The Best Personal Loan Sites for Small Business Owners (in 2019)

 

Small business owners are no strangers to financial headaches. From securing startup financing to covering temporary cash-flow problems, small business owners often have to work quickly to find a solution that will keep their business humming.

Taking out a personal loan is one solution that is often overlooked.

While a personal loan may not be right for every entrepreneur, there’s a lot to recommend it as a possible way to smooth over financial rough patches. To start, a personal loan’s rates rely on the credit of the small business owner, rather than the business itself. This is a major benefit if your business does not have a long history to draw on. Also, a personal loan offers flexibility in how the money is used, so you can take care of payroll and an equipment purchase with one personal loan, for example.

However, since personal loans are unsecured–just like credit card debt–borrowers who struggle with self-discipline and those without a great credit history may find that a personal loan will actually cost them in the long run.

This is why potential borrowers should do their homework to understand the personal loan options available to them based on their own credit score. Each of the following online lenders has different requirements and alternatives for borrowers. They are listed in order of credit score requirements.

Read on to see which one will work best for you:

The Best Personal Loan Sites for Small Business Owners (Based on Your Credit Score)

If you’re not sure of which loan provider will be best for you, this calculator will allow you to compare loan offers from multiple providers.

More Information on Featured Personal Loan Sites

Upstart

Learn more about Upstart If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

This is a peer-to-peer lending platform that connects borrowers with accredited investors who fund their loans. What makes Upstart different from other peer-to-peer platforms is the fact that it can use more than just your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 36 months or 60 months
  • Rates: 7.46% – 35.99% APR, fixed.
  • Fees: Origination fee between 0% and 8%, which is deducted from the loan proceeds before it is delivered to the borrower. There are no pre-payment fees or check-processing fees. Late fees are either 5% of payment amount or $15, whichever is greater.
  • Minimum Credit Requirements: Experian credit score of 620 or better, unless you have not built up enough credit history to generate a credit score.
Get started at Upstart.com If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Related: Get Free Personal and Business Credit Scores at Nav.com

Lending Club

Learn more about Lending Club If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

Lending Club

Lending Club is currently the largest peer-to-peer lending network, responsible for over $42 billion of loans as of 2018. It is available to borrowers in every state except Iowa. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Rates: Fixed rates from 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Fees: Origination fee ranges from 1% to 6%. If you choose to pay via check, there is a check-processing fee. There is no prepayment penalty.
  • Minimum Credit Requirements: Experian credit score of 600 or better, strict debt-to-income requirements.

Get started with at LendingClub.com If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. or read our full review.

FreedomPlus

Learn more about FreedomPlus

Freedom Plus

If you need money in a hurry, a FreedomPlus loan might be your answer. This lender offers same day online loan approvals and loan funding within 48 hours–within some restrictions. Borrowers can access up to $40,000 from FreedomPlus with fixed rates ranging from 5.99% APR to 29.99% APR. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $7,500 to $40,000 (with a few restrictions by state)
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 2-5 years
  • Rates: Fixed rates range from 5.99% to 29.99%
  • Fees: The origination fee ranges from 0% to 5%. There is no prepayment fee. Other fees, such as check processing fees or late fees are not spelled out on the website. It is a good idea for borrowers to fully read all fine print on any loan offers to know if there are other potential fees.
  • Minimum Credit Requirements: A FICO score of 640.

Get started at FreedomPlus.com

Prosper

Learn more about Prosper If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

Prosper

Like Lending Club, Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending platform that offers better loan rates than those available through a traditional bank. Prosper is available in every state except Iowa and West Virginia. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Rates: Fixed rates from 6.95% to 35.99% APR
  • Fees: You pay an origination fee between 2.41% and 5%. Borrowers who pay via mail or phone may have to pay a $15 processing fee each time. There is no prepayment penalty.
  • Minimum Credit Requirements: Experian credit score of 640 or better. Prosper uses a proprietary credit rating system known as Prosper Rating. Borrowers must also meet the following criteria: debt‐to‐income ratio below 50%, stated income greater than $0, no bankruptcies filed within the last 12 months, fewer than five credit bureau inquiries within the last six months, and a minimum of three open trades reported on their credit report.
Get started at Prosper.com If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Payoff

Learn more about Payoff If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

Payoff

This lender is all about helping people get out of debt and achieve financial freedom. Their loan model assumes that borrowers are taking on personal loans in order to pay off credit card debt.

You can borrow between $5,000 and $35,000 from Payoff for a fixed rate between 5.99% and 24.99% and terms between 24 and 60 months. Payoff partners with four different banks, known as their “lending partners,” to originate loans. Payoff is neither a bank nor a peer-to-peer lender. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 2, 3, 4, or 5 years
  • Rates: Fixed rates between 5.99% and 24.99% APR
  • Fees: The origination fee ranges between 0% and 5%. There are no other fees whatsoever.

Get started at Payoff.com If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. or read our full Payoff review.

SoFi

SoFi

SoFi is a non-traditional lender that imposes no origination fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties–and surprisingly, no late fees. Their approach focuses on only lending to financially responsible borrowers, and they analyze “forward-looking” factors to determine each applicant’s future potential and ability to pay. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 3, 5, or 7 years
  • Rates: With autopay, variable rates range from 5.74% to 14.70% and fixed rates range from 5.99% to 16.24%.
  • Fees: There are no application or origination fees, and there is no prepayment penalty or late fee.

Read our full Sofi review.

Earnest

Learn more about Earnest If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

http://oc.cardsynergy.com/t/?cr=19050&c=246211251&aid=128310&sid=17946&last_updated=1456868459

Like Upstart, Earnest is a lender created for individuals without a long credit history. Instead of focusing solely on credit scores, Earnest looks at other markers of financial responsibility, such as employment history and salary, savings, income-to-expense ratio, and retirement savings. Earnest analyzes more than 80,000 data points for each prospective borrower, which means you must be comfortable giving the lender permission to scan your bank account. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/ Maximum: $5,000 to $75,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 3 years to 5 years
  • Rates: Fixed rates ranging from 6.99% to 18.24% APR
  • Fees: None

Get started at Earnest.com If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

Barclays

Learn more about Barclays.

For a bank that started in 1690 (really!), Barclays offers some surprisingly modern perks with their personal loan program. It starts with their friendly user interface, that allows you to check your rate before submitting your application, which means you can figure out if the loan is right for you without affecting your credit score. Rates range from 5.74% to 18.99%, and the rate you are quoted is guaranteed for the life of the loan–unlike the tempting-but-temporary introductory APRs that go up after a certain period of time. More info…show

  • Loan Minimum/Maximum: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Loan Repayment Terms: 36, 48, or 60 months
  • Rates: Fixed rates ranging from 5.74% to 18.99%.
  • Fees: There are no application or origination fees, no prepayment penalty, and no late fees.

Get started at MyBarclayCardLoan.com

LendingTree

Learn more about LendingTree If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

Lending Tree

This site is an online loan marketplace, where borrowers can fill out a single form in order to receive multiple customized offers from lenders on the LendingTree network. The borrower pays no fees whatsoever in order to use LendingTree. Depending on which lender you choose, however, you may have to pay an application fee, processing fee, and/or closing costs. More info…show

Get started at LendingTree.com If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. .

Final Thoughts

Taking out a personal loan can be a big help to a small business owner, but it is important to do your homework before sign on the dotted line. Make sure you are getting the best rate and terms available to you so your personal loan remains a helpful tool rather than a drag on your finances.

About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written four books: The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work For You, and End Financial Stress Now. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.

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