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Traditional banks and financial institutions often have strict requirements about the credit scores you need to have to qualify for business financing. In return, they offer some of the lowest interest rates.
However, for those with poor credit, these options are out of reach. You may be denied for a loan if your credit scores aren’t up to snuff. You’ll have to apply for financing with an alternative lender, who may have lower requirements for those scores.
Our team of financial experts has reviewed and ranked the top alternative lenders to help you get funded if you have bad credit, and we’ll look at those shortly.
How to Choose the Best Business Loans for Bad Credit?
If you have bad credit and you’re looking for a business loan, you’ll want to start by looking for lenders who are more lenient with their criteria to qualify. Some will consider your annual revenue or monthly sales numbers when reviewing your application, rather than relying solely on your credit scores.
We did the hard work so you don’t have to. Our team of experts went over the best practices for choosing loans for bad credit, and they use these factors to rank the lenders that offer the best business loans for bad credit.
Loan Features: How much do you want to borrow? Some lenders specialize in microloans, while others in large amounts. Find a loan with the loan terms that fit your budget.
Application process: While traditional lenders tend to have long and arduous application processes, alternative lenders often have short and sweet apps. Consider also whether applying will result in a hard pull or soft pull on your credit report, as well as how long it will take for you to receive funds.
Interest rates and fees: While business loans for bad credit tend to have higher interest rates than traditional loans, that may be necessary for you to get the financing you need. Still, be aware of any extra fees you may have to pay.
Qualification process: Before applying, review the minimum credit score, annual revenue, and business history requirements to ensure you meet them.
Customer support: You will have a relationship with this lender for years, so make sure the company is known for positive customer experience. How can you connect with a customer support rep? Chat? Phone? Email?
Online user reviews: Find out what others say about a lender before applying. You can find reviews on independent review sites like Trustpilot.
Perks and Bonuses: Lenders should work to get your business. What is this lender offering that makes it stand out? Some examples include payment flexibility, advertising transparency, and advanced technology.
Best Business Loans for Bad Credit - Full Overview
Let’s look at the best lenders who offer loans for those with bad credit. We’ll look at the features of the loans they offer, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of taking out a loan with the lender.
1. BlueVine - Best for Easy Line of Credit Access
BlueVine’s specialty is business lines of credit. If you don’t want all your cash at once, maybe you have a renovation project that requires some capital now, and more later, a line of credit can be just what you need. BlueVine’s credit requirements are lower than some lenders, making it easy to get a line of credit, no matter your credit scores.
Where this lender really shines is in how fast it can turn around an application and get you funded. The application is quick, and you may receive approval in as little as five minutes if you qualify. Once you request funds, you’ll have access to them within hours.
BlueVine can provide up to $250,000 in a line of credit if you qualify, and rates can be as low as 4.8%, though, the lower your credit scores, the higher the rate will be. Loans are repaid over six or 12 months, with fixed weekly or monthly payments.
To qualify for a line of credit with BlueVine, you will need:
600+ FICO score
6+ months in business
$10,000+ in monthly revenue
A business that operates or is incorporated in an eligible U.S. state
The Bottom Line
If you want access to cash when you need it rather than a lump sum and don’t qualify for a line of credit with a traditional lender, BlueVine may be a good fit. With less strict requirements to qualify, even newer businesses that haven’t yet established their credit may be able to get the financing they need.
2. Biz2Credit - Best for Commercial Real Estate Loans
Having poor credit might seem to impede you from investing in real estate, but with Biz2Credit, you may be able to secure up to $6 million to buy an apartment complex, renovate a property, or buy another business.
Asset-based CRE (commercial real estate) loans are just one of the offerings Biz2Credit has. It also offers working capital and term loans that have less strict requirements to qualify for, and there are few restrictions for what you can use these funds for.
Biz2Credit offers three loan products:
Working capital loans: $25k - 2 million
Term loans: $25k - 500k
CRE loans: $250k - 6 million
Each loan has its own requirements to qualify for, though each require your business to generate $250k or more in annual revenues. The working capital loan requires you to have credit scores of 575 or higher and 6+ months in business. The term loan requires credit scores of 660+ and 18 or more months in business. For a CRE loan, you’ll need credit scores of 660+. You must already own commercial property and be in business for at least 18 months.
