with no origination fee. However, a prepayment fee may apply for loans greater than $250,000 that are paid off early.

Chase has business and commercial lines of credit. Its business line of credit provides $10,000 to $500,000 in funding on a renewable five-year revolving term. The commercial line is above $500,000, with one- to two-year terms that may be renewed.

Chase is an SBA preferred lender and approved 1,545 SBA 7(a) loans totaling almost $334 million in fiscal year 2023

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
. Chase funds multiple types of SBA loans, including SBA Express loans and credit lines, which offer faster funding of up to $500,000.

Chase offers commercial real estate loans with fixed or variable rates that start at $50,000. Terms are available for up to 25 years. Chase also gives you the option to pay back the loan on a standard repayment schedule — or make interest-only payments for a set period with a large payment at the end of the term.

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3. Wells Fargo

Best for: SBA loans.

Wells Fargo offers SBA loans, multiple types of lines of credit and a variety of other types of business loans. However, some term loan programs have been discontinued so you may want to consider other options if a term loan is what you want.

Here are Wells Fargo's business loan offerings:

Wells Fargo has three lines of credit — two unsecured and one secured by collateral — ranging from $5,000 to $1 million. Credit lines of up to $150,000 are revolving with automatic enrollment in a free rewards program. You’ll typically need at least $2 million to $10 million in annual sales to qualify for Wells Fargo’s most generous business line of credit. This line of credit has a one-year term. Fees vary by product.

Wells Fargo is one of the most active SBA loan lenders. In the 2023 fiscal year, the bank approved over 2,000 SBA 7(a) loans, worth more than $427 million in funding

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
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Wells Fargo offers semi truck financing, equipment financing and commercial real estate purchase loans, as well as medical practice financing.

4. U.S. Bank

Best for: Startups.

U.S. Bank has fewer locations than other brick-and-mortar banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo. But if there’s a branch near you, U.S. Bank may be a good choice for startups, as you may be able to qualify for certain products with less than a year in business.

U.S. Bank offers fixed-rate, secured term loans as well as a fast business loan, which has a limit of $250,000 and a quick online application process. The Quick loan can be secured or unsecured and offers repayment terms of up to seven years. This product can be a good option for newer companies as you only need a minimum of six months in business to apply.

U.S. Bank has four business lines of credit that can be used to manage cash flow, fund major purchases and protect from overdraft charges. The bank’s revolving line of credit, called Cash Flow Manager, goes up to $250,000 and only requires a minimum of six months in business to qualify. That product has a $150 annual fee if the line of credit is less than $50,000.

U.S. Bank is another good choice if you’re in the market for an SBA loan. For fiscal year 2023, it approved over 2,200 SBA 7(a) loan applications

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report.
. Plus, as a preferred lender you may be able to qualify for an SBA loan from U.S. Bank with fewer than two years in business.

U.S. Bank offers equipment loans of up to $1 million, and soft costs of up to 25% can be included. The bank has fixed- and variable-rate commercial real estate loans with five-, 10- or 15-year repayment terms, with amortizations up to 25 years.

5. Citibank

Best for: Simple options and in-person service.

Citibank offers fewer business loan products than some other banks. If you prefer that simplicity, Citi might be the right option for you.

Citi can also be a good choice if you prefer an in-person, hands-on loan application experience. Whereas many banks offer at least some type of online application option, you can only apply for a business loan from Citi by visiting a branch location.

Citibank’s term loan ranges from $5,000 to $5 million. Interest rates are fixed, terms last up to seven years and loans require a personal guarantee. Citi doesn't offer a specific equipment loan, but term loans can be used for this purpose.

Citibank offers two business lines of credit, with amounts ranging from $10,000 to $5 million. Both lines come with variable interest rates and revolving terms and require a personal guarantee.

Citi is an SBA preferred lender and issues SBA loans (up to $10 million) and lines of credit to finance working capital and equipment, inventory, commercial real estate and other purchases. However, it doesn’t do a large volume of SBA loans. In fiscal year 2023, it approved just 76 SBA 7(a) loans totaling approximately $57 million

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
.

Citi also provides specialized healthcare practice business loans from $250,000 to $5 million and commercial mortgage loans, ranging from $250,000 to $10 million.

6. PNC Bank

Best for: Automatic loan payments.

PNC Bank offers business term loans, lines of credit, SBA loans and specialized financing for vehicles and commercial real estate — with payments automatically deducted from your PNC business checking account.

PNC offers $20,000 to $100,000 for unsecured term loans and $100,001 and above for loans secured by collateral. Unsecured loans come with a fixed interest rate and terms of up to five years, whereas rates on secured loans can be fixed or variable and terms can last up to seven years.

The amounts for PNC’s lines of credit mirror the bank’s term loans, with unsecured options ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 and secured options of $100,001 and up. Both have variable interest rates and revolving terms. The unsecured line has an annual fee of $175, while the secured credit line charges 0.25% of the committed line amount.

PNC is a preferred SBA lender, but the bank is less active than some others issuing these loans. For fiscal year 2023, PNC approved 669 SBA 7(a) loans, compared to Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, which each approved over 2,100

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
.

PNC business auto loans range from $10,000 to $250,000 with repayment terms up to six years. The bank’s commercial real estate loans come with fixed or variable interest rates, repayment terms up to 20 years (with up to a 25-year amortization) and financing amounts of $100,001 and up.

7. TD Bank

Best for: Applying online (for loans under $250,000)

TD Bank offers an online application process for both term loans and lines of credit under $250,000. If your loan is for more than that amount or you don’t want to apply online, you can download an application and apply in person at a bank branch. In addition, TD Bank offers SBA loans, commercial real estate loans and healthcare practice financing.

