Small Business Loans

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What Do You Need to Qualify for a Small Business Loan?

Time in business

1 Year in Business


$120K in Annual Revenue


580+ Credit Score

  • Plus IconHow Can You Apply for Small Business Loans?
  • Plus IconWhy Cash Flow Is Important
  • Plus IconHow to Use Business Financing to Grow
  • Plus IconWhat’s the Easiest Way to Get a Business Loan?
  • Plus IconEligibility Requirements for Small Business Loans
  • Plus IconMinimum Credit Score for a Small Business Loan
  • Plus IconHow to Get a Credit Approval for a Business Loan
  • Plus IconFinding the Best Available Loan Programs
  • Plus IconWhat Are Secured & Unsecured Business Loans?
  • Plus IconWhat is a Term Loan?
  • Plus IconWhat are Short Term Loans?
  • Plus IconCalculate Small Business Loan Interest Rates
  • Plus IconSmall Business Loans 101

How Can You Apply for Small Business Loans?

How Can You Apply for Small Business Loans?

Whether your small business is growing or facing a challenge, you need cash to cover the expenses. Finding the best small business loans gives you the resources you need to pursue opportunities or solve problems.


Unlike selling equity, getting a small business loan allows you to maintain business ownership, profits, and full control.

There are countless fast small business loans available on the market today, but to truly invest in your future, you need the right one.

Our 75+ lender marketplace puts all your options in one place, allowing you to receive multiple offers with one application and compare them with expert guidance.

Applying is fast, simple, easy, and doesn’t affect your credit score.

Why Cash Flow Is Important

Why Cash Flow Is Important

Cash flow is like the oxygen of your business, and small business loans are a great way to get more of it.

When cash flows smoothly, you can cover all of the essential expenses in your business, including payroll, operating costs, and other bills. More importantly, though, positive cash flow allows you to pursue new growth and expansion opportunities in your business.

At some point, all businesses face cash flow challenges like seasonal slowdowns and late-paying customers. Business credit cards and personal loans generally don’t provide enough cash to accomplish what you need to. You could find yourself in a situation where you’re struggling to:

  • Pay your employees
  • Hire new workers
  • Pay for inventory
  • Manage office rent or mortgage payments
  • Pay for supplies
  • Finance operating costs
  • Cover utility expenses
  • Pay taxes

When you’re set on growing your business, it’s important to have enough working capital to stay ahead of the competition and not fall behind. With NBC, you can establish a relationship that allows you to secure the capital you need—when you need it—with terms that fit your business.

How to Use Business Financing to Grow

How to Use Business Financing to Grow

Every owner wants to grow their business, but doing so requires money.

The only ways you can grow your business are by reinvesting profits, raising equity, or using small business loans (or another business financing option).

At first glance, reinvesting your profits is the cheapest option. But, with working capital covering every cost, it can take years for you to reach your goal.


Utilizing small business loans for startups and other types of businesses can actually be more profitable for your business in the long run. You can obtain cash to cover all growth-related expenses right away, putting you on track to boost revenue as soon as possible.

Here are some of the ways financing can help your business.

Grow Your Business

Financing gives you access to the cash you need to fast-track projects and scale your business. You can use funding to open a new location, hire new employees, invest in marketing campaigns, upgrade internal processes, and much more.

Cover Expenses

If you’re unable to meet your business’s day-to-day expenses, you could find yourself in a situation where your goals are side-tracked or, at worst, you have to close your doors. When cash flow gets tight, financing can help you cover your most critical expenses like payroll, utilities, supplies, inventory, travel costs, and more.

Buy Inventory

Retail businesses are well-aware of the issues that can arise out of delayed inventory, including revenue loss and poor customer experience. Stocking up on supplies early can help you mitigate potential problems and prepare for busy seasons beforehand.

Have Extra Cash on Hand

Any business owner knows that there’s always a chance the unforeseeable can happen. You could find yourself stuck with an unexpected expense or even presented with a fast-paced opportunity. In either case, additional access to capital will keep you prepared for whatever happens.

Buy New Equipment

Heavy equipment like machinery and vehicles are oftentimes the backbone of construction, trucking, and manufacturing companies. However, every business relies on equipment in one way or another. Funding can help you upgrade your computer software systems and other technology inputs to boost efficiency and productivity.

Weather Seasonal Slumps

Many industries experience slow seasons. It can be challenging to navigate operating expenses and make preparations when your cash flow is tight. Financing can help you weather the storm now while also giving you the means to put plans into place for the upcoming busy season.

What’s the Easiest Way to Get a Business Loan?

What’s the Easiest Way to Get a Business Loan?

You can apply at a bank, but you know that’s not easy. That’s why you’re here—to find an easy way to get a small business loan.

