Best Personal Business Loans 2022

Not all personal lenders let you use their loans on your business―but these ones do.
Best Overall
Avant
Avant
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
Starting at
9.95% APR
  • pro
    Up to $35,000
  • pro
    580 min. credit score
Best Customer Reviews
Upstart
Upstart
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8
Starting at
5.42% APR
  • pro
    Up to $50,000
  • pro
    300 min. credit score
Best for Fast Funding
Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
Starting at
7.72% APR
  • pro
    Up to $45,000
  • pro
    580 min. credit score
Best for Low Rates
Light Stream
LightStream
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
Starting at
3.99% APR
  • pro
    Up to $100,000
  • pro
    “Good” min. credit score

Data as of 8/30/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure.

Sometimes, for one reason or another, you can’t (or don’t want to) get a business loan for your small business. You still need working capital, though.

Enter personal loans. Sure, they may not have been designed specifically for businesses―but in many cases, you can use a personal loan to finance your business. You might even find it easier to qualify for a personal loan than a business loan.

In this article, we’ll tell you about the best personal lenders for business and help you find the right lender for your business needs. For most business owners, that lender will be Avant―but let’s look at all your options.


Avant: Our top pick for
brand-new businesses

Avant’s secure personal loan options and next-day funding make it our top pick for brand new businesses not yet qualified for business loans.

Qualifications:

Calendar Approach

No min. time in biz

Money Approach

No min. revenue

Analysis Approach

550+ credit score


Info
Personal loans for business uses

Not all personal lenders let you use personal loans on your business. (See the FAQs below for more information.) We’re including only lenders that allow business uses in our rankings.

Compare the best personal loans for business

Brand
Loan min./max.
APR min./max.
Min. credit requirement
Get a Loan

$2,000/$35,000

9.95%/35.99%

580

$1,000/$50,000

5.42%/35.99%

300

$2,000/$45,000

7.72%/29.99%

580

$5,000/$100,000

3.49%/20.49%

“Good”

Data as of 8/30/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Quick facts
  • 43% of small-business owners report that their credit wasn’t high enough to qualify for traditional small-business loans. 
  • 1 in 3 business owners use personal loans to fund their business. 
  • 27% of small-business owners say that having access to personal loans and business credit cards helped them start their business. 

Using a personal loan for business

In many cases, a personal loan won’t be your first choice for business funding. But sometimes, personal lenders offer a good alternative to business lenders.

For example, if you have a brand-new business, you may have a hard time qualifying for business loans. Yes, you can always try to get a startup loan, but even startup business loans usually require your business to be at least a few months old. So if you’re just getting your business set up, a personal loan might be your best option as a borrower. 

Likewise, if you want the flexibility to use your loan for both personal and business needs, you’ll need a personal loan. You can’t use business loans for personal expenses.

Put simply, you can absolutely fund your business with a personal loan. But before you take the next steps to becoming a borrower, make sure you understand how business loans and personal loans differ. (Our FAQ below can help.)

Avant: Best overall

Avant
Avant
Avant
Starting at
9.95% APR
  • pro
    As fast as next-day funding
  • pro
    12–60 mo. loan terms
  • pro
    Monthly payment schedule
  • pro
    Up to 4.75% administration fee

Data as of 8/30/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Avant is our favorite personal lender overall—and it has a big advantage that sets it apart from other personal lenders: it offers both unsecured and secured personal loans.

As you may recall, the difference between those two types of loans comes down to collateral. You need collateral to get a secured loan, but an unsecured loan doesn’t require any (it may still require a personal guarantee though). Many people prefer unsecured loans because they won’t want to offer anything up as collateral. But secured business loans and personal loans, thanks to their collateral, often offer lower interest rates.

And that’s exactly the case with Avant. It offers you the chance to secure your term loan with your car. In return, you’ll likely get lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. Of course, your exact rates and terms will still depend on a number of factors, but it’s a good way to qualify for a lower rate than you otherwise would.

So if you’ve got a car and you’re willing to offer it as collateral, Avant’s secured loans might offer a simple way to lower your interest rate.

Pros
pro Secured loan options
pro Next-day funding times
pro Moderate max. administration fee
Cons
con Very low max. loan size
con High starting APR
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Upstart: Best customer reviews

Upstart
Upstart
Upstart
Starting at
5.42% APR
  • pro
    As fast as next-day funding
  • pro
    3 or 5 yr. loan terms
  • pro
    Monthly payment schedule
  • pro
    0–8% origination fee

Data as of 8/30/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

There’s a lot to like about Upstart, and we’re not the only ones to think so: Upstart has the best customer reviews of the lenders on this list.

Upstart has a 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot, giving it an excellent score.1 That’s not from a handful of customers, either― 32,000 people have reviewed Upstart, with 97% of them giving it an excellent score.

What do these rave reviews say? Well, they praise a lot of the things you’d expect: fast approval and funding, helpful customer service, and fair pricing. (We saw many reviews praising Upstart’s competitive rates and fees.) In other words, people like pretty much everything about Upstart―even though it doesn’t have the lowest rates or the biggest loans.

If you’re looking for a tried-and-true lender for your personal loan that also happens to have a super low credit score requirement, then give Upstart a try. See our full review here.

