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Best Small Business Loans Online: LendingTree vs Lending Club vs Kabbage vs OnDeck vs Funding Circle & More!

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Best Overall Small Business Loans Online
OnDeck logo small
Best for Lowest APR
Lending Club logo
Best for Quickest Access to Funding
Kabbage logo

Attention 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.

Online vs. Traditional Small Business Bank Loans

So, 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.

What Do You Really Need?

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

  • How much cash do you need?
  • How soon do you need it?
  • What kind of financing can you afford?
  • How long before you can pay it off?
  • 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 Online

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. However, their minimum credit score (yes, they do have one) is 500 for term loans — a minimum that’s lower than many other online lending sites. OnDeck offers two financing options: line of credit and term loans, which range from 6 to 24 months. Customers around the web rave about OnDeck’s seamless application and approval process and their exceptional customer support.

Pros

Cons

  • Same-day approval and funding as fast as one business day
  • Lower minimum credit score allowance (500) than others we reviewed
  • Loans up to $500,000 (higher than many)
  • Several term options, ranging from 3-36 months
  • Consumers say On Deck typically grants a higher amount than their competition
  • Excellent customer support via live chat, phone and email
  • Also offers Line of Credit option up to $100,000
  • Must make $100,000 in annual revenue
  • Must be in business for at least 1 yearAverage APR of 20-80% (if you include origination and other fees)
  • Personal guarantee required (but no collateral)
  • Doesn’t offer Merchant Cash Advance

Read our in-depth OnDeck Capital Review

Best for Lowest APR: Lending Club Review

Lending Club logoVisit Website

Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending site, meaning they’re directly backed by everyday investors rather than large financial institutions. With a solid track record and a secure base of investors, Lending Club is a major player in alternative online funding, and small business loans are only part of their business. They offer much more affordable APRs than other websites we’ve reviewed here — and they’re known for their excellent customer service. But with an origination fee of 1-7% on top of an annual APR, 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). Still, Lending Club is definitely worth consideration if you don’t mind being at the discretion of individual investors choosing if they want to lend to you.

Pros

Cons

  • Much lower APR average at 8%-35% (includes a 1%-7% origination fee)
  • Can borrow up to $300,000 if qualified
  • Flexible terms, from one to five years
  • Excellent customer support with weekend hours
  • Dedicated U.S.-based client advisor
  • Same day approval
  • No website resources for small business owners
  • Collateral required for loans over $100,000
  • Personal guarantee required
  • Several days to find out what loans are available to you
  • Business must have at least $75,000 in annual revenue (higher than many) and have been in business for two years

Read our in-depth Lending Club Review

Best for Quickest Access to Funding: Kabbage Review

Kabbage logoVisit Website

Kabbage is one of the better-known small business lending sites. It has major media endorsements, from MSNBC, Forbes, Time, etc., — and more than 100,000 small businesses as customers. However, potential borrowers be aware — Kabbage only offers loans structured as a line of credit; they don’t provide “traditional” small business loans. If you’re looking for a long-term loan, Kabbage is not for you. They only offer 6- or 12-month terms, and they front-load your fees for the first two months, so you have to pay more right out of the gate. But if all you need is quick money to stock inventory, for example, Kabbage is a trustworthy and easy way to accomplish that goal.

Pros

Cons

  • Same day approval
  • Same day access to funding — and you can draw against your line of credit once a day if needed
  • Minimum of $4,200 monthly revenue for past three months to be considered (better than competition)
  • Low minimum credit score at 550
  • No personal guarantee required
  • Excellent web resources — blog, eBooks, webinars, articles
  • Loans up to $100,000 (less than most — but still a decent amount)
  • Only offer 6 and 12 month terms
  • High fees of 1.5%-10% first 2 months, then 1% remaining 4 months — averages to 40-80% APR (roughly similar to OnDeck)
  • Must be in business for one year
  • No customer support hours listed and no live chat (phone and email only)

Side-by-Side Comparison

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.

