Best Small Business Loans For Startups: LendingTree vs Lending Club vs Kabbage vs OnDeck vs Funding Circle & More

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Lowest APR
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Attention startups and small business owners: Do you have an urgent need to fill your inventory? Purchase equipment? Pump up your marketing campaign? Hire another employee? You’re in funding luck these days, thanks to the many websites that cater to small business loans online.

With the decline of smaller community banks, it’s harder than ever for you, as a business owner, to obtain the financing you need to keep your business up and running — and successful.

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1|Online vs Traditional Loans|online-vs-traditional
1|5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Loan|what-do-you-need
1|Best Small Business Loans|best-top-three
1|Additional Reviews|additional-reviews
1|Comparison Table|comparison-table
1|What Affects Your Business Credit Score? (Video)|credit-score
1|What Is A Merchant Cash Advance?|merchant-cash-advance
1|How To Pay Off Your Loan In A Timely Fashion|outro

Online Vs Traditional Small Business Bank Loans

What are the benefits of getting a small business loan online versus going the traditional bank route?

  • Your loan approval and getting cash-in-hand is a MUCH quicker process when you apply for loans online.
  • If you can’t qualify for a traditional bank loan (i.e., your credit score isn’t up to par), you’re more likely to be approved by an online lender.

Of course, this raises the question — how can online lenders offer consumers financing that traditional lenders don’t offer? The short answer, unfortunately, is that your APR is normally much higher with online loans. BUT if you’re in dire straits and need money right away, your best bet is to secure one of the best small business loans online that we’ve reviewed here.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Loan

Ask yourself these five questions before searching for an online loan:

  1. How much cash do you need?
  2. How soon do you need it?
  3. What kind of financing can you afford?
  4. How long before you can pay it off?
  5. Are you willing to sign a personal guarantee? (Allows the lender to pursue your personal assets if you default.)

The major benefits of securing a small business loan online come down to saving you the time and hassle you’d likely face trying to get a traditional small business loan. If you need financing right away, your options are limited unless you consider an online loan source.

Best Small Business Loans For Startups

Read our reviews below to see what your options are. We’ve done the research to provide our small business lending recommendations along with some of the information you’ll need to get started.

Best Overall: OnDeck Review

OnDeck logoVisit Website

OnDeck launched in 2007 to fill a much-needed financing gap for small businesses. They claim they’re committed to offering financing based on performance rather than just a credit score.

OnDeck offers two financing options: line of credit and term loans, which range from 3 to 36 months. Customers around the web rave about OnDeck’s seamless application and approval process and their exceptional customer support.



  • Approval and funding as fast as one business day
  • Loans up to $500,000 (higher than many)
  • Several term options, ranging from 3-36 months
  • Consumers say OnDeck typically grants a higher amount than their competition
  • Also offers Line of Credit option up to $100,000
  • Excellent customer support via live chat, phone and email
  • BBB accredited: A+Rating
  • Must make $100,000 in annual revenue
  • Must be in business for at least 1 year
  • Average APR of 25-50% (if you include origination and other fees) as of 7/24/19
  • Personal guarantee required (but no collateral)
  • Doesn’t offer Merchant Cash Advance

Read Our In-Depth OnDeck Capital Review

Lowest APR: Funding Circle Review

Funding Circle logo largeVisit Website

Funding Circle is a well-established and financially sound peer-to-peer lending site, meaning it’s directly backed by everyday investors rather than large financial institutions. It has an excellent reputation and has provided more than $10.2 billion in business funding globally. Funding Circle solely focuses on small business loans (no lines of credit).

Funding Circle isn’t your go-to funding source if you’re a startup — they require at least 2 years in business. But if you’re an established business, Funding Circle is worth serious consideration with some of the most competitive rates you can find online.



