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Maryland Small Business Loans: Best Local and Online Options

Every business goes through cycles of ups and downs during its lifetime. Some years are profitable, others less so. Whether you’re a startup or an existing business, a capital influx can always help. The challenge is to find applicable loans for your specific business needs from organizations with...

Maryland Small Business Loans
Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

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Maryland has almost half a million small businesses operating within the state, employing close to 200,000 people and creating an estimated 40,000 new jobs every year. These small businesses make up 99.5% of the total economy in the state. Growing these small businesses is in the best interest of the Maryland economy, and one way of doing this is through granting small business loans in Maryland.

Top Four Maryland Small Business Loan Options

When looking for funding, there are specific criteria that you need to consider. Things like the interest rate, the loan term, and the cost of attaining the loan are essential factors. Many lenders specialize in the state of Maryland and can help your business grow.

1. The Harbor Bank of Maryland

The Harbor Bank of Maryland offers a variety of funding options to Maryland-based small business owners and entrepreneurs. As such, you are welcome to apply for equipment and vehicle loans, Small Business Administration loans, working capital lines of credit, retail loans, and more.

For example, a business line of credit issued by the Harbor Bank of Maryland can be used for payroll, inventory, or working capital purposes. It comes with a minimum value of $25,000 and a one-year maturity. If you need longer-term financing to purchase furniture, equipment, or business vehicles, you might want to apply for a term loan instead. Here, you can choose between 3, 5, 7, and 10-year terms.

2. Fulford Lending

Serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, Fulford Lending promises rapid approvals for residential and commercial borrowers. Fulford Lending doesn’t do a credit check but instead looks at your equity position to determine how much you’ll be allowed to borrow. To speed up the process, the company often gives provisional approval for loans over the phone, whereafter you’ll be able to negotiate the terms and conditions.

With Fulford Lending, you can pay off your loan early without a prepayment penalty. The company offers small business loans in Maryland with various repayment terms, interest rates, and amounts, allowing you to quickly access the funds you need. Fulford Lending also provides excellent customer care available during business hours to answer any questions you have about your loan.

3. Innovation Gateway

Innovation Gateway operating under the University of Maryland offers a multitude of small business resources, including everything from business workshops and networking, to funding through loans and grants.

An organization specifically aimed at helping African-American entrepreneurs, Innovation Gateway offers startups the opportunity to apply for a microloan or a commercial bank loan through the Maryland Small Business Development Centre (SBDC). In addition, they will assist you in starting the business by assigning a business counselor to train you. All in all, if you’re interested in starting a business as an African-American, this organization will offer plenty of assistance.

4. Howard Bank

Since 2004, Howard Bank has been offering financial products and services to families and entrepreneurs in the local communities of Maryland. So, whether you require financial assistance to start or expand an existing business within the state, consider contacting Howard Bank to learn about the flexible financial solutions available to help you achieve your goals.

The bank offers small business term loans, asset-based financing, and lines of credit to meet various business needs, such as:

  • Purchase, improvement, or expansion of commercial property or business facilities
  • Purchase of machinery or equipment
  • Working capital to cover short-term operating expenses, such as marketing, inventory, insurance, or payroll



Top Online Maryland Small Business Loan Options

Various online sites provide loans for small businesses in Maryland. If you’re interested in saving time while applying for a loan, an online application might be the right way to go.

1. BlueVine

banner blu vine

BlueVine is an online lender that prides itself on the speed with which it administrates loans. The company offers loans from $10,000 with competitive interest rates based on your credit record. Depending on your credit profile, you can get interest rates as low as 4.8%. The maximum amount that BlueVine offers is $250,000. If you’re worried about an online lending company’s customer service, you can rest assured that you’ll receive excellent person-to-person service from BlueVine.


The Bottom Line

You can pay your loan off over a minimum period of six months, and you need to make payments every week, which is more frequent than most lenders. You need to pay your loan off within one year. Your credit score can be as low as 600 and you will still be considered for a loan. The company believes in offering credit to those who struggle to support their businesses. You can use the credit for various purposes, including cash flow or a startup.

Try BlueVine

Learn more about BlueVine in our comprehensive review.

2. Fundbox - Best for Lines of Credit

Banner funbox

Fundbox is another online platform providing financial assistance to Maryland-based small businesses in the form of invoice factoring and short-term lines of credit. Through Fundbox, you are welcome to apply for a small business loan valued between $1,000 and $100,000, with repayment terms ranging between 12 and 24 weeks. The great thing about these loans is that they have no hidden fees and don’t require any collateral or personal guarantee.


The Bottom Line

While the application process is rather straightforward, and the turnaround time is quick, Fundbox does have some specific application requirements. To qualify, your business needs to be no younger than three months old and have an average annual revenue of $25,000 or more. In addition, your personal credit score should be no less than 500.

Try Fundbox

Learn more about Fundbox in our comprehensive review.

3. Fora Financial - Best for Merchant Cash Advance

banner_Fora Financial

Fora Financial is an online financial services platform that offers merchant cash advances along with short-term business loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs in Maryland and beyond. Both types of funding can range between $5,000 and $500,000 in value. At the same time, short term loans come with terms of 4 to 15 months, while merchant cash advances don’t have any fixed-term repayments.


The Bottom Line

When applying for funding through Fora Financial, you can expect to hear back about the decision as quickly as in one day and receive the funds within three business days. To qualify for a loan, however, you need to make sure that your business has been in operation for six months or more and has an annual revenue of $12,000 or more. In addition, it is important that you have a personal credit score of 500 or above, with no open or unsettled bankruptcies.

Try Fora Financial

How to Prepare for a Maryland Small Business Loan

Depending on which institution you decide on using, there are a few documents that you should have ready before applying for a loan. Here are some of the documents that you should get ready before you apply:

  • Your credit score
  • At least three month’s bank statements
  • Proof of income
  • Tax registration
  • Proof of tax payments for recent years
  • Depending on the type of loan, you may need a list of assets or details for your biggest customers

Each company will have individual requirements and can request proof of income for the business or other documents. You can contact customer service to enquire precisely which documents you need to prepare to qualify for a loan.

The Bottom Line

If your business needs a push, you should consider looking into one of the top sources for a small business loan in Maryland. Choose a company that will meet your business’s needs and allows you to use the funds for the intended purpose. Analyze the interest rates and repayment costs. You should also consider your credit score when deciding where you should apply for a loan.

About the Author

 Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

More about me

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