 OnDeckLending ClubKabbageBiz2CreditCan CapitalCrediblyFunding CircleLending TreeNational Funding
OnDeckLending ClubKabbageBiz2CreditCan CapitalCrediblyFunding CircleLending TreeNational Funding
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Business Term LoansCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Loan Amount$5,000-$500,000Up to $300,000N/A$5,000-$1 million$2,500-$150,000$5,000-$250,000$25,000-$500,000$5,000-$500,000Up to $500,000
Lines of CreditCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Line of Credit AmountUp to $100,000Unavailable$2,000-$100,000UnavailableN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Average APR Range20%-80%8%-35%40%-80%Varies60%-80%12%-100+%7%-33%VariesUnavailable
Terms3-36 Months1-5 Years6 or 12 MonthsVaries3-36 Months6-24 Months1-5 Years6 Months - 5 YearsUnavailable
Approval TimeSame DaySeveral DaysSame DaySame DaySame DaySame Day72 HoursUp to 48 HoursSame Day
Earliest Receipt of Financing1 Business Day4+ DaysSame Day24 HoursSevera; Days48 Hours10 DaysSeveral Days24 Hours
Minimum Credit Score500 Term Loan/600 Line of CreditVaries550UnavailableUnavailable500620VariesUnavailable
How Long in Business9 Months2 Years1 YearVaries2 Months6 Months2 YearsVariesUnavailable
Minimum Income Requirement$75,000/Year$75,000/Year$4,200/MonthUnavailable$4,500/Month$10,000/Month$150,000/YearVariesUnavailable
Personal Guarantee RequiredCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkVariesCheckmark
Offers Merchant Cash AdvanceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile AppsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkiOS Only
Customer ServiceM-F 8am-9pm; Sat. 9am-5pm ET. Live Chat, Phone, EmailM-Sat. 6am-5pm PT. Phone, EmailPhone, Email (Hours Unlisted)Live Chat, Phone, Email (Hours Unlisted)Phone, Email (Hours Unlisted)Live Chat, Phone, Email (Hours Unlisted)M-F 8am-8pm PT. Phone, EmailM-Th 8am-9pm; Fr 8am-8pm; Sat 10am-7pm ET. Phone, EmailM-F 7:30am-4:30pm PT. Phone, Email
Website Resources for Small BusinessesBlog, Articles, FAQsBlogBlog, Webinars, eBooks, ArticlesBlog, Articles, Repayment CalculatorBlog, Articles, Online Repayment CalculatorBlog, Articles, VideosBlog, Knowledge CenterNoneBlog, Videos, Articles, White Papers, etc.
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Additional Reviews of Small Business Loans Online

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

Biz2CreditCAN Capital | Credibly | Funding CircleLending Tree | National Funding

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

Pros

Cons

  • Loans up to $1 million
  • Flexible terms, short- and long-term loans
  • Offers Merchant Cash Advance, Line of Credit, SBA loans and many other options
  • Can get funding as quickly as 24 hours
  • 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

CAN Capital Review

CAN Capital logoVisit Website

CAN Capital is the largest alternative capital provider to small businesses in the U.S. and one of the most stable non-bank lenders of small business loans out there. In early 2014, CAN Capital raised $33 million from Meritech and Accel investors and in early 2014, and business experts report that the company is very profitable. CAN Capital uses its own real-time platform and risk-scoring models. In addition to small business loans, they offer a Merchant Cash Advance program. Based on their track record, stability and positive customer reviews, we highly recommend you consider CAN Capital.

Pros

Cons

  • Funding as fast as 2 business days
  • Loans up to $150,000
  • Only have to be in business two months to be considered (compared to one year or more with competition)
  • Must make stable monthly gross revenue of $4,500 (lower requirement than many)
  • Flexible terms, anywhere from 3-36 months
  • Excellent business loan repayment calculator
  • Offers a 6% prepay discount (applies 90 days after loan starts)
  • Good blog and articles on small business practices
  • Same day approval
  • No customer support hours listed (but they do have live chat, email and phone)
  • Personal guarantee required (but no collateral)
  • Minimum credit score information unavailable
  • Higher average APR than some competitors at 60-80%

Credibly Review

Credibly logoVisit Website

Credibly offers competitive interest rates and a good track record of small business lending. The catch is you have to have a financially sound business to the tune of $10,000 revenue per month — significantly higher than many competitors. Credibly offers two short-term financing options, small business expansion loans and working capital loans. If you can qualify, they’re an excellent small business loan source for quick funding.