Banks aside, there are many other small business lenders, which makes finding the best option for you even more confusing.

Every lender offers different programs with varying interest rates, term lengths, and funding amounts.

Online marketplaces like National simplify and speed up this process.

Our industry-leading marketplace brings the best small business lenders together in one place, making it easy for you to apply, compare options, and ensure you choose the right loan.

The entire process takes place electronically, meaning you don’t have to take time out of your busy day for a meeting. You can also submit required financial information online.

Eligibility Requirements for Small Business Loans

Eligibility Requirements for Small Business Loans

To apply for small business loans, the first thing that you will need to consider is the lender. Lenders may have different guidelines, requirements, and application processes. With National, you can apply for small business loans online by filling out a 60-second application form and selecting from multiple loan options within our marketplace.

Showing a profit helps, of course, but is not always essential to receive financing. We focus on your business’s potential, rather than your history.

Minimum Credit Score for a Small Business Loan

Minimum Credit Score for a Small Business Loan

Most lenders, especially banks, will want to see a minimum credit score of around 680. This is also typically the requirement for SBA funding as well. Of course, having higher credit can boost your approval odds and help you access better interest rates.

If your credit score is less than 680 or your business is fairly new, it’s possible your financing application may be rejected by a bank. But before you get too discouraged, it’s helpful to keep in mind that not all small business lenders have a minimum credit score requirement.

Bank rejections can be discouraging, but not all small business lenders have a minimum required credit score.

At National, you can find options regardless of your credit score. We have programs for small businesses with good credit, bad credit, and everything in between.

Instead of focusing only on your business and personal credit scores, we consider your annual revenue, and how your new opportunity could help you grow.

How to Get a Credit Approval for a Business Loan

How to Get a Credit Approval for a Business Loan

Getting a credit approval for a small business loan is no longer the tedious process it once was. New fintech platforms have expedited this process to make it faster and easier for you.

At National, our streamlined digital application entirely eliminates the need for any paperwork. In order to qualify for funding, you’ll only need to show a minimum of:

  • 1 year of business history
  • $120,000 in annual revenue
  • 580+ credit score requirement

We work with a wide variety of lenders that maintain options for all different types of credit scores. The application process is also fast and secure. Once you complete the online application, simply connect your bank accounts through our bank-grade security portal – and your information will be verified automatically.

Finding the Best Available Loan Programs

Finding the Best Available Loan Programs

To choose the best loan offers, start by identifying your financing needs. The best options for you might differ if you are looking for funding to grow your business, purchase inventory, or pay debt. Ideally, you should begin your research in a marketplace where you can compare multiple options at the same time.

In today’s world, there are countless financing and loan programs available at your fingertips. But even though some of these loan programs are fast and easy to qualify for, they may not be the best.

Every lender offers different programs, and every business has different needs. It’s important to start your search for funding options with your needs in mind.

Direct lenders provide only a limited number of options. If you apply through a direct lender, you limit your potential to find the best option on the market.

Applying through a marketplace allows you to access options from numerous lenders instead of just one. For example, National’s marketplace offers options through over 75 small business lenders.

In addition to small business loans, online marketplaces also offer other financing options.

You can find SBA loans, which are backed by the federal government through the Small Business Administration. Often, applying through a marketplace makes this a faster and easier process than applying through a bank.

You can also find other options, such as a business line of credit, merchant cash advances, and equipment financing.

By considering multiple options, you can choose the one that best fits your business and goals.

What Are Secured & Unsecured Business Loans?

What Are Secured & Unsecured Business Loans?

The difference between secured and unsecured business loans is simple. Secured business loans require collateral, such as real estate, heavy machinery, or other assets, while unsecured business loans don’t require any collateral as a guarantee for being able to pay the loan.

With secured business loans, the borrower agrees to give the lender an asset or piece of property if they’re unable to repay their debt. Collateral can make the financing process less risky for lenders.

Banks and other lenders have more certainty that they will get their money back, in the event you default. This can translate to lower interest rates, higher funding amounts, and better terms for borrowers.

Typically, traditional banking institutions will require your loans to be secured with collateral, like real estate or heavy machinery.

Unfortunately, borrowers face additional risks with secured business loans. In case you are unable to meet your debt obligations, you could risk losing the asset you’ve put up as collateral.

In the modern business financing world, however, you can find small business loans without collateral.

If you have collateral to back your small business loan, then you can choose to put it up. If not, then you can still find financing options. We can help you find either option within our marketplace.

What is a Term Loan?

What is a Term Loan?

One way in which small business loans are different is the repayment terms. Depending on your business needs and goals, you may be looking for options with short or long repayment terms.

