Does your business need funding? Find your best loan options with Fundera by NerdWallet.

You’re our first priority.
Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners.

Best Of

Emergency Business Loan Options and COVID-19 Relief

Online lenders provide emergency business loans as fast as the same day. Compare your options.

Steve NicastroMarch 31, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Small-business owners dealing with the impact of the coronavirus or a different emergency may qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the federal government. Online lenders may also be a good fit for fast cash, as they often take less time to provide funding than traditional financial institutions.

How Much Do You Need?

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Our picks for

Best emergency business line of credit

See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

OnDeck - Line of credit

See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

11.00 - 61.90%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck offers a fast line of credit for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who need to manage cash flow or buy inventory.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within the same business day.
  • Requires low minimum credit score.
  • Less paperwork than most lenders.

Cons

  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment will not save interest.
  • Requires weekly repayments.
  • Requires personal guarantee.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.

Our pick for

Best emergency business term loan

See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

OnDeck - Online term loan

See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

9.00 - 99.00%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within the same business day.
  • Requires low minimum credit score.
  • Less paperwork than most lenders.

Cons

  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment will not save interest.
  • Requires frequent (daily or weekly) repayments.
  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.

Our pick for

Best emergency invoice factoring

See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

15.00 - 68.00%

Depending on your creditworthiness and your business's financials

Min. Credit Score

530

BlueVine's invoice factoring can turn unpaid customer invoices into fast cash.

Pros

  • Finances larger invoices.
  • Cash can be available within the same day.
  • Accepts low minimum credit score and short time in business.

Cons

  • Not for businesses that do not invoice on net terms.
  • Loan amount is tied to the value of your invoices.
  • Dependency on customers to pay their bills on time.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 530.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000.

How Much Do You Need?

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Summary of Emergency Business Loan Options and COVID-19 Relief

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreNext Steps

OnDeck - Line of credit

Best for Best emergency business line of credit11.00 - 61.90%600
See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

OnDeck - Online term loan

Best for Best emergency business term loan9.00 - 99.00%600
See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

Best for Best emergency invoice factoring15.00 - 68.00%530
See Your Loan Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Government emergency business loans

The federal government offers emergency business loans for small-business owners who have been impacted by disasters, including the pandemic:

SBA disaster loans: Businesses struggling due to disasters such as tornadoes, flooding or droughts may qualify for SBA disaster loans of up to $2 million.

For small-business owners in need of COVID-19 relief, the SBA is offering COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $500,000 through Dec. 31, 2021.

PPP loans: The Paycheck Protection Program provided forgivable relief loans for businesses, independent contractors and the self-employed hard hit by the pandemic. These loans are no longer available.

Benefits of online loans

Online lenders can be a strong option for an emergency business loan. They provide the speed and convenience that big banks and credit unions often do not.

Most online lender websites disclose how fast applications can be completed and how long it takes to fund a loan, making it easier to compare options by speed. Applications can usually be completed in just a few minutes, and many lenders offer same-day business loans.

Other factors to compare include origination fees, annual percentage rates (the interest rate plus all fees associated with the loan) and the loan’s repayment term.

You can use a business loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments and total interest costs to determine the loan’s affordability.

Types of emergency business loans

Here are the main types of emergency business loans and how to choose which one works best for you.

Term loans: A term loan provides a lump sum of cash, repaid weekly or monthly with interest over a predetermined period. It’s an option when you need to finance a large, one-time emergency expense, like replacing a broken piece of equipment or busted pipes.

Business lines of credit: This type of financing provides 24/7 access to capital, so it can make sense for covering costs during a crisis. You get a borrowing limit (up to $250,000) that you can keep reusing and repaying, as long as you make timely payments and you don’t exceed your credit limit.

Invoice factoring: If you have customers who owe you money but have yet to pay, those unpaid invoices can be sold to a factoring company for a fee. However, this type of financing can be costly, and the factoring company may deal with your customers directly to collect on the unpaid invoices.

Avoid predatory loans

Small businesses can be targets of predatory lending practices, such as not listing fees and interest rates as annual percentage rates, charging prepayment penalties and offering loans with payment terms that aren't fixed.

Merchant cash advances are a type of business loan that is often considered predatory and should be seen as an option of last resort. MCA loan payments are either automatically deducted from your credit card sales or withdrawn daily or weekly from a bank account.

MCAs typically carry APRs in the triple digits. The high costs and frequent payments can put a strain on your cash flow and lead to a debt trap, where you need to take out more cash just to stay afloat.

Compare small-business loans

NerdWallet has come up with a list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness and user experience, among other factors, and arranged lenders by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

Last updated on May 25, 2021

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Emergency Business Loan Options and COVID-19 Relief

Frequently Asked Questions

Small-business owners impacted by the pandemic may be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan of up to $500,000. The deadline to apply for a COVID-19 EIDL is Dec. 31, 2021.

It’s tough to get a small-business loan with a bad personal credit score (300 to 629 FICO), but you may have options. Online lenders have credit score minimums starting at 500, and may also consider your annual revenue and time in business.

Does your business need funding? Find your best loan options with Fundera by NerdWallet.

See Your Loan Options