How To Get A Small Business Loan (Online)

Last updated on 17th December 2020

During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond

small business interior

In many cities and countries, lockdown and social distancing are changing daily life. These measures damage economies and small businesses bear the brunt of this damage. Here’s how to get a Small Business Loan in these times and beyond.

Reasons for Small Business Loans

The most common reasons small businesses seek loans include access to capital, workforce capacity, supply chain and inventory shortfall, and remediation. Incidents can put immense pressure on the financial capacity of a small business as well as its capability to respond to fluctuations (unexpected surges or drops in demand), make payroll, and maintain inventory.

Incidents affect clients as much as they do employees. A loan can help ensure workers can fulfill their obligations and be protected at the same time.

The the way governments decided to handle the pandemic in 2020 has resulted in a higher likelihood of incidents, which in turn interrupt the operation of a business. There might be remediation costs to reckon with. You need to increase the intensity and frequency, with which the company cleans surfaces in order to enhance the protection of staff and customers. To make sure cleaning material supplies can meet demand surge, check your maintenance contracts regularly.

Governmental Small Business Loan Programs in the USA

(Because Of Lockdown Business Damage)
In the US, the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides small businesses with a number of resources to use in daily operations. These include the 7(a) Program, Community Advantage, Express Loan, and 504.

7a is an all-inclusive program offering amounts up to $5,000,000. It’s deployed for eligible small businesses by lending partners on US territory. The money can be used for renovation or expansion, as working capital, for new construction, to buy equipment, fixtures, land, or buildings, to make lease-hold improvements, as a seasonal credit line, to refinance debt, for inventory, or even to start a business.

The program “Community Advantage” lets mission-based loan providers help companies in underserved markets. While the money can be used for the same things as 7a, the maximum loan size is only $250,000. Businesses looking for a quick answer should apply for the Express Loan program; more details on this later.

The 504 Loan Program is aimed at creating or retaining jobs and fostering economic development. That’s indispensable in these times. You can only use the proceeds to acquire or refinance fixed assets.

Small Business Debt Consolidation Loan

A small business can pay off a number of smaller loans using a business debt consolidation loan. These loans help refinance existing debt and make it possible for businesses to combine all payments into a comprehensive repayment scheme.

Startup Loan

Startup loans can help facilitate business expansion and manage expenses if cash flow is not stable. They pay for payrolls, inventory, and more.

How Long Does It Take to get an SBL?

To get an SBL, you pass through three stages: applying, verification and loan processing, and closing funds. On average, the first and second stages take a month. Borrowers get their funds in about five business days.

The SBA has express loans of up to $350,000. There is a revolving option and the repayment term is up to seven years. Turnaround for approval or denial is just 36 hours. However, the partner bank can take a few weeks to approve the loan, extending the total funding time to as much as two months. This is still at least a month less than other loans.

Do you Need Collateral for a Small Business Loan?

It’s possible to get a loan without collateral, but your loan provider might ask for other conditions. You might be asked to agree to a UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) lien or to sign a personal guarantee.

Is a Down Payment Required for a Small Business Loan?

Traditional bank loans generally require a down payment of 20% to 30%. SBA 7a and 504 loans require 10% to 20%. If you apply for a USDA Business & Industry Loan, you will be asked to put 20% – 25% down.

Types of Small Business Loans

Secured Loans

Banks tend to favor secured over unsecured loans. This is because secured loans are backed with equipment, real estate property, or another eligible asset as collateral, which the bank can seize and sell in case of default. Some lending platforms, which we’ll discuss later, accept cryptocurrencies as collateral.

All businesses are eligible for secured loans with the exception of those conducting illegal activity, speculation, loan packaging, gambling, multi-sales distribution, lending, or investment. If the owner of the company is on parole, his business can’t get a secured loan.

Pros

  • When you pledge collateral, the interest rates are lower
  • Longer repayment terms
  • You are eligible to receive higher amounts
  • With experience, these loans are easier to obtain

Cons

  • Require an acceptable securing asset, which you will lose if you default.
  • May be subject to down payment

Unsecured Loans

As the name suggests, unsecured loans don’t require collateral. You won’t pledge equipment, real estate, or other business or personal assets to secure this loan. It’s a good option for small businesses that don’t have a well-established credit rating or collateral in the way of qualifiable assets.

Pros

  • Essential financing for a business facing an opportunity or crisis
  • Lower risk for borrowers
  • Usually no down payment required

Cons

  • Harder to qualify for
  • Higher interest rates

Can you refinance a small business loan?

