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8 min read. May 17, 2022 – by Phil Fernandes
According to data from the Federal Reserve, the average business loan interest rate ranges between 2.5% to 7% at traditional lenders like banks.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the rate you’ll receive will be in between these margins. The exact amount you’ll be charged for a business loan could vary widely depending on a number of factors – such as the type of lender you work with and your own criteria.
Understanding how business loan rates and fees work can put you in a stronger position to secure affordable financing.
Business loan interest rates represent the cost of borrowing money. Interest rates are expressed as an annual rate, while APRs measure the total cost of borrowing – including additional charges such as origination fees.
The business loan interest rate you’ll receive can be higher or lower than the average business loan interest rate on the market. That’s because your own qualifications and a number of different criteria will come into play.
Not every business will be able to qualify for low-interest business loans. Take a look at some of the most important factors that decide your business loan interest rate.
The average business loan rate can vary depending on the type of lender you work with. The most common types of lenders are banks, credit unions, fintech, and online lenders.
Banks and credit unions tend to offer the lowest rates on small business loans, however, they also feature rigid requirements. Online lenders and fintech provide more flexible financing options and are more accommodating on eligibility. However, these lenders can be a bit pricier.
Another factor to take into account when calculating the average business loan rate is the loan type. For example, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are government-backed and tend to have some of the lowest rates on the market – as low as 5.5%. On the other hand, faster financing options such as merchant cash advances tend to be on the higher end of business loan rates.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of various lending solutions to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs. While it’s tempting to go after the business loan with the lowest-rate, you may not always qualify for that option and it may not necessarily suit your situation. Oftentimes, loans with the highest approval rates and fasted funding times tend to be more expensive.
Take a look at the average business loan interest rate according to different loan types.
Lenders have an incentive to lend to responsible borrowers who they believe will be able to repay them in a timely manner. Ideally, you want to have the best credentials possible, as this will help you secure the lowest business loan interest rates.
Lenders will look into your business’s finances to determine how risky you are as a borrower. This includes your credit score, revenue, cash flow, and even your business history. The riskier you appear, the higher business loan interest rate you’ll receive.
Collateral passes over a degree of risk from the lender to you, the borrower. Lenders tend to favor business loans with collateral, since it gives them extra assurance that they’ll be able to recuperate their funds.
Collateral gives lenders a claim to either your business or personal assets. In case you are unable to make your payments, lenders can seize your assets to minimize their losses. In many cases, collateral can help you qualify for a higher funding amount or even lower interest rates.
In general, loans with longer repayment terms tend to feature lower monthly payments than business loans with shorter terms. However, business loans with longer terms typically cost more over the total lifetime of a loan.
You may be able to negotiate lower interest rates if you’re taking out long-term financing. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll automatically save money compared to faster financing solutions – it just means you’re getting a better value for the amount of time you’ll be in debt.
The average business loan rate in 2022 are between 2.5% to 7%. However, this figure is expected to rise over time as the Federal Reserve continues to raise rates. It’s not yet known how high interest rates will climb, though some experts have pointed to the possibility of as much as 3 percentage point rate increase.
It’s important to keep in mind that even though average business loan interest rates in 2022 start at around 2.5%, there’s really no limit to how high interest rates can be on any given business loan.
It’s not unheard of for interest rates to be upwards of 100% APR on certain lending products – especially solutions with faster funding times and higher approval rates.
Banks and credit unions are an attractive option for businesses because they are known for offering some of the lowest interest rates. However, just because bank loans are relatively lower-cost doesn’t mean they’re a great fit for every business.
Approval rates and banks and credit unions are some of the lowest on the market. Oftentimes, these lenders will only approve borrowers with a minimum of 2 years of business history, strong credit, and collateral.
Not every business will be able to meet the rigid requirements – especially newer businesses and startups. Plus, banks and credit unions are known for lengthy application processes and slow funding times.
SBA loans are government-backed lending solutions with some of the lowest average business loan interest rates. These lending products carry many benefits, including high funding amounts and flexibility. SBA loans are offered through participating lenders, which can include traditional banks or even online lenders.
Despite the many benefits of SBA loans, they can be difficult to be approved for. On top of the lender’s requirements your business will also need to meet a set of SBA lending requirements.
Online loans are offered through online lenders, fintech, and business financing marketplaces. These loans tend to be very accessible and boast better-than-average approval rates.
Funding amounts can be high and the approval process can take up to a couple of business days – sometimes 24 hours or less. In exchange for these benefits, borrowers will have to pay higher interest rates on most financing products.
