With banks being stricter about loan criteria and not extending as many loans to new or small businesses during the past several years, online lending platforms have grown in popularity. If you are considering an online loan to start a new business, get money for day-to-day expenses or expand your thriving small business, it is important to work with the right lenders based on the amount of time you have been in business and your annual revenue.
Businesses With Fewer Than 12 Months In Operation
It may be hard to qualify with an online lender if your business is new or has not yet been started. However, some lenders may still offer a loan. Also, microlenders and crowdfunding are two viable options for startups.
Revenue Under $4,000
One of the best options if this is your financial situation is a business credit card. At about 13 percent to start, interest rates are not great. However, most cardholders said that it was easier to get approved for a credit card than a reasonable loan.
Prosper is rated highly for its low-interest online loans. Many borrowers reported rates under 10 percent. Also, most borrowers liked the longer loan terms. The loan maximum is $35,000, and some applicants said that this was not enough to fit their needs.
Revenue Over $4,000
Street Shares receives good reviews for its low interest rates that start around 10 percent. Also, loan terms are flexible and may last several years. Although most borrowers were enticed by the six-figure loan limit, some were disappointed that the maximum amount was based on no more than 20 percent of annual revenue.
If you want a loan based on the value of your invoices, Blue Vine offers invoice factoring for up to $2 million. Many borrowers liked the lightning-fast approval time. However, some were disappointed that the interest rates were as steep as 70 percent.
Businesses With More Than 12 Months In Operation
When you have been in business for more than a year, lenders are not as hesitant to extend a loan. However, they still need to see financial documents that show responsibility and a reasonable profit. The right lender depends on whether you make under or over $12,000 in annual revenue.
Revenue Under $12,000
Street Shares and Blue Vine, which were both previously mentioned, are good options for businesses in this revenue bracket. Kabbage is another good lender. A Kabbage business loan is ideal if you have less-than-perfect credit and need cash fast. Borrowers who had longer loan terms rated this loan poorer than those who had shorter terms. This is because it is designed to be a short-term easy loan, and the interest usually ranges between 32 and 108 percent.
If you prefer invoice factoring, Fundbox is a top-rated provider for its lower interest than Kabbage. Approval takes longer, and the maximum amount is $100,000.
Revenue Over $12,000
Kabbage is a good choice if you make upward of this revenue threshold as well. The same criteria apply when it comes to customer reviews of this loan in this specific revenue bracket.
Another good option is OnDeck. One of the downfalls of this lender is that you must make frequent payments. Most customers who did not like the company complained about weekly or daily payments. However, they were impressed with the short approval time and easy application process. The terms are also flexible and range between a few months and a few years. Interest rates vary greatly between about 10 and 100 percent.
You may also consider government SBA loans if they fit your needs. When comparing lenders, check to see if there are a lot of complaints or negative actions against the company with the Better Business Bureau.
If you plan to request multiple interest rate quotes from a few different lenders, do so at the same time. Waiting several months between applications or to make a decision can result in higher interest rates or a change of approval status. This is because multiple inquiries in a short amount of time temporarily lower your score. Plan to accept a loan immediately.