Pros

Cons

  • Funding in hand within 48 hours
  • Can borrow up to $250,000
  • Low 500 credit score to qualify
  • Only have to be in business for 6 months to qualify
  • Excellent customer reviews for approval process and support
  • Good website resources, including blog, articles, videos, etc.
  • Must earn $10,000 in monthly revenue to qualify
  • APR rates can get high for shorter term loans
  • Required to make payments daily for Working Capital Loan or weekly for Business Expansion Loan
  • Limited loan types: doesn’t offer Merchant Cash Advance or Line of Credit

Funding Circle Review

Funding Circle logoVisit Website

Funding Circle, another well-established peer-to-peer lending site like Lending Club, has an excellent reputation and solid financial backing. Funding Circle solely focuses on small business loans, but this isn’t your go-to funding source if you’re a startup or less established business. They set a high bar for approval requirements — at least two years in business, a $150,000 annual revenue minimum and a credit score of at least 620. But if you can qualify, Funding Circle is worth serious consideration.

Pros

Cons

  • Small business loans up to $500,000
  • Very competitive APR rates
  • Flexible terms at 1-5 years
  • Dedicated account manager and personal underwriter provided
  • Overall rave customer reviews about the funding process and helpful customer support
  • Loan approval can take several days
  • Not for startups — must have been in business for at least two years
  • High 620 minimum credit score required to qualify
  • Requires $150,000 in annual revenue to qualify
  • Collateral and personal guarantee required
  • Minimum loan amount is $25,000 (may be too high for some small businesses)

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!

Pros

Cons

  • Loans up to $1 million (but they serve medium-sized businesses as well)
  • Flexible terms, from 6 months up to five years
  • Offers startup financing, Merchant Cash Advance and Line of Credit options
  • Good customer support hours via phone and email
  • 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
  • No website resources for small businesses
  • A lot of bad consumer reviews relating to unwanted solicitation calls from Lending Tree’s lending partners, once consumers have applied online

National Funding Review

National Funding logoVisit Website

Founded in 1999, National Funding offers a wide variety of financing options for small businesses, including small business loans, bad credit small business loans, merchant cash advances, working capital and even equipment leasing. Sounds great, right? The problem is they aren’t transparent on their website about loan terms, interest rates, or what their requirements are to qualify. Unless you call them or fill out their online request form, you’re pretty much in the dark. Customer reviews around the web are mixed — a number of complaints about consumers receiving unsolicited lines of credit.

Pros

Cons

  • Same day approval
  • Access to funding within 24 hours
  • Loans up to $500,000
  • No personal guarantee required
  • Offers bad credit small business loans
  • Offers equipment leasing option
  • Merchant Cash Advance and unsecured loans available if you qualify
  • Good Small Business Resource Center online with blog, videos, article, white papers
  • No available information on qualification requirements (including credit score, how long in business, revenue, etc.)
  • No loan terms listed on website
  • No information about interest rates, fees or APR
  • No live chat (email and phone customer support only)

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.

Specialize in Digital Media?

If you are in the digital media industry, check out our review of FastLane by FastPay, an niche online loan company.

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%.

An Online Loan May Be Your Only Option

With the unfortunate decline of smaller community banks, small business owners are finding it harder than ever to secure traditional small business loans. In a recent survey by the U.S. Reserve Banks, only half of all small businesses that applied for bank funding in the first half of 2014 actually got the cash they needed, as reported by Entrepreneur magazine. That’s where obtaining a small business loan online can fill the gap. If you’ve been denied by a bank, or suspect you won’t qualify for a traditional loan, you should seriously consider one of the websites we’ve reviewed here. If you’re in dire need, they could come to your rescue!

What has your experience been with getting a small business loan? 

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

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1 Comment on "Best Small Business Loans Online: LendingTree vs Lending Club vs Kabbage vs OnDeck vs Funding Circle & More!"

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Robin
Robin

Nice and knowledgeable article. As we all know that since recession banks are not giving loan to small business owners. As such they have no option other than merchant cash advance. It’s terms and conditions are totally different from banks. It is easy to get with less paper work.

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