When your business needs money, there are many things to consider before borrowing, including interest rates, your credit history and collateral. Sometimes, though, speed trumps everything. You can’t afford to wait if you need to cover payroll or an emergency repair, for example.
To help you in those situations, we’ve outlined how to find a business loan when you don’t have much time, along with our picks for super-fast providers, and the fastest way to get a small business loan.
How to get a business loan quickly
Before you select and apply for fast small business loans, you should know the different ways a loan may be “fast.” “Fast” in this case could refer to a fast application process, approval and/or funding turnaround.
- Application process: It’s fast to apply for some loans because there isn’t much paperwork or the application is online.
- Approval time: With some loans, you will know immediately or within one business day if you’re approved.
- Funding time: Once you’re approved for the loan, you receive the funds quickly.
A speedy lender should act quickly at each of these three stages. If a lender has a fast application process but takes days to approve you, that’s not very helpful. Similarly, if approval is fast but a lender requires a mountain of application paperwork, that’s no good either. Fast small business loans should be quick from the moment you apply to the moment the money reaches your bank account.
If you have less-than-stellar credit, there are various business loans you can get with bad credit, including hard money loans, business equipment loans and merchant cash advances.
The fastest way to get a small business loan
It’s never been easier or faster to get a small business loan. With today’s technology, many small business owners should be able to apply for a loan, get approved and receive funds in about 24 hours.
“A small business owner can apply online for a small business loan with an alternative lender in a matter of minutes,” said Ben Gold, CEO of Good Funding. “From there, most applicants will receive a decision quickly and, in the best cases, can have funds in hand in as little as 24 hours.”
While it’s easy to get funds quickly with alternative lenders, traditional bank loans typically have a more thorough application process, and it may take weeks for a loan to be approved.
5 fast small business loans from start to finish
|Lender||Loan size||Loan terms||Online application||Instant decision||Time to finance||APR/fees|
|Kabbage||Up to $250,000||At least 1 year in operation|
Annual revenue of $50,000+ or monthly revenue of $4,200
|Yes||Yes||6-18 months||1.5%-10% fee monthly|
|OnDeck||Term loans from $5,000 to $500,000, Lines of credit from $6,000 to $100,000||Personal FICO score of at least 600|
An established business of at least 1 year
Annual revenue of at least $100,000
Business bank account
12 months for lines of credit
|Term loan rates as low as 11.89% APR|
Lines of credit rates as low as 10.99% APR
|Square Capital||$500 to $250,000||Must be a small business owner in good standing and currently using the Square credit card processor||Yes||No (approval time varies)||Must meet minimum payment every 60 days and pay back full amount in 18 months||No ongoing APR; 1 fixed loan fee|
|BlueVine||Up to $5,000,000||Must create a BlueVine account to link invoices to be financed|
Credit score of at least 530
At least 3 months in business
Monthly revenue of at least $10,000
|Yes||Yes||530+ FICO,3+ months in business|
$10,000 in monthly revenue
|APR as low as 0.25% per week|
|Fundbox||Up to $100,000 in credit||Credit score of at least 500||Yes||Yes||Weekly payments (equal installments)|
12- to 24-week payment terms
|Varying fees for each customer|
1. Kabbage: Business line of credit
Kabbage provides short-term business lines of credit. You may receive a credit line for up to $250,000. To qualify for a loan through Kabbage, your business must have been in operation for at least a year with annual revenue of at least $50,000 or monthly revenue of at least $4,200.
You can fill out Kabbage’s simple online application in minutes. Once you create an account, you can link your account to other online systems, such as QuickBooks, PayPal or a business checking account. Connecting a bank account helps Kabbage make a quick decision and review your business’s overall performance.
After linking your business accounts, you must provide some basic information about yourself and your business, including your Social Security number and business address. Once your application is complete, you will find out instantly if you were approved for a loan.
Once approved, business funds are available immediately. You’ll be required to repay the funds within six, 12 or 18 months.
Kabbage’s speed and convenience come at a cost. These loans have a monthly fee, ranging from 1.5% to 10%, depending on various business performance factors.
Editor’s note: Looking for a business loan or financing options? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information:
2. OnDeck: Business loan for working capital
OnDeck is an online lender like Kabbage. It offers term loans from $5,000 to $500,000 and lines of credit from $6,000 to $100,000. To qualify for an OnDeck loan, you must have a personal FICO score of at least 600, a business that’s been running for at least a year, annual revenue of at least $100,000 and a business bank account.
