Skip to content

Best Short-Term Business Loans of July 2024

By Randa Kriss
Last updated on May 28, 2024
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed
Short-term loans offer fast funds to cover immediate business financing needs. Online lenders typically provide these loans.

with Fundera by NerdWallet

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.

Short-term business loans provide funds for working capital, emergency expenses, interruptions in cash flow and other immediate financing needs. These small-business loans typically have repayment terms of 12 months or less, although some may have terms that extend up to 24 months.
This type of short-term financing is generally available through online lenders in the form of business term loans, business lines of credit, invoice factoring and merchant cash advances.
Below, compare some of the best options for short-term business loans.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

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

Here are 8 short-term business loans

LenderNerdWallet RatingMax loan amountMin. credit scoreNext steps

Bluevine - Line of credit

with Fundera by NerdWallet

5.0/5

Best for Fast short-term business loans

$250,000625

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Headway Capital - Line of credit

with Fundera by NerdWallet

5.0/5

Best for Easy short-term business loans

$100,000625

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Fundbox - Line of credit

5.0/5

Best for Short-term business loans for startups

$150,000600
Read Review

American Express® Business Line of Credit

5.0/5

Best for Short-term business lines of credit

$250,000660
Read Review

OnDeck - Online term loan

with Fundera by NerdWallet

5.0/5

Best for Short-term business loans for working capital

$250,000625

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Fora Financial - Online term loan

with Fundera by NerdWallet

4.5/5

Best for Short-term business loans for bad credit

$1,500,000570

with Fundera by NerdWallet

National Funding - Online Term Loan

with Fundera by NerdWallet

4.0/5

Best for Unsecured short-term business loans

$500,000600

with Fundera by NerdWallet

AltLINE - Invoice Factoring

4.5/5

Best for Invoice factoring

$10,000,000300
Read Review

Here are 8 short-term business loans

Best for Fast short-term business loans

Bluevine

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Best for Easy short-term business loans

Headway Capital

Max Amount

$100,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Best for Short-term business loans for startups

Fundbox

Max Amount

$150,000

Min. Credit Score

600

Best for Short-term business lines of credit

American Express Business Blueprint™

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

660

Best for Short-term business loans for working capital

OnDeck

Max Amount

$250,000

Min. Credit Score

625

Best for Short-term business loans for bad credit

Fora Financial

Max Amount

$1,500,000

Min. Credit Score

570

Best for Unsecured short-term business loans

National Funding

Max Amount

$500,000

Min. Credit Score

600

Best for Invoice factoring

AltLINE

Max Amount

$10,000,000

Min. Credit Score

300

I'M INTERESTED IN:

Our pick for

Fast short-term business loans

Bluevine offers short-term financing with terms of 26 weeks. Funds can be available within hours of approval.

Bluevine - Line of credit

Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Max Loan Amount
$250,000
Min. credit score
625
Est. APR
20.00-50.00%
Bluevine's 26-week line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$250,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

20.00-50.00%

Bluevine's 26-week line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.
Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Our pick for

Easy short-term business loans

You can get a short-term line of credit from Headway Capital with repayment terms up to 24 months. The lender offers a streamlined application and flexible qualification requirements.

Headway Capital - Line of credit

Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Max Loan Amount
$100,000
Min. credit score
625
Est. APR
35.00-80.00%
Headway Capital offers a fast and flexible line of credit for borrowers who may not qualify for more traditional options.

Max loan

$100,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

35.00-80.00%

Headway Capital offers a fast and flexible line of credit for borrowers who may not qualify for more traditional options.
Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Our pick for

Short-term business loans for startups

Fundbox offers short-term funding for startups with six or more months in business.

Fundbox - Line of credit

Max Loan Amount
$150,000
Min. credit score
600
Est. APR
36.00-99.00%
Fundbox offers a business line of credit to fill a cash flow gap, and qualifying is easier than with other lenders.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$150,000

Min. Credit score

600

Apr range

36.00-99.00%

Fundbox offers a business line of credit to fill a cash flow gap, and qualifying is easier than with other lenders.

Our pick for

Short-term business lines of credit

American Express offers short-term lines of credit from $2,000 to $250,000.

American Express® Business Line of Credit

Max Loan Amount
$250,000
Min. credit score
660
The American Express® Business Line of Credit is a good option for business owners with fair credit who want access to working capital.

Max loan

$250,000

Min. Credit score

660

The American Express® Business Line of Credit is a good option for business owners with fair credit who want access to working capital.

