Commercial Real Estate Loans: Compare Best Options

Online lenders offer real estate loans for purchases, renovations or refinancing debt. Compare your options.

Steve NicastroNovember 21, 2019
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Purchasing real estate, renovating your current property or refinancing real estate debt can be a smart way to grow your small business. Online lenders offer solid alternatives to traditional banks for commercial real estate loans due to looser requirements and faster time to funding. You may, however, pay a bit more for that speed and convenience.

Before shopping for small-business loans, it’s a good idea to estimate the profit from your real estate purchase or renovation or the savings from a refinance to ensure it’s more than the cost of the loan. Always weigh the terms, interest, fees and speed of funding carefully before making a decision.

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

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Our pick for

Business renovations

Funding Circle - Online term loan

Funding Circle - Online term loan

Est. APR

12.18 - 36.00%

Min. Credit Score


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


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


  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
Read full review


  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: None.
  • No bankruptices in the past 7 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 Commercial Real Estate Loans: Compare Best Options

Real estate loans for purchases or refinancing

SmartBiz is your best bet if you’re an established and profitable business looking for the lowest borrowing costs.

The company provides Small Business Administration 7(a) commercial real estate loans ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. You can use the proceeds to purchase real estate or refinance existing real estate debt.

With a 25-year repayment term and relatively low APRs, you’ll have a lower monthly payment than with regular business loans.

To qualify, you need a personal credit score starting at 675, at least three years in business and $250,000 or more in annual revenue. In addition, a minimum 51% of the property you purchase must be occupied by and used by your business. You also need to meet the SBA’s eligibility requirements.

A first lien on the real estate is required. Based on its appraised value, you must have at least 10% to 20% equity in the real estate for a refinance or put down 10% to 20% for a real estate purchase. For SmartBiz’s no down-payment plan (called rent replacement option), the monthly loan payment cannot exceed your current monthly lease expense.

Real estate loans for renovations

Funding Circle provides loans up to $500,000, repaid over a period of six months to five years. You need at least two years of business history to qualify, as well as a minimum 620 credit score. There are no minimum revenue requirements, although typical borrowers have annual revenue of about $2 million.

Compare small-business loans

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

Last updated on November 21, 2019

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Commercial Real Estate Loans: Compare Best Options