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North Carolina Small Business Loans

North Carolina boasts a business community that includes more than 900,000 small businesses. These firms employ around 1.7 million people across the state and, in 2017, approximately 163,000 loans of under $100,000—valued at $2.7 billion—were issued by state lending institutions.

North Carolina Small Business Loans
Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk
Independent writer and content strategist

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North Carolina is considered to be one of the best states to get a business loan or grant. These funds are used for several reasons. Some owners need them to save a struggling company from bankruptcy, while others may use the proceeds to grow their businesses. Before taking out a loan—or accepting a grant, you'll need to know how much your enterprise needs and how you will use your finances.

Top 4 North Carolina Small Business Loan Options

1. Truist Bank

Truist bank, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the largest banks in North Carolina, with branches in numerous cities. In addition to business checking and savings accounts, they offer multiple borrowing options, including small business and startup loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, and business credit cards.

You can learn more about opening an account and the services provided by calling Truist's toll-free number or visiting a local branch.

2. Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF)

Carolina Small Business, situated in Raleigh, is a statewide nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). They lend to startups and existing businesses across the state, with priority given to companies with difficulty accessing financing through conventional lending sources.

They offer term loans and lines of credit up to $250,000 for all types of businesses in a wide range of industries. Their rates are typically between 8% and 12%, and they also do microloans of up to $50,000. Their loan terms are between five and seven years, and a requirement is that there must be at least 10% equity.

3. Self-Help Credit Union

Self-Help is a body made up of two credit unions; an advocacy group and a nonprofit loan fund. Self-Help is a community development financial institution that provides opportunities to disadvantaged communities.

Self-Help Credit Union offers financial services, which include savings and checking accounts to North Carolina residents. The union also provides funding options for small businesses, child care centers, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations.

Through Self-Help, loan options include small business loans up to $250,000, commercial loans for $250,000 and up, SBA 504 loans, commercial real estate loans, and small business recovery loans. You need to be a member of Self-Help to apply for any of these loan programs.

4. Truliant Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1952, Truliant Federal Credit Union has expanded to serve over 200,000 members throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Truliant branches are located throughout North Carolina in cities, including Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheboro, and Winston-Salem.

In addition to offering business checking and savings accounts for its members, Truliant is a preferred SBA lender. You can apply for term loans or lines of credit up to $350,000 (SBA Express), term loans up to $5,000,000 (SBA 7(a)), or term loans up to $5,500,000 (SBA 504).

You can begin the application process online by downloading and completing a business loan application. Once complete, take the application, a personal financial statement, and your business debt schedule to your local Truliant office.

A Quick Overview of the North Carolina Small Business Loan Options



Truist BankBank with many branches
Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF)Take on more risk
Self-Help Credit UnionAssist disadvantaged communities
Truliant Federal Credit UnionWell represented

SBA backed loans


Top Online North Carolina Small Business Loan Options

You can secure a business loan without having to leave your office or home by working with an online lender. Here are a few top lenders for you to consider:

1. Fundera - Best for Startup Loans

banner_ Fundera

Fundera, a business funding matchmaker, offers several financial products for small businesses, including lines of credit, startup loans, term loans, short-term loans, personal loans for business, equipment financing, invoice financing, merchant cash advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Rates, terms, amounts, and other borrower requirements differ based on the financial product selected.

Founded in 2013, Fundera is very discerning about which lenders it partners with. While other intermediaries may partner with as many as 100 direct funders, Fundera currently partners with significantly fewer, as part of a quality-over-quantity strategy.

The Bottom Line

Fundera lets you fill out one easy application to see the financial products for which you qualify. Working with them is free, and there's no impact on your credit score while shopping around for your options. However, you should note that accepting an offer will likely affect your credit score.

Try Fundera

Learn more about Fundera in our comprehensive review.

2. Fundbox - Best for Lines of Credit

Banner funbox

With Fundbox, small businesses can apply for a loan of up to $150,000 with a repayment term of 24 to 52 weeks. There are no prepayment penalties, so you are welcome to repay the loan earlier.

