Gas Station Loans: Best Business Financing Options in 2022
If you own a gas station or have plans to open one, gas stations loans can help you secure the capital you need to succeed. Below are the best gas station loans to help cover operating expenses, purchase inventory, or expand your gas station.
Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks, Personal Finance Writer and Editor
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Since many customers pay for gas station purchases in cash, it can be difficult to document and prove your total income. In most cases, you’ll need to depend on your tax returns to qualify for a small business loan. Also, if your financial documents show your sales are plummeting or you’re struggling with cash flow, traditional lenders might not approve you.
To make your life a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a list of the best gas station loans available today. It can give you an idea of what types of lenders and loans are more likely to provide you capital for your venture.
While it’s difficult to find gas station loans, it’s not impossible. When you shop around, be sure to compare products so you can make the best choice for your unique gas station business. While ranking the best gas station loans in 2022, our experts focused on the following factors.
Loan Features: Loan features include loan terms, loan amounts, and repayment plans. Some lenders are known for lengthy terms, high amounts, and flexible repayment options, which are ideal if you’re a gas station owner.
Application process: If you’re running a gas station, there’s a good chance you’re busy and prefer an easy application process with fast funding. You might also appreciate lenders who offer prequalification so you can check your offers without any impact to your credit score.
Interest rates and fees: Since interest rates and fees will play a vital role in the overall cost of your gas station loan, financing with lower rates and minimal to no fees is your best bet.
Qualification process: While some lenders have rigorous credit, annual revenue, and business history requirements, others are more lenient and willing to work with newer gas station owners with lower credit scores and less annual revenue.
Customer support: Customer support can come in many forms: phone, email, live chat, and website tools, like a robust FAQ page and product guides.
Online user reviews: Reviews and ratings on independent, third-party sites like Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB) reveal the reputation of the gas station lenders.
Perks and Bonuses: Extras like hardship assistance, business advising, and credit score monitoring can make a gas station loan more valuable.
Best Gas Station Business Loans for 2022 - Full Overview
1. Kabbage: Best for Fair Monthly Revenue Requirements
Our experts ranked Kabbage as one of the best small business financing options for gas station owners due to the straightforward application, fast funding times, and less than average monthly revenue requirements. Kabbage is owned by American Express and focuses on small business lines of credit. Lines of credit operate similarly to a credit card. You get an approved limit, borrow the funds as you need them, pay them back, and can borrow them again.
A line of credit from Kabbage ranges from $2,000 to $250,000 with six, 12, or 18-month terms. There are no origination or maintenance fees, and instead of charging a traditional interest rate, Kabbage charges a set fee based on the loan term. For six-month terms, the fee ranges from 2-9%, for 12-month terms, the fee is 7.5-18%, and for 18-month terms, the fee is 15.75-27%.
To qualify for a line of credit from Kabbage, you need to have been in business for at least one year and have a minimum credit score of 640. Kabbage also requires a monthly revenue of at least $3,000, which is significantly lower than many other gas station loans available.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve been in business for at least one year, a Kabbage line of credit is absolutely worth considering. They offer excellent customer service, a quick online application, and qualifying monthly revenue requirements that are less than industry average.
Based in California, National Funding is a small business loan specialist with a focus on borrowers with less than ideal credit. Since you’ll need to buy gas pumps and other equipment for your gas station business, its equipment financing option is worth exploring.
Equipment loans from National Funding go up to $150,000 with terms ranging from two to five years. Repayments are made monthly, and you can get a discount if you pay the loan off early. If you don’t need to purchase equipment, National Funding also offers traditional small business loans ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 that you can use for your gas station business.
Eligibility criteria includes a minimum credit score of 575 and a business history of six months or more. You must also present an equipment quote from a vendor during the application process.
The Bottom Line
National Funding offers equipment loans and traditional small business financing to borrowers with poor credit. If you’ve been in business for at least six months, National Funding could be a great fit for financing your gas station business.
Biz2Credit offers three different types of financing for gas station business owners: working capital loans, term loans, and commercial real estate loans. Term loans tend to be their most popular product, followed closely by working capital loans. Both loans can help you fund everyday expenses related to your gas station business, such as inventory, payroll, and utilities.
Biz2Credit working capital loans range from $25,000 to $2 million with payments made daily, weekly, or biweekly. Term loans max out at $500,000 and must be repaid within 12 to 36 months. Commercial real estate loans allow you to borrow up to $6 million, but you must already own your business and land. These loans are ideal for those looking to expand or renovate.
