Best Emergency Business Loans in July 2024

Emergency business loans are meant to provide fast funding to cover unexpected expenses.

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By Tara Mastroeni | Edited by Abigail Bassett and Janet Schaaf | June 28, 2024

Emergency business loan lenders at a glance

Bluevine: Best Emergency business line of credit

Loan amountsUp to $250,000
Starting interest rate6.20% for the 6-month term
Term length (months)6 or 12 months
Minimum credit score625
Minimum time in business24 months
ProsCons

 Revolving funding

 Lower minimum credit score

 Decent funding cap

 Longer time-in-business requirement

 Shorter repayment terms

 High annual revenue requirement ($40,000/month)

OnDeck: Best emergency business loan for same-day funding

Loan amounts$5,000 to $250,000
Starting interest rate27.30%*
Term length (months)Up to 24 months
Minimum credit score625
Minimum time in business12 months

*This rate reflects the estimated starting APR offered to at least 5% of OnDeck customers. It doesn’t reflect the minimum APR offered by the company.

ProsCons

 Same-day funding available

 Shorter time-in-business requirement

 Lower annual revenue requirement ($100,000/year)

 Doesn’t disclose minimum interest rate

 Higher minimum loan amount

 Shorter repayment term

Fundbox: Best emergency business loan for startups

Loan amountsUp to $150,000
Starting interest rate4.66% for 12-week terms
8.99% for 24-week terms
Term length12 or 24 weeks
Minimum credit score600
Minimum time in business6 months
ProsCons

 Short time-in-business requirement

 Lower minimum credit score requirement

 Competitive interest rates

 Low funding cap

 Shorter repayment terms

 Next-day funding

Funding Circle: Best emergency business loan for established businesses

Loan amounts$25,000 to $500,000
Starting interest rate15.22%
Term length (months)6 to 84 months
Minimum credit score660
Minimum time in business2+ years
ProsCons

 Longer loan terms

 Higher funding cap

 Provides a dedicated account manager

 Charges an origination fee

 Offers a two-day funding window

 Requires collateral and a personal guarantee

Fora Financial: Best emergency business loans for borrowers with bad credit

Loan amounts$5,000 to $1,500,000
Starting interest rate1.10 to 1.40 factor rate
Term length (months)4 to 18 months
Minimum credit score570
Minimum time in business6 months
ProsCons

 Low minimum credit score requirement

 Short time-in-business requirement

 High funding cap

 Lists a factor rate instead of simple interest

 Charges an origination fee

 Higher annual revenue requirement ($180,000/year)

Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Best SBA loan option for emergency funding

Loan amounts$2,000,000
Starting interest rateNot to exceed 4.00%
Term length (months)Up to 360 months
Minimum credit scoreScore must be considered “acceptable” by the SBA
Minimum time in businessN/A
ProsCons

 No formal time-in-business requirement

 Competitive interest rates

 High funding cap

 Most loans require collateral

 Longer funding times

 SBA inspection required

What is an emergency business loan?

An emergency business loan is a form of small business loan that is meant to provide you with fast funding to cover unexpected expenses during periods of economic difficulty.

Many of these loans are offered by online lenders, who tend to have shorter funding timelines than more traditional financial institutions.

Notably, the federal government also provides its own form of emergency business funding. However, this funding is reserved for individuals whose businesses are located in federally declared disaster areas.

Types of emergency business loans

Luckily, when you need funding in a hurry, there are a few different financing options available to you:

Business term loans

Business term loans are the most common form of emergency funding. These loans give you access to the funds you need in one lump sum. Then you’ll repay that amount over time through a series of regular payments.

Short-term business loans and long-term business loans function similarly. In this case, the major difference is the length of their repayment schedules.

These loans are offered by both traditional banks and online lenders. Traditional banks tend to have stricter qualifying standards and longer funding times than their online counterparts. However, they also typically offer better interest rates.

In contrast, online lenders may be able to deposit funds into your account sooner, but you may pay more in interest charges over the life of the loan.

Business line of credit

Like a credit card, a business line of credit allows you to borrow money for expenses up to a fixed amount. You’ll only pay interest on the amount that you borrow. Then, once you pay down your balance, you’ll be able to borrow against your credit limit once again.

In particular, working capital lines of credit may be a good choice for providing emergency funding. These lines of credit allow you the flexibility to cover many different types of operating expenses.

Invoice factoring

Invoice factoring allows you to sell your unpaid invoices to a third-party company in exchange for an advance payment on the amount due. When the invoice is paid in its entirety, the invoice factoring company will send you the remainder of your payment, minus any transaction fees.

Merchant cash advances

Meanwhile, merchant cash advances (MCAs) allow you to take a lump sum advance payment against future sales. Typically, the payment represents a portion of your daily or weekly credit card sales. However, it’s important to note that while this method can be a way to access fast funding, it can be an expensive form of borrowing.

How to get an emergency business loan

The exact process you’ll follow to apply for a business loan can vary by lender. Here is a general overview of the process.

