Does your business need funding? Find your best loan options with Fundera by NerdWallet.

Small-Business Term Loans: Compare Your Top Options

Term loans can finance one-time investments for your small business. Banks, credit unions and online lenders all offer business term loans.
Steve Nicastro, Randa KrissOctober 25, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
A business term loan is a lump sum of capital that you borrow from a lender and pay back on a fixed schedule over a set period of time, otherwise known as a term. Term loans typically have fixed interest rates — starting as low as a 6% annual percentage rate — but you may find that some lenders charge a variable rate that changes based on the market.
Small-business term loans can be used to purchase equipment, renovate office space or meet other similar business needs. This type of financing is a great choice for making long-term investments to grow your business.
Below, you can compare some of the best options for business term loans, as well as learn more about how they work and how to apply for financing.

How Much Do You Need?

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Sort:

Sort By

LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreNext Steps

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Best for Term loans from online lenders6.99-24.99%650
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Funding Circle - Online term loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Best for Term loans from online lenders12.18-36.00%660
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

OnDeck - Online term loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Best for Term loans from online lenders9.00-99.00%600
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

SBA 7(a) loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Best for Term loans backed by the government5.50-8.00%650
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

SBA CDC/504 loans

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Best for Term loans backed by the government2.60-3.20%680
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

SBA Express loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Best for Term loans backed by the government7.75-9.75%650
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Summary of Small-Business Term Loans: Compare Your Top Options

Our picks for

Term loans from online lenders

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

6.99-24.99%

Min. Credit Score

650

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

  • 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: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $200,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 5 years.
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Funding Circle - Online term loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

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.
  • Not available in Nevada.
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.
May fund quickly
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

OnDeck - Online term loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

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: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.
May fund quickly

Our picks for

Term loans backed by the government

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

SBA 7(a) loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

5.50-8.00%

Min. Credit Score

650

7(a) program participants include specialized lenders like Live Oak Bank and big-name traditional banks like Wells Fargo.

Pros

  • Available as a term loan or line of credit.
  • Interest rates are capped.
  • Long repayment terms available.

Cons

  • Personal guarantee is required.
  • Collateral is typically required.
  • Longer processing times than online lenders.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Be a for-profit U.S. business.
  • Must first use alternative financial resources, including personal assets.
  • Financial qualifications determined by individual lender.
Lowest interest rate
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

SBA CDC/504 loans

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

2.60-3.20%

Min. Credit Score

680

You cannot put an SBA CDC/504 loan toward working capital, existing debt or a rental real estate investment.

Pros

  • Low down payment required.
  • Repayment terms of up to 20 years.
  • Competitive interest rates.

Cons

  • Personal guarantee is required.
  • Collateral is required.
  • Longer processing times than online lenders.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Be a for-profit U.S. business.
  • Net worth of less than $15 million.
  • Average net income of less than $5 million for the two years prior to your application.
  • Financial qualifications determined by individual lender.
See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

SBA Express loan

See Your Options

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

Est. APR

7.75-9.75%

Min. Credit Score

650

SBA Express loans are available up to $500,000 as either a term loan or line of credit.

Pros

  • Available as a term loan or line of credit.
  • Interest rates are capped.
  • Faster processing time compared to other government loans.

Cons

  • Personal guarantee is required.
  • Lower borrowing maximum than other government loans.
  • Shorter repayment term for line of credit than 7(a) loans.
Read full review

Qualifications:

  • Be a for-profit U.S. business.
  • Must first use alternative financial resources, including personal assets.
  • Financial qualifications determined by individual lender.

How Much Do You Need?

with Fundera by Nerdwallet

What is a business term loan?

If you have a car loan, student loan or a mortgage, then you’re likely already familiar with the concept of a term loan. You borrow a lump of cash upfront for a specific purpose and repay the loan over a set period of time with fixed, equal payments.
Businesses can use term loans for a variety of purposes, including:
  • Purchasing equipment or inventory.
  • Renovating an existing location or expanding to a new location.
  • Purchasing real estate.
  • Hiring new employees.
  • Working capital.
  • Refinancing existing debt.