Generally, refinancing an existing loan is not allowed. However, it is permissible in certain situations, like if the lender refuses to change the terms of an existing loan in order to accommodate a new one or the business has new financing needs, which have been ignored by the existing lender.

Top Small Business Loan Brokers in the USA

In this section, we’ll discuss the best brokers for SBLs in the US. These are Lending Club, Prosper, Peerform, and Upstart. Loans with those brokers don’t require down payments.

Lending Club

You need to have been in business for at least two years to qualify for a small business loan. An additional requirement is annual revenue of $75,000 or more. Businesses with good credit scores will benefit from this lender’s annual interest, which is usually under 10%.

On average, small businesses borrowed $16,297 and took out loans for a term of three or five years. The maximum annual interest rate is 35.11%, which is much higher than the rates from banks and other traditional lenders. When you consider some online lenders have rates over 90% though, this doesn’t seem very high.

Prosper

Prosper issues loans to entities as individuals, not businesses. This works well for some small business owners, but not so well for others.

An example of a loan from Prosper: you can get $10,000 for a term of three years with a rate of 11.74%. A five-year loan in that same amount would have an interest rate of 11.99%. The highest possible rate is 35.99%. The personal loans available reach $40,000.

Peerform

This lender’s loans have comparatively low rates, but payments are not as flexible. Loan terms range from three to five years. Your business’ credit score must be at least 600. The APR is from 5.99% to 29.99%. Loans of $4,000 to $25,000 are available.

Example: a loan of $15,000 loan with a term of three years and an APR of 21.8% will cost you $5,556 in total interest.

Upstart

Small business loans from $1,000 to $50,000 with loan terms of three or five years are available from Upstart. Interest ranges from 8.41% to 35.99%. The lender transfers loan funds on the business day following approval.

Top Small Business Loan Brokers in Europe

Without down payment requirement

Funding Circle

For small businesses in the UK: Funding Circle offers CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) loans ranging from £50,001 to £500,000. Businesses owe nothing in the first 12 months. The overall cost is reduced because the government pays the first year of interest and the upfront fee.

Businesses can get this loan to boost cash flow, adapt a new service or product, cover revenue gaps, grow their business, manage disruption, or train staff. Limited companies (Ltd.) that already have a loan from Funding Circle are eligible for a “Bounce Back” loan of up to £50,000. The loans available have terms from 6 months to 5 years at interest rates of 0.9% to 4.9%.

Mintos

Mintos is the first of a few unique lenders we’re going to review. They are different from traditional ones in that partner lending companies or investors provide the actual loans. Mintos’ providers have strong track records in professional risk management and loan origination as well as a solid financial standing. One example of a partner is Capitalia, who offer from EUR 5,000 to EUR 50,000 at an average interest rate of 12.83%. Most loan terms are from three to five years.

Peerberry

Peerberry operates according to the exact same principles as Mintos, with the same amounts and loan durations. Their maximum interest rate is 13.7%.

Twino

Twino connects investors and borrowers looking for small business loans, personal loans, invoice financing, and real estate loans. The loans are either unsecured or secured and come with a payment or a buyback guarantee, making it easier for investors to protect their investments. The average interest is 12.8%. Amounts from €1,000 to €100,000 are available. Repayment terms range from a month to two years.

Flender

Flender offers loan duration of up to five years, competitive rates, and fast decisions. Their loans, ranging from €15,000 to €300,000, can be used to grow a business, launch a new product, for project financing, as working capital, or for marketing. The Irish lending platform offers interest of 9.9% p.a. on average.

Crowdestor

Businesses on this platform attract funding from over 15,000 investors worldwide. Loans from €10 000 to €500 000 for 3 to 18 months are available. The rates start at 15% p.a.

Swaper

Unsecured loans from €50 to €1,500 are accessible to borrowers on Swaper. Investors who are registered on the platform provide the loans. They can avail of an auto invest feature and a 30-day buyback guarantee. The loans come with up to 14% annual interest and terms of up to five years.

Viventor

Our final choice, Viventor, allows loan originators from countries in the EEA and some others to invest in financial products. This sophisticated marketplace enables originators to invest in different loan types directly. The average interest rate is 11.6% p.a. Loan amounts range from €100 to €100,000 with terms of up to 24 months.

FinTechs for Cryptocurrency-backed (Small Business) Loans

Immediate Cash for Cryptocurrency Collateral

Blockfi

The company is registered as a money services business with the US Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. It is headquartered in Jersey City, NJ. The provider offers a simplified application procedure. Applicants do not need to provide tax documents if they need less than $250,000. BlockFi interest rates start at 8%.