Merchant cash advances are an advance on a business’s daily credit card sales. Unlike traditional business loans, merchant cash advances are repaid via automatic deductions from a business’s daily sales. On days revenue is higher, businesses will contribute more towards their debt, and pay less when sales are slow.
Merchant cash advances are fast, easily accessible, and very flexible. They’re a great choice for younger businesses and those with occasional cash flow issues. Even though merchant cash advances have relatively higher interest rates, they are designed to be a short-term solution.
Borrowers tend to repay their merchant cash advance within a year or less – so you won’t have to worry about being in debt for long.
Invoice financing is another short-term, easily accessible financing solution designed to help businesses access working capital. Invoice financing entails your business borrowing money against the value of unpaid invoices you’ve issued to customers.
It’s designed to help mitigate temporary cash flow issues. Most invoice financing solutions are repaid quickly once your customers submit payment.
Small business loans can have either fixed or variable interest rates. With fixed-rate loans, interest rates and monthly payments remain the same throughout the duration of the loan. This helps businesses understand their future expenses and allows them to plan ahead.
Fixed-rate loans locked in at low-interest rates offer a distinct advantage to borrowers, especially if market rates increase over time. However, if you secured a fixed-rate loan at a higher interest rate, you may be able to refinance if market rates drop or your finances improve.
Most term loans typically feature fixed interest rates. These types of loans offer a lump sum of capital that can be used for major purchases, such as real estate, equipment, or debt refinancing.
With variable-rate loans, your interest rate and monthly payments may fluctuate depending on market conditions. Most variable-rate loans start with lower interest rates that rise over time. This makes it difficult for business owners to budget and plan their expenses ahead of time, since their monthly payments may vary.
Business lines of credit, a type of financing that works similarly to credit cards, tend to feature fluctuating rates. Business lines of credit are ideal for ongoing expenses or when you don’t know how much capital you’ll need.
Business lines of credit also tend to be flexible and can be used to finance expansions, operating costs, emergency expenses, and more. Variable rates may add a layer of uncertainty, however, lines of credit don’t need to be repaid until the funds actually get used – making them a great reservoir of cash.
The average business loan rate is between 2.5% to 7%, but you may still be getting a good deal even if the rate you receive is slightly higher.
In most cases, a good business loan rate is assessed on a case by case basis. What may constitute a good loan rate for your business may not be the same for another business. Much comes down to your own credentials. For example, if your credit history is lacking or if you’re a younger business, your benchmark for a good business loan rate will be higher than for more established firms.
It’s important to keep in mind that the term of loan has an enormous influence on the entire cost. For instance, even though merchant cash advances have higher interest rates, they’re typically repaid quickly. It’s possible that the total cost of a merchant cash advance may be equal or even lower than a business loan with a seemingly lower rate but longer repayment term.
It can be difficult to assess what’s a good loan rate for your business on your own. It’s much more helpful to consult with lending professionals, such as a Business Financing Advisor at National, who can walk you through market rates in real-time and what’s realistic for your situation.
Business loan fees are additional costs of borrowing apart from interest rates. Almost every lender charges some type of business loan fee. The amount you’ll pay varies depending on the size of your loan, the type of business loan, the repayment term, and your credit score.
It’s important to work with lenders that are transparent about the business loan fees, since this will give you a better understanding of your total borrowing costs. The most common types of business loan fees include:
SBA loan guarantee fee: SBA loans typically feature guarantee fees between 0% to 3.75% of the loan size.
The business loan rate you qualify for will ultimately boil down to your qualifications. If you’re going to secure the best business loan rates, you’ll need to compare multiple offers from multiple lenders. National makes this easy.
National is a leading business financing marketplace that allows you to select the best business loan rates from a range of personalized offers.
After filling out a simple application, our Business Financing Advisors will contact you about your qualifications and financing goals. From there, you’ll be presented with a range of financing solutions you can compare and contrast to select the most optimized fit.
Curious to learn what business loan rates you could qualify for? Get started here.
National Business Capital is the top FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and financing. Harnessing the power of leading technology and smart people, we’ve streamlined the application process to secure over $1 Billion in financing for business owners nationwide.
Our Business Financing Experts work within our 75+ Lender platform to match you with the right option. Easily access the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans, business lines of credit and equipment financing all in one place.
We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!
Phil serves as VP of Financing for National Business Capital. He boasts 15 years of sales experience, 10 years of managerial experience, and has been with National for over 6 years. His role at National focuses on managing and directing National’s team of Business Finance Advisors and overseeing project development. Phil is also responsible for Financial Reporting, where he prioritizes results and revenue growth. Phil is passionate about sharing his expertise and insight with small business owners, and regularly contributes articles on National’s blog.