Term loans are small business loan programs that have repayment terms lasting from 1-10 years. This gives you more time to repay the loan, but also means that you are financially responsible for a longer period of time.

Generally, term loans are the best option available when you are utilizing funding for something that doesn’t directly drive revenue. For example, building maintenance might be a necessity to operate your business, but won’t necessarily help you generate higher profits.

What are Short Term Loans?

What are Short Term Loans?

Short term loans work just like term loans, but have shorter payback periods. Typically, short term loans have payment terms of 1 year or less.

While you have a shorter period of time to pay the full payback amount, there is also less time for interest to accrue. For this reason, short term loans can actually be the best option for some small business owners.

Short term loans are the ideal option for expenses that directly drive revenue, such as marketing, the costs of taking on a new project, and expansion.

Calculate Small Business Loan Interest Rates

Calculate Small Business Loan Interest Rates

To calculate the interest rate on a small business loan, lenders will consider your requested loan amount, financial history, annual revenue, and more. But when you get a small business loan, you need to consider more than just the interest rate itself. You also need to consider the total payback amount.

We created this easy-to-use small business loan calculator specifically for small business owners considering the full price of taking out a loan.

By entering your estimated interest rate, loan amount and term length in months, you can calculate your estimated monthly payments. Then, you can calculate your total payback amount by multiplying the monthly payment by the number of months.

Small Business Loans 101

Small Business Loans 101

Small business loans function a lot like personal loans, although they serve a different purpose—they’re only meant for small businesses.

If you’ve ever taken out a loan, such as a student loan or mortgage, then you probably already understand how they work. The lender provides you, the small business owner, with capital for a need. As the borrower, you’ll then repay the balance of the loan, plus interest

Depending on how and where you borrow, different financing products come with different terms. You may make payments based on a fixed interest rate in some situations, and with a variable interest rate in others.

Owners use the extra cash from small business loans to cover any expenses, whether they’re solving a challenge or pursuing an opportunity.

Curious about how small business loans could work for your company? Speak to a Business Financing Advisor at National to learn more.

How It Works

You’re only a few clicks away from the capital you need to reach your full potential.

  • 1.Apply Securely Within Minutes

    Move through our streamlined application within minutes and upload your business documents with zero risk.

    Apply Now
  • 2.Review Your Offers

    Compare your offers with expert advice from our team and select the best one for your specific circumstances.

  • 3.Get Funded

    With your money in hand, you can take advantage of opportunities and tackle challenges with confidence.


Small Business Loan FAQs

Is it hard to get approved for a small business loan?

It depends. Some lenders can be more difficult to get approved for. For example, banks and SBA loans tend to feature the strictest requirements. However, online lenders are more lenient and more likely to offer a wider range of small business loans.

Can an LLC get an SBA loan?

Yes! SBA loans are meant for small businesses – so there’s no reason why your LLC would be automatically disqualified. You will, however, have to meet the SBA’s size standards in order to get an SBA loan.

What is the minimum SBA loan amount?

SBA loans don’t typically feature a set minimum amount. Funding is typically capped at $5 million – but SBA microloans are designed for smaller funding amounts. In some cases, it may be possible to secure an SBA loan of only a couple of thousand dollars.

Can you apply for an SBA loan twice?

There’s no limit to how many times you can apply for an SBA loan. However, if you’ve recently been rejected from SBA financing, you may want to hold off on applying again until your credentials improve. You can also seek out financing options from online lenders, which are known to be more flexible.

How much of a down payment do I need for an SBA loan?

SBA loans typically require a down payment of 10% of the loan’s total value. This is true for both 7(a) and 504 loans – however, your business’s financials can also affect the total down payment amount. In some cases, it may even be possible to secure SBA financing without a down payment.

10 Reasons Why National Business Capital Offers the Best Small Business Financing

BankDirect Lenders


  • 3 Months Bank Statements
  • No Tax Returns Required
  • 2-3 Years Tax Return
  • 2-3 Years Financials
Direct Lenders
  • 3-6 Months Bank Statements
  • 1 Year Tax Return
  • 1 Year Financials


  • One Page – One Minute
  • DocuSign
  • Lengthy
  • Paper Intensive
Direct Lenders
  • Multi-Page Application

Number of Lenders




Direct Lenders


Service Level

Business Advisor



Direct Lenders


Approval Process




Direct Lenders


Speed to Funding




Direct Lenders


Collateral Requirements

Not Necessary



Direct Lenders

Sometimes Required

Business Profitability

Not Necessary


Last 2 Years

Direct Lenders

Sometimes Required

Credit Score

No Minimum FICO


680+ FICO

Direct Lenders

600+ FICO

Credit Check

Soft Pull


Hard Pull

Direct Lenders

Hard Pull

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