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Where to Find Cash Flow Loans in 2020

Jackie ZimmermannApril 7, 2020

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

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 cash 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

Kabbage - Line of credit

Kabbage - Line of credit

Est. APR

24.00 - 99.00%

Min. Credit Score

560

Kabbage provides fast loans for business owners with bad personal credit, but rates can be high.

Pros

  • Financing up to $250,000 available within a few days.
  • Accepts low credit scores.

Cons

  • Rates are high compared to other online lenders.
  • Must have online checking or PayPal account to verify cash flow.
  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment does not save interest.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000.
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

600

BlueVine's line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.

Pros

  • Offers options for businesses less than a year old.
  • Cash can be available within 12 to 24 hours.

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: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 6 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • 12-month line of credit
  • Minimum credit score: 620.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $450,000.

Our picks for

Loans for businesses with strong cash flow

SmartBiz - SBA loan

SmartBiz - SBA loan

Est. APR

6.73 - 10.29%

Min. Credit Score

650

SmartBiz’s low-cost SBA loans work best for established businesses that want to finance an expansion or refinance debt.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • Faster than getting an SBA loan from a bank.

Cons

  • Must have strong financials, supported by personal and business tax returns for the past 3 years.
  • Stringent rules on use of proceeds.
  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000.
  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the past 3 years.
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 Lendio's website

Summary of Where to Find Cash Flow Loans in 2020

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit Score
Kabbage - Line of credit

Kabbage - Line of credit

Best for Short-term loans for cash flow gaps

24.00 - 99.00%

560

OnDeck - Online term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

Best for Short-term loans for cash flow gaps

9.00 - 99.00%

600

BlueVine - Line of credit

BlueVine - Line of credit

Best for Short-term loans for cash flow gaps

15.00 - 78.00%

600

SmartBiz - SBA loan

SmartBiz - SBA loan

Best for Loans for businesses with strong cash flow

6.73 - 10.29%

650

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

Best for Loans for businesses with strong cash flow

19.99 - 24.99%

680

Cash flow loans: 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 for 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.

If you need fast cash: Kabbage’s policy of looking beyond credit score in the underwriting process may help you secure financing, though your annual percentage rate may be close to triple digits.

OnDeck offers an easy application process for its term loans and lines of credit. You need a personal credit score of at least 500 to qualify for term loans and 600 for lines of credit. Most OnDeck borrowers have a score of 660 or higher.

You can also access a six-month line of credit up to $150,000 with BlueVine if you have a credit score of at least 600. With APRs from 16% to 62%, rates are slightly more competitive than Kabbage or OnDeck. BlueVine also offers a 12-month line of credit for businesses with a credit score of at least 650 and $500,000 in revenue.

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.

For Small Business Administration loans: If your credit and cash flow are strong, turn to SmartBiz for access to loans with APRs of 9.7% to 11.04%, roughly on par with traditional banks and the lowest in the alternative lending space.

For fast financing: SmartBiz loans can take weeks to fund, so if you need faster financing, check out StreetShares, which can get you funding in one to five days. However, financing is capped at 20% of your annual revenue.

For faster financing and high loan amounts: Credibility Capital offers faster financing than SmartBiz, but a larger loan amount than StreetShares. Loans max out at $350,000, making it a better choice if you have strong cash flow and are looking to tackle a big project.

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 April 7, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Where to Find Cash Flow Loans in 2020