If you’re a small-business owner or thinking of becoming one, you know entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. Whether you’re trying to expand business operations, make payroll, or pay debt, it’s nice to have access to money to stay afloat.

The reality is, sometimes businesses need loans or lines of credit. Understanding the terms is key, so CentSai did some digging for you.

Getting small-business loans from traditional banks is nothing new. However, this process can be both time-consuming and paperwork intensive. Not to mention, banks usually want to lend to only those who have outstanding track records.

With technology, many online lenders have emerged to give you access to loans within a matter of days.

The application processes are simple, and you can get a decision in minutes.

Here are our independent reviews of small-business lenders. (See our reviews rubric for more on how we rate products.)

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1. OnDeck

OnDeckNeed to borrow money for your new company? Check out these reviews of business lenders for small business entrepreneur tips. #smallbusinessideas #smallbusinessloans #smallbusinessmarketing is the most well-known online lender for small businesses, offering both term loans and lines of credit for its borrowers.

The company was founded back in 2007 in New York City and uses proprietary algorithms to determine a loan amount in minutes.

OnDeck has more strict requirements than other companies, such as Kabbage. For instance, OnDeck requires businesses to have annual revenue of $100,000 or more.

Plus, the company asking for a loan has to have been in business for at least a year. OnDeck also requires a minimum credit score of 600, with prime borrowers having scores of 700 or better.

Ease of Use: 3

OnDeck allows you to apply online and get your loan in minutes. Loan terms are anywhere from three to 36 months and range from $5,000 to $500,000 dollars. With all online lenders, getting money is going to be faster than traditional banks, which have to adhere to regulatory restrictions and require paperwork.

Bang for Your Buck: 2

For borrowers with a good credit score, OnDeck offers rates as low as 9.99 percent. The tradeoff for getting a quick decision on financing is that this loan will cost more than a normal bank or SBA loan. That’s the price you pay for quick access to funds.

With some of the most competitive rates in the online lending industry, OnDeck is the way to go for borrowers in good financial standing.

With loan amounts up to $500,000, it will approve you for as much as 15 percent of annual revenue, if needed. So if you need to open an additional location, purchase some large equipment, or make large inventory purchases when business is taking off, consider OnDeck. Just be wary of that interest rate.

Reputation: 3

OnDeck received an A+ from the Better Business Bureau with 4 out of 5 stars from users on the site. Big banks are catching on to the efficiency of online lending — JPMorgan partnered with OnDeck to help out small businesses.

Customer Service: 3

OnDeck is super responsive, offering to qualify borrowers in less than 10 minutes. When I called, someone was on the phone with me and ready to take me through the process in about a minute. It can be reached by phone, email, or chat.

Overall Score: 11

OnDeck is heavily promoted across the web like Kabbage. As one of the first to do online lending, its longevity is validated with the range of products and services it offers. It speaks volumes that a goliath like JPMorgan opted to steer business toward OnDeck because it was doing online lending better. It tops the list.

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2. Kabbage

Kabbage is an Atlanta-based company founded in 2009. For the last 10 years, it has expanded its products significantly by offering a number of different types of small-business loans. Kabbage gives borrowers access to loans with credit scores as low as 560. It’s good for business owners who are in a bind and need to get cash quickly.

Kabbage offers a line of credit up to $250,000 with six-,12-, or 18-month terms. Borrowers pay only on what they draw from, and the bulk of the fees are charged in the first two months on a six-month plan and the first six months on a 12-month plan.

Ease of Use: 3

Kabbage is one of the easiest small-business loan programs to use. Anything you can do on the website, you can do on your phone. It has a robust mobile app with 5 stars on Apple’s App Store and close to 5,000 reviews.

You can complete the online application in 10 minutes by entering information such as a business checking account, PayPal account, or business credit card. There’s a minimum requirement of $50,000 in annual revenue.

Bang for Your Buck: 1

With a minimum credit score requirement of 530, it’ll likely approve your loan of up to $250,000 in minutes. Because of this convenience (borrowers are looking for financing fast), the cost-per-dollar range on interest is quite high, at $1.20 to $1.80. In addition to the high interest, there is a monthly fee of 1.5 percent — 10 percent of the amount borrowed.

For instance, a 10 percent monthly fee for a $10,000 line of credit will cost an additional $1,000 in fees, plus $2,000 more at an interest rate of 20 percent for a total of $13,000.

