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Published: Jun 07, 2023 17 min read

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Loans best for small to mid sized businesses who need capital, FAST

  • Loan Amounts: $10,000 to $500,000
  • Average Yearly Revenue requirements: $250,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 600 FICO
  • Minimum Time in Business to apply: 6 months
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Applying won’t affect credit score

  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 to $250,000
  • Average Yearly Revenue requirements:$100,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 625 FICO
  • Minimum Time in Business to apply: 1 year
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Merchant cash advances, invoice factoring, equity financing, and debt financing option

  • Loan Amounts: Up to $5 million
  • Average Yearly Revenue requirements: $120,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 620 FICO
  • Minimum Time in Business to apply: 1 year
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No cost and no credit check application that can be filled out in minutes

  • Loan Amounts: Up to $3 million
  • Average Yearly Revenue requirements: $200,000
  • Minimum Credit Score: 620 FICO
  • Minimum Time in Business to apply: 1 year
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Named "Best Small Business Loan with a Low APR" by Money.com in January 2020

  • Loan amounts: $25K - $500K
  • Average Yearly Revenue requirements: $50,000
  • Min. Credit Score: 620 FICO
  • Min. Time in Business to apply: 2 years

Are you looking to apply for a small-business loan, but you're worried about qualifying because of a few hits on your credit rating? Don't worry: There are opportunities out there to find business loans for applicants whose credit is less than stellar.

Getting the best small-business loans for individuals with less-than-great credit through online lenders and credit lending platforms can be the path to start a new business, fund a new franchise or buy new equipment.

We reviewed the top companies that offer the best small-business loans for bad credit of 2023. Let’s dig into the details and learn how to get prepared for funding when you need it.

Our Top Picks for Best Small-Business Loans for Bad Credit

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Best Small-Business Loans for Bad Credit Reviews

Why we chose it: Highly reviewed customer communications by staff and quick delivery of funds brings Credibly to the top of our list.

Pros
  • Competitive interest rates and terms
  • Variety of funding options
  • Loan approval in less than 24 hours
Cons
  • High interest payments on short-term loans
  • Short repayment period of 18 to 24 months for long-term business loans of up to $250,000
  • Business collateral may be needed to secure the loan
  • Origination fee may be required
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
$5,000 to $400,000
Min. Credit Score
500
Fees
2.50% origination fee
Term Length
6 to 15 months

Credibly can be a lifesaver for individuals with bad credit, offering short-term loans with repayment terms of up to 15 months. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $400,000, and they have a quick online application process that can get you approved for funding in as little as 48 hours. Credibly also offers flexible repayment plans for paying daily or weekly, depending on business cash flow. More than 87% of Trustpilot reviews give Credibly 5 stars.

Why we chose it: OnDeck was our top pick for best short-term loans for its numerous lending products and speedy funding, which can be received on the same day. OnDeck provides term loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000, with repayment terms that can extend up to 24 months.

Pros
  • Same-day funding for most applicants
  • Loan approval in under 24 hours
  • Payments remain the same for the entire repayment term
Cons
  • High interest rates on short-term business loans
  • Requires both a business lien and personal guarantee
  • Not available in certain states
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
$5,000 to $250,000
Min. Credit Score
625
Fees
2.5% to 4.0% of total loan amount
Term Length
3 to 24 months

Speed is of the essence at OnDeck, where borrowers with bad credit can often get approved in under 24 hours. While the loan rates are high (up to 30%), OnDeck works favorably with borrowers to do their best to help with a loan, with amounts that range from $5,000 to $250,000.

OnDeck’s line of credit is also available for small-business owners with bad credit. Look for line of credit amounts between $6,000 and $100,000, with a year-long repayment term.

Why we chose it: As an alternative lender, Rapid Finance takes a more holistic approach to evaluating borrowers, considering factors beyond just credit score. For that reason, Rapid Finance may be able to offer a cash solution to businesses struggling to secure financing through traditional channels.

Pros
  • Fast and convenient online application
  • Flexible credit requirements
Cons
  • Requires automatic payments on loan programs
  • Loans may require a business lien and personal guarantee
  • Interest rates are not disclosed
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
$5,000 to $250,000
Min. Credit Score
550
Fees
Unknown
Term Length
3 to 18 months or longer

Rapid Finance can be an attractive option for borrowers. The lender looks at more than a borrower’s credit score: It will review a bad credit borrower’s business history, which may involve seeking information about the money a business makes, its length of business operation, current accounts receivables and overall business credit history. Applicants may hear back within 24 hours if they provide all the necessary information upfront.

