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What are the Different Types of Business Loans and How Can You Tell What’s Right for You?

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

November 14, 2023
Different Types of Business Loans Credit Suite

What are All the Different Types of Business Loans?

There are several different types of business loans out there.

All Businesses Need Funding

It’s that simple. You would be hard-pressed to find a business owner that doesn’t know that. What many do NOT know is that there are many more types of small business loans out there than the traditional banks loans everyone knows about.

Choosing Among the Many Different Types of Business Loans Means Knowing What’s Right for You

Knowing the different types of small business loans is only half the battle. You have to know how to figure out which one is right for you. The answer to that will vary based on a number of factors, and it may even change over the course of your business.

But the right type of loan for your business now may not be the right type for your business later. The best way to start figuring out which loan is right for your business is to figure out what’s available. Did you know that traditional bank loans are not the only option?

Types of Small Business Loans

There are many more, including:

  • SBA loans
  • 401(k) financing
  • Merchant Cash Advances
  • Equipment Financing
  • The Credit Line Hybrid
  • Traditional Lines of Credit

Let’s dive in to each one and figure out which one is best for your business right now.

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Different Types of Business Loans: SBA Loans

Guaranteed by the federal government. Issued by participating lenders, usually banks. They offer a lot of the perks of traditional loans, such as lower interest rates and favorable terms. Due to government guarantee, lenders are able to offer them to those with a lower credit score than would typically be required.

Eligibility for SBA Loans

Different Types of Business Loans Credit SuiteLenders and loan programs have unique eligibility requirements. In general, eligibility is based on what a business does to receive its income, the character of its ownership, and where the business operates. Hence even those with bad credit may qualify for startup funding.

Normally, businesses must meet size standards, be able to repay, and have a sound business purpose. The lender will provide you with a full list of eligibility requirements for your loan. See www.sba.gov/document/support–table-size-standards.

More About Eligibility for SBA Loans

General eligibility also includes:

  • Being a for-profit business – the business must be officially registered and operating legally
  • Doing business in the US – the business must be physically located and operating in the US or its territories
  • Having vested equity – the owner must have invested their own time or money in the business
  • Exhausting other funding options – the business must not be able to get funds from any other financial lender

Ideal credit scores for an SBA loan are 680 or above. There are a number of SBA loan programs, each one designed to work for different needs and situations. Some of the most common SBA loan programs include:

  • 7(a) loans
  • 504 loans
  • Disaster loans
  • Express loans

These are just a few the of the options available. Find out more at SBA.gov.

Which SBA Loan is Best?

The thing about SBA loans is that they each have a specific purpose. For example, if your business has suffered due to a natural disaster, you need a disaster loan. If you need $50,000 or less, a microloan may be the best option. But the 7(a) loan program is the most versatile.

SBA 7 (a) Loan Program Details

A standard 7(a) loan can be for up to $5 million. The maximum SBA guarantee is 85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for loans greater than $150,000. The interest rate varies but cannot exceed the SBA maximum. The turnaround is 5 – 10 business days. These funds can be used for a number of things, and the minimum credit score is 640. But of course the higher the better.

Who Do SBA Loans Work Best For?

These loans work well for those that are not in a hurry to get funding

The approval and funding process can take a while, especially with the government red tape required for the government guarantee. If you can wait, meet all the requirements, and want a more traditional type of loan, SBA loans are an option.

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Different Types of Business Loans: 401(k) Financing

If you have an eligible 401(k), you can use those funds to get money for your business. You must not be currently contributing. You must not longer be working for the company that the 401(k) is under. And you must have a balance of at least $35,000.

You can even still earn interest on your account, and there are no tax penalties. Personal credit doesn’t really matter much. Interest rates are usually low.

401(k) Financing Details

In fact, they are  often less than 5%. Close and fund in less than 3 weeks. Can usually get up to 100% of what’s “rollable” within your 401(k). This type of loan works well for anyone that has an eligible 401(k) account.

Different Types of Business Loans: Merchant Cash Advances

Businesses that accept credit cards as a form of payment may qualify for a merchant cash advance. This means your business must have a merchant account in order to be able to accept credit card payments. Your business must bring in $100,000 or more per year in credit card sales. Typical approval is equal to one month’s credit processing volume. The minimum credit score is 500.

Qualifying for a Merchant Cash Advance

They do not ask for a lot of documents. This is not like what most conventional lenders will want. You won’t need financials, business plans, or resumes. You don’t even need collateral.

Your business’s credit card receipts and business bank statements tell lenders all they need to know. These loans work well for businesses that qualify and need funds fast, and those with credit that is less than perfect. It’s a great way to get money for  your business fast with few requirements.

Different Types of Business Loans: Equipment Financing

Businesses looking to buy or lease equipment can use equipment financing. Rates vary widely depending on risk factors. Usually can get approval with a 650 or better credit score. This is for major equipment only, not a combination of a lot of small equipment. These loans work well for those that have good credit and just need to financing equipment. The equipment is the collateral, so that helps out some with rates.

Credit Line Hybrid

It can provide some of the highest loan amounts and credit lines for startups. You can get 0% business credit cards with stated income. There are no financials required. These report to business CRAs; you can build business credit at the same time. This will get you access to even more money without a personal guarantee.

Credit Line Hybrid Details

You may be able to get a loan of more than the amount of current highest revolving credit limit account. This is up to $150,000. Easily more than what you could get on your own when applying for cards. You can get cash out on this program as well.

Credit Line Hybrid Benefits

There will be no impact on your personal credit with this type of financing. You need a 700 credit score or a guarantor with good credit to get an approval. In addition, this type of financing report to the business credit reporting agencies. This means you can build stronger business credit while funding your business.

Who Does the Credit Line Hybrid Work Best For?

This is a good option for virtually everyone. Because even if you have bad credit, you can get funding by using a credit partner. Works especially well for those who need to build business credit.  See Credit Suite Business Loans.

Info on 7 Vendors Webinar Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven high quality vendors to help you build business credit.

Different Types of Business Loans: A Traditional Line of Credit

This is similar to a traditional term loan in terms of where you get it, and approval requirements. However, it is revolving financing more like a credit card. Typically have better interest rates that credit cards. They work well for those who qualify for traditional term loans but want revolving credit rather than a term loan.

Which Types of Small Business Loans are Best for Your Business?

If you know what types of business loans are available to your business, you can make a more educated decision about which types of business loans will work best for you. Knowing what’s out there is only half the battle. You also have to understand your own eligibility and funding needs.

The Different Types of Business Loans: Takeaways

All businesses need funding. Traditional term loans are not the only option. Other options exist to help you money faster. Or funding despite bad credit. And you can better rates and terms than you would get with a traditional term loan.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the seasoned Finance Writer and a former content manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation and product liability, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

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