Best Small-Business Loans for Startups—2022

Some 30% of startups fail because the money dried up—don’t let yours be one of them.1
Best overall
Lendio
Lendio
5 out of 5 stars
5.0
Starting at
8% interest
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    560 min. credit score
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Up to $500,000
Best for low rates
BlueVine
BlueVine
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
Starting at
4.8% interest
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    600 min. credit score
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Up to $250,000
Best for young businesses
Fundbox
Fundbox
3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1
Starting at
4.66% draw rate
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    600 min. credit score
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Up to $150,000
Best for repeat loans
OnDeck
OnDeck
3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1
Starting at
35.9% APR
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    600 min. credit score
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Up to $250,000
Best for 0% interest
Kiva
Kiva
3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1
Starting at
0% interest
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    No min. credit score
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Up to $15,000

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As a startup business owner, you have so many opportunities and so much potential—if only you can work through cash flow problems that threaten to bring your business grinding to a halt. But you already know that. You just need to know how to get the financing to grow your startup.

We researched more than 50 business lenders and found out which ones lend to startups.

Most startups will like Lendio best, since it gives you a shot at many lenders and kinds of loans. But in our rankings below, we’ll tell you about all the best startup funding out there—and how to qualify for it—so you can make business boom.

Bullhorn
What counts as a startup loan?

In this ranking, we’ll focus on loans you can qualify for with one year or less in business and $150,000 or less in annual revenue—in other words, business financing young startups can actually get.

Best small-business loans for your startup

Compare the best startup business financing

Lender
Min./max. loan size
Lowest listed rate*
Min. time in business
Get a loan

Lendio

$500/$750,000

8%

6 mos.

BlueVine

$6,000/$250,000

4.8% interest

6 mos.

Fundbox

UP to $150,000

4.66% draw rate

2 mos.

OnDeck

$5,000/$250,000

35% APR

1 yr.

Kiva

$1,000/$15,000

0% interest

N/A

Data effective 15/15/21. At publishing time, loan amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

More financing options for startups

Traditional loans and lines of credit are great, but they’re far from the only way to finance your business.

And in fact, you may have a hard time getting loans, lines of credit, or other business financing for your startup. Lenders prefer to loan money to older businesses with high revenue. If you’ve got a young business―especially one without much revenue yet―even the lenders on this list may seem out of reach for now.

No need to panic, though. Like we said, you’ve got other options.

If you want to grow your startup, you can also consider other small-business funding options like these:

  • Personal savings
  • Personal loans
  • Business credit cards
  • Business grants
  • Family and friend investments
  • Angel investors
  • Venture capitalists
  • Crowdfunding sites

Sure, these alternative funding options have their downsides. It can take a long time to get investors, for example. And business grants are super competitive. But these other forms of financing also have a big advantage: Your business’s age (and revenue) doesn’t matter as much.

So while we do hope one of the lenders on this list works out for you, don’t forget about all the other options available to you and your business.

Lendio: Best overall for startup loan for business

Lendio
Lendio

Starting at 8% interest

  • 560 min. credit score
  • $50,000 min. annual revenue
  • 6 mos. min. time in business

What if—instead of spending time applying to multiple lenders to see who will approve you and what kind of offers you get—you could fill out one application and get multiple loan offers to compare and choose from? Yep, that’s Lendio. Just fill out one short application, and Lendio will match you with loans that your business qualifies for. Then you can choose the one you like best. Easy, right?

To qualify for a Lendio loan, you’ll need to have been in business for six months and have at least a 550 credit score. Now, meeting those bare minimum qualifications won’t get you the lowest rates or biggest loans. But given that Lendio works with more than 75 lenders (including some we recommend below), there’s a good chance you’ll find some kind of funding for your startup.

With everything from equipment financing to lines of credit to long-term loans, Lendio offers one-stop comparison shopping for small-business loans. What’s not to like?

Strengths
Pro Bullet Fast application
Pro Bullet Wide variety of funding and lenders
Pro Bullet Personalized guidance and expertise
Weaknesses
Con Bullet High interest rates on some loans
Con Bullet Reports of hard credit inquiries

BlueVine: Best for low rates

BlueVine
BlueVine

Starting at 4.8% interest

  • 600 min. credit score
  • $10,000 min. monthly revenue
  • 6 mos. min. time in business

Want to try for a low interest rate? Then you should try getting a line of credit from BlueVine.