See its site for how it calculates its pay-as-you-go method for lines of credit.

Reputation: 3

Kabbage has been around for 10 years and is one of the top players in the small-business online lending space. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Customer Service: 3

Customer service is good. Kabbage is open seven days a week for 13 hours a day on weekdays. It is available online, by phone, and by email. I called Kabbage and was on the phone with a human in less than a minute. The positive app reviews are an added bonus for those wanting to research on their phones.

Overall Score: 10

Kabbage is one of the best-known companies in the small-business online lending space. Its stellar service and ease of use make applying for a loan easy. For borrowers with poor credit, it’s hard to overlook its high fees. Good customer service and positive reviews only go so far, though. Fees are important. Kabbage did not get back to us for comment.

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3. LoanBuilder

LoanBuilder is owned by PayPal and is a good option for borrowers looking to get money fast with a simple one-time fixed fee. LoanBuilder and PayPal both ask for a credit score as low as 550.

The short-term loans they offer are for less than a year and go up to $500,000. Companies need $42,000 in annual revenue to qualify for a loan.

What separates LoanBuilder is that it is transparent with its fee structure. Many companies are ambiguous, and borrowers end up getting surprised with fees they didn’t expect.

Ease of Use: 2

LoanBuilder uses a loan configurator to estimate your exact costs upfront, taking your credit history into account.

This application process won’t hurt a borrower’s credit score, either.

Most of the other companies on this list will do a hard check on your credit score, which can negatively affect you. Knowing all the fees you’re in for provides a borrower more peace of mind.

In order to limit its risk liability, LoanBuilder will not finance a number of industries, such as law firms, nonprofits, and religious organizations.

Bang for Your Buck: 1

LoanBuilder charges fixed interest fees upfront (6.49 to 19.4 percent), making it more expensive to take out a short-term loan. There’s no incentive to pay off the loan earlier than the one-year term because the interest is charged upfront. If you want to take out a longer-term loan, LoanBuilder isn’t be the best option.

While it’s good to check the price during your loan research, it’s going to be more expensive to borrow from LoanBuilder with its fixed terms of less than a year and upfront interest charge.

On the other hand, if a borrower isn’t exactly in good standing, its low annual revenue and credit score requirements and its lack of origination/closing fees make it an attractive lender if you need money quickly. Kabbage, OnDeck, SnapCap, and Fundbox all have these fees.

Reputation: 3

LoanBuilder has a good reputation with borrowers. The Better Business Bureau granted it an A+.

Customer Service: 3

LoanBuilder has great customer service, being recognized by JD Power for outstanding customer support over the phone. While it didn’t have live chat, I was able to get someone on the phone in less than a minute.

Overall Score: 9

The loan configurator tool instills immediate trust in a lending industry that largely makes consumers feel like they’re getting nickeled and dimed with fees. Still, if borrowers want to get a quote from LoanBuilder to compare costs, it won’t hurt their credit.

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4. Lendio

Based in Utah, Lendio connects borrowers with more than 75 lenders in its network. Lendio offers just about every type of small-business loan there is: SBA loans, term loans, lines of credit, invoice financing, merchant cash advances, and equipment loans.

Term loans range from 12 to 60 months, with loans amounts from $5,000 to $2 million. Business lines of credit range from 12 to 24 months ,from $1,000 to $500,000. The access to so many lenders allows a borrower’s experience to be customized.

Ease of Use: 2

The network is the big advantage here since a borrower’s application is competed for by various lenders.

The company claims that 70 percent of applicants end up qualifying.

The turnaround for decisions is fast and easy, usually occurring within 24 hours. Funding can be completed in two to seven days.

Bang for Your Buck: 3

The company’s partners are 75 small-business lenders including others on this list, such as BlueVine, LoanBuilder, Kabbage, and OnDeck. Lendio will take a cut from the company you choose to go with upon finalizing your loan. The other company will likely include part of the fee they pay Lendio in the closing fees they charge you.

Reputation: 2

Lendio received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, though its service was a bit slower than some of the lenders it partners with.

Customer Service: 2

Borrowers have a single point of contact with a fund manager, making the experience more personal. It actively tries to find you the best deal among its lenders. It has both a general line and an email form to fill out on its site. The hours are Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT, so you can’t reach it on weekends.

Overall Score: 10

If you're looking for personalized advice and a wide variety of options, then Lendio may be the best choice for you. Just be mindful that there may be some added cost due to the fees it charges its partner companies.