Our pick for

Short-term business loans for working capital

OnDeck’s online term loan offers fast access to working capital with repayment terms up to 24 months.

OnDeck - Online term loan

Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Max Loan Amount
$250,000
Min. credit score
625
Est. APR
27.20-99.90%
OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.
May fund quickly

Max loan

$250,000

Min. Credit score

625

Apr range

27.20-99.90%

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

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Our pick for

Short-term business loans for bad credit

Fora Financial offers short-term loans for business owners with credit scores of 570 or higher.

Fora Financial - Online term loan

Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Max Loan Amount
$1,500,000
Min. credit score
570
Fora Financial can be a good fit for borrowers who may fall short of qualifying for traditional bank financing or young but established small businesses looking for speedy financing.

Max loan

$1,500,000

Min. Credit score

570

Fora Financial can be a good fit for borrowers who may fall short of qualifying for traditional bank financing or young but established small businesses looking for speedy financing.
Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Our pick for

Unsecured short-term business loans

National Funding offers short-term loans that don't require physical collateral or a down payment.

National Funding - Online Term Loan

Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Max Loan Amount
$500,000
Min. credit score
600
Borrowers who can't qualify for more traditional loan options might consider National Funding for fast access to capital.

Max loan

$500,000

Min. Credit score

600

Borrowers who can't qualify for more traditional loan options might consider National Funding for fast access to capital.
Read Review

with Fundera by NerdWallet

Our pick for

Invoice factoring

AltLINE can provide business-to-business companies with fast access to cash that’s currently tied up in unpaid invoices.

AltLINE - Invoice Factoring

Max Loan Amount
$10,000,000
Min. credit score
300
AltLINE offers fast invoice factoring with competitive factoring rates.

Max loan

$10,000,000

Min. Credit score

300

AltLINE offers fast invoice factoring with competitive factoring rates.

How Much Do You Need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

What is a short-term business loan?

A short-term business loan is a loan that typically has a shorter repayment period, ranging from three to 12 months — although some terms may go up to 24 months.
Short-term business loans can be good options for covering working capital needs and short-term expenses, paying for emergency expenses or taking advantage of an unexpected business opportunity.

How do short-term business loans work?

Short-term business loans are generally structured as lump sums of capital that you pay back over a set period of time, or term. These loans are usually repaid on a daily or weekly basis, meaning you’ll make larger, more frequent payments than you would with a long-term business loan.
These loans are most often issued by online lenders, which offer fast funding and streamlined applications. Compared with bank or Small Business Administration lenders, short-term lenders typically have more flexible qualification requirements and may work with startups or businesses with bad credit.

Short-term business loan interest rates

Short-term business loans generally have higher interest rates than longer-term loans or more traditional financing options. Interest rates can range anywhere from 10% to 99% APR.
And although some short-term lenders use an annual percentage rate, others might offer a simple interest rate, or even a factor rate. You should always calculate these rates (and fees) into an APR, as this makes it easier to compare products and is the best way to understand how much the loan costs.

Types of short-term business loans

Here are some of the most common types of short-term business loans:

Business term loan

A business term loan provides a one-time infusion of capital into your business. It offers a lump sum of cash that you repay over a set period of time, with interest, to the lender. Term loans can be used for a variety of purposes such as paying short-term expenses, investing in specific projects or making large purchases.

Business line of credit

A business line of credit allows you to access capital as it’s needed for your business. After a lender approves you for a set limit, you have the flexibility to determine how much money to withdraw and when. You’ll make monthly payments and pay interest on the funds you draw. Term loans can be a good option for working capital, cash flow gaps, seasonal slows and emergency funding.

Invoice factoring

For business-to-business companies, invoice factoring can be an option for funds. It involves selling unpaid invoices to a factoring company at a discount in exchange for a cash advance. The factoring company then assumes responsibility for collecting payment from your customers. It can be a good option if your business has a large amount of cash tied up in unpaid invoices.

Merchant cash advance

A merchant cash advance can be an option for a business that has substantial debit and credit card sales. MCA companies give you an upfront sum of capital that you repay using a percentage of your debit and credit card sales, plus a fee. MCAs can have extremely high APRs, however, so they should be used as a last resort option.