Kraken

Kraken offers loans that can be backed by different cryptocurrencies, such as DAI. This asset tries to maintain a stable 1:1 ratio with the U.S. dollar. It does this by locking other cryptos in contracts. DAI maintains its value by using collateralized debt in ETH (ether), not by backing in U.S. dollars. Collateralized loans make it possible for a loan provider to secure a loan using assets owned by him. Traditionally, these loans come with more favorable interest rates.

The deposit amount required tends to exceed DAI’s value. This is to account for cryptocurrency volatility. For instance, one needs to spend the ETH equivalent of $200 to get $100 DAI. This is meant to compensate the potential drop in the ETH value. In this case, $150 in ETH would safely back $100 in DAI if ETH dropped by 25%.

The borrower must pay the DAI back as well as a stability fee in order to recover the stored ETH.

Binance

Binance lets you borrow BUSD or USDT by securing a crypto collateral sum within your account. The borrower has options regarding the loan term (7, 14, 30, and 90 days) and the currency they want to establish as collateral (XRP, ETH, BTC, BCH, EOS, or LTC).

The platform calculates the repayment amount and collateral you must agree on to get the loan. It also breaks how the interest is calculated down. Then, small businesses can withdraw the loan from their account or use it any other way they want. If you choose a loan in BUSD, the interest rates are lower. The amount you’re eligible to receive is up to 65% of the loan collateral value.

Salt Lending

This platform’s cryptocurrency is called Salt. Assets are backed by the blockchain. When you pay your loan off, the platform gives them back to you. Loans start from $5,000 and the term is 3 to 12 months. Interest rates start at 5.95%. The loan to value (LTV) is from 30% to 70%. There are no prepayment or loan origination fees.

Crypto.com

Crypto.com makes securing a loan quick and simple. It’s as easy as depositing your crypto of choice. The options include BTC, CRO, LTC, EOS, XRP, ETH, or XLM. The maximum loan term is 12 months and interest is 8-12%. There are no fixed repayment schedules and no late fees or deadlines.

CoinLoan

At the time of writing, it was necessary to deposit around 26 BTC to get a loan of 100,000 euros with LTV of 60%. No credit check is carried out by this or any of the other fintech providers because each loan is asset-backed. Loans can be paid off at any time. The terms are from a week to 3 years.

Youhodler

YouHodler was the first lender in history to offer altcoin-backed loans in BTC (BTC to USD and BTC to EUR etc.) Some of their loans feature LTV as high as 90% and 12% APR plus compounding interest. The terms are from one to six months.

Three kinds of loan packages are available: for 30, 60, and 180 days. The LTV is 90%, 70%, and 50% respectively. The shorter the term, the higher the LTV.

Interest rates are where YouHodler stands out. The type of loan determines the rate. No interest is calculated based on your collateral.

Pros of Cryptocurrency-backed Loans

  • Instant loans
  • No statement deadlines.
  • Gain credit directly in your crypto wallet
  • Get the credit limit you want
  • Pay whenever you want

Cons of Cryptocurrency-backed Loans

  • Cryptos are not very liquid; their value fluctuates.

Leading Banks for Secured SBL

Wells Fargo

All banks run credit checks on loan applicants. Wells Fargo’s small business loan is called Equipment Express and you can get from $10,000 to $100,000 for two to six years. For vehicle loans, fixed rates start at 4.50%. For equipment, they start at 5.00%. The bank can offer full vehicle and equipment financing.

Capital One

Capital One has a complicated application process. They will ask for an executive summary and a business plan. You will need to describe why you want the loan, how much you want, and how you intend to run your business. A very good personal credit score is required.

Loans start at $10,000. To qualify, you must have been in business for at least two years, open or have a Business Checking Account with the bank, and own at least 50% of your small business. Rates range from 5.9% to 16.9%.

Bank of America

Small business loans start at $25,000 and rates can be as low as 3.50%. CD-secured loans have terms of up to five years. Business asset-secured ones have terms of up to four. You need to prove at least $250,000 in annual revenue and must have been in business for at least two years.

DCU

You can use a DCU savings account as collateral for a secured loan. These loans have lower starting APRs and repayment terms of up to 120 months. Like Bank of America, their minimum APR is 3.50%.

You need to have been a member of DCU for at least three months to get a loan from them. To qualify for membership, you either have to be related to a current member, to be part of an eligible organization, or to live in an eligible community.


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