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5. BlueVine

BlueVine offers borrowers a business line of credit and invoice factoring, the process of a business selling its unpaid invoices to a lender for cash.

BlueVine offers lenient requirements with businesses that do large orders.

It offers anywhere from $20,000 to $5 million in invoice factoring with a credit score as low as 530. Business revenue needs to be $100,000 annually to be eligible.

While it is best known for its invoice factoring — buying invoices at a discount — its lines of credit are for six- and 12-month terms.

Ease of Use: 2

New companies can qualify for BlueVine invoice factoring in as little as three to six months in business. Similar to other online lenders, funding can happen within a day if borrowers qualify. If a borrower is looking for fast cash, this is a good option. The application process is quick, and the requirements aren’t strict.

Bang for Your Buck: 2

Like Fundbox, BlueVine is taking a risk on new businesses by paying off outstanding customer invoices. The rates are quite high, ranging from 15 to 68 percent on invoice factoring. The exact amount will depend on the fees you’re covering and the strength of your application.

Business owners will be on the hook for the 10 to 20 percent of invoices BlueVine doesn’t cover. This is when late fees can start to kick in, so be mindful of what you’re borrowing and what you can pay back.

Reputation: 3

BlueVine obtained an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Customer Service: 2

BlueVine has good customer service. It has a support page for frequently asked questions but not as much customer service support over the phone as some others on the list. If you want to reach its customer success team by phone, the hoursare limited on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT, and it is closed on Sundays.

Overall Score: 9

BlueVine looks to be the best at invoice factoring, funding over $1 billion to 10,000 small-business owners since inception in 2013. There’s no origination fee for the loan, but borrowers will have to be mindful to pay it back quickly and make sure the business can cover what BlueVine won’t lend.

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6. Fundbox

Fundbox has been around since 2014 and is a great option for startups. Businesses can obtain a line of credit up to $100,000 with no minimum credit requirement. Just like all these other lenders, borrowers receive a decision within minutes of the application process.

The requirements for Fundbox are some of the most lenient on this list: just $50,000 in revenue and in business for three months.

Fundbox is best used for invoice financing —  paying unpaid customer invoices to fund the business in exchange for fast cash.

Ease of Use: 3

Businesses with unpaid invoices can take advantage of Fundbox’s lenient requirements and get cash fast. The same requirements apply for both its short-term loans and business lines of credit. Borrowers just have to link their accounting software — such as Quickbooks — into their application, and a decision will be made in a matter of minutes.

Bang for Your Buck: 1

Fundbox’s generous requirements do come with a cost. Since it’s incurring a lot of risk by funding a new business, its fees are high to account for those businesses that fail. Annual Percentage Rates (APR) are determined by a number of factors, such as length of installment period (12 to 24 weeks) and how much you’re borrowing up front.

Reputation: 3

Fundbox has a good reputation from the Better Business Bureau, receiving an A+. The loans are risky but sometimes necessary, especially for a startup looking to stay afloat. The cash can help with payroll or new equipment purchases.

Customer Service: 2

Borrowers can access their account through the Fundbox mobile app with push notifications so they can stay on top of what’s going on. Fundbox is open from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET and is available via phone or email. I called and was able to get on the phone with someone within a minute.

Overall Score: 10

Fundbox excels at invoice financing — borrowing against your uncollected accounts receivable. A borrower has the ability to get more money from BlueVine, but if they don’t necessarily need it, the interest at Fundbox is potentially lower. It’s ideal to compare both to see which is more competitive for your circumstances.

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7. Funding Circle

Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lending company founded in the U.K. Peer-to-peer (P2P) means investors pull their money together to offer loans to businesses that otherwise would have trouble getting financing from a traditional bank due to being a startup or having a less than desirable financial history. 

Funding Circle has no minimum annual revenue requirement, and borrowers can qualify for loans up to $500,000 with a credit score of 620, but the average is closer to 700. The turnaround time is a bit longer than that of the online lenders we’ve mentioned so far, but it’s still as little as 10 days.

Ease of Use: 3

The application process takes just 10 minutes online. This is not an option for startups. Funding Circle wants to provide its investors with peace of mind by providing funding to established businesses with a track record of performance.

Borrowers need a minimum of two years in business, but the average company that gets lending has closer to 10. Though there is no minimum annual revenue amount, this will certainly be taken into account when asking for funding.

