5 Best Business Loans for Bad Credit in 2022
We more or less overhauled our rankings, since many of our previous picks changed their borrower requirements (meaning they wanted higher credit scores). While that’s a disappointing change, we’ve found plenty of good alternatives. And despite the shakeup, Lendio remains our first pick for business owners with bad credit.
We made some minor changes to this article to reflect current rates and requirements for the listed lenders. We removed Fundera from our list as a result, as it now asks for a 600 credit score. Other than that, the changes didn’t affect our rankings at all.
COVID-19 has shaken up the business financing world. Some lenders now accept only PPP loan applications, some do PPP loans and their normal financing, and some lenders don’t accept applications at all.
We’ve updated this article with information about who’s still lending so you can see your current financing options.
We also added Fundera to our list of honorable mentions, giving you even more choices for bad-credit business loans.
Worried bad credit is going to keep you from getting a small-business loan? Well, don’t give up hope just yet. While you may not qualify for the best terms and the lowest rates, you can still get financing as a business owner with a less-than-perfect credit score.
We’ve found 10 lenders that accept lower credit scores (below 600) or don’t check credit at all.
Our top pick for most business owners is Lendio, since it gives you the most loan choices and lets you compare offers. But we’ve found nine other great lenders too, offering everything from microloans to invoice financing to lines of credit, so you’re sure to find the right financing for your cash flow needs.
Best bad credit small-business loans
- : Best overall business loan for bad credit
- : Best for 0% interest
- : Best for low rates
- : Best for Square users
- : Best merchant cash advance
Best bad credit business loans compared
Lowest listed rate
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Invoice factoring, line of credit, & merchant cash advance
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Accion Opportunity Fund
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Merchant cash advance & invoice factoring
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Data as of 12/13/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Why your credit score matters to lenders
Lenders don’t lend money to businesses out of the kindness of their hearts—they want to get paid back (and then some).
That’s why they look at your credit score. Lenders need to make sure you’re trustworthy (or creditworthy, more specifically), and your credit score is one indicator they use. If you have a habit of paying back what you owe, you’re likely to have a good credit score. But if you have a track record of missing payments or you’ve defaulted on loans, that history will be reflected in a worse credit score (and in your credit report).
In other words, lenders use your personal credit score to figure out whether or not you’ll repay your loan—and whether or not they should lend to you in the first place.
How your credit score affects your financing
Your credit score can affect both your chances of getting funded and the conditions of the funding you get.
Put simply, if you have a high credit score, you are more likely to get approved for loans. If you have a low credit score, you are less likely to get approved.
Even if you do get approved, your credit score can affect things like your loan amount and your interest rate. With a higher score, you’re more likely to qualify for higher loan amounts, lower interest rates, and more favorable repayment terms. But if you have a lower score, lenders might worry about your ability to repay a loan—which means they’ll give you a lower amount, higher rates, and shorter repayment terms.
So of course you want a higher credit score. But how do you get there?
Lendio: Best overall business lender for bad credit
To understand why we like Lendio so much for bad credit loans, you need to understand what Lendio is and what it isn’t.
Lendio isn’t a direct lender—it’s a lending marketplace. So when you apply to Lendio, it uses your information to hook you up with the best loans you can qualify for (but it doesn’t actually extend those loans itself). That means you can compare offers and make sure you’re getting the best loans with the best rates for your situation.
And good news: Lendio works with some of the lenders on this list (like Forward Financing), so you won’t miss out on your chance to get a loan from them—you’ll just have an easier time comparing your options.
With one application going to many lenders, we think Lendio is the obvious first stop for most business owners with bad credit.
Kiva: Best for 0% interest
Kiva works really differently than most other lenders. So differently, in fact, that it doesn’t charge any interest.
That’s just the tip of the Kiva iceberg though. Kiva also doesn’t do any kind of credit check when you apply. It doesn’t care how long you’ve been in business. Kiva doesn’t even worry about how much revenue you earn. It accepts all businesses, and it doesn’t charge them for borrowing. Amazing, right?
So why isn’t Kiva the top lender on our list? Well, Kiva loans max out at $15,000—too low for many working capital needs. Plus, Kiva’s unique funding model takes at least one month to get you money, which can be too long of a wait for some businesses.
But if you can spare the time, Kiva’s no-interest microloans are worth waiting for.
Accion Opportunity Fund: Best for low rates
If you want low interest rates but can’t make a Kiva loan work, we suggest looking at Accion Opportunity Fund instead.
Accion Opportunity Fund has very competitive starting rates on its business loans―just 5.99%. That’s not quite bank loan low, but it’s very low for an online lender. And like other lenders on this list, Accion Opportunity Fund doesn’t have a hard credit requirement. So you can qualify for its loans with less-than-perfect credit.
Now, to be clear, bad credit probably won’t earn you a 5.99% interest rate. But working with a lender that has low starting rates is still likely to get a better rate than working with a lender that has high starting rates.
Put simply, Accion Opportunity Fund gives you the best shot at competitive interest rates despite a lower credit score.
Square Loans: Best for Square users
Do you use Square for credit card processing? Then you should check to see if you’re eligible for a loan through Square.
Square offers its card processing customers a chance at a working capital loan. And because your eligibility comes from your Square processing habits, Square doesn’t care about your credit score at all. And while it does have some revenue and time-in-business requirements, Square’s borrower requirements look pretty accessible compared to many lenders.
Unfortunately, Square doesn’t let you manually apply for a loan. If it thinks you qualify, it simply offers you one. So Square loans aren’t great for urgent funding needs (assuming you don’t already have an offer). And yeah, they’re just for Square users.
If you do use Square, though, its loans might offer the easiest way to get a business loan with bad credit.
