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Online Business Loans 2021: Compare Your Options

Online lenders often provide faster and easier access to small-business loans than banks, though at higher rates.
Andrew L. WangMarch 19, 2021
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Online business loans have become a popular financing option over the past decade as banks have scaled back on loans to small businesses.
With the help of algorithms and technology, online lenders analyze traditional credit standards, such as personal credit score and cash flow, and may also use nontraditional metrics, including social media interactions and online customer reviews. As a result, they can offer quicker and easier access to capital than traditional lenders like banks and credit unions. Borrowing costs, though, are typically higher for online business loans.
Borrowing from online lenders isn’t for everyone, however. If your business is just getting started, you probably won’t qualify. You’ll have to consider other startup-financing options. But if you’ve been in business at least a year and need quick access to cash or can’t qualify for a bank loan, online small-business loans are worth exploring.
You can compare online financing options by product below: term loans, lines of credit and invoice factoring.
For pandemic-related aid, small businesses have a few options, including Paycheck Protection Program loans, which received new funding in late December.

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LenderBest ForEst. APRMin. Credit ScoreNext Steps

Credibility Capital - Online term loan

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Best for Online business term loans6.99-24.99%650
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Funding Circle - Online term loan

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Best for Online business term loans12.18-36.00%660
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OnDeck - Online term loan

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Best for Online business term loans9.00-99.00%600
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BlueVine - Line of credit

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Best for Business lines of credit15.00-78.00%600
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Fundbox - Line of credit

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Best for Business lines of credit10.10-79.80%600
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OnDeck - Line of credit

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Best for Business lines of credit11.00-61.90%600
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BlueVine - Invoice factoring

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Best for Invoice factoring15.00-68.00%530
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Summary of Online Business Loans 2021: Compare Your Options

Our picks for

Online business term loans

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Credibility Capital - Online term loan

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Est. APR

6.99-24.99%

Min. Credit Score

650

Credibility Capital offers low-cost business loans that work best for small-business owners with strong credit.

Pros

  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No prepayment penalty.
  • Extra monthly payments can save interest cost.

Cons

  • Requires high minimum credit score and revenue.
  • Requires business lien and may require personal guarantee.
  • Not available in Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 650.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $200,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 5 years.
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Funding Circle - Online term loan

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Est. APR

12.18-36.00%

Min. Credit Score

660

Funding Circle is an option for established businesses that are financing an expansion or refinancing debt.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within 3 business days.
  • Competitive rates among online lenders.
  • No minimum revenue requirement.

Cons

  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
  • Not available in Nevada.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: None.
  • No bankruptices in the past 7 years.
May fund quickly
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OnDeck - Online term loan

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Est. APR

9.00-99.00%

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck offers a fast term loan for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who want to expand.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within the same business day.
  • Requires low minimum credit score.
  • Less paperwork than most lenders.

Cons

  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment will not save interest.
  • Requires frequent (daily or weekly) repayments.
  • Requires business lien and personal guarantee.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.
May fund quickly

Our picks for

Business lines of credit

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BlueVine - Line of credit

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Est. APR

15.00-78.00%

Min. Credit Score

600

BlueVine's line of credit provides fast working capital for short-term borrowing needs.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within 12 to 24 hours.
  • Multiple term lengths for different financing needs.

Cons

  • Short repayment term results in higher payment amounts.
  • Requires personal guarantee.
  • Not available in North Dakota, South Dakota or Vermont.
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Qualifications:

  • 6-month line of credit:
  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 6 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000.
  • 12-month line of credit:
  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 6 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000.
May fund quickly
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Fundbox - Line of credit

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Est. APR

10.10-79.80%

Min. Credit Score

600

Fundbox offers a business line of credit to fill a cash-flow gap, and qualifying is easier than with other lenders.

Pros

  • Cash can be available by the next day.
  • Low minimum credit score requirement.

Cons

  • Rates are high compared to traditional banks.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 6 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
May fund quickly
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OnDeck - Line of credit

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Est. APR

11.00-61.90%

Min. Credit Score

600

OnDeck offers a fast line of credit for small-business owners with less-than-stellar credit who need to manage cash flow or buy inventory.

Pros

  • Cash can be available within the same business day.
  • Requires low minimum credit score.
  • Less paperwork than most lenders.

Cons

  • Fixed-fee structure means early repayment will not save interest.
  • Requires weekly repayments.
  • Requires personal guarantee.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Minimum time in business: 1 year.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $100,000.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 2 years.
May fund quickly

Our pick for

Invoice factoring

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BlueVine - Invoice factoring

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Est. APR

15.00-68.00%

Min. Credit Score

530

BlueVine's invoice factoring can turn unpaid customer invoices into fast cash.

Pros

  • Finances larger invoices.
  • Cash can be available within the same day.
  • Accepts low minimum credit score and short time in business.

Cons

  • Not for businesses that do not invoice on net terms.
  • Loan amount is tied to the value of your invoices.
  • Dependency on customers to pay their bills on time.
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Qualifications:

  • Minimum credit score: 530.
  • Minimum time in business: 3 months.
  • Minimum annual revenue: $120,000.
Lowest credit score required

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Online term loans for small businesses

Term loans provide a lump sum of cash that you repay over a fixed period. Because you can pay them off over a longer period, term loans are usually the better choice for larger investments and long-term growth.
Term loans include the popular SBA 7(a) program, which are loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration but issued by traditional banks and online lenders.

Lines of credit for small businesses

If you’re looking for financing flexibility, a business line of credit is a better option. You draw on the line — up to a specified amount — as needed and pay interest only on the money you’ve borrowed. Lines of credit are a better choice for short-term expenses. Although the APR may be slightly higher than for term loans, lines of credit provide the flexibility to take out money only when, and as often as, you need it.

Invoice factoring for businesses

Invoice factoring is a way to get immediate cash by borrowing against your unpaid customer invoices, which can help you fill cash-flow gaps while you wait for customers to pay. This type of financing is only for companies that sell goods and services to other businesses and, therefore, have invoices. Typically, invoice factoring costs are higher than with term loans and lines of credit.

Compare online business loans

To help you compare loan options, NerdWallet has a list of small-business loans that are best for business owners. All of our recommendations are based on the lender’s market scope and track record and on the needs of business owners, as well as rates and other factors, so you can make the right financing decision.
Last updated on March 19, 2021

To recap our selections...

Online Business Loans 2021: Compare Your Options

Does your business need funding? Find your best loan options with Fundera by NerdWallet.

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