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Published 29 September 2023
Reading Time
7 minutes

Barclays Business Loans Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Read our review of Barclays business loans, including its pros, cons, and key features.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

Barclays is a British bank offering financial services to everyone from consumers to owners of small and larger businesses. It offers a variety of borrowing solutions for businesses at different stages of growth and across a variety of sectors. 

You don’t need to be a Barclays business account holder to get a loan, but you must  hold a business account with another bank and meet any relevant eligibility criteria for the loan you’re considering.

In terms of business borrowing, Barclays offers unsecured and secured business loans, as well as commercial mortgages, business overdrafts, asset finance, invoice finance, and its Barclaycard for business credit card.

Barclays Unsecured Business Loan

Barclays Unsecured Business Loan
  • Representative APR
    11.50%
    Representative Example for loans over £10,000
  • Representative Example
    11.50% APR representative based on a loan of £12,000 repayable over 72 months at an interest rate of 11.50% per annum (fixed). Monthly repayment of £227.98. Total amount payable £16,414.56.
  • Available amounts
    £1,000 – £100,000
  • Available Terms
    1 – 10 years

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Key features

  • Borrowing options
    There is a range of borrowing options to suit different business needs, including secured and unsecured business loans.
  • Term lengths
    There is the potential for flexible terms for how long you want to borrow.
  • Repayment holidays
    With agreement, businesses can take a six-month repayment holiday at the start of your unsecured business loan.
  • Choice of rates
    Choose between fixed- and variable interest rates.

Barclays business loans pros & cons

Pros

  • Businesses can borrow from one to 10 years with an unsecured loan, and up to 25 years with a secured loan.
  • There is a wide range of customer service options, including social media, via its app or ‘help and support’ on your online account.
  • Barclays has branches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • You can borrow up to £100,000 with an unsecured loan.

Cons

  • General business phone lines are only open five days a week.
  • You can’t apply for a Barclays business loan online if you’re a new customer.
  • Unsecured loans are not available for all industries, but Barclays does not specify which industries may be excluded on its website.

The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on a combination of our expert, research-based opinions and an exclusive survey of UK business owners and decision makers. The survey was conducted on behalf of NerdWallet UK in December 2022 to identify the business loans features that people feel are most important. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal and business circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.

Barclays business loans full review

Barclays offers both secured and unsecured loans, as well as overdrafts and asset finance, and you can consider a Barclays borrowing solution whether you are already a business customer or not. 

Once you’ve signed an agreement, the funds could be in your account in as little as 48 hours, allowing you to expand your business, invest in equipment, or improve cash flow. 

Additionally, like many lenders, Barclays business loans can be flexible, allowing you to choose a loan term and a fixed- or variable rate, depending on your needs and the type of loan you opt for. 

Unsecured business loans

With an unsecured business loan from Barclays, you can borrow up to £100,000 without securing the loan against an asset and have the funds in your account within 48 hours of signing the paperwork.

You can choose the length of time you borrow over, from one to 10 years. Interest rates for unsecured business loans are fixed at the beginning of your contract, so you will know how much you are paying back. 

There is added flexibility with a Barclays unsecured loan, as you can choose to take a six-month repayment holiday at the start of your loan. You should know, however, that interest accrues during that period and will be reflected in your monthly repayments once you start making them.

Secured business loans

With a Barclays secured business loan, you can apply to borrow more than your provisional lending limit – the amount that the bank is willing to lend you based on what it already knows about your business’s finances.  This is because you will be using an asset you own, such as a property, as a security against the loan. If you fail to keep up with your repayments, you may lose the security you have used as an asset.

You can choose between a fixed- and variable rate with a Barclays secured business loan, and can repay your loan over a maximum period of 25 years.

Barclays business loans: at a glance

Amount borrowableUp to £100,000 (unsecured)More than £100,000 – no minimum specified  (secured)
Term lengthUp to 10 years (unsecured)
Up to 25 years (secured)
Web-based customer serviceVia X (formerly Twitter) @BarclaysUK and
Via the app
UK customer service numberExisting loans: 0333 202 7445Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pmNew (secured and unsecured) loans: 0333 202 7431
Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm
AppYes (iOS and Android)
Face-to-face customer serviceYes
Access to loans without pre-existing accountYes

Where Barclays business loans stands out

Amount borrowable: Eligible businesses can get unsecured loans up to £100,000.

Repayment holidays: You can take a six-month repayment holiday at the beginning of your unsecured loan. (But remember that interest will continue to accrue, so you will pay more interest over the term of the loan.)

No need to hold an existing Barclays business account: You don’t have to have a Barclays business account to apply for a business loan.

Where Barclays business loans fall short

Early repayments: While there are no charges for making early repayments with your Barclays business loan, there will be costs associated with the interest accrued on the loan amount.

Excluded industries: Barclays’ unsecured loans are not available for all industries, but it does not state on the website which industries are exempt. 

Customer reviews: Barclays banking in general, not its business loans specifically, has a ‘Bad’ rating on Trustpilot.

Barclays business loans customer reviews

Barclays has a ‘bad’ rating of 1.4 out of 5 based on over 8,900 reviews on Trustpilot. However, it’s important to note that this score and the Barclays app scores below are  based on Barclays’ banking services in general and is not specific to its business loans.

The Barclays mobile app has a rating of:

  • 4.8 out of 5, based on over 1.7 million reviews on the app store
  • 4.5 out of 5 based on 483,000 reviews on Google Play

This information is correct as of 29 August 2023.

Barclays business loans eligibility 

To be eligible for a Barclays business loan, you need to:

  • be based in the UK
  • be a sole trader, partnership, limited company, charity, club or association
  • pass the lender’s assessment
  • be the business owner or have a bank mandate for the business

Barclays doesn’t stipulate a business age or size in its lending criteria – you could be a start up or a more established business. For established businesses, it will require your annual turnover for the past 12 months. For start ups, it will need your business’s annual sales forecasted turnover.

How to apply for a Barclays business loan

If you are a Barclays business bank account holder, you can apply for an unsecured business loan via online banking. However, if you would like to apply for a secured loan, you will need to call Barclays on your usual contact number, or 0333 202 7431.

If you are new to Barclays, you will need to call 0800 515 4623 to apply for both unsecured and secured business loans.

Either way, Barclays will require the following information as part of your application:

  • trading accounts
  • current business plan
  • profits and losses
  • how you plan to use the loan

You should receive a decision on your loan within a few days of making your application. If Barclays needs more information from you, it may take a bit longer.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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