Business Loans
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Best Private Business Loans in 2023

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A private business loan is funded by an alternative lender, as opposed to a traditional bank or financial institution. Qualification requirements vary, but they’re typically less restrictive and get you money faster when compared to traditional lenders. One caveat of a private business loan is that interest rates tend to be higher and terms may be shorter.

Best private business loans

Here are our picks for the best private business loans.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

LenderBest forMaximum loan amountRepayment termStarting APR
BluevineLine of credit$250,0006 or 12 months6.20% interest rate
Fora FinancialLarge loan amounts$1,400,0004 to 15 monthsFactor rates from 1.10 to 1.35
FundboxStartups$150,00012 or 24 weeks4.66% for 12-week term
8.99% for 24-week term
Taycor FinancialEquipment financing$2,000,00012 to 84 months3.49% to 28.00%
SmartBizSBA loans$350,000120 months10.25%-11.25% variable

Learn more about how we chose our picks.

Bluevine: Best for lines of credit

Term length6 or 12 months
Max. amount$250,000
Est. interest rateSimple interest rates starting at 6.20%
Min. credit score625
Min. time in business6 months

Pros

  Only pay interest on what you borrow

  Provides access to revolving funds up to $250,000


Cons

  625 minimum credit score

  Requires six months in business and $120,000 in annual revenue

Instead of taking out a lump-sum loan, business owners can use a line of credit to access financing as needed. Bluevine’s line of credit is a great option because it unlocks revolving capital up to $250,000, and it’s accessible to businesses in operation for as little as six months.

Fora Financial: Best for large loans

Term length4 to 15 months
Max. amount$1,400,000
Est. interest rateFactor rates from 1.10 to 1.35
Min. credit score500
Min. time in business6 months

Pros

  Loans up to $1,400,000

  Funding in 72 hours


Cons 

  A shorter repayment term could result in a large monthly payment

  Must have minimum monthly gross sales of $12,000

Fora Financial provides substantial private business funding in as little as 72 hours. With large sums available, it’s especially appealing to business owners with less-than-perfect credit, though you’ll need steady monthly revenue of at least $12,000 to qualify.

Fundbox: Best for startups

Fundbox logo

Term length12 or 24 weeks
Max. amount$150,000
Est. interest rate4.66% for 12-week term
8.99% for 24-week term
Min. credit score600
Min. time in business6 months

Pros

  Low credit score and time in business requirements

  Funding as fast as one business day


Cons 

  Weekly repayment schedule with additional fees

  Short repayment terms

Qualifying for traditional business financing can be challenging for startups. Fundbox provides lines of credit to business owners who’ve been operating for six months and have a minimum credit score of 600. One downside is that weekly fees can add up.

Taycor Financial: Best for equipment financing

Taycor Financial lender logo

Term length12 to 84 months
Term length12 to 84 months
Max. amount$2,000,000
Est. interest rate3.49% to 28.00%
Min. credit score550
Min. time in businessLess than 2 years

Pros

  Open to borrowers with poor credit

  High loan amounts


Cons 

  May require a personal guarantee

  Potentially high interest rates

Taycor Financial can be a good fit if you need equipment for your business. Eligible borrowers can unlock up to $2,000,000 in financing, even with poor credit. The equipment serves as collateral for the loan, but a personal guarantee may still be required.

SmartBiz: Best for SBA loans

Term length120 to 300 months
Term length120 months maximum
Max. amount$350,000
Est. interest rate10.25%-11.25% variable
Min. credit score650 to 675
Min. time in business2 years

Pros

  Streamlines the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application

  Offers competitive interest rates and high loan amounts


Cons 

  Must be in business for at least two years

  Requires a high minimum credit score

If you’re a business owner looking for an SBA loan, SmartBiz’s online platform can connect you with potential lenders. Loan amounts are as high as $5,000,000. Funds are available in as little as seven days, which is considered relatively quick for an SBA loan.

Types of private business financing

A private business loan is provided by an alternative funding source instead of a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. Here are several different types of private business financing your business can use:

Term loan: With a term loan, the lender provides a lump sum that the borrower repays over time with interest. Additional fees, like loan origination fees and prepayment fees, may apply. Term loans can be used to cover any business-related expense.

Equipment loan: This type of financing allows you to purchase equipment that’s essential to running your business. It can include everything from computers to refrigerators to commercial-grade appliances. Interest rates are typically on the lower side because the equipment is used as collateral to secure the loan.
Line of credit: Unlike a lump-sum loan, a line of credit is a revolving credit line that the borrower draws on to borrow on an as-needed basis — similar to a credit card. Their credit line is replenished as they make payments. With this type of business financing, you only pay interest on your outstanding balance.