Why we chose it: PayPal is well known for money transfers all over the globe — but more small businesses are using its bad credit loans for small businesses.

Pros
  • Funds available next business day
  • Borrowers exempt from fees
  • Works well with existing PayPal customers
Cons
  • Higher interest rates
  • Loans may require a personal guarantee
  • Single fixed-fee based on your loan amount, your business's PayPal sales history and the repayment percentage you choose
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
$5,000 to $100,000 (higher for repeat borrowers)
Min. Credit Score
550
Fees
Single fixed fee of at least 5%
Term Length
3 to 18 months or longer

PayPal may be a suitable option for small-business borrowers with bad credit. Some of the eligibility requirements are having a PayPal account and operating the business for a minimum of nine months with at least $33,300 anticipated annual revenue. However, borrowers can avoid additional fees and charges, as PayPal does not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties.

Why we chose it: Fora Financial has attributes that make it a better fit for small businesses looking for funding from alternative means rather than traditional bank financing.

Pros
  • Easy credit qualification
  • Discounts for early payoffs
  • High marks for customer service
Cons
  • Offers only business loans and cash advances
  • Uses factor rates, not interest rates
  • Origination fees generally undisclosed
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
$5,000 to $150,000
Min. Credit Score
500
Fees
$300 or 2.5% of loan amount
Term Length
Up to 15 months

Fora Financial offers short-term loans from $5,000 to $150,000, though if you qualify, you can receive higher amounts. Fora Financial only requires borrowers to have been in business for a minimum of six months, where most traditional lenders want a business to have been in operation for at least a year. This can help young businesses or startups.

Fora Financial uses a factor rate to calculate its fees, which is a common practice among invoice factoring and merchant cash advance providers. The factor rate is expressed as a fraction of the loan amount and can range from 1.10 to 1.40, which translates to a fee of 10% to 35% of the borrowed amount.

Why we chose it: Biz2Credit has attributes that make it a good fit for small businesses looking for funding from alternative means instead of traditional bank financing.

Pros
  • Fast access to funds
  • Offers commercial mortgages with interest-only repayments
  • No application fees
Cons
  • Higher fees and interest rates
  • Not available in some states
  • Low customer satisfaction ratings
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
$25,000 and up
Min. Credit Score
575 (working capital loans), 660 (term loans)
Fees
$250 to $400 underwriting fee
Term Length
Up to 15 months

Biz2Credit offers several loans for small-business operators with bad credit. Eligibility requirements for working capital loans include a credit score of 575 or higher, at least six months in operation and minimum annual revenue of $250,000. Term loans require a 660 credit score and 18 months in operation.

When borrowing from Biz2Credit with a working capital loan, be prepared to pay daily and weekly repayments for the cash funding you receive. Biz2Credit strips away the standard loan term period, and instead keeps an eye on revenues to adjust payments back on the loan term.

Why we chose it: Fundbox made the list for being quick with bad credit small-business loans applications and cash disbursements. Fundbox offers 12- and 24-week loans and is known to help businesses who need funds quickly. Applicants can be approved the same day, with funding in the next 24 hours.

Pros
  • Three-day grace period for repayment delays
  • No inactivity fees for credit lines
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty
Cons
  • Higher credit score needed
  • Business account needed
  • Must have $100,000 in revenues
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
Up to $150,000
Min. Credit Score
600
Fees
12 weeks: 4.66%, 24 weeks: 8.99%
Term Length
12 to 24 weeks

Fundbox has also made a name for itself in the online lending arena for offering loans to small businesses that have been in business for only six months. Businesses must have a business checking account and have at least $100,000 in revenue.

Why we chose it: Lendio partners with 15 different lenders. If you’re a small business seeking a bad credit small-business loan, Lendio checks your applications and offers loan options from these lender partners. Lendio receives generally high (4.8) ratings on Trustpilot.

Pros
  • Startup loans for up to $750,000
  • Easy, fast application
  • Low credit score approval
Cons
  • Soft credit check required to view quotes
  • Prepayment penalties vary by lender
  • May seek months of bank statements
HIGHLIGHTS
Loan Amount
Varies on loan, but business line of credit is $1K - $500K
Minimum credit score
560
Fees
Origination fees and prepayment penalties
Term Length
1 to 3 years

Lendio is an online marketplace that offers various types of loans to small businesses with bad credit from a variety of financial institutions. If you can provide six months of bank statements and show a credit score of 560 or higher, you may obtain a loan from Lendio.

