Best Low-Interest Business Loans 2017

Small Business, Small Business Loans
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved. Here's how we make money.
Business meeting with two colleagues at work at trendy startup company discussing planning strategy for growth and development using smart technology

As a business owner with good personal credit and strong financials, it’s easier to qualify for cheap financing — meaning you can borrow money at a lower annual percentage rate.

APR is an accurate measure of the cost of financing. It includes the interest rate as well as all the fees you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

Even if you can’t qualify for a loan from a traditional bank, which typically offers the best rates, there are alternative lenders that offer low rates. To help get you started, we’ve rounded up several online financing options, starting with Small Business Administration loans, which offer the lowest possible APRs.

Here’s a summary:

Low-interest business loans: Compare your options

(Scroll right to see all the lenders)

Funding options
SmartBiz
smartbiz
Live Oak Bank
Live Oak Bank logo
Credibility Capital
credibilitycapitallogo
StreetShares
Street Shares
Bond Street
Funding Circle
fundingcircle
Best forLow-rate SBA loansBusinesses looking for a large loanBusinesses that are at least a year old
Businesses with low revenueBusinesses with strong cash flowBusinesses with low revenue
Loan details
Loan amount$30,000 - $350,000$75,000 - $5 million$10,000 - $350,000$2,000 - $100,000$10,000 - $1 million$25,000 - $500,000
APR8.5% -9.21%5.75% - 7.75%10% - 25%9% - 40%8% - 25%7.4% - 36%
Minimum qualifications
Personal credit scoreUnder $150K: 600
Over $150K: 650
650650600640620
Annual revenue$50,000Cash flow must be able to support the debt$100,000$25,000$200,000None
Time in business2 years2 years1 year1 year2 years2 years
Apply now at SmartBiz
Apply now at Live Oak
Apply now at Credibility Capital
Apply now at StreetShares
Apply now at Bond Street
Apply now at Funding Circle

For more details

If you’re looking for the lowest-cost loan

If you’ve been business at least one year

If you’ve been in business at least two years

If you’re looking for the lowest-cost loan: SmartBiz and Live Oak Bank

SBA loans are by far your best bet for the lowest possible rates if your business is strong. With the SBA guaranteeing 75% to 85% of the financing, lenders can offer SBA loan rates of 6% to 9% that are based on the prime rate. But the application process is a major time commitment — we’re talking months — and small-business owners may not have time for that.

SmartBiz and Live Oak streamline the SBA loan process, giving business owners access to financing at low interest rates with less hassle.

SmartBiz provides SBA loans that can be used for working capital, inventory, expansion and debt consolidation.

  • Pros: Low rates; faster processing time than traditional bank application
  • Con: Requires more documentation than other alternative financing options


If you do business in one of these 13 highly specialized industries, you can turn to Live Oak Bank for SBA loans with APRs from 5.75% to 7.75%. The North Carolina-based online bank can help get you an SBA loan in just 45 days.

  • Pros: Low rates and high maximum loan amount of $5 million
  • Con: Limited reach — serves only 13 industries
smartbiz
  • Loan amount: $30,000 to $350,000
  • APR: 8.5% to 9.21%
  • Loan term: 10 years
  • Funding time: As quickly as seven days, but typically several weeks
  • Read our SmartBiz review
Apply now at SmartBiz
live-oak-bank-logo-320x85
  • Loan amount: $75,000 to $5 million
  • APR: 5.75% to 7.75%
  • Loan term: 10 to 25 years
  • Approval time: Average of 45 days to process an SBA loan application
  • Read our Live Oak Bank review
Apply now at Live Oak Bank

[Back to top]

If you’ve been in business at least a year: StreetShares and Credibility Capital

Many traditional lenders, such as banks, require at least two years of business history to qualify for a loan. But if you have just one year under your belt, you still have options. Both Credibility Capital and StreetShares offer short-term financing.

Credibility Capital has minimum credit and revenue requirements — 650 and $100,000, respectively. But it also uses a “holistic” approach to underwriting, meaning it may be flexible on some requirements if you are outperforming in other areas.

  • Pro: Offers some underwriting flexibility
  • Con: Higher personal credit score requirement compared with other alternative lenders

StreetShares offers loans and lines of credit of up to $100,000, a good option if you’re looking for a small amount of financing.

  • Pro: Minimum revenue requirement starts at $25,000
  • Con: Funds capped at 20% of your annual revenue
credibilitycapitallogo
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $350,000
  • APR: 10% to 25%
  • Loan term: One, two or three years
  • Funding time: Seven days on average
  • Read our Credibility Capital review
Apply now at Credibility Capital
StreetShares-e1459274893272
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $100,000
  • APR: 9% to 40%
  • Loan term: Three to 36 months
  • Funding time: One to five days
  • Read our StreetShares review
Apply now at StreetShares

[Back to top]

If you’ve been in business at least two years: Bond Street and Funding Circle

With two years in business, you have financing options that come with competitive rates and quick funding.

Bond Street has a maximum loan limit of $1 million for established businesses looking for large loans.

  • Pros: Fast time to funding; competitive APRs starting at 8%
  • Con: Higher revenue requirement than most other alternative options

Funding Circle offers competitive interest rates for established companies. Typical borrowers have at least 10 employees and have been in business for 10 years.

  • Pros: No minimum revenue requirement; APRs start at 7.4% for strong-credit borrowers
  • Con: Smallest funding amount is $25,000, higher than other options here
horizontal-black
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $1 million
  • APR: 8% to 25%
  • Loan term: One to three years
  • Funding time: Average of three to four days
  • Read our Bond Street review
Apply now at Bond Street
FundingCircle_logo_2017
  • Loan amount: $25,000 to $500,000
  • APR: 7.4% to 36%
  • Loan term: Six months to five years
  • Funding time: Average of 10 days
  • Read our Funding Circle review
Apply now at Funding Circle

[Back to top]

Find and compare small-business loans

If none of these options seems like a good fit, NerdWallet has created a comparison tool for the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and filtered them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

Jackie Zimmermann is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: jzimmermann@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @jackie_zm.

Updated July 10, 2017.