To expedite your online application, you can connect your bank account directly to Fundbox’s platform. This way, the company will have easy access to all the information required to make the funding decision. The great thing about Fundbox is that they can offer you a loan even if you have a short credit history, - and not charge any additional origination fees. Once you receive the offer, you have 30 days to accept the terms and conditions. Once you do so, you can expect to see the funds in your account as soon as the next business day.

Try Fundbox

Learn more about Fundbox in our comprehensive review.

3. Credibly - Best for Startup Business Loans


As a trusted online lender, Credibly has been providing loans to small- and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states since 2010. The company aims to open financing opportunities to a wide range of customers and is, therefore, fairly lenient with its eligibility requirements. As such, the minimum credit score required to apply for a small business loan from Credibly is only 500. The application process is fast and straightforward, and the Credibly customer support team is ready to help you every step of the way.

The company offers seven different options for small business loans, which can range up to $5,000,000 for long-term loans and up to $400,000 for shorter-term ones. The most popular option is a working capital loan, which works slightly differently from standard term loans. Here, instead of paying interest rate fees, you will pay a lump sum as a certain percentage of the total loan.

The Bottom Line

Other financing options include SBA loans, lines of credit, long-term business expansion loans, merchant cash advances, and more.

Try Credibly

Learn more about Credibly in our comprehensive review.

Additional North Carolina Small Business Financial Resources

If you're a small business owner and are looking for North Carolina small business grants to assist you, here are a few initiatives you might want to learn about.

1. Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides forgivable—or partially forgivable—loans to assist companies in keeping their staff employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic/crisis.

2. USDA Rural Business Loans

The USDA has up to $1 billion available in loan guarantees to finance farm equipment and other needs of rural businesses during the pandemic. Also, agricultural producers who are ineligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may obtain funding under the USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program.

Potential borrowers should inquire with their lenders. Lenders that are interested in participating should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.

3. Small Business Resiliency Grant Program

If you own a small business operating in North Carolina’s Cumberland Country, you might be eligible to apply for the Small Business Resiliency Grant Program. The program provides up to $10,000 to support small businesses that have experienced adverse economic impacts as a result of Presidentially Declared Disasters.


Other Resources for North Carolina Small Businesses

1. Business Link North Carolina (EDPNC)

Business Link North Carolina is a division of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). They have an information page with directions to specific assistance regarding COVID-19-related issues.

2. Small Business Center Network

The objective of the Small Business Center Network is to support the success of North Carolina-based small businesses by providing readily accessible, high-quality assistance to prospective and current small business owners.

Here, you can find a list of resources including webinars, articles, and blog posts that will provide guidance and assistance to business owners grappling with COVID-19.

3. North Carolina SCORE

SCORE comprises a large national network of professional small business mentors, with local chapters available in every state. SCORE's expert mentors and business professionals give guidance and counsel to those looking to start or expand their businesses.

Here, you can take advantage of webinars and courses, confidential business mentoring, and a rich library of online resources, including blogs, checklists, videos, infographics, and more. And the best part is that these services are entirely free and volunteer-driven.

4. Women's Business Center of North Carolina

The Women's Business Center of North Carolina caters to women entrepreneurs' specific resources, including business advisory services. The organization aims to empower women by offering support and tools required to establish new businesses, stabilize the existing ones, and strategize for future growth.

At the Women’s Business Center, you can receive one-on-one customized business counseling, attend classes and seminars focused on key business topics, receive feedback on written business plans, and much more.

The Bottom Line

Without a doubt, there are plenty of opportunities available for entrepreneurs looking for a small business loan in North Carolina. From traditional options like banks and credit unions, to quick and easy online services, multiple lenders offer a variety of financial products to support small businesses. In addition, multiple government programs and grants have been established to provide the necessary financial and non-financial assistance to local entrepreneurs. If you spend the time to do the research and browse among the numerous financing options available, you will surely find the support needed to move your business forward.

About the Author

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Independent writer and content strategist

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk is an independent writer and SEO strategist helping a broad range of international clients to convey their stories for over five years.

More about me

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