TD Bank offers secured loans from $10,000 to $1 million at fixed interest rates and terms up to five years. Loans can be secured by equipment, inventory or cash, and monthly payments will be deducted from your checking account automatically.

Secured, revolving lines are available that range from $25,000 to $500,000 with variable interest rates. To qualify, you will need a TD Bank business checking account with a minimum balance of $40,000 and to agree to automatic loan payment deductions from the account.

TD Bank is an SBA preferred lender that offers SBA 7(a), 504 and Express loans. TD Bank was one of the top lenders by volume in fiscal year 2023. It approved 3,811 SBA 7(a) loans, ranking only behind Huntington National Bank

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
.

TD Bank offers real estate loans up to $1 million with five-year terms to buy or refinance commercial real estate. Healthcare practice financing up to $12 million is also offered with 100% financing plus working capital.

8. Capital One

Best for: Lines of credit up to $5 million

Capital One offers business loans, lines of credit and SBA financing as well as real estate, equipment and medical practice loans. Discounted rates are available to businesses that have existing business deposit relationships with Capital One.

Business loans have minimum amounts of $10,000 and maximum amounts of $5 million. Collateral or a deposit may be required to secure the loan. You have to visit a Capital One location and talk with a representative to start the application process and a business checking account is required.

Amounts for lines of credit are the same as for loans, ranging from $10,000 to $5 million — one of the largest limits offered by the lenders on our list. A business checking account and visit to a Capital One location are needed to apply.

Capital One offers SBA loans including the 7(a), 504 and the Express program, but it is not a very active SBA lender based on the number of loans it funds. Capital One approved only 75 SBA 7(a) loans for a total amount of about $68 million in fiscal year 2023

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
.

Equipment loans, real estate loans up to $5 million and medical practice loans are also offered by Capital One.

9. Fifth Third Bank

Best for: Fast approval with minimum documentation

Fifth Third Bank says it can approve and fund business term loans and lines of credit as quickly as 48 hours. And with any business loan or line of credit, the standard monthly service charge on your business checking account will be waived.

Two options are offered for term loans, both with fixed interest rates. Loan amounts for secured term loans are undisclosed, but the unsecured term loan offers amounts from $10,000 to $100,000.

Both secured and unsecured lines of credit are offered. Amounts for the unsecured line of credit range from $10,000 to $100,000 and secured lines of credit are for amounts over $100,000.

SBA 7(a), SBA 504 and SBA Express loans are offered by the bank. While not at the top of SBA lenders, Fifth Third Bank approved 182 SBA 7(a) loans for a total amount of over $122 million in fiscal year 2023

U.S. Small Business Administration. 7(a) & 504 Lender Report. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.
— more than Capital One and Citibank.

Fifth Third Bank also offers real estate loans and healthcare practice financing for medical, dental, optometry and veterinary practices.

How to get a business loan from a bank

Although recent market conditions have led banks to tighten their lending standards, it’s still possible to access this type of business financing. Here’s what you need to get business loan from a bank:

An existing relationship

Most banks require you to have at least a business checking account at their institution. While you can simply open an account at some banks to meet this qualification, you can often benefit from a longer-term relationship. For example, you need an account with Wells Fargo for at least one year to apply for financing online.

Good credit

You’ll likely need a personal credit score in the 700s — although some lenders may be a little more flexible than others. Wells Fargo, for instance, accepts a minimum credit score of 680 for its unsecured line of credit.

Potential deal-breakers in your personal credit history could include too much debt, too many open accounts or negative marks — like late payments, loan defaults and bankruptcies. The bank will check your business credit score for similar red flags.

Strong revenue

When you apply for a small-business loan, the bank will look to see whether your business is in good shape and has enough revenue to support how much you want to borrow. For example, Bank of America’s unsecured business loans require at least $100,000 in annual revenue; its secured options increase that number to $250,000.

Enough time in business

Two years under the same ownership is the standard time in business requirement. But there are exceptions. For example, some U.S. Bank lending products are available if you’ve been in business for just six months.

Collateral

You don’t necessarily need to put up business collateral like commercial property or equipment to get a bank loan. Some banks offer both unsecured and secured business loans. But the bank may fund larger amounts for secured loans, while also providing longer terms and lower interest rates to make payments more affordable.

Alternatives to bank business loans

If you can’t get a business loan from a big bank, consider these alternatives:

Community banks

Business loan applicants report higher approval rates from smaller banks than big-name financial institutions, as well as greater overall satisfaction, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2023 Report on Employer Firms

. However, the number of community banks is dwindling, and a local bank may lack the benefits you want — like online loan management or multiple locations.

Online lenders

Online business loans come with faster funding and higher approval rates than bank loans. Some online lenders even specialize in small-business loans. For example, for fiscal year 2023, Live Oak Bank, a digital bank, was the most-active SBA 7(a) lender by loan approval amount.

Online lenders are also less likely to require traditional collateral and may provide funding for newer businesses. But the trade-off will likely be higher costs than a traditional bank offers.

Microlenders

Nonprofit organizations offer microloans, and these can be a good choice for startups or small businesses that need working capital but can’t qualify for a bank business loan.

Microloans are typically less than $50,000 and can come with short repayment terms. Their costs may also be higher than a bank business loan.

Find the right business loan

The best business loan is generally the one with the lowest rates and most ideal terms. But other factors — like time to fund and your business’s qualifications — can help determine which option you should choose. NerdWallet recommends comparing small-business loans to find the right fit for your business.

NerdWallet assigning editor Ryan Lane contributed to this article.

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