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Other companies we considered

SmartBiz

SmartBiz loans may be attractive to you, but beware the referral and packaging fees. You may find an additional 3% referral fee on your bank term loan, as well as an added 3% packaging fee, plus closing costs. Like Lendio above, SmartBiz is an online marketplace, offering loans with partner lenders that you might be able to get directly through the lender at better rates.

American Express Business Blueprint

American Express Business Blueprint, formerly known as Kabbage, may be an option for you if you are already an Amex cardmember. You are eligible for preapproval of an Amex Business Line of Credit if you have at least six months of active use on your AmEx account and have been in business for 12 months.

If you're not an AmEx cardholder, you can still apply online for an American Express Business Line of Credit. American Express will have to do a hard pull on your credit, which will show up on your credit report, to obtain reports from consumer and commercial reporting agencies. Expect the lender to gather and verify information about your business. All small-business loan applicants for an American Express Business Line of Credit must show a credit score of at least 640.

Small-Business Loans for Bad Credit Guide

Main things to know before choosing small-business loans for bad credit

Before choosing a small-business loan for bad credit, keep these tips in mind:

  1. It’s important to know your credit score before applying for a loan. Lenders may have different requirements for what they consider a bad credit score, and knowing your score can help you target lenders that are more likely to approve your application. Get to know the tips that can improve your credit score.
  2. Look for lenders that specialize in loans for bad credit to save yourself time and effort. With the right preparation, lenders may be more willing to offer better loan terms.
  3. Know the different types of small-business loans available, like term loans, lines of credit and merchant cash advances. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages to fit your specific business needs.
  4. Stay on top of interest rates and fees, as they may be higher on loans for low-credit applicants. These can impact the total cost of the loan.
  5. Have all your business paperwork ready to show if requested. Showing a solid business plan can help convince lenders that you are a good investment, even if your credit score is less than perfect. Be ready to provide collateral if asked: Some lenders may require collateral, such as property or equipment, to secure the loan.

Some may choose to borrow from the best banks for small-business loans. Limited liability companies may want to seek out the best LLC loans that fit their situation.

What are the average fees of small-business loans for bad credit?

Fees associated with small-business loans for bad credit can vary, depending on the lender, the type of loan and the specific loan terms. However, borrowers with bad credit typically face higher fees than those with good credit. Here are some common fees associated with small-business loans for bad credit:

  1. Interest rates for bad credit loans can range from 10% to 30% or higher, with variable or fixed interest rates. Note: Fixed rates are usually higher than variable rates.
  2. Origination fees cover the cost of processing the loan and can range from 1% to 8% of the loan amount.
  3. Late payment fees will often be charged, and can be as much as 5% of the payment amount if you are late on your loan payments.
  4. Prepayment fees may be assessed if you pay off your loan early. These fees can be based on a percentage of the remaining balance or a flat fee.
  5. Underwriting fees cover the cost of evaluating your loan application. This can add hundreds or even a few thousands of dollars to your loan amount.

Small-business owners need to check the details on any loan agreement to fully understand the total cost of the loan before accepting it. Using our list above can help you determine which lenders have the right loan with the most favorable terms and fees for your business.

Some business owners may want to add insurance on top of the loan, and finding the best small business insurance can help your overall strategy.

How do small-business loans for bad credit work?

Small-business loans for bad credit work similarly to other types of business loans, but they're designed to help businesses with poor credit histories learn how to get a business loan with bad credit. Here are the basic steps involved in getting a small-business loan for bad credit:

  1. Research lenders that offer small-business loans for bad credit. Look for lenders that have experience working with businesses in your industry and that offer loan terms that are suitable for your needs.
  2. Check your credit score: Before applying for a loan, check your credit score so you know where you stand. This will help you determine which lenders are likely to work with you and what types of loans you may qualify for.
  3. Gather documentation: Lenders will typically require documentation to verify your business's financial information, such as tax returns, bank statements and financial statements. Have these ready upon request.
  4. Apply for a loan: Submit your loan application to the lender you have chosen. Your application will be evaluated based on factors such as your credit score, revenue and cash flow.
  5. Review loan offers: If your loan application is approved, you will receive one or more loan offers. Review each offer carefully, paying attention to the interest rates, fees and repayment terms.
  6. Accept an offer: Choose the loan offer that best meets your business's needs and accept it. Be sure to review the loan agreement carefully and ask any questions you may have before signing.
  7. Receive funds: Once you've accepted a loan offer and signed the loan agreement, the funds will be deposited into your business's bank account. Make sure you use the funds according to the terms of the loan agreement.
  8. Repay the loan: Make timely payments on your loan according to the repayment schedule outlined in your loan agreement. This can help improve your credit score and make it easier to obtain financing in the future.

