Best Top Small Business Loans for Startups 2021

There are numerous financing options available for entrepreneurs to jump-start their businesses. Some major funding routes are personal savings, loans, venture capital, crowdfunding, grants, etc. Online lending marketplaces are one-stop shops with available resources and partnerships to offer various kinds of loans while a startup business loan is a type of financing that aids new business ventures to mature and thrive. Startup business loans are meant to purchase equipment, real estate, machinery, supplies, furniture, and more.

Best Top Small Business Loans for Startups
Best Top Small Business Loans for Startups

Types of Startup Business Loans

  • Term Loans
  • Business Lines of Credit
  • SBA Loans
  • Equipment Financing
  • Invoice Financing
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending
  • Microloans
  • Personal Loans for Business Use
  • Merchant Cash Advances

Top 4 Small Business Loans for Startups

1. Lendio

Previously known as Funding Universe, Lendio is an award-winning free online small business loan marketplace. Founded in 2011, Lendio, with a network of 75+ lenders, offers small business loans in minutes. With more than $10B funded amount and 216,000+ funded loans, Lendio is the largest small business loan marketplace in the U.S. Lendio’s goal is to help small business owners having tools and possible knowledge about loans. The company considers small businesses a strong base for successful America.

Lendio is a loan aggregation service and not a lender itself. It offers most small business loan options with the help of top lenders in the industry.

Lendio Review

How Lendio Works

Lendio works in three simple steps.

  1. Apply in 15 Minutes

Lendio allows you to complete an online small business loan application in 15 minutes. The application process is free of cost. Sometimes, Lendio asks you to provide any additional document(s).

  1. Choose from Lenders

There are more than 75 lenders on the Lendio marketplace. After completing the application, Lendio connects you to a nationwide network of 75+ lenders to choose what suits you best.

  1. Instant Funding

Now, your working capital is ready for instant withdrawal. Capital is available in as little as 24 hours.

Lendio Loan Products

  1. Business Line of Credit
  2. SBA Loan
  3. Short Term Loan
  4. Merchant Cash Advance
  5. Business Term Loan
  6. Business Credit Card
  7. Equipment Financing
  8. Commercial Mortgage
  9. Accounts Receivable Financing
  10. Startup Loan
  11. Business Acquisition Loan

Lendio Fees

  1. Application Fee
  • Lendio does not charge any fee to apply for small business funding.
  1. Origination Fee
  • 1 to 6% – depends on the lender
  1. SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Fee
  • 2 to 3.75% for 7(a) loans of $150,000 and above
  • No additional origination fees
  1. Monthly Fee (Administration Fee)
  • Starting from $50
  1. Later Payment Fee
  • Varies from lender to lender
  1. Prepayment Penalty
  • Varies from lender to lender
  1. Invoice Factoring Setup Fee
  • One-time – 3% up to $1,000
  1. Lockbox Fee
  • $50 – $500
  1. Wire Fee
  • $15 to $50 per loan payment (depending on the servicer)
  1. Credit Check Fee
  • Some lender may charge
  1. Unused Line Fee
  • Between 0.15% and 0.5% (depending on the lender)
  1. Collection and Overdue Fees
  • Some lenders charge


  • Large funding options
  • Quick and simple one application process
  • Easy to qualify
  • 75+ high profile lenders
  • Responsive customer service


  • Hard credit checks
  • Mismatches
  • Varying prepayment penalties
  • Extra documentation for some loans

2. Kiva

Kiva is a non-profit and mission-driven global marketplace for crowdfunded microloans. Kiva was founded in 2005 with the vision to improve the lives of the underserved communities by expanding financial access. Kiva does it by bettering the quality and cost of financial services and removing the obstacles to financial access worldwide. With the mission to create economic and social good, and alleviate poverty, Kiva enables people to create opportunities for themselves.

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Headquartered in San Francisco, Kiva is helping borrowers in 80+ countries on 5 continents. At Kiva, lenders create a renewable pool of funds by funding $2.5M in loans every week. Some core features of Kiva include:

  • Borrowers – 3.9M+
  • Female borrowers – 81%
  • Make borrowers – 19%
  • Borrowers in conflict zones – 300,714
  • Farmers – 1,020,661
  • Borrowers in the least developed countries – 1,265,846
  • Education loans – 72,155
  • Lenders – 2M+
  • Funded loans – $1.6B+
  • Repayment rate – 96.3%
  • Volunteers – 450
  • Field partners and trustees – 3,091
  • Employees – 110


  • Microfinance
  • Micro-lending
  • Global partnerships
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Crowdfunding
  • Technology
  • Financial inclusion
  • Social impact
  • How Kiva WorksAdd ImageAs non-profit organization management, Kiva crowdfunds loans and many individual lenders contribute for loans. The minimum lending amount is $25 and all the lenders are visible to one another at the bottom of the loan profile. Kiva borrowers come from different walks of life, they are students, farmers, artisans, shopkeepers, etc. The borrowers pay interest to the local Field Partners to cover expenses related to providing small loans. Direct loans are funded without the assistance of the local Field Partners and they are interest-free loans. Voluntary donors, foundations, and sincere supporters help Kiva cover operating costs.

Add New FAQ

Kiva offers two types of loans.

  1. Direct Loans

Direct loans are provided to US citizens and international social enterprises via PayPal.

  1. Partner Loans

Partner loans are available through Kiva’s Field Partners in more than 80 countries around the world.

Loan Process

  1. Apply for Loan

Kiva borrowers apply for direct or partner loans. The partner loans are applied through a local Field Partner while a direct loan is applied on the Kiva website (

  1. Underwriting and Approval

Partner loans are applied through local Field Partners and are approved by lending individuals or institutions under Kiva’s monitoring. Direct loans are approved via “social underwriting”.