  1. Figure out how much you’ll need. First, you’ll want to get a sense of the total cost of your emergency to determine how much you’ll need to borrow. You can use our business loan calculator to estimate how well different loan amounts will fit into your budget,
  2. Determine your eligibility. Every lender sets its own business loan requirements. That said, loan approval is usually based on factors like your annual revenue, your overall time in business and your creditworthiness, which is determined by both your personal credit score and your business credit score.
  3. Gather the necessary documentation. Most lenders require you to provide supporting documentation before they will issue an approval decision. Gathering this information before you submit your application can help speed up the process significantly. While every lender is different, you’ll likely need to provide a business plan, personal and business bank statements, business tax returns, and any applicable business licenses.
  4. Shop around for a loan. Once you have all your information in hand, gather loan offers from a few different lenders. Be sure to give each lender the same information so that you’re able to make an apples-to-apples comparison once you have the loan offers in hand.
  5. Apply for the loan. Submitting a business loan application is often a quick process. It’s usually automated and can often be done online. However, a loan officer will typically reach out to you for more information once they’ve had a chance to review your initial submission form.

How to compare emergency business loans

When you’re ready to compare loan offers, be sure to evaluate the following factors in order to find the loan option that works best for you.

Interest rate: Business loan interest rates can vary widely between lenders, but they can also significantly impact how much you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Often, the loan offer with the lowest interest rate will give you the best bang for your buck.

Funding time: Where emergency business loans are concerned, short funding times can be especially important. As a result, you may want to choose a lender who promises fast funding in order to get the financing you need as quickly as possible.

Added fees: Some lenders charge added fees, like an origination fee or late payment fee, which can increase your overall cost of borrowing. Be sure to ask what fees each lender charges so that you know what to expect.

Loan amount: While it’s imperative that your loan amount covers the total cost of your emergency, it’s also important to avoid borrowing more than you need. Striking this balance can help ensure that you’re able to repay the loan more comfortably.

Repayment terms: Regardless of how long you have to repay what you’ve borrowed, you’re going to want to make sure that the payments fit into your budget. Doing that due diligence can help significantly decrease the risk of defaulting on the loan.

Extra perks: Some lenders offer extra perks, like providing you with a dedicated account manager or offering a choice of repayment terms.

Our in-depth catalog of small business lender reviews can help you compare viable options before you make your final decision.

Pros and cons of emergency business loans

ProsCons
 Multiple types of business loans can be used to provide emergency funding.

 Many lenders offer same-day or next-day funding options.

 An SBA loan option is available for those who are in federally declared disaster areas.
 Interest rates can be high with some lenders.

 Collateral may be required for a secured business loan.

 Some lenders may have eligibility requirements that make funding inaccessible for startups.

Alternatives to emergency business loans

If an emergency business loan isn’t the right choice for you, consider one of these other financing options instead:

Business credit cards

If you need cash immediately, using a business credit card to cover your expenses may be an option. Eligibility criteria tend to be less stringent for cards than traditional business financing, plus it’s possible to earn perks, like business travel rewards, depending on which card you choose.

Still, credit card interest rates tend to be higher than the rates on traditional business loans, which means you may end up paying more if you’re unable to pay off your balance in full by the time your bill comes due.

Personal loans

If your business isn’t quite established yet and you’re unable to find a startup loan that’s a fit, you may want to consider a personal loan for your emergency financing. Since personal loans are not a form of business financing, they have different eligibility criteria that are based largely on your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

As a result, it may be easier to qualify for a personal loan. Still, it’s important to recognize that you, rather than your business, would be personally liable for repayment.

Family and friends

When you’re really in a bind and can’t qualify for more traditional forms of financing, it can be worth asking your loved ones to invest in your business. Many business crowdfunding platforms can assist with this venture. However, it’s important to note that many platforms charge a fee for using their service.

How we chose the best emergency business loans

We reviewed the leading small business lenders to determine the overall six best emergency business loan loans. To make our list, lenders must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum time in business of two years or less
  • Minimum credit score of 660 or lower
  • Rates and terms: We prioritize lenders with more competitive fixed rates, fewer fees and greater options for repayment terms, loan amounts and APR discounts.
  • Repayment experience: For starters, we consider each lender’s reputation and business practices. We also favor lenders that report to all major credit bureaus, offer reliable customer service and provide any unique perks to customers, like free wealth coaching.

Best emergency business loan summary

Frequently asked questions

Getting an emergency business loan involves following the same process you would when applying for any other type of business financing. You have to fill out an application, submit supporting documentation and wait for loan approval.

Fortunately, the approval process is automated for many online lenders, with funds disbursement sometimes as soon as the same business day.

The fastest way to get a business loan is to look for a lender who offers fast funding. If you don’t see what you need in the list above, our roundup of quick business loans may be of assistance.

It’s possible to get business funding in 24 hours or less. Online lenders are the most likely to offer this service, while banks and credit unions often take several days to grant loan approval. Even though SBA disaster loans have a quicker funding timeline than traditional SBA loans, the process can take a few weeks.