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Updated May 01, 2024

Types of Fast Business Loans

When your business needs a quick infusion of cash, what are your options? Learn about the different types of fast business loans and what you need to apply for them.

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Max Freedman, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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They say the only two things certain in life are death and taxes, but in business, there’s a third constant: the need for money. When you can’t immediately cover that need with your own cash or assets, fast business loans may help. These types of alternative funding sources can get you ample cash more quickly than traditional lenders can. Read on to learn whether a fast business loan is right for you, what you need to get one, and what types of fast business loans are available.

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6 fast business loans

Top fast business loan lenders

Alternative lender

Time to deposit

Loan size

Collateral

Rapid Finance

Same day

Up to $10 million

No

SBG Funding

Same day

Up to $5 million

No

Balboa Capital

Same day

Up to $250,000

No

Crest Capital

Same day

Up to $500,000

No

Fundbox

Next business day

Up to $150,000

No

Accion

Varies

Up to $250,000

Maybe

With a fast business loan, you can expect the money in your bank account within a day or two. Many lenders tout speedy loan deposits, but some really stood out to us when we reviewed the best business loans

Rapid Finance

This online lender provides business owners with funding the same day as approval. Rapid Finance will lend business borrowers anywhere from $5,000 to $10 million. The lender has a simple online interface and mobile application and fast approvals. The online portal allows you to track the status of your loan and manage it. Rapid Finance offers a variety of loan types, including term loans, merchant cash advances and lines of credit. Learn more in our complete Rapid Finance review.

SBG Funding

SBG Funding can also fund a loan the same day it’s approved. This lender offers a variety of financing options, including term loans, lines of credit, equipment financing, bridge loans and invoice factoring. With many of these loan types, you’ll get a decision on your application in 24 hours. We also like that you can make payments on your loans either monthly or weekly and that you can borrow up to $5 million. You can learn more in our full SBG Funding review.

Balboa Capital

Balboa Capital, another lender that can fund loans the same day as approval, is also willing to work with borrowers with challenged credit scores. We like how this lender uses automated decision-making technology, which quickens the approval process and enables same-day funding. Our comprehensive review of Balboa Capital has more details.

Crest Capital

Small business owners who need fast equipment financing should look to Crest Capital. We found that it is among the fastest lenders in the marketplace. Plus, it has flexible terms, allowing you to finance equipment from anywhere from 24 to 84 months and borrow $5,000 to $500,000. As a bonus, no collateral is required, since the loan is backed by the equipment you are financing. Learn more in our Crest Capital review

Fundbox 

When it comes to a line of credit, Fundbox stands out for its innovation. This lender utilizes digital technology that lets you connect your accounting software and/or bank account with the application. It can also help you figure out how to repay your loan while maximizing your cash flow. This online lender offers credit lines of up to $150,000, with terms ranging from 12 to 24 weeks. Our full review of Fundbox has more information.

Accion

We found that Accion delivers for small business owners who need a microloan fast. Through the Accion Opportunity Fund, this nonprofit lender provides fairly priced loans, educational resources, coaching and networking to small businesses. Accion keeps it simple with an online application that takes 15 minutes to complete. This nonprofit works with lenders in local communities, so the time to get your cash can vary. Our research of Accion found that some microloans can be funded the same day as approval or the next business day. Learn more in our Accion review.

Who should consider a fast business loan?

If your company is experiencing any of the following situations, you may want to consider a fast business loan:

  • Emergencies: Even if you have excellent business insurance, unexpected emergencies can create urgent needs that require rapid-but-expensive solutions. That’s where fast business loans come in. With these loans, you can fix the damage now and pay off the money used for this work later.
  • New company expenses: Starting a business is expensive, and so is growing one. Both of these crucial business tasks may require more money than you can feasibly generate from sales. With a fast business loan, you can get startup or growth funding much more quickly than you could through your standard revenue-generating routes.
  • Time-sensitive business opportunities: Let’s say you’re faced with an obvious business opportunity that requires fast action — a third-party agency that can take you on immediately, a limited-time bulk sale on key items in your inventory, a purchase of a smaller company that will go with another buyer if you don’t purchase it now. Fast business loans make the money you need for these transactions available immediately.
  • Marketing campaign rescue: If your company has embarked on a midlevel sales or marketing campaign that isn’t getting the results you want, you can change that with more funding. Fast cash that arrives in the middle of a campaign can allow you to upgrade to a higher-level campaign that may maximize your return on investment.
  • General quick-cash needs: Whether your company is brand-new or established, there will likely be times when you need more cash than you have on hand — such as for payroll when you’re waiting on payment for several invoices. If you need cash quickly, fast business loans can get it to you.
TipBottom line
There are many reasons a business owner may need to take out a small business loan. The key is to make sure the costs don’t outweigh the benefits.

What documents are needed to apply for a fast business loan?

When you’re applying for fast business loans, you’ll notice that no two providers have exactly the same requirements. However, it’s generally safe to prepare the following documents before you apply for a fast business loan:

  • Basic business information: Most fast business loan providers will require you to give your business’s name, address, contact information, and taxpayer identification number or employer identification number. You also may need to provide all of the business owners’ Social Security numbers.
  • Credit history: Sometimes, all you need to provide is proof of your credit score. Other times, you’ll need to supply a more detailed credit history. Your credit history should show that you have no record of bankruptcies; even one bankruptcy is often enough to disqualify you from access to fast business loans. However, there are some business loans you can get with less-than-stellar credit.
  • Business launch paperwork: You’ll need these documents to prove how long your company has existed. Many types of fast business loans are available solely to companies that have existed for a certain number of years.
  • Business licenses: Occasionally, loan providers will ask for proof that your business is properly licensed. In this case, you can include just your original business license. Leave out other licenses, such as fire permits and DBAs.
  • Company tax returns: Most fast business loan providers have a minimum annual company income that applicants must meet to qualify for funding. Use your company tax returns to prove that your income is above this minimum.
  • Bank statements: Often, you’ll need to couple your company’s tax returns with bank statements for thorough income verification. It’s customary to provide your most recent three months of bank statements when you’re asked for any banking information.
  • Profit and loss statements: Lenders may want to see profit and loss statements to supplement your other financial information.
  • Online software information: Some fast business loan providers require you to detail any online systems that your company uses for e-commerce, sales transactions, payroll and more.
  • Loan history: Be prepared to show your entire history of loan applications and approvals.
  • Other basic business documents: You also may encounter lenders that require you to provide other basic business paperwork, such as your office lease, your basic company history and your mission statement.