BlueVine’s rates start at under 5% interest, making it competitive not just with other online lenders, but with traditional lenders too. Put simply, it costs way, way less than many other lenders on this list (especially ones that use fees instead of interest). Sounds like a nice deal, doesn’t it?

That said, BlueVine does have higher revenue requirements than most lenders on this list. And we do want to remind you that 4.8% is just its starting interest rate―meaning your actual rate could end up quite a bit higher.

All the same, BlueVine’s low starting interest makes it an attractive lenders for businesses―no matter their age.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Low starting rates
Pro Bullet Monthly payments on some lines
Pro Bullet Same or next-day funding
Weaknesses
Con Bullet High borrower requirements
Con Bullet Potentially large fees

Fundbox: Best for young businesses

Fundbox
Fundbox

Starting at 4.66% draw rate

  • 600 min. credit score
  • $100,000 min. annual revenue
  • 6 mos. min. time in business

As part of your business loan application, lenders look at how long your startup has been around. If that worries you, we recommend Fundbox.

While Fundbox does care about your business’s age, it doesn’t put quite the same weight on it that other lenders do. See, Fundbox primarily works with businesses that have been around for at least six months (already a pretty lenient standard), but it’s willing to lend to even younger businesses. Businesses as young as two months old can apply and potentially get approved for a Fundbox line of credit.

Now, if you want your very young business to get approved, it will help if you earn a good amount of revenue and have a decent personal credit score. And if you do get approved, keep in mind that Fundbox has relatively high fees on its financing.

But if your business’s age would keep you from getting approved for other loans, Fundbox is a great choice.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Automated application
Pro Bullet Low approval requirements
Pro Bullet Fast funding
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Low maximum loan amounts
Con Bullet High APR

OnDeck: Best for repeat borrowing

OnDeck
OnDeck

Starting at 35.9% APR

  • 600 min. credit score
  • $100,000 min. annual revenue
  • 1 yr. min. time in business

We’ll be honest: OnDeck doesn’t have the best deals for first-time borrowers. But OnDeck gives repeat borrowers lots of perks, including reduced (or even waived) fees and lower APR on loans. So if you need a term loan for your startup now, and you think you’ll need more business loans in the future, OnDeck might be a good fit. And there’s no better time to start building that beneficial relationship with OnDeck than right now.

OnDeck has pretty reasonable application requirements for startups: a 600 credit score, one year in business, and $100,000 in revenue. Now, those application requirements are higher than our other four favorite lenders for startups, so OnDeck isn’t for everyone and every business. But if you meet or exceed those qualifications, and you want to create a long-term relationship with your lender, then OnDeck might be right for you.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Lower rates for repeat borrowers
Pro Bullet Reporting to business credit bureaus
Pro Bullet Excellent reputation with borrowers
Weaknesses
Con Bullet High rates for first-time borrowers
Con Bullet Required lien and personal guarantee

Kiva: Best for microloans

Kiva
Kiva

0% interest

  • No min. credit score
  • No min. annual revenue
  • No min. time in business

What if you didn’t have to pay interest on your financing? With Kiva, you don’t. It offers 0% interest on all its microloans. Sure, you’ll have to start the crowdfunding process by getting your family and friends to pitch in some funding (a process that can take more than 30 days), but what other lender offers interest-free loans?

Do keep in mind, though, that Kiva microloans go up to only $15,000. That’s a much lower maximum loan size than you’ll find from other lenders. (They’re called microloans for a reason.)

Of course, if you’re just getting started, a Kiva microloan might be more than enough.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Zero-interest loans
Pro Bullet Few borrower qualifications
Pro Bullet High funding success rate
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Small maximum loan size
Con Bullet Slow funding process
Don't qualify for a business loan? Get a personal loan instead.

Honorable mentions

The lenders above are our favorites for startup businesses—but the five below aren’t half bad either.

Lender
Min./max. loan size
Lowest listed rate*
Min. time in business
Get a loan

Kabbage

$1,000/$150,000

0.25% monthly fee

1 year

Lendr

$5,000/$500,000

18% interest

1 year

Square loans

300/$250,000

Unlisted

1 year

Payability

Up to $250,000

0.5% weekly fee

9 mos.

