BEST OF

Where to Find Cash Flow Loans in 2021

Online lenders provide cash flow loans to fill a cash flow gap. Compare short-term financing options for your small business.

Jackie ZimmermannJanuary 20, 2021
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If you need an influx of cash to help you manage a disruption such as bumpy seasonal sales or if you want to take advantage of an inventory discount, you might need a short-term funding fix to get you through.

On the flip side, if you have a strong, steady flow of revenue and want to borrow money to go after a business opportunity or open a second location, you may qualify for a business loan with a cheaper interest rate and longer term than short-term financing.

We’ve outlined some online small-business loan options for filling a cash flow gap or finding financing based on your cash flow — and ways to figure out which type of cash flow loan is best for you and your business.

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Our picks for

Short-term loans for cash flow gaps

OnDeck - Online term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

Est. APR

9.00 - 99.00%

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: 3 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.
BlueVine - Line of credit

BlueVine - Line of credit

Est. APR

15.00 - 78.00%

Min. Credit Score

650

BlueVine has temporarily paused applications for this product to prioritize PPP funding.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within 12 to 24 hours.
  • Multiple products for different financing needs

Cons

  • Short repayment term results in higher payment amounts.
  • Requires personal guarantee.
  • Not available in North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • 6-month line of credit
  • Minimum credit score: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • 12-month line of credit
  • Minimum credit score: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $480,000.

Our pick for

Loans for businesses with strong cash flow

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

Est. APR

19.99 - 24.99%

Min. Credit Score

680

Credibility Capital offers low-cost business loans that work best for small-business owners with strong credit.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No prepayment penalty.
  • Extra monthly payments can save interest cost.

Cons

  • Short repayment term results in higher payment amounts.
  • Requires high minimum credit score and revenue.
  • Requires business lien and may require personal guarantee.
  • Not available in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 680.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 5 years.

Easily get real, personalized small business loan rates to compare — not just ranges or estimates.

It’s free and won’t affect your credit.

Get Started

on Fundera's website

Summary of Where to Find Cash Flow Loans in 2021

Is a cash flow loan right for your business? What to consider

Would a cash flow loan help you take advantage of inventory discounts? Imagine you have an opportunity to buy bulk inventory at a discount. A cash flow loan could help if you don’t have the money right now to make the purchase.

Would financing help you say yes to a job? Say you own a restaurant and are asked to cater a big event. To jump on the opportunity, you need to hire a few more servers, but you don’t have the cash. A line of credit or short-term loan could let you say yes.

Are you entering a slow period? Another example: You own an ice cream shop and winters are slow. Ideally, you’d budget for this by saving more in the summer, but a cash flow loan could get you through in a pinch.

Do you have a lot of outstanding invoices? Many small businesses experience uneven cash flow because their customers pay invoices weeks or months after receiving their product or service. If you’re in this situation, a short-term small-business loan could bridge the gap, but consider invoice financing instead.

Are you struggling to stay afloat? Using a small-business loan to keep the lights on or finance other basic business needs could cause you to spiral into debt. Instead, talk with a business consultant, like those available at your local Small Business Development Center, and get to the root of your business’s financial problems.

Short-term business loans to manage cash flow gaps

Even if your company is flourishing, a cash flow hiccup can have a big impact on your ability to run it effectively.

Online lenders offer an alternative to traditional bank loans, which are hard to qualify for if your business is fairly new or you have poor credit. But online lenders’ short-term cash flow loans — which typically have repayment terms between three and 36 months — have higher borrowing costs, so they’re best used to finance projects that help your business grow.

Another option is a business credit card, which can help you manage cash flow gaps while also gaining access to rewards, like cash back. Unlike qualifying for a business loan, you typically can qualify for a business credit card with strong personal credit and get competitive interest rates. However, you may need to sign a personal guarantee, which means you’ll be liable for the business’ debt if you miss payments.

Loans for businesses with strong cash flow

So you have strong cash flow, but you’re still looking for a loan? Because many lenders view strong cash flow as an indicator of a strong business, you may qualify for loans with low rates.

SBA loans, which are business loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, offer low rates and competitive terms for businesses with solid credit and strong cash flow. You can qualify for SBA loans through traditional banks as well as online lenders such as SmartBiz.

If you need funding quickly, you can turn to online lenders that offer business loans at competitive rates and a streamlined application process.

Find and compare small-business loans

NerdWallet has come up with a comparison tool for the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and filtered them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

Last updated on January 20, 2021

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Where to Find Cash Flow Loans in 2021