How term loans work

Term loans can range in size from $2,000 to $5 million, with APRs typically ranging from 6% to 99%.
Like mortgages and car loans, these loans usually follow an amortization schedule. This means most of your payment goes toward paying interest at the beginning of the loan, and more toward principal near the end. Term loans can often be repaid early to save on interest, although lenders may charge a prepayment penalty.
Business term loans are offered by traditional banks, credit unions and online lenders.
Banks offer low rates on term loans but carry stricter requirements — such as a strong personal credit score and high annual revenue — and take longer to fund. Bank term loans typically have long repayment terms of up to 10 years.
Online lenders offer speed and convenience but often carry higher costs. They also tend to have looser qualifications than banks. In addition, you can get short-term loans with repayment terms between three months and three years from online business lenders.
Both banks and online lenders provide Small Business Administration loans, which are guaranteed by the federal agency. This type of term loan provides up to $5 million and carries repayment terms of up to 25 years, depending on what you plan on using the money for. SBA loans also have some of the lowest APRs, making them a good option for long-term financing.

Business term loan example

To get a better sense of how small-business term loans work, consider this example:
If you had a $100,000 term loan with a five-year repayment period at 20% APR, you’d make fixed monthly payments of $2,649 and pay total interest and fees of $58,963.
You can use NerdWallet’s business loan calculator to figure out the costs and repayments on a term loan.

Types of business term loans

Short-term loans

These loans typically have repayment terms of 12 months or less. Short-term loans are usually offered by online lenders and are fast to fund. Although these loans can be easier to qualify for than some other business term loans, they often have higher interest rates with larger payments required on a daily or weekly basis.

Medium-term loans

Medium-term loans generally have repayment terms ranging from one to five years. These loans are available from online lenders as well as banks and credit unions.
Compared with short-term loans, you may have to meet stricter requirements to qualify for a medium-term loan — however, these products can have more affordable interest rates. Typically, medium term loans are repaid on a weekly or monthly basis, making individual payments more manageable.
Long-term loans
Although medium-term loans and long-term loans are sometimes grouped together, long-term loans typically refer to loans with a repayment period of more than five years.
Long-term loans are usually slow to fund and more difficult to qualify for — but offer low interest rates and ideal terms for financing large projects, such as real estate purchases or business renovations.
These loans are generally repaid on a monthly basis, with lower individual payments spread out across a longer period of time. The total cost of debt, however, may be more overall compared with short-term or medium-term loans.
With terms of up to 25 years, SBA 7(a) loans are a common example of long-term business loans.

Business term loans: Pros and cons

Pros

  • You can borrow large amounts of money to finance expansion or growth.
  • Long repayment terms can make big investments more affordable.
  • Repaying term loans on time may help you build business credit.
  • Loans at online lenders can be approved and funded quickly, usually within a few days to a week.
  • Qualification requirements for online lenders may be looser than those for traditional banks.

Cons

  • Less flexibility than business lines of credit, as payments begin immediately after funding.
  • Shorter term loans may carry high costs and frequent repayments, although this depends on the lender.
  • SBA loans are low cost but carry strict requirements and can take a while to fund.
  • Collateral may be required — this would be an asset, such as equipment or real estate, that the lender can sell if you can’t make payments.

How to apply for a business term loan

If you think a term loan is right for your financing needs, you can follow these steps to apply:
  1. Evaluate your qualifications. Check your credit score, annual revenue and time in business. These are three of the key requirements lenders will look at to determine whether you qualify for a loan.
  2. Compare lenders. Decide which type of lender is best for your needs. Online lenders may have more flexible qualifications and faster funding times, but higher interest rates. Banks and credit unions, on the other hand, can offer more affordable rates, but their products can be harder to qualify for.
  3. Prepare your documentation. Once you’ve decided which lender is right for you, prepare the documentation for your application. Common required documents include business financial statements, business and personal tax returns, business and personal bank statements and business legal documents.
  4. Complete and submit the application. Follow the lender’s instructions to complete the application and provide all necessary documents. Take advantage of any assistance the lender offers to guide you through the application process.
» Use our guide for more information on how to apply for a small-business loan.

Compare small-business loans

If you’d like to 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 October 25, 2021

To recap our selections...

Small-Business Term Loans: Compare Your Top Options

Does your business need funding? Find your best loan options with Fundera by NerdWallet.

See Your Options