For a chance at approval for a working capital loan, you need a minimum credit score of 575, at least $250,000 in annual revenue, and a six-month business track record. For term loans and commercial real estate loans, the minimum credit score required is 660 and you must be in business for at least 18 months.
The Bottom Line
If you have good credit and need cash to pay for the day-to-day costs of running your gas station, a working capital loan from Biz2Credit may be a good option.
Bluevine is a financial technology company that specializes in business lines of credit. With a line of credit, you can borrow money when you need it up to your set credit limit. You only pay interest on the amount you borrow each time. If you’re unsure of exactly how much funding you need for your gas station, this loan option should be on your radar.
Lines of credit from Bluevine range from $5,000 to $250,000 with a starting APR of 4.8%. The term length is rather short, ranging from six to 12 months. Lines of credit are best used to cover gaps in revenue or to cover one-time expenses, such as purchasing new equipment or expanding your business.
To qualify for a line of credit from Bluevine, you’ll need a minimum credit score of 625, a minimum monthly revenue of $10,000, and a business history of at least six months.
The Bottom Line
If flexible financing is important for your gas station business, a Bluevine line of credit is a smart choice. Bluevine offers competitive rates, excellent customer service, and a simple application that can be completed in just a few minutes.
5. Fora Financial: Best for Merchant Cash Advances
Fora Financial is a fintech lender with lenient lending requirements. The company offers both short-term loans and merchant cash advances. If you collect credit card and debit card payments from your gas station customers, you may want to explore its merchant cash advance (MCA).
With a merchant cash advance, you’ll receive an upfront payment in exchange for a portion of your future card sales. You can pay back your advance via a percentage of your daily sales or fixed withdrawals from your bank account.
Both short-term loans and merchant cash advances from Fora Financial range from $5,000 to $750,000. Short-term loans have a term length of four to 15 months, and MCA’s do not have a specified term length as you’re borrowing against future transactions. Both loans offer monthly repayment periods and early repayment discounts.
To qualify for a short-term loan or merchant cash advance, you’ll need to have a minimum credit score of 500 and be in business for at least six months. For short-term loans, Fora Financial requires a minimum monthly revenue of $12,000. To be approved for a merchant cash advance, you’ll need to show a minimum of $5,000 per month in credit card sales.
The Bottom Line
If you’re having trouble qualifying for traditional loans, a merchant cash advance from Fora Financial may make sense, especially if you have a decent amount of customers that pay for their gas and convenience items with credit cards.
6. Credibly: Best For Long-Term Business Expansion Loans
Credibly is a Michigan-based online lender that offers long-term business expansion loans. If you’re an established gas station business with plans to expand, a long-term business expansion loan can be a good option. You may be able to lock in up to $5 million in funding with lengthy loan terms ranging from three to 10 years.
Long-term business expansion loans from Credibly offer higher loan amounts and longer loan terms than traditional small business loans. Because of this, you will most likely need to submit a business plan along with your application. If you aren’t looking to expand, Credibly does offer other options for gas station financing - including working capital loans, merchant cash advances, equipment financing, and more.
Credibly doesn’t disclose its credit score, annual revenue, and minimum time in business requirements for its long-term business expansion loan. For their other products, however, they would like to see a minimum credit score of 560, six months of business history, and a minimum of $50,000 in annual revenue.
The Bottom Line
A long-term business expansion loan can be beneficial if you’ve been around for a while and are ready to take your venture to the next level. With low credit score requirements and high borrowing amounts, Credibly is a fantastic option for many types of small business financing loans.
SmartBiz aims to deliver affordable lending to small businesses in an effort to support local economies. It’s an SBA-approved lender, meaning it offers SBA loans that are partially guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are several types of SBA loans which come with low rates and lengthy repayment terms of up to 25 years.
SmartBiz SBA loans range from $30,000 to $5 million with repayment terms between 10 and 25 years. Interest rates range from 7.5-10.29%. You can use SBA loans for any type of business expense, such as purchasing inventory, consolidating debt, remodeling your gas station, or paying for day-to-day expenses.
To get approved for an SBA loan from SmartBiz, you must have a credit score of at least 660 and a business history of two years or more. While specific income requirements are not mentioned, you do need to have a positive cash flow and no recent bankruptcies.
The Bottom Line
An SBA loan from SmartBiz is an excellent choice if you’ve been in business for at least two years and have a good credit score. Your total cost of borrowing with this type of loan will be much lower than traditional small business loans, so if you qualify, it’s worth it to apply.