Invoice factoring: This financing option involves selling unpaid invoices to a factoring company. The business owner receives upfront cash, and the factoring company takes a cut of each invoice as it’s paid. This setup is typically used by business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Merchant cash advance: With a merchant cash advance, the business owner trades a portion of future earnings for lump-sum funding today. The lender is usually repaid by taking a daily or weekly percentage of the business’s credit card sales.

Common requirements for private business funding

Private business lenders all have their own eligibility requirements. With that said, it’s usually easier to qualify for a private business loan than traditional business financing. Most lenders will consider the following:

  • Your credit score: Minimum credit score requirements can range anywhere from 500 to 625, though SBA requirements are tighter. For this type of financing, you’ll likely need a credit score of at least 680.
  • Time in business: SBA loans typically have the strictest criteria, requiring at least two years in business. Some loan products from alternative lenders may be more flexible, making it easier for younger companies to secure private business financing. However, interest rates tend to be higher when compared to traditional lenders.
  • Business revenue: Private lenders like Fundbox require annual revenue of at least $100,000 to qualify. Bluevine sets the bar higher, but this number can be lower with different lenders. Taycor, for example, has no revenue restrictions.
  • Cash flow: You should be able to demonstrate the financial operating cycle of your business. A cash-flow projection can show your business’s inflow and outflow of money.

Depending on the lender and loan type, you may also be required to provide a personal guarantee or put up some form of collateral. Beyond that, here are some commonly required documents lenders may want to see:

  • 2 to 3 years of personal and business tax returns
  • A business plan
  • Legal filings related to ownership
  • Past bank statements
  • Information on existing debts
  • A recent balance sheet
  • A recent profit and loss statement

Private business loan uses

A private business loan can be used for all sorts of expenses. Those expenses may include:

Inventory: Private funding can be used to purchase essential supplies your business needs to fulfill customer orders. A restaurant, pizza shop or coffee shop, for example, will likely need cups, napkins and so on.

Equipment and machinery: This can include everything from a dishwasher for a restaurant to medical equipment for a doctor’s office. These kinds of big-ticket items typically require a large upfront cost.

Cash-flow gaps: Maybe your business is running low on cash waiting on outstanding invoices to be paid. Others may go through a seasonal slump where revenue is down. Private funding can help cover these kinds of cash-flow gaps.

Working capital and operational expenses: Some businesses may need help with operational expenses like paying rent or covering payroll. A private business loan can provide working capital that can be put toward regular operating costs.

Marketing: This is an essential part of building brand awareness and attracting and retaining customers. Business owners who haven’t carved out a marketing budget can use private funding to get the job done.

Business expansion and growth: Aside from day-to-day operating expenses, many business owners have long-term goals for growth and expansion. That may include opening a new location or investing in a new business direction. A private business loan can provide the necessary funding.

Pros and cons of private business loans

A private business loan can give business owners some financial breathing room. They can be used for many kinds of expenses and can prevent folks from using their personal savings to cover business expenses. But, like anything else, private business loans have their advantages and drawbacks.

ProsCons

  Private business loans are generally easier to obtain when compared to traditional lending options.

  Funding is relatively quick.

  You may still qualify with less-than-perfect credit.

  Interest rates tend to be higher.

  You may be required to put up collateral or provide a personal guarantee.

  Revenue requirements could create a barrier for some borrowers.

How we chose our picks

For our list of the best private business loans, we chose to highlight a diverse range of private loan products available for different sizes and stages of businesses. When choosing, we prioritized lenders offering maximum loan amounts of at least $100,000 and minimum credit scores of 680 or lower. We considered repayment term lengths, time in business, application eligibility, interest rates and overall loan cost when making our list.

Frequently asked questions

A private business loan provides business funding through an alternative lender. With traditional lenders like banks and financial institutions, the application process is typically very involved. Most have strict underwriting standards and eligibility requirements. A healthy credit score is usually mandatory, and businesses generally need to have strong revenue to be considered. Private business lenders tend to have looser eligibility criteria, though interest rates are usually higher.

Many private business lenders allow for online applications (others may require you to download and fill out an application and then fax or email it). Once you’ve gathered up the necessary information, you can submit everything and expect a lending decision from there. Depending on the loan type and lender, you could receive funding in as little as one to seven days after approval.

One of the main challenges for startups is that most lenders have time-in-business requirements. The minimum can range anywhere from six months to several years. Some lenders also have annual revenue requirements. However, it’s still possible to get a loan to start your own business. Some lenders might provide lines of credit to businesses that have only been operating for two to six months. Some banks may also be willing to provide a loan to entrepreneurs with outstanding credit, appropriate collateral and at least two months’ worth of cash reserves.

Funding a startup can be tricky if you don’t have enough personal savings to get it off the ground. Some potential funding options include:

  • Borrowing money from friends and family
  • Seeking outside investors who may provide capital in exchange for equity
  • Crowdfunding platforms
  • Taking out a personal loan
  • Using a business credit card
 

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