Pros
pro Excellent customer reviews
pro Next-day funding
pro Low starting APR
Cons
con High maximum APR
con High max. origination fees

Rocket Loans: Best for fast funding

Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans
Rocket Loans
Starting at
7.72% APR
  • pro
    As fast as same-day funding
  • pro
    36 or 60 mo. loan terms
  • pro
    Monthly payment schedule
  • pro
    1–6% origination fee

Data as of 8/30/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Rocket Loans offers pretty competitive interest rates. No, it doesn’t offer the lowest possible APR (annual percentage rate) out there. But its starting APR is still well within the range we like to see, and its maximum APR is lower than half the lenders on this list.

Throw in its fast funding turnaround (the same day if you complete the process by 1 p.m. ET), flexible loan amounts (from very small to moderately sized), and above-average customer reviews, and you can see why Rocket Loans is one of our favorites.

That’s not to say it’s the best in every category. Again, it doesn’t have the lowest possible rates or the biggest loan amounts. If those things matter to you, you may want to look at one of the other lenders we recommend.

Even so, Rocket Loans offers plenty of advantages―making it one of our favorite lenders for personal loans.

Pros
pro Same-day funding
pro Competitive APR
Cons
con Low max. loan size
con Potentially high origination fees

LightStream: Best for low rates

LightStream
Light Stream
LightStream
Starting at
3.99% APR
  • pro
    As fast as same-day funding
  • pro
    24–144 mo. loan terms
  • pro
    Monthly payment schedule
  • pro
    No origination fee

Data as of 8/30/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

It’s not hard to see why we recommend LightStream―at least, once you take a look at its interest rates.

APR at LightStream starts under 4%. That’s thanks in part to low interest rates and in part to a complete lack of fees. Unlike other lenders on this list, LightStream doesn’t charge any kind of administrative or origination fee on its loans. So you can get rock-bottom rates from LightStream.

That’s not the only advantage to LightStream, either. It also offers large personal loans, with amounts up to twice as big as the loans from other lenders. It’s got long terms too, offering you up to 20 years to pay. Of course, with those big perks comes a big drawback. LightStream has the highest credit requirements of the lenders here. It asks for at least a “good” credit score―which translates to something above 670.

Still, if you can meet those strict credit requirements, LightStream’s low APR makes it an excellent, low-cost option for personal loans.

Pros
pro Large max. loan size
pro Very low starting APR
pro No origination fee
Cons
con High credit requirements
con Few (and low) customer reviews

The takeaway

A personal loan may not be the right solution for every small-business owner, but it can be a good financing option―especially if you have a young business or haven’t built up business credit yet.

We think that most business owners will like Avant the best, as it offers both secured and unsecured loan options. If you want to go with a lender with phenomenal customer reviews, we recommend Upstart. Business owners interested in fast funding will want to stick with Rocket Loans. And if you’re on the search for the lowest possible rates, LightStream is the lender for you.

Not sure you want to get a personal loan for your business? Learn more about other small-business funding options.

Related reading

Personal business loan FAQ

What is a personal business loan?

A personal business loan is just another way of describing a personal loan that you use for business reasons.

How can I get a personal loan for my business?

To get a personal loan for your business, you must quality for a personal loan that allows for business usage.

A few lenders have strict restrictions on what their loans can be used for, so you should double-check with your lender to make sure it doesn’t mind. But many personal lenders accept and even encourage applications from business owners—including the ones we mentioned here. 

Is it easier to get a personal loan or a business loan?

It can be easier to get a personal loan than a business loan. Mostly, that’s because many business lenders want your business to have been in operation for a certain length of time, while a personal lender doesn’t care about how long your business has been around.

Likewise, business lenders often have high revenue requirements. Personal lenders have income requirements, sure, but they don’t care about your business’s revenue specifically.

And as you can probably guess, a business lender usually wants to see a good business credit score as part of your application. A personal lender shouldn't ask about your business credit.

That said, some personal lenders have higher personal credit requirements than some business lenders. For example, most of the lenders on this list generally want to see a personal credit score in the 600s. In comparison, the best business lenders for bad credit accept credit scores in the 500s.

So really, it depends on the specific lender you’re applying with.


How do business loans compare to personal loans?

Business loans and personal loans have a few key differences you should understand. These differences can help you figure out which type of loan is the better financing option for you and your business.

As we said, a business loan must be used for business purposes. A personal loan, on the other hand, can be used for both personal and business needs.

The loan application process can be different too. Both personal and business lenders look at your personal credit score. But business lenders will often look at your business credit and your business’ revenue too. Personal lenders, though, will focus on your personal income.

And from a practical standpoint, funding from a business loan goes into a business bank account, while financing from a personal loan goes into a personal bank account.

Plus, as a general rule, business loans usually come in larger loan amounts than personal loans (though your specific loan amount will depend on things like your personal credit, business credit, revenue, and more).

Business loans vs. personal loans
Feature
Business loan
Personal loan

Acceptable uses

Business expenses

$25,000

Loan amount

Often higher

Often lower

Personal credit check

Business credit check

Sometimes

Financial check

Business revenue

Personal Income

Pin
Personal loans only

SoFi and Payoff are two popular personal lenders that explicitly don’t allow you to use your funds for business reasons. And while Prosper doesn’t explicitly disallow business uses, it now redirects all business customers to OnDeck.

Methodology

We looked at dozens of personal lenders and verified which ones offer loans for business use. (Many personal lenders explicitly forbid using funds for business use.) For the few remaining lenders, we compared loan rates, borrower requirements, customer reviews, and other factors. By scoring those factors, we got our rankings.

Disclaimer

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.

Sources
1. Trustpilot, “Upstart.Accessed August 29, 2022.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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