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Best Emergency Business Loan Options

Steve NicastroMay 21, 2020

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

When a crisis strikes your business, the difference between its survival and bankruptcy could be quick access to an emergency business loan.

Banks and credit unions provide low-cost U.S. Small Business Administration loans, but it usually takes months to get approved and access funds. Small-business owners who are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak may get faster funding with the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Alternatively, online lenders provide fast emergency financing through term loans, business lines of credit and invoice factoring. Below, we compare some of the best online emergency business loan options.

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

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

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on Fundera's website

Our picks for

Best emergency business line of credit

Kabbage - Line of credit

Kabbage - Line of credit

Est. APR

24.00 - 99.00%

Min. Credit Score

560

Kabbage provides financing up to $250,000 as fast as a few days, and is an option for business owners with bad credit.

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.
Fundbox - Line of credit

Fundbox - Line of credit

Est. APR

10.10 - 79.80%

Min. Credit Score

500

Fundbox offers funding as fast as the next business day, and qualifying may be easier than with other lenders.

Pros

  • Cash can be available by the next day.
  • Low minimum credit score requirement.

Cons

  • Rates are high compared to traditional banks.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 500.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000.
OnDeck - Line of credit

OnDeck - Line of credit

Est. APR

13.99 - 63.00%

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck offers a business line of credit up to $100,000, and withdrawals between $1,000 to $10,000 can be made instantly after approval.

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: 3 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $250,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.

Our pick for

Best emergency business term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

Est. APR

9.00 - 99.00%

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck’s term loan provides quick cash to cover an emergency or if you want to take advantage of an opportunity to grow your business.

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.

Our pick for

Best emergency invoice factoring

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

Est. APR

15.00 - 68.00%

Min. Credit Score

530

Businesses with unpaid customer invoices can turn those invoices into fast cash with BlueVine, which approves loans as fast as 24 hours.

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: $100,000.

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 Best Emergency Business Loan Options

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

Kabbage - Line of credit

Best for Best emergency business line of credit

24.00 - 99.00%

560

Fundbox - Line of credit

Fundbox - Line of credit

Best for Best emergency business line of credit

10.10 - 79.80%

500

OnDeck - Line of credit

OnDeck - Line of credit

Best for Best emergency business line of credit

13.99 - 63.00%

600

OnDeck - Online term loan

OnDeck - Online term loan

Best for Best emergency business term loan

9.00 - 99.00%

600

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

Best for Best emergency invoice factoring

15.00 - 68.00%

530

Coronavirus emergency business loans

Coronavirus relief options provided by the CARES Act include PPP loans and SBA disaster loans. While huge demand quickly depleted the initial funds, a second round of funding is available until it runs out.

PPP loans: The SBA is providing these forgivable business loans up to $10 million for small businesses, independent contractors and the self-employed. The loans can be used to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

You can apply for the PPP through participating SBA lenders, which includes banks, credit unions and online lenders such as BlueVine.

SBA disaster loans: The SBA also provides EIDLs, which are grants of up to $10,000 for businesses with a temporary loss of revenue due to a disaster.

This includes businesses struggling in the coronavirus pandemic, as well as non-pandemic disasters such as tornadoes, flooding or droughts.

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 fund loans the same day.

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 21, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Emergency Business Loan Options

Frequently asked questions