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Long-Term Business Loans: Financing for Growth

June 17, 2019
Small Business, Small Business Loans
Long-Term Business Loans: Best Options for Growth
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When your business is looking to expand or make a large investment, a long-term business loan is the way to go.

The benefits of long-term loans include more time to repay and lower monthly payments than you’ll find with short-term business loans. The challenge: It may be harder to qualify because you’ll likely need an established business and strong finances.

As with any business loan, you should compare the costs and terms of each loan carefully.

We’ve outlined the best long-term small business loans, starting with the longest repayment term:


Long-term business loans up to 10 years

SBA 7(a) Loan

  • Loan amount: $30,000 to $350,000.
  • APR: 9.7% to 11.04%.
  • Loan term: 10 years.
  • Funding time: As quickly as seven days but typically several weeks.
  • Read our SmartBiz review.
Apply now at SmartBiz

SmartBiz provides U.S. Small Business Administration loans of up to $350,000 with a 10-year repayment term, which can make it easier to manage monthly payments. For example, a $100,000 loan with an 10% annual percentage rate would require monthly payments of $1,424 over 10 years, while the same loan with a five-year term would require monthly payments of $2,260. Figure out your loan’s monthly payment and costs by using NerdWallet’s business loan calculator.

Best for: Financing an expansion, renovating real estate or refinancing debt.

Pros: Low APR, no prepayment penalties.

Cons: Your business needs to be established and have strong finances to qualify, and you’ll need to meet the SBA’s rigorous requirements. It could take several weeks to complete the qualification process and get funding. 

How to qualify: You’ll need to have been in business at least two years and earn at least $50,000 in annual revenue. You’ll also need a minimum personal credit score of 600 for loans of $30,000 to $150,000 and at least 650 for loans over $150,000. Here’s a list of SBA ineligible businesses.

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Long-term business loans up to 5 years

If you don’t qualify for an SBA loan through SmartBiz or you want funding faster, Lending Club, Funding Circle and Able Lending are solid choices. However, since these lenders carry higher APRs and have repayment terms of up to five years, your monthly payments will be higher than with SmartBiz.

  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $300,000.
  • APR: 9.8% to 35.7%.
  • Loan term: 1 to 5 years.
  • Funding time: As fast as two days, but typically a week or two.
  • Read our Lending Club review.
Apply now at Lending Club

Lending Club provides term loans of up to $300,000, repaid monthly over one to five years. Although the APR on a loan starts at 9.8%, it can reach 35.7%, depending on your credit score, annual revenue and the overall strength of your business.

Best for: Expansion or working capital.

Pros: Less stringent requirements than SmartBiz, no prepayment penalties, fast funding.

Cons: High rates if you have bad credit or weak revenue.

How to qualify: Although Lending Club’s requirements are less rigorous than those at SmartBiz, you’ll still need a personal credit score of at least 600, one year of business history and at least $50,000 in annual revenue to qualify.

  • Loan amount: $25,000 to $500,000
  • APR: 11.19% to 26.61%
  • Loan term: 6 months to 5 years
  • Funding time: Average of 10 days
  • Read our Funding Circle review
Apply now at Funding Circle


Funding Circle provides loans of up to $500,000. As with Lending Club, you repay monthly over one to five years. The APR on Funding Circle’s loans can range from 11.19% to 26.61%, which is nearly identical to Lending Club’s.

Best for: Expansion, refinancing debt.

Pros: High borrowing amounts, no prepayment penalties.

Cons: Need strong credit to qualify; slower time to funding than peers.

How to qualify: You’ll need a minimum credit score of 620, which is 20 points higher than Lending Club’s minimum. You’ll also need a minimum of two years in business, but Funding Circle doesn’t require a minimum annual revenue. Also, you can’t have had a personal bankruptcy within the past seven years.

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Summary: Long-term business financing options

Funding optionsGood option for:Loan amount & APR
Apply now at SmartBiz
• SBA loans for business expansion or refinancing debt

• Established businesses with strong finances

• Businesses that can wait longer for financing
• $30,000 to $350,000

• 9.7% to 11.04%
Before you apply for a SmartBiz loan, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

  • At least two years in business

  • 600+ personal credit score for loans $30,000 to $150,000

  • 650+ personal credit score for loans over $150,000

  • $50,000+ annual revenue

  • Personal guarantee required

  • No outstanding tax liens

  • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in past three years

  • No recent charge-offs or settlements

  • Must be current on government-related loans

Do I qualify?
Apply now at Lending Club
• Businesses that don't qualify for SBA loans

• Fast cash for an expansion
• $5,000 to $300,000

• 9.8% to 35.7%
Before you apply for a Lending Club loan, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

  • 600+ personal credit score

  • At least one year in business

  • $50,000+ in annual revenue

  • Own at least 20% of the business

  • No recent bankruptcies or tax liens

  • Provide collateral for loans of more than $100,000

Lending Club is currently unavailable to borrowers in Iowa and Idaho.

Do I qualify?
Apply now at Funding Circle
• Businesses that don't qualify for SBA loans

• Businesses that need to borrow more than $300,000

• Fast cash for an expansion
• $25,000 to $500,000

• 11.19% to 26.61%
Before you apply for a Funding Circle loan, find out whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

  • 620+ personal credit score

  • At least two years in business

  • No minimum annual revenue required

  • No bankruptcy in the past seven years

  • Personal guarantee required

Do I qualify?

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Want to compare more small-business loans?

NerdWallet has created a comparison tool of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.


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