In addition, you may need to sign a personal guarantee or business lien that your lender provides. When you sign a personal guarantee, you become personally liable for any funds that your company cannot repay. Similarly, when you sign a business lien, you attach a company or personal asset to your loan, and if you can’t repay your loan, this asset could be seized.

FYIDid you know
Before you apply for a loan with a fast funding lender, get all of your documentation together. Missing paperwork can slow the loan approval process.

Types of fast business loans 

If you’ve determined that a fast business loan is right for you, gather the documents listed above, and then decide which of these fast business loan options may be the best fit for your company.

Business credit cards

When you use business credit cards wisely, they can provide a convenient funding source for your company. Business credit cards often have low or no fees, and you can avoid interest fees if you repay your balance on time. Approval can take just moments or as long as two weeks. When you apply, you may need to provide more information than the requirements listed above, including your company’s size, industry and tax classification. Most of the companies and banks that offer personal credit cards also offer business credit cards.

Invoice financing

Through invoice financing, or factoring, you can turn an unpaid invoice into a loan. This type of financing is available from factoring companies. If a client you’ve invoiced hasn’t paid you and you need their cash now, an invoice financing company can loan you that amount of money. Sometimes, you’ll get the money you need just hours after providing basic financial information to the factoring company. However, collecting your client’s actual payment — which you’ll need to repay your invoice financing loan, fees and interest — could take much longer.

Short-term loans

This broad category of fast business loans comprises any loans you can receive within hours or days. Short-term loans require full repayment, with fees and interest, within one to two years. Short-term lender requirements often overlap with those listed above, though they may vary by company. These loans are available online through alternative lenders.

Merchant cash advances

A merchant cash advance comes from your credit card processing company. You’ll get a cash infusion from your payment processor, and in return, the processor will take a cut of your business’s future income on that card. Alternatively, your card processor will regularly withdraw fixed amounts from your account. You can usually get cash within a day, but your loan fees may be exceptionally high.

Equipment financing

If you’ve ever paid for an expensive item in monthly installments instead of all at once, then you’re familiar with equipment financing. With this type of fast business loan, you can get equipment immediately and pay for it over time. 

You can often be approved within two days, and you’ll have few paperwork requirements. That’s because equipment financing is a low risk for the provider; the equipment itself is the collateral. If you fall behind on your payments, your provider takes back the equipment, leaving you back at square one with less cash than you previously had. This type of financing is usually available from businesses that sell equipment, though many banks offer it as well.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans

SBA loans are often thought of as separate from fast business loans. After all, SBA loans are known for their lengthy approval periods. However, for SBA loans under $150,000, you may be able to receive funding in one week instead of several. Your requirements would be the same as they would with other lenders. However, your interest rate would be lower, and your repayment term would be longer. Although SBA loans are not as fast as the above options, the better interest rates and terms may be worth the wait.

Bottom LineBottom line
Business loans come in a variety of types, with different terms, rates and fees. Your business needs, ability to pay and credit score will dictate which loan is right for your business.

What else to know before pursuing fast business loans

Even if you feel ready to start applying for rapid business funding, you may encounter unfamiliar terms and concepts throughout your application process. Whenever you have questions, you can use the business.com business loan term glossary to help. 

Here’s what to keep in mind before you sign an agreement: 

  • Know the offered APR. Some lenders will give you a monthly interest rate, which is not the same. Credit cards tend to have the highest interest rates.
  • Figure out the ideal term. Have an idea of the term in which your business can repay the loan so you know what kind of loan to get. Short-term loans and credit card financing should be used for repayment within a year or two, while term loans and equipment financing usually have three- to five-year terms.
  • Determine the value of the asset. If you are pursuing equipment financing or inventory financing, you should know the value of the asset being used as collateral.
  • Check for fees. Be aware of any fees, such as those for origination, administration, application and credit checks.
  • Compare costs. Compare the total cost of each loan, including the total interest paid over the life of the loan and all fees.
  • Learn about the interest. Find out if the interest rate is fixed or variable, and have an idea if interest rates are likely to increase or decrease.
  • Negotiate. You can negotiate certain fees, and you also may be able to negotiate your interest rate.
  • Select your loan. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your business in terms of the amount, term, cost, required collateral and credit score.
  • Read the fine print. Read the loan agreement carefully before you sign, watching out for hidden gotchas. You shouldn’t ignore sneaky long-term costs even if you need an immediate solution.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

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Max Freedman, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
For almost a decade, Max Freedman has been a trusted advisor for entrepreneurs and business owners, providing practical insights to kickstart and elevate their ventures. With hands-on experience in small business management, he offers authentic perspectives on crucial business areas that run the gamut from marketing strategies to employee health insurance. Freedman's guidance is grounded in the real world and based on his years working in and leading operations for small business workplaces. Whether advising on financial statements, retirement plans or e-commerce tactics, his expertise and genuine passion for empowering business owners make him an invaluable resource in the entrepreneurial landscape.
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