Opening a gas station comes with a high financial barrier to entry. At a minimum, you should secure $300,000 in financing to get your venture up and running. The funds will need to be used to buy the location, business insurance, registration, licenses and permits, marketing materials, gas, payroll and more.
The ongoing costs of your gas station will include utilities, payroll, and inventory. You’ll likely pay anywhere from $50 to $70 per 20-gallon barrel of fuel. Of course, this figure can easily increase or decrease depending on the environment. In addition, you may be on the hook for franchise royalties and fees.
Types of Loans Available to Gas Station Owners
There are a number of loans you can take out as a gas station owner, including:
Lines of Credit: A business line of credit works a lot like a credit card: you can withdraw as much or as little as you’d like up to a set credit limit.
SBA Loans:SBA loans come with low interest rates and long repayment terms. The SBA 7(a) loan is ideal if you’d like to buy or expand your gas station, as you may get approved for up to $5 million.
Equipment Loans: If you need funding to purchase or lease new or used equipment for your gas station, equipment financing can help you out.
Merchant Cash Advance: A merchant cash advance can be a smart choice if your gas station has a high volume of credit card sales.
Term Loans: Term loans provide you with a lump sum of money upfront that you repay over time via fixed monthly payments or installments.
How to Use Gas Station Loans
While gas station business loans can be used for anything related to your business, the most common uses for gas station loans include:
Working Capital: Working capital refers to the ongoing, day-to-day expenses you may incur to run your gas station. Some examples include rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, fuel, and maintenance.
Expansion: If you own one successful gas station, you might want to expand your business. With some help from a loan, you can move to a larger location, open additional gas stations, buy a gas station that already exists, and hire additional employees.
Renovations: To boost sales, you may want to renovate your gas station so that it’s a clean, welcoming space for customers. If your gas station is outdated, you can use a loan to cover the cost of renovations.
Inventory: If your gas station sells convenience products like snacks and drinks in addition to gas, a loan can ensure you always have enough inventory at your disposal. Just make sure you do some research and find out exactly how much inventory you need.
Upgrade Equipment: It’s important to keep your storage tanks, fueling systems, point-of-sale systems, and other equipment up-to-date. A gas station loan can help you do just that.
Emergencies: Since emergency expenses are bound to pop up when you least expect them, a gas station loan is a great way to gain some peace of mind.
How to Qualify for a Gas Station Business Loan
To increase your chances of getting approved for a gas station loan, be sure to:
Check your credit: Make sure you know where you stand credit wise. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to pull free copies of your reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Dispute any errors or inaccuracies you find, as they may bring down your credit score.
Solidify your business plan: Most lenders will ask to see your business plan so they can learn more about your gas station and find out what you plan to do with the loan proceeds. Do your best to provide them with a plan that’s clear, compelling, and professional.
Shop around: Not all gas station loans are created equal. That’s why you should do some research and only apply to options with qualification requirements that you meet. There’s no point in applying for a loan that requires good credit if your credit is fair or poor.
Develop relationships with lenders: Sometimes, it’s all about who you know. Take the time to build relationships with lenders long before you apply for their gas station loans.
How to Apply for a Gas Station Loan
Most companies that offer gas station loans will have you fill out a preliminary application. From there, you may be contacted by a representative from the lender and asked for additional information and paperwork. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you apply for a gas station loan.
Gather Financial Documents
In most cases, lenders will want to see a variety of financial documents, such as:
Recent balance sheets
Tax returns from the past few years
Profit and loss statements from the last three years
Escrow directions, including closing date and escrow agent contact details
Details of any assets involved in the loans, such as equipment or receivables
We recommend you have these documents gathered and on-hand, which will make the approval and funding process much smoother.
Find the Right Loan
To start your search for the best gas station loan, visit our list of the best gas station loans above. Explore each lender’s website and don’t hesitate to contact them directly if you have any questions. Once you compare rates, terms, fees, and perks, you’ll be able to choose the right one.
Fill Out the Application
Most lenders will allow you to apply for a gas station loan online. While a merchant cash advance comes with a quick, easy application process, applying for an SBA loan, for example, will take more time. Before you submit any application, double check your work for errors to avoid delays with approval and funding.
Opening a gas station can be an exciting, lucrative venture. After all, gas stations are always in demand. As long as you have sufficient capital at your disposal, you can succeed, especially if you earn additional revenue from convenience store items, car washes, and other extras. Apply for one of the above-mentioned gas station loans today to help with your business financing needs.