Lendr: Best for merchant cash advances
We don’t love merchant cash advances. But if you’re going to get one, you might as well get one through Lendr.
For starters, Lendr has all the advantages you’d expect from any merchant advance company: It doesn’t care much about your credit score and it can get you funded very quickly. But it also has a few other advantages, like great customer reviews, decent loan sizes, and more than one type of financing product.
Yes, it still has typical merchant cash advance downsides―like large fees that get described in a somewhat misleading way. In other words, you’ll want to carefully read the fine print and make sure you understand your advance terms.
But thanks to those upsides we mentioned, Lendr is our favorite source for merchant cash advances.
Browse hundreds of loan options, custom-tailored to your business and budget needs, from a single, simple platform.
Honorable mentions for bad-credit business loans
Haven’t seen the right lender for you just yet? We’ve found some other companies that might work better with your credit score and situation.
Honorable mentions for bad-credit business loans
- : Best for PayPal users
- : Best for Stripe users
- : Best for e-commerce
- : Best customer reviews
- : Another lending marketplace
PayPal Working Capital: Best for PayPal users
If you make at least $15,000 a year in PayPal sales, you might qualify for a PayPal Working Capital loan—no credit check needed. These loans work a lot like merchant cash advances, meaning PayPal will take a percentage of your sales to repay the loan.
The rates can get high, but it’s a convenient way to get financing without worrying about your credit.
Stripe Capital: Best for Stripe users
Stripe Capital operates just like PayPal Working Capital and Square Capital. If you make enough sales via Stripe, you can get approved for a Stripe Capital loan without any kind of credit check.
Stripe is pretty cagey about the costs of its loans, but you should expect high fees (as you would with any merchant cash advance).
Payability: Best for e-commerce sellers
Payability works specifically with e-commerce sellers (on Amazon, Walmart, ebay, and more sites). It offers fast working capital, and Payability only cares about your e-commerce revenue―not your credit score.
Of course, as with any cash advance company, Payability costs a lot (though you can reduce your fees by repaying your advance quickly). So calculate carefully before borrowing.
Forward Financing: Best customer reviews
Want to go with a lender that customers love? Forward Financing has just about the best customer reviews we’ve seen for a lending company (it maintains a 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot1), and it accepts credit scores as low as 500.
Unfortunately, it offers just merchant cash advances, so you have to deal with high costs and confusing repayment terms. But given how much its users love it, Forward Financing must be doing something right.
National Business Capital: Another lending marketplace
Like Lendio, National Business Capital is a lending marketplace. That means you apply for lots of lenders with just one application. So if Lendio doesn’t strike your fancy, National Business Capital offers a good alternative.
Do note, though, that National Business Capital has higher revenue requirements for would-be borrowers. It also doesn’t list rates or fees. That’s why we suggest looking at Lendio first and using National Business Capital as a backup.
As we said earlier, we found that Lendio has the best options for business owners with bad credit scores, since it gives you plenty of loan options and lets you compare loan offers.
But Lendio is just one option. If you don’t want to pay any interest, you can go with Kiva. Or if you simply want very competitive rates, there’s Accion Opportunity Fund. Square users will likely want to stick to Square Loans. And for business owners that want a merchant cash advance, we suggest going with Lendr.
No matter which of the lenders you choose, your less-than-perfect credit doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker when it comes to funding your business.
Bad-credit loans often come with higher rates—so make sure you understand what you’ll be paying by checking out our guide to APR.
We dove into more than 50 business lenders’ websites to figure out which ones offer loans to business owners with bad personal credit. Once we’d found all the places offering bad-credit loans, we scored them on factors like loan costs, funding times, and customer reviews. We used those scores to determine which lenders made the cut―and then to rank and review them.
Bad-credit business loan FAQ
What qualifies as bad personal credit?
According to the official FICO definition, a bad credit score falls between 300 and 600. (Of course, people sometimes say they have “bad credit” when they mean they have a lower credit score than they’d like.)
Here’s the full breakdown of FICO credit ratings:
Credit score ratings
Credit score tier
FICO credit score
Can I get a business loan if I have a 500 personal credit score?
Yes, it’s possible to get business financing if you have a 500 credit score—but it might be a challenge, and you’ll probably pay higher rates than borrowers with good credit.
Kiva, PayPal Working Capital, Square Capital, Stripe Capital, and Forward Financing (all reviewed above) offer funding to business owners with a 500 credit score—assuming, of course, that you meet other loan application criteria, like minimum revenue or time in business.
What is the minimum credit score requirement for a business loan?
There is no minimum credit score requirement to get a business loan, but you’ll have a much easier time qualifying if you have a score over 600 (and preferably higher).
That being said, individual lenders often do require a minimum credit score from borrowers. Most banks require at least a 680 to qualify for a traditional loan. Likewise, the minimum score to qualify for an SBA loan is 650.
So if you have a 550 personal credit score, you will have limited choices. But between lenders with low credit requirements and lenders that don’t check credit, you do have some potential options.
How can I get a loan if I have terrible credit?
You have a few options for increasing your chances of getting a business loan with terrible credit:
- Ask someone with good credit to cosign on your loan
- Secure your loan with valuable collateral
- Apply with a lender that doesn’t do credit checks
You’ll also have an easier time getting a business loan with bad credit if you can offer high revenue and a stable, established business.
And of course, one of the best ways to improve your odds is to improve your credit score. It will take time, yes, but it’s worth working on.
What types of business loans are best for bad credit?
Because these loans require collateral (whether that’s the equipment you purchase, your invoices, or a percentage of your credit card sales), they’re often easier to qualify for than traditional term loans.
You may also qualify for some short-term loans, like the ones offered by Square Loans, Stripe Capital, and PayPal Working Capital.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.
- Trustpilot, “Forward Financing” Accessed December 13, 2021.