Best Private Business Loans in 2023
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.
|Lender||Best for||Maximum loan amount||Repayment term||Starting APR|
|Bluevine||Line of credit||$250,000||6 or 12 months||6.20% interest rate|
|Fora Financial||Large loan amounts||$1,500,000||4 to 15 months||Factor rates from 1.10 to 1.40|
|Fundbox||Startups||$150,000||12 or 24 weeks||4.66% for 12-week term |
8.99% for 24-week term
|Taycor Financial||Equipment financing||$2,000,000||12 to 84 months||3.49% to 28.00%|
|SmartBiz||SBA loans||$500,000||120 months||11.25%-12.25% variable|
Learn more about how we chose our picks.
Bluevine: Best for lines of credit
|Term length||6 or 12 months|
|Est. interest rate||Simple interest rates starting at 6.20%|
|Min. credit score||625|
|Min. time in business||24 months|
Only pay interest on what you borrow
Provides access to revolving funds up to $250,000
625 minimum credit score
Requires high 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, but your business needs to be in operation for at least 24 months.
Fora Financial: Best for large loans
|Term length||4 to 15 months|
|Est. interest rate||Factor rates from 1.10 to 1.40|
|Min. credit score||500|
|Min. time in business||6 months|
Loans up to $1,500,000
Funding in 72 hours
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
|Term length||12 or 24 weeks|
|Est. interest rate||4.66% for 12-week term |
8.99% for 24-week term
|Min. credit score||600|
|Min. time in business||6 months|
Low credit score and time in business requirements
Funding as fast as one business day
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
|Term length||12 to 84 months|
|Term length||12 to 84 months|
|Est. interest rate||3.49% to 28.00%|
|Min. credit score||550|
|Min. time in business||Less than 2 years|
Open to borrowers with poor credit
High loan amounts
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 length||120 to 300 months|
|Term length||120 months maximum|
|Est. interest rate||11.25%-12.25% variable|
|Min. credit score||650 to 675|
|Min. time in business||2 years|
Streamlines the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application
Offers competitive interest rates and high loan amounts
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.
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
- Minimum credit scores of 680 or lower
- Transparent rates