  • Small business loans up to $500,000
  • Very competitive APR rates
  • Flexible terms at 6 months -5 years
  • Dedicated account manager provided
  • Overall rave customer reviews about the funding process and helpful customer support
  • BBB accredited: A+ Rating
  • Loan approval can take several days
  • Must have been in business for at least two years
  • Collateral and personal guarantee required
  • Doesn’t offer lines of credit or merchant cash advance

Comparison Table

We know it’s hard to compare all the details, so we’ve included a comparison table of all the websites we’ve reviewed in this article to help you compare at a glance.

In case you’re new to lending, what’s the difference between a term loan and a line of credit? A term loan is a lump sum of money that is repaid over a fixed term. A line of credit is a revolving account that allows borrowers to draw funds, repay them and redraw from available funds.

Best Overall: OnDeck Lowest APR: Funding Circle Balboa Capital Biz2Credit Can Capital Credibly LendingClub LendingTree National Funding
Business Term Loans Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Loan Amount $5,000-$500,000 $25,000-$500,000 Up to $250,000 $5,000-$5 Million $2,500-$250,000 $5,000-$400,000 $5,000-$500,000 Unlisted $5,000-$500,000
Lines of Credit Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark
Line of Credit Amount Up to $100,000 N/A Up to $250,000 $10,000-$1 Million N/A N/A N/A Unlisted N/A
Avg. APR Range 25%-35% 7%-33% Unlisted Varies Unlisted 10%-40% 9%-35% Varies Unlisted
Terms 3-36 Months 6 Months -5 Years 3-18 Months Varies 6-18 Months 6-24 Months 1-5 Years Varies Unlisted
Approval Time Same Day 1-3 Days Same Day Same Day Same Day 1 Day Several Days Up to 2 Days Same Day
Earliest Fund Receipt 1 Day 5 Days Several Days 1 Day 2 Business Days 2 Days 4+ Days Several Days 24 Hours
Min. Credit Score 600 Unlisted None Varies Unlisted 500 or 600 Varies Varies 620 (Equip. Financing)
Must Be In Business For: 1 Year 2 Years 1 Year Varies 6 Months 6 Months 1 Year Varies 6 Months (Equip. Financing); 1 Year (Working Capital Loan)
Min. Income Requirement $100,000/Year Unlisted $300,000/Year Varies $150,000 Gross Revenue $15,000/Month Deposits $50,000/Year Varies $100,000/Year (Working Capital Loan)
Personal Guarantee Required Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Varies Checkmark
Offers Merchant Cash Advance Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark

FastPay is not included in the table because there are no details about its financing/loan options on its website.

Additional Reviews

Click on one of the links below to jump to other websites we’ve reviewed that provide small business loans online.

Balboa Capital | Biz2CreditCAN Capital | Credibly | FastPay | Lending ClubLending Tree National Funding

Balboa Capital Review

Balboa logo

Visit Website

Balboa Capital offers a wide range of small business loans, including working capital, cash advance, unsecured loans, and programs for women, minorities and veterans. This company has deep pockets and has been a stable source of financing for 10+ years.

We are concerned with the numerous complaints about billing problems, less-than-transparent fees, rates and terms, and unwanted sales calls. Also, many small businesses likely won’t qualify due to their hefty annual revenue requirement of $300,000.



  • Same day approval
  • Can borrow up to $250,000 for term loans and lines of credit
  • They say they consider all credit scores
  • Offers Business Cash Advance and Equipment Leasing
  • No personal guarantee required for unsecured loans
  • Excellent web resources
  • BBB accredited: A+ rating
  • Takes several days to receive funds
  • Must make $300,000 in annual revenue (much higher than most)
  • Must be in business at least 1 year
  • No information on website about interest rates, APR or fees
  • Term loans only up to 18 months
  • Fined in 2017 by government for operating without a lender/brokerage license
  • Many complaints on BBB about billing problems and terms changing

Biz2Credit Review

Biz2CreditVisit Website

Biz2Credit is a loan marketplace that serves as a facilitator between small businesses seeking loans and its network of partner lenders, which include traditional banks, alternative lenders, peer-to-peer lenders and other finance organizations. With their marketplace model, it’s hard to know up front what kind of loan you’ll be offered, the terms, APR, etc.