It typically takes less than 10 minutes to apply, which you can do online or over the phone. After you apply, a decision is often delivered in minutes, and you can get your funds within 24 hours.
Again, you have to pay for this convenience. The weighted average rate is around 49% APR for term loans and 35% APR for lines of credit.
For more information, read our full review of OnDeck.
OnDeck serves more than 700 industries, but it can’t lend to certain business types, including adult entertainment businesses, drug dispensaries, civic organizations, rooming and boarding houses, and gambling endeavors.
3. Square Capital: Cash advance for Square merchants
Square is a popular credit card processor for small businesses, and it also offers small business loans to eligible Square sellers. Capital is available in the form of a cash advance.
Small business owners who use Square can access loans from $500 to $250,000 with an average 35% APR. You pay off your loan with automatic deductions from your daily card sales. Square requires you to have it all paid back in 18 months and meet a minimum amount every 60 days.
Loan eligibility is based on:
- Square processing volume. This is generally $10,000 or more annually.
- Square payment frequency. Consistent payments equal a healthy business. Essentially, if you are making Square money, it will notice and help your business.
- New and returning customers. A growing business needs new leads and repeat customers to be sustainable. Square’s analytics tools help you diversify your client base.
- Revenue growth. Square uses your Square transaction amounts to determine the size of your loan offer.
Denial of a business loan from Square or lack of loan offers may result from:
- Chargeback history. Every business wants to avoid chargebacks. Each time a customer disputes a charge from your business and the charge is reversed, this can affect your chargeback history. Using the Square Reader for contactless and chip payments can help you improve your chargeback history.
- Multiple Square accounts. Having multiple Square accounts is encouraged, but that benefits you only if you can run each one consistently. You must be current on all accounts to receive a loan offer.
- Failed debits. Anytime your bank account has insufficient funds to pay debts, it is a sign that you are not ready to successfully manage a new loan.
Square loans are by invitation only. To apply, you just have to go to the loans tab on the dashboard and see if your business is currently eligible. You may also receive an email from Square if any loan offers are available.
When you’re approved, funds could be deposited in your bank account as soon as the next business day. It may take up to three business days to see the money in your bank account, though, depending on your bank’s processing speed.
For more information, read our full review of Square.
PayPal offers a similar program for businesses that receive payment via PayPal. Read our PayPal business loans review for more information.
4. BlueVine: Invoice financing
Many businesses face capital shortfalls while they wait for their customers to pay them for goods and services. If that describes your business, consider BlueVine, which is one of the best invoice factoring companies that lets you turn unpaid invoices into cash.
Any invoice to a business or government customer that’s due within 90 days is eligible for financing. BlueVine works with B2B business owners who have a credit score of at least 530, have been in business for more than three months and have a monthly revenue of at least $10,000.
Using BlueVine is fast and easy: Create a BlueVine account and choose which invoices you want to submit for financing. You can either link your bookkeeping software or manually submit invoices. On your first attempt, BlueVine typically takes one business day to approve invoices for financing.
Repeat customers can have invoices approved in minutes. Once approved, the funds are delivered to your bank account by wire (available the same day) or ACH transfer (available in one business day). BlueVine provides your business with 85% to 90% of the money upfront. You’ll receive the remaining funding (minus the company’s fee) once the invoice is paid.
5. Fundbox: Business credit
With Fundbox, you can apply and find out if you’re approved in minutes. Fundbox offers up to $100,000 in credit. You must have a credit score of at least 500.
When you apply, you just have to share basic information about your company and connect your accounting software or bank account. Once you’re approved, funds may be transferred as early as the next business day.
Your loan is paid off in equal installments over 12 to 24 weeks. Fundbox’s fees are transparent, and you can see them before you sign. Your weekly payment will be the same every seven days. Fundbox can auto-debit your payment, and there are no prepayment penalties.
For more information, read our Fundbox review.
If you’re looking for a more traditional lender, check out our reviews of the best business loan and financing options to understand the breadth of features and costs.
Getting a small business loan fast can be easy
If you need a loan right away, check out some of these options. Regardless of the lender you choose, it’s important to do your research.
“Not all fast [small] business loans and lenders are created equal,” Gold said. “Do your research on the different lenders and loan options in the space, read online reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.”
Saige Driver and Marc Prosser contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.