What are the requirements to apply for a small-business loan for bad credit?

The requirements to apply for a small-business loan for bad credit can vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you're applying for. Here are some common requirements that lenders may look for:

  1. Credit score: Generally, a credit score of 500 to 550 or higher is needed as a minimum for most lenders to qualify for a bad credit business loan.
  2. Business history: Lenders will want to see your business with at least six months to two years of operation to be considered for a small-business loan.
  3. Revenue: Lenders will typically require that your business have a minimum amount of revenue, such as $50,000 per year or more.
  4. Cash flow: Lenders will want to see that your business has positive cash flow and can make timely loan payments.
  5. Business plan: Some lenders may require a detailed business plan that outlines your business's goals, strategies and financial projections.
  6. Personal guarantees: Lenders may require personal guarantees from the business owner or other parties involved in the loan to ensure that the loan will be repaid.

Small-business loans for bad credit FAQ

What is the minimum credit score to apply for a small-business loan?

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The average minimum credit score for a small-business loan with bad credit hovers around the 500 to 550 mark. As a general guideline, most lenders prefer to work with borrowers who have a credit score of 680 or higher.

But for businesses with lower credit scores, borrowing at a minimum credit score requirement of around 550 will likely face higher interest rates and fees than those with higher credit scores.

How long does a small-business loan take to process?

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Processing a small-business loan with an online application can take anywhere from minutes to hours to a day or two. It's a quick process. Traditional banking establishments may take from a few days to several weeks to process a loan.

Can my small-business loans be denied due to my bad credit?

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Yes, your small-business loan can be denied due to bad credit. Credit scores are viewed as one of the main factors to assess the risk of lending to a borrower. A lender's risk increases if you have a low credit score.

However, having bad credit may not automatically deny your loan request. Many lenders specialize in working with businesses that have poor credit scores and can be willing to consider other factors, such as your business's revenue and cash flow, in their decision-making process.

Some lenders may offer secured loans that require collateral, such as property or equipment, to get the loan. These loans can be easier to qualify for than unsecured loans, even with bad credit, because the collateral reduces the lender's risk.

What is the easiest small-business loan for bad credit to get?

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There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the small-business loan for bad credit that's easiest to get will depend on several factors, including the lender's requirements, the type of loan you need and your business's financials. However, there are some types of loans that may be easier to qualify for with bad credit.

Merchant cash advances are an advance on future credit and debit card sales. The lender provides a lump sum payment, and you repay the advance by giving the lender a percentage of your daily sales until the advance is paid off. Merchant cash advances are easier to qualify for than traditional loans because the lender is primarily interested in your business's revenue.

Invoice financing lets borrowers access funds by showing the lender how much money is coming in with current invoices. The lender provides a cash advance, and you repay the loan when your customers pay their invoices. Because the lender is primarily interested in the creditworthiness of your customers, rather than your own credit score, invoice financing can be easier to qualify for than traditional loans.

Equipment financing might be an option if you need to purchase new equipment for your business. The lender provides a loan to cover the cost of the equipment, and the equipment serves as collateral for the loan. Because the loan is secured by the equipment, lenders may be willing to overlook your credit score.

Microloans are small loans, typically under $50,000, that are designed to help businesses get started or grow. Microloans are often offered by nonprofit organizations or government agencies, and may have less stringent credit requirements than traditional loans.

How We Found the Best Small-Business Loans for Bad Credit

To compile this list of the best business loans and lenders for 2023, we looked for lenders that offer online loan applications to small businesses with bad credit. We checked out reviews on Trustpilot for these lenders, and we visited websites and review sites to verify average credit scores needed for small businesses with bad credit.

Summary of Money’s Best Small-Business Loans for Bad Credit of 2023

For small-business owners with bad credit, it's best to shop around for the best loans.

Following this guide can steer you into the right things to look for, such as amount of money sought, minimum credit score criteria, length of time in business activity and other areas.

With the imbalance of small regional banks in the marketplace, looking to a specific lender other than a bank may be the right move for a small business. For better value loans in the future, consider focusing on strategies that will increase your credit score.

Summary of Money’s Best Small-Business Loans for Bad Credit of 2023