Pros and cons of short-term business loans

Pros

Cons

When to consider a short-term business loan

Here are a situations when a short-term business loan may be the right fit for your business needs:
Working capital needs. Short-term business loans can provide quick access to funds that can be used to cover day-to-day business operations and expenses such as rent, supplies, inventory and payroll. These loans may be a good option for businesses that can’t qualify for more traditional financing.
Unexpected business opportunity. If you receive an unexpected business opportunity, a short-term loan may be a good option to help grow revenue or even cut costs. It can provide the funds needed to take on a new customer and hire additional staff or take advantage of an inventory discount for buying in bulk, for example.
Seasonal cash flow gaps. Seasonal businesses often experience interruptions in cash flow during the off-season. A short-term business loan can provide quick access to the funds you need to keep operations running when sales fall off or meet the costs of preparing for the upcoming season.
Emergency expenses. If you need to replace a crucial piece of broken equipment, a short-term loan may be a good option. These loans can help you cover emergency expenses as a result of a natural disaster, accident or economic difficulty.

When to consider an alternative to a short-term business loan

In some cases a short-term loan may not be your best option. Here are some alternative forms of financing to consider:
Loan payment amount is too large. If the monthly payment amount on your short-term loan is outside your budget, a business loan with a longer repayment period may offer a lower monthly payment. Long-term business loans can have terms up to 10 years, and even 25 years, in some cases. Depending on the rate, however, you may pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
Frequent payments will disrupt your cash flow. Daily or weekly payments are often required by short-term lenders. If frequent payments would disrupt your cash flow, you may want to consider a business credit card which operates similar to a business line of credit and typically requires monthly payments. However, carrying a balance instead of paying off the card in full each month can get expensive, depending on the interest rate charged by the lender.
Taking on any additional debt isn’t possible. If your business isn’t generating enough revenue to take on another debt payment, business grants may be an option. Business grants don’t require repayment, but competition for this “free money” is strong.
Can’t meet lender requirements. If you don’t meet lender requirements for a loan because you have a low credit score or haven’t been in business long, consider using crowdfunding to create a fundraising campaign for your business. It can be a low-cost way to raise capital and also an opportunity to build an enthusiastic client base — without taking on additional debt.

How to get a short-term business loan

You can follow these steps to get a short-term business loan:

1. Assess your financing needs

You’ll want to think about how much funding you need and what you want to use it for. You’ll also want to consider what type of business loan is right for you. In addition to term loans, business lines of credit and invoice factoring are common forms of short-term financing.
Since short-term business loans have more frequent payments and higher interest rates, you’ll want to make sure your business can afford any debt you take on.

2. Evaluate your qualifications

Although short-term lenders often have flexible business loan requirements, you’ll want to know where your company stands before applying. You can check your credit score, time in business and annual revenue — as many lenders use these three criteria to evaluate your loan application.

3. Find and compare lenders

Once you have an understanding of your funding needs and qualifications, you can explore lenders to find the best choice for your business.
As you compare different options, you’ll want to consider factors such as:
  • Loan offerings.
  • Interest rates.
  • Additional fees.
  • Repayment terms.
  • Funding speed.
  • Lender reputation.

4. Submit your application

Short-term lenders typically offer a streamlined, online application that can be completed fairly quickly with minimal documentation. Although business loan application requirements vary by lender, you may be asked to provide:
  • Business and personal tax returns.
  • Business and personal bank statements.
  • Business financial statements, such as a profit and loss statement.
Short-term lenders don’t usually require physical collateral to secure your loan, but you’ll likely have to sign a personal guarantee. Your lender may also take out a general lien on your business assets.

5. Close your loan

Before you sign a business loan agreement, you should compare all loan offers you receive to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your business. You’ll also want to thoroughly review the agreement and make sure you understand the repayment terms, interest rate and additional fees. If you have any questions, you should ask the lender for clarification before signing.

Frequently asked questions

Last updated on May 28, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates small-business loan products from traditional banks and online lenders. We collect over 30 data points on each lender using company websites and public documents. We may also go through a lender’s initial application flow and reach out to company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer small-business friendly features, including:
- Transparency of rates and terms. - Flexible payment options. - Fast funding times. - Accessible customer service. - Reporting of payments to business credit bureaus. - Responsible lending practices.
We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to small-business owners and how meaningfully they impact borrowers’ experiences.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodology for small-business loans and our editorial guidelines.

Wondering if you qualify?

It’s possible to get a business loan even if you have bad credit. Bad-credit business loans are available from alternative sources, like online or nonprofit lenders.

Learn more