Forward Financing

Up to $300,000

Unlisted

1 yr.

Data as of 12/15/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Kabbage: Best for monthly payments

Kabbage
Kabbage

Starting at 0.25% monthly fee

  • Min. credit score unlisted
  • Min. annual revenue unlisted
  • 1 yr. min. time in business

Worried about how weekly or daily payments could affect your cash flow? Then try applying with Kabbage.

Kabbage uses a monthly payment schedule, making it unique among online lenders. For businesses with tight budgets, that can free up cash flow for the rest of the month.

Just watch out for the monthly fees with Kabbage. If you repay your funds quickly, they’re not bad. But if you take more than a few months, they’ll add up before you know it.

Read Kabbage review

Lendr: Best for merchant cash advances

Lendr
Lendr

Starting at 12% fee

  • No min. credit score
  • $10,000 min. monthly revenue
  • 1 yr. min. time in business

As a rule, we dislike merchant cash advances and think you’re better off without them. If you’re determined to get one, though, we suggest going with Lendr.

Lendr has a couple key things going for it. Unlike other cash advance companies, Lendr clearly lists its rates and fees on advances. And it also earns much better customer reviews than many of its competitors.

To be clear, its cash advances still cost a lot. And if you don’t read carefully, the repayment method and schedule can still catch you by surprise. If you borrow carefully, though, Lendr can work well for your startup.

Read Lendr review

Square Loans: Best for Square users

Square
Square

Rates unlisted

  • No min. credit score
  • $10,000 min. monthly revenue
  • 1 yr. min. time in business

Do you have one of the many businesses that uses Square to process credit card payments? Then you’re in luck―you might qualify for Square Loans.

Square offers loans to qualified users―basically users that have consistently processed a good volume of credit card payments through its service. That means Square doesn’t care about your overall revenue or your credit score. Just your Square processing history.

Unfortunately, Square doesn’t let you manually apply for a loan. If you don’t see an offer, you don’t qualify (yet). That makes Square Loans hard to plan for. But if you do get an offer, Square loans give you a convenient way to fund your startup.

Read Square review

Payability: Best for e-commerce sellers

Payability
payability-logo

Starting at 0.5% weekly fee

  • No min. credit score
  • $10,000 min. monthly revenue
  • 9 mos. min. time in business

For businesses that sell on e-commerce marketplaces (like Amazon, Walmart, or Shopify), Payability can offer accessible startup funding.

Payability gives cash advances to qualified sellers. It looks at your sales history (with whatever platform you use). If you have a history of good sales, you can qualify―simple as that.

Note that Payability does expect a fairly high amount of revenue, though. And as with any cash advance, its funding costs a lot. At least it lets you save on fees by repaying your advance early.

Read Payability review

Forward Financing: Best customer reviews

Forward Financing
Forward Financing logo

Rates unlisted

  • 500 min. credit score
  • $10,000 min. monthly revenue
  • 1 yr. min. time in business

Forward Financing offers just merchant cash advances, but it gets incredible customer reviews.

In fact, Forward Financing consistently gets the highest reviews of any lending company we review. Its customers say Forward Financing is fast, easy to use, and has great customer service. All good stuff.

We still see downsides, though, like high (and hidden) costs. So despite what customers say, Forward Financing wouldn’t be our first choice for funding. If those downsides don’t worry you, though, Forward Financing reviews suggest you’ll have a good experience.

Read Forward Financing review

The takeaway

Even as a startup business owner, you have plenty of financing options.

With Lendio’s lending marketplace, you can compare funding offers and find the best deal. Or you can apply directly with BlueVine to try for low interest rates. Very young businesses may prefer applying with Fundbox. Borrowers with plans for the future might want to start a relationship with OnDeck. And business owners wanting the cheapest possible deal can enjoy 0% interest form Kiva.

So find the lender that fits your needs and qualifications the best, and then get that funding to grow your business.

Now that you’re reading to apply for a startup loan, make sure you avoid common mistakes when getting a business loan.

Related Reading

Methodology

We evaluated over 50 traditional and online business lenders, focusing our search on those that lend to young businesses (one year or younger) with limited revenue (under $150,000). After narrowing things down, we graded the remaining lenders on financing costs, accessibility, customer reviews, and more―and the resulting scores gave us 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.

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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