Biz2Credit, however, offers a wide variety of loans, including lines of credit and merchant cash advances, and they have special programs for women, minorities and veterans. Their website has a cool Biz Analyzer tool that helps you figure out what type of loan is best for your needs.



  • Can get funding as quickly as 24 hours
  • Loans up to $5 million
  • Flexible terms, short- and long-term loans
  • Offers Merchant Cash Advance, Line of Credit, SBA loans and many other options
  • Outstanding customer reviews for funding process and customer support
  • Excellent website resources for small businesses
  • Minimum qualifications for approval vary widely
  • APR, fees, personal guarantee, etc. vary widely
  • Underwriting fee (typically $250-$400 depending on funding amount) for non-bank loans
  • Not BBB accredited: D Rating

CAN Capital Review

CAN Capital logoVisit Website

CAN Capital enjoyed 15+ years as a highly-stable alternative capital provider to U.S. small businesses. In late 2016, however, the company suspended its lending services citing internal leadership shakeups and poor loan performances. They resumed funding in July 2017 after executive hires and a new partnership with Varadero Capital.

Despite CAN Capital’s recent problems, current customers give this company two big thumbs up for their easy small biz loan process and customer support. Although you’re only required to be in business 6 months, the high-income requirement of $150,000 could make it tough for many to qualify.



  • Loans up to $250,000
  • Only have to be in business 6 months to be considered (compared to one year or more with competition)
  • Offers term loans and Merchant Cash Advance
  • Excellent business loan repayment calculator
  • Offers a 6% prepay discount (applies 90 days after loan starts)
  • Good blog and articles on small business practices
  • BBB accredited: A+ rating
  • No online loan application
  • Funding typically takes several business days
  • Very high qualifying income requirement at $150,000 gross revenue
  • Website lacks APR rates
  • Term loans only up to 18 months
  • Minimum credit score information unavailable
  • Personal guarantee required
  • No live chat

Credibly Review

Credibly logoVisit Website

Credibly offers competitive interest rates and a good track record of small business lending. Credibly offers 3 financing options: small business expansion loans, working capital loans and merchant cash advances. The catch is you have to have a financially sound business to the tune of having an average of $15,000 deposits per month for the last 3 months. They also have a reasonable minimum credit score of 500 to qualify for their Working Capital Loan (600 for Business Expansion). If you can qualify, they’re an excellent small business loan source for quick funding.



  • Funding in hand within 48 hours
  • Can borrow up to $400,000
  • Only have to be in business for 6 months to qualify for Working Capital Loan
  • Also offers Merchant Cash Advance up to $400,000
  • Excellent customer reviews for approval process and support
  • Good website resources, including blog, articles, videos, etc.
  • BBB accredited: A+ rating
  • Must make $15,000 in monthly deposits to qualify for term loans
  • Must be in business for 3+ years for Expansion Loan
  • APR rates can get high for shorter-term loans
  • Required to make weekly payments

FastPay Capital Review


Visit Website

FastPay Capital is a unique company that specializes in financing and payment solutions for digital media agencies and publishers. This company has facilitated more than $2.5 billion in loans since its inception in 2009. They used to have detailed information on their site about options to get a line of credit against your company’s account receivables (pending invoices), but we can’t find any of that information online anymore. You must contact them to learn details about their financing options.



  • Good for startups and growing businesses
  • Offers payment platforms and other solutions for media companies
  • No information on website about available lending solutions — must contact them to find out more
  • Not BBB accredited: No Rating (NR)

Read Our In-Depth Review Of FastLane By FastPay

LendingClub Review

Lending Club logoVisit Website

LendingClub is another peer-to-peer lending site with a secure base of investors. It’s been a major player in alternative online funding over the last decade, and small business loans are only part of their business. They offer more affordable APRs than many other websites we’ve reviewed here. With an origination fee of 3-8% on top of an annual APR, however, they’re not as good of a deal as you might think at first glance (but still much lower compared to others in this article).