Bang for Your Buck: 2

Funding Circle separates itself with low APR compared with other online lenders. If you have fair or good credit, this is a great option since lower APR means less money owed to lenders and more money to put toward your business. Rates range from 10.91 to 35.5 percent.

If borrowers can afford to wait the 10 days it takes to get funding, it’s still faster than a traditional bank.

If they’re in more of a time crunch, then it may be better to go with an alternative option.

Reputation: 3

Funding Circle has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and excellent reviews on TrustPilot.

Customer Service 2

Funding Circle lists an FAQ page for answers to common questions. It welcomes emails and will respond within two days. I received a response in 24 hours. It is open only Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. GMT. This may not be suitable to U.S. borrowers, especially those on the West Coast, which is eight hours behind London, though there are two locations in the U.S.

Overall Score 10

Funding Circle’s generous terms with P2P lending are hard to ignore. Low interest rates are a win for borrowers. However, borrowers will have to prove the viability of their business over time before being seriously considered by lenders at Funding Circle.

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8. SnapCap

SnapCap is for business owners looking for short-term loans of three to 24 months. Businesses must be at least nine months old and have annual revenue of $100,000. Borrowers that have a 600+ FICO score will qualify for a loan up to $1 million.

SnapCap provides fast funding within 24-48 hours. If a borrower remains in good standing, SnapCap allows them to come back to the well and continue borrowing.

Ease of Use: 2

SnapCap requires businesses to fill out a pre-approval form online with standard information like age of business, annual revenue, and credit information. You will have to enter personal information and business information such as bank statements, as well.

It does not lend to certain industries, including financial services, dealerships, pawn shops, and nonprofits.

Bang for Your Buck: 2

APR ranges from 19.99 percent to 49.99 percent with loan terms of three to 36 months. While SnapCap doesn’t require collateral, it will put a blanket lien on your assets.

That means if the business is unable to pay back the loan, SnapCap can take possession of the business assets in lieu of the amount owed.

Payment periods are daily or weekly, depending on the terms set. There is an incentive for borrowers to pay off the loan early because they can qualify for a 25 percent discount on the interest on the loan.

Reputation: 3

SnapCap has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Customer Service: 2

SnapCap is available by phone Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. When I called, I was able to get someone on the phone in just over a minute.

Overall Score: 9

SnapCap is a good option for borrowers looking to get funding fast. Businesses should look to be up and running for at least a year to be considered favorable for lending. There is a good incentive to pay off the loans early, and SnapCap will reward owners with discounts and an open door to ask for more money when needed.

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Bonus: CoverWallet Business Insurance

CoverWallet provides small-business owners with the ability to get insurance for their business. Lawsuits can derail a business from a stress standpoint and could potentially make them bankrupt. So being able to simply apply for business insurance like liability, workers’ compensation, and property insurance saves you a lot of time and gets you back to what’s important.

Ease of Use: 3

CoverWallet takes the burden out of having to manage multiple insurance policies from different places.

Insurance isn’t a hot topic business owners are excited to pay for or give time toward, but it’s a necessity.

CoverWallet lets an owner store their policies all in one platform, choosing from different carriers that fit their business needs.

Bang for Your Buck: 3

The value added with CoverWallet is that it saves the business owner the most essential asset they have that they can’t recover: time. Since the platform brings insurance providers to one place, it makes it simple to choose all the different kinds of insurance that you’ll need for your business. Since these are aggregated, you don’t have to go to each individual insurance company to get quotes.

Reputation: 3

CoverWallet has generally good reviews online. It has an A– from the Better Business Bureau. Consumer Advocate also gave it a 9.9/10.

Customer Service: 2

People who work with CoverWallet say the process is easy to start. However, sometimes the customer service department is slow to get back to them. Its normal business hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, and it answered the phone within a minute.

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Which Is the Best Small Business Loan?

Depending on what your needs are, this is a very competitive industry. Some companies do certain categories of small-business lending very well, while others offer services in every category.

If you’re looking to shop rates and see the best small-business loan deals you can get, Lendio takes the cake with its network of over 75 lenders competing amongst one another to loan money. It’s an interesting model and borrowers win with more options.

Overall, every lender on the list does fairly well at customer service and meets a good reputation for borrowers. For startups, BlueVine and Fundbox are good options to compare. If borrowers are established and have a good track record, they should take advantage of the low interest rates offered by Funding Circle.

For a quick decision with a range of options, OnDeck is a great company if you have the credit and track record to qualify.