BEST OF

Online Business Loans 2021: Compare Your Options

Online lenders often provide faster and easier access to small-business loans than banks, though at higher rates.

Andrew L. WangDecember 28, 2020
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Online business loans have become a popular financing option over the past decade as banks have scaled back on loans to small businesses.

With the help of algorithms and technology, online lenders analyze traditional credit standards, such as personal credit score and cash flow, and may also use nontraditional metrics, including social media interactions and online customer reviews. As a result, they can offer quicker and easier access to capital than traditional lenders like banks and credit unions. Borrowing costs, though, are typically higher for online business loans.

Borrowing from online lenders isn’t for everyone, however. If your business is just getting started, you probably won’t qualify. You’ll have to consider other startup-financing options. But if you’ve been in business at least a year and need quick access to cash or can’t qualify for a bank loan, online small-business loans are worth exploring.

You can compare online financing options by product below: term loans, lines of credit and invoice factoring.

For pandemic-related aid, small businesses have a few options, including Paycheck Protection Program loans, which received new funding in late December.

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

Our picks for

Online business term loans

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.
Funding Circle - Online term loan

Funding Circle - Online term loan

Est. APR

12.18 - 36.00%

Min. Credit Score

660

Funding Circle is an option for established businesses that are financing an expansion or refinancing debt.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within 3 business days.
  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No minimum revenue requirement.

Cons

  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: None.
  • No bankruptices in the past 7 years.
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.

Our picks for

Business lines of credit

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.
Fundbox - Line of credit

Fundbox - Line of credit

Est. APR

10.10 - 79.80%

Min. Credit Score

550

Fundbox offers a business line of credit to fill a cash-flow gap, and qualifying is 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: 550.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $50,000.
OnDeck - Line of credit

OnDeck - Line of credit

Est. APR

11.00 - 61.90%

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

Our pick for

Invoice factoring

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

BlueVine - Invoice factoring

Est. APR

15.00 - 68.00%

Min. Credit Score

530

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

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 Online Business Loans 2021: Compare Your Options

Online term loans for small businesses

Term loans provide a lump sum of cash that you repay over a fixed period. Because you can pay them off over a longer period, term loans are usually the better choice for larger investments and long-term growth.

Term loans include the popular SBA 7(a) program, which are loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration but issued by traditional banks and online lenders.

Lines of credit for small businesses

If you’re looking for financing flexibility, a business line of credit is a better option. You draw on the line — up to a specified amount — as needed and pay interest only on the money you’ve borrowed. Lines of credit are a better choice for short-term expenses. Although the APR may be slightly higher than for term loans, lines of credit provide the flexibility to take out money only when, and as often as, you need it.

Invoice factoring for businesses

Invoice factoring is a way to get immediate cash by borrowing against your unpaid customer invoices, which can help you fill cash-flow gaps while you wait for customers to pay. This type of financing is only for companies that sell goods and services to other businesses and, therefore, have invoices. Typically, invoice factoring costs are higher than with term loans and lines of credit.

Compare online business loans

To help you compare loan options, NerdWallet has a list of small-business loans that are best for business owners. All of our recommendations are based on the lender’s market scope and track record and on the needs of business owners, as well as rates and other factors, so you can make the right financing decision.

Last updated on December 28, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Online Business Loans 2021: Compare Your Options