Finding Startup Business Loans

Startup loans can be hard to come by if you’re new to running a small business. Even lenders who specialize in financing startup loans would like to see business owners have at least some knowledge or experience in operating a business before offering a loan. If you can give them examples of your success, they will be more ready and willing to fund you.

This makes sense since a lender will only get its money back if your business can make money. It’s not going to extend funds to just anybody who walks in the door asking for $100,000. You need to be prepared to show lenders your business has made or will make enough money to pay it back.

Featured Startup Loan Companies:

Bluevine
Bluevine
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OnDeck
OnDeck
Kabbage
Kabbage
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The 8 best startup loans of 2020

Best startup loans at a glance

Lender APR Loan amount Funding time Key benefit
Currency Premier Consumer Program 5.99%–14.99% $2,000–$50,000 15 minutes Multiple options for financing
Currency Standard Consumer Program 7.99%–35.99% $1,000–$75,000 30 minutes Multiple options for financing
Kabbage 24%–99% $2,000–$250,000 1–3 days No origination or prepayment fee
BlueVine starts at 4.8% $5,000–$250,000 12–24 hours Low credit score threshold
Become Not listed $5,000–$500,000 2–3 days Connects entrepreneurs with investors
SBG Funding Not listed Up to $5 million 12–48 hours Bad credit accepts
Sunwise Capital Starts at 5.49% $10,000–$2 million 24 hours Discounted rates for returning clients
Kiva 0% Up to $15,000 Up to 45 days Funds underserved communities and countries

Currency – Best for fast financing

Currency is a financial tech company and online lender operating in Los Angeles, California. It specializes in equipment loans, which you can be approved for in as little as three minutes and funds can be transferred to your account within 24 hours. There are no prepayment penalties so you can repay the loan as early as you’d like without the risk of absurd fines.

A startup loan from Currency lets you borrow as much as $75,000, depending on your credit score and what you plan to use the loan for. Its Premier Consumer and Standard Consumer programs have no requirement for time in business and charge no fees for these loans, making it a great option for startup businesses, no matter your credit history.

Kabbage – Best for lines of credit

Kabbage is another option that promises fast funding for startup loans you can conveniently access through an online application process. If you’re approved, Kabbage guarantees funds in 10 minutes or less. A Kabbage line of credit offers up to as much as $250,000, which you can pay back over 6,12 or 18 months. There are no origination or prepayment fees, but if you’re late on a payment you will be charged a late fee. However, there is a four-day grace period which could give you enough time to pay before getting charged.

Kabbage charges a fee to borrow money. Expect to pay fees between 1.25% and 10% of your monthly payment. You can cut these fees down by paying more than your monthly minimum when payments are due.

BlueVine – Best for new entrepreneurs

BlueVine - line of credit offers term loans for as much as $250,000. It can approve you in as fast as five minutes and deposit funds into your account that same day, often within hours of approval. There are a few qualifications you will have to pass to get your hands on the cash. You will need to be in business for at least six months and your business needs at least $10,000 in monthly revenue. It also takes into account cash flow and the strength of your customers. If you have a lot of returning customers happy with your service, that’s a plus.

Become – Best for borrowers with good credit

Become is a platform designed to help burgeoning entrepreneurs access the capital needed to launch their ideas into a small business. It is not a lender, but it can match you with a lender ready to fund your project in as little as three hours. Become’s lending partners offer loans between $5,000 and $500,000. To qualify for a startup loan through Become, borrowers need to have either three months in business with monthly revenue of $10,000 or six months in business with monthly revenue of $3,000. You will also need your latest business bank statements to apply.

SBG Funding – Best for borrowers with bad credit

If you’ve had a hard time securing a startup loan, SBG Funding is worth looking into. It specializes in providing loans to businesses that have had trouble finding funds elsewhere. Fixed APRs are between 5% and 35%, and it accepts personal credit scores as low as 500. Loan terms range between six and 60 months and funds can be ready for use in as soon as three business days. One downside to SBG Funding is that you need a fairly high annual revenue of at least $150,000.

SunWise Capital – Best rate guarantee

SunWise Capital offers rates as low as 5.49% and it will accept credit scores as low as 500. You can access your funds the same day you apply and you can apply online to see if you qualify. Startup loans through SunWise Capital range between $10,000 and $2 million. Just like with SBG Funding, your business’s revenue must be $150,000 or more to be considered for a loan. SunWise uses its best rate guarantee to stand out from other lenders. If you receive a formal offer from another lender, SunWise will either beat its rate or offer you $500.

Kiva – Best for crowdfunding

Kiva is a nonprofit that partners with microfinance institutions to provide startup loans to fledgling entrepreneurs. Would-be lenders can go online to Kiva’s website and lend as little as $25 through social networks and private lenders around the world. These loans are made available in over 80 countries and often go to borrowers who have had a hard time traditionally procuring funding. The downside is the loans may take some time (at least a month) to raise the social capital from friends and families before you receive the funds. Kiva also offers a more shallow range of loan terms than other lenders. The max borrow amount is $15,000 so if you need a large dose of capital you should look elsewhere.

Accion – Best for clean credit histories

Accion offers startup loans ranging between $300 and $1 million. Your credit doesn’t have to be stellar to win approval with Accion. It promises to consider the strength and upsides of your business when determining whether to offer you a startup loan. It won’t simply turn you away for having a spotty credit history.

Though a low credit score won’t weigh you down, Accion is concerned with any past-due loan amounts you may have. If you didn’t pay back the last loan you received, Accion may have reservations about extended another one. To qualify for a startup loan, borrowers must be no more than 30 days late on any bills, and if you are late the balance must be under $3,000. It also takes bankruptcies and foreclosures very seriously. You will have trouble winning approval if you have declared bankruptcy in the past 12 months or gone through foreclosure in the past 24 months.

What is a startup loan?

A startup loan is a loan designed for businesses trying to muscle their way into the world of corporate America. You don’t need an idea for the next Wal-Mart to get a startup loan. They’re available for small businesses as well as large ones.

A startup loan can come in the form of a small business loan or business line of credit. There are many ways for entrepreneurs to access funds, but the best method depends on your goals as a business and what you plan to use the money for. Some startup loans are meant to purchase equipment and machinery while others specialize in real estate or capital.

[Read: Best Bad Credit Business Loans for 2020]

How should I choose the right startup loan?

The right startup loan depends on what you plan to use the funds for and what service your business offers. This is not an easy decision as you will have to first determine the loan type you are looking for. Do you need equipment, capital or a line of credit? Every loan comes with unique benefits and drawbacks, which means there is no such thing as the best startup loan, just the best startup loan for you. You need to choose a loan with perks to match your goals. For instance, it may be worth sacrificing a few interest points if it means faster financing or longer terms.

Too long, didn’t read?

If you’re looking to finance your startup you will need a solid plan to show to lenders. While some lenders may not finance your startup if you have zero business experience, it often takes just a few months of business experience under your belt to gain the trust and funds of lenders.

Keep reading

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the startup business loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Bents Dulcio
Bents Dulcio
Contributing Writer

Bents Dulcio is a personal finance writer based out of Orlando, Florida. His work has been featured in Debt.org, InCharge.org and elsewhere.

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.