In the past, LendingClub was one of our top picks for online small business loans, but they’ve dropped out of our best of categories. This is due to a pending FTC complaint alleging dishonest fee disclosures, marketing practices and other issues, as well as many complaints about poor customer service.



  • Business must have at least $50,000 in annual revenue (lower than many)
  • Can borrow up to $500,000 if qualified
  • Lower APR average at 9%-35% (includes a 3%-8% origination fee)
  • Flexible terms, from 1-5 years
  • Dedicated U.S.-based client advisor
  • Several days to find out what loans are available to you
  • Must be in business at least 1 year
  • Personal guarantee required
  • No weekend customer support hours
  • BBB accredited: A- rating

Read Our In-Depth Lending Club Review

LendingTree Review

Lending Tree logoVisit Website

LendingTree is another loan marketplace, similar to Biz2Credit. LendingTree traditionally facilitated personal, auto, mortgage and other types of loans, but they branched out into small business lending in late 2014.

Their loans vary widely regarding terms, APR, etc. since they’re financed by a diverse group of lenders. The good news is you don’t incur a fee until you accept a loan offer, so it can’t hurt to try!



  • Flexible terms
  • Offers startup financing and Line of Credit options
  • Good customer support hours via phone and email
  • Helpful website resources to determine what kind of financing is right for you
  • Up to 48 hours until you see what loans are available for you
  • Minimum qualifications to be considered vary widely
  • APR, fees, personal guarantee, etc. vary widely
  • A lot of consumer complaints about unwanted solicitation calls from Lending Tree’s lending partners, once consumers applied online
  • BBB accredited: A+ rating

National Funding Review

National Funding logoVisit Website

Founded in 1999, National Funding offers small business loans, working capital loans, equipment financing and leasing and merchant cash advances. They’ve provided more than $2 billion in financing to over 40,000 small businesses. Unfortunately, their website doesn’t disclose any interest or APR rates, fees or what it takes to qualify for term loans. You’re also required to make a weekly payment.



  • Same day approval
  • Access to funding within 24 hours
  • Loans up to $500,000
  • Only requires 6 months in business for equipment financing and leasing
  • Merchant Cash Advance available up to $250,000
  • Offers a 6-7% prepay discount
  • Dedicated loan specialists
  • Good Small Business Resource Center online with blog, videos, article, white papers
  • BBB accredited: A+ rating
  • Must be in business for 1 year with $100,000+ sales to qualify for working capital loans
  • Minimum 620 credit score for equipment financing/leasing
  • No information about interest rates, fees or APR
  • No live chat or weekend support hours

What Affects Your Business Credit Score?

Experian, one of three major credit bureau’s in the U.S., shares some great tips about what can affect your business’s credit score in the video below.

What Is A Merchant Cash Advance?

Many of the websites we’ve reviewed here offer merchant cash advances in addition to providing small business loans or lines of credit. What’s the difference? A Merchant Cash Advance is available for small and medium-sized businesses that process credit card sales.

Instead of taking out a loan, you get a lump sum payment, and the lender gets a share of your future credit card sales. This is great for businesses who have poor credit and need cash immediately. The catch? Merchant Cash Advances come with a much higher APR, upwards of 100% to even 200%.

How Can I Get My Loan Paid Off In A Timely Fashion?

The last thing you want do to is put in all the hard work to secure your business loan and grow your business only to run out of the necessary funds to pay it back in a timely manner. Our small business accounting guide can help you save costs and our commerce for beginners guide can help you streamline your business and improve your margins with how-to guide’s on everything from e-commerce and inventory management to merchant accounts and POS systems.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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