The Bottom Line
If you want to purchase commercial property but have been turned down by traditional lenders, you may qualify for a loan with Biz2Credit, and your credit score may not be an issue. Interest rates are high, so have a plan to repay the loan quickly to avoid incurring too much in fees.
3.Credibly - Best for a Wide Variety of Loan Options
Credibly offers several options for business financing, most of which have very low credit score requirements, which opens the door to more business owners qualifying for financing.
It’s just a matter of choosing the one that best fits your needs. Choose from term loans, equipment loans, merchant cash advances, lines of credit, SBA loans, and invoice factoring.
Some of these loans don’t use your credit scores at all to qualify you: for example, invoice factoring looks at the value of your accounts receivable to get you approved.
Credibly offers a wide range of financial products, and each has its own features and criteria to qualify for. When it comes to credit score requirements, Credibly has some of the lowest requirements on this list: some of its loans require only a credit score of 500 or more.
Working capital loans, merchant cash advances, and invoice factoring are available up to $400,000, and lines of credit cap out at $250,000.
The Bottom Line
If you haven’t purchased equipment or made an investment in your business because you couldn’t find the right loan you qualified for with bad credit, Credibly offers many solutions for you to choose from.
If your credit is below the requirements for other lenders on the list, Kabbage may be what you need. Its line of credit, backed by American Express, has no credit requirements to qualify.
In addition to its business lines of credit, Kabbage also offers a checking account that earns 1.10% in interest annually, as well as payment processing services.
Kabbage’s line of credit ranges from $1,000 to 150,000, and must be repaid in 6, 12, or 18 months, depending on your eligibility.
To qualify for a line of credit, your business must have been in operation for at least 12 months, and you must have a valid business checking account.
Rather than being charged interest, you will pay a monthly loan fee each month you carry a balance. There is no prepayment penalty.
The Bottom Line
If your credit is so poor you don’t qualify for other business loan options, and if you have an American Express account, Kabbage could be a good option to get you the working capital you need.
Fundera provides a Funding Advisor who will work with you to find the best options for you given your credit scores.
Fundera connects you with the right lender for your situation, and offers a variety of lending solutions like term loans, SBA loans, equipment financing, credit cards, lines of credit, invoice financing, startup loans, and more. Its software will process your application using algorithms that show you what you qualify for.
Fundera partners with lenders like Chase, American Express, Paypal, OnDeck, Citibank, and others to find you the best financing you qualify for. Your Funding Advisor will work with you to get to know your business and its needs so that you can find the financing that fits them.
The application process is simple. Loan funds are processed at different speeds, depending on the lender and the loan type. Short-term loans and lines of credit may be funded within a day, while medium-term loans can take three to seven days to fund.
The Bottom Line
If you crave a little hand-holding through the loan application process, you’ll appreciate Fundera’s Funding Advisors, since they work with you to find the right solution for your needs. And while some of its loans have higher credit requirements, you’ll find options if your credit scores are 550 or more.
If you foresee needing access to capital on an ongoing basis in the future, OnDeck may be able to help. Not only are interest rate requirements fairly low, you can also benefit from being a loyal customer who borrows money over and over.
OnDeck offers both term loans and lines of credit for businesses, and for customers who take out a second loan,OnDeck waives all the remaining interest on the first loan.
OnDeck’s loans and lines of credit both require credit scores of 600, as well as time in business of one year or more. To qualify to borrow $5k to 250k, you’ll need a business checking account and $100,000 or more in gross annual revenue.
Interest rates start at a high 35%, but keep in mind you’ll pay these loans back over 24 months or less. If you pay the loan off early, you can have the remaining interest waived with no prepayment fee.
The Bottom Line
Few, if any, lenders that cater to businesses with bad credit bother to reward them for being customers, but OnDeck does. If you know you’ll need to borrow money more than once, you just might be rewarded for doing so.