  1. Loan Disbursal

Most partner loans are pre-disbursed, and they are accessible instantly while direct loans are disbursed when they are fully crowdfunded.

  1. Repayment

Borrowers make repayments according to the set schedule. Lenders receive these repayments in their Kiva accounts.

  1. Fund, Donate or Withdraw

Lenders can use the received repayments to fund new loans or donate. Or they can withdraw their money.

Kiva Loan Use

  • Female-owned businesses
  • Green-loans
  • Support for Higher Education
  • Medical Loans
  • Support for Refugees

Other Programs

  • Kiva U.S.
  • Kiva Labs
  • Kiva City

Kiva Interest Rates

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(As of November 2018)

Kiva Pros and ConsPositive

  • Non-profit organization
  • Valuable for startups
  • Accessible in 80+ countries
  • No credit score required
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Active customer support


  • Not suitable for large businesses
  • Long application procedure
  • Lengthy funding time

3. OnDeck

Established in 2006, OnDeck is a US-based online small business lending company. The company was built to help small businesses get flexible financing efficiently and expand their opportunities. OnDeck is an award-winning lending platform that offers more than one type of loan to meet the financial needs of its users. OnDeck lends to 700+ industries and is committed to:

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  1. Structure a sustainable, scalable, and responsible finance model
  2. Provide truthful, transparent, and complete information to customers for informed decisions
  3. Ensure optimal customer experience
  4. Respect for customers
  5. Ensure privacy and data security
  6. Approach and retain the best professionals in the industry

Here is a brief historical sketch of OnDeck.

  • 2007 – OnDeck Capital Inc. founded
  • 2014 – USD 1B loaned to small businesses
  • 2015 – USD 3B loaned to small businesses and launched in Canada
  • 2016 – USD 6B loaned globally (for small businesses)
  • 2018 – USD 10B loaned globally (for small businesses)
  • 2019 – Combined Canadian operations with Evolocity Financial Group
  • 2019 – USD 12B loaned globally (for small businesses)
  • OnDeck has loaned more than $13B globally to small businesses to date

How OnDeck Works

Minimum Requirements

  1. Time in Business – 1 year
  2. Personal FICO Score – 600
  3. Business Annual Revenue – $100K
  4. Business Bank Account – Yes

Applying for a loan on OnDeck is quite simple and straightforward for eligible clients. The loan process completes in three steps.

  1. Complete Application

To apply online or via call and complete the application process, you need to have your:

  • Business Tax ID (EIN)
  • Business bank statements (last 3 months)
  • Current month-to-date activity statement
  1. Get a Decision

OnDeck loan advisor will review your application and the loan expert will contact you within one working day to discuss your offers. If you get approved, you will select your loan amount, term, and repayment schedule. You also have to complete an online checkout.

  1. Receive Funds

Once your loan is approved, you can get same-day funding. For term loans, same-day funding is available through ACH or wire while for lines of credit you can opt from instant funding or same-day funding.

OnDeck offers you a flexible and automatic payment schedule as you can choose between fixed daily or weekly payments. Moreover, if you want to pay back your loan early, OnDeck has prepayment options for you.

OnDeck Loan Products

  1. OnDeck Term Loans

A short-term loan varies in term length. It is a one-time amount of cash that is paid off over a fixed period of time (term).

  • Loan amounts – $5K to $500K
  • Repayment terms – up to 36 months
  • Automatic daily or weekly payments


  • Same day funding
  • Loyalty benefits
  • Business credit building
  • Prepayment benefits
  • Predictable, fixed payments
  • Transparent pricing

Loan Uses

  1. Reopening a business
  2. Expanding to a new location
  3. Renovations
  4. Marketing campaigns
  5. Business Line of Credit (LOC)

It is a revolving loan accessible when needed to meet short-term business needs, and you pay interest on only those finds that you use.

  • Loan amount – $6K to $100K
  • Repayment terms – up to 12 months (resets after each withdrawal)
  • Automatic weekly payments


  • Instant funding
  • Automatically accessible funds
  • Business credit building
  • Revolving credit
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Transparent pricing

Loan Uses

  1. Reopening business
  2. Filling cash flow gaps
  3. Covering payroll
  4. Hiring employees
  5. SBA PPP Loan

Currently, OnDeck is not accepting applications for PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans. However, you can apply for a PPP loan through OnDeck’s partner, Lendio.

OnDeck Interest Rates

  • Interest rates for Short Term Loans start from 35% APR

The total cost of Short Term Loans depends on different factors like personal and business scores, annual revenue, cash flow, etc.

  • Interest rates for LOC (Line of Credit) start from 35.9% APR

The total cost of LOC depends on different factors like personal and business scores, annual revenue, cash flow, etc.Positive

  • Easy application process
  • Same day funding
  • Low credit score required (600)
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Lesser paperwork
  • Active customer support


  • High-interest rates
  • Automatic payment withdrawals
  • Not available in Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota

4. Fundbox

Fundbox is an AI-powered credit platform to empower the small business economy. The mission of the company is to unlock growth for small businesses by providing them quick and comfortable access to financial tools and payment solutions. Founded in 2013, Fundbox is a numerous award-winning financial platform that uses big data analytics, engineering, and predictive modeling to impart financial agility and peace of mind to the small business industry. Fundbox is widely known and esteemed for its quick application process, intuitive design, and responsive support team and that is why more than 70% of customers have used Fundbox 3 times or more.

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  • Small business customers – 275K+
  • Capital unlocked – $2B+
  • Better Business Bureau – A+ rating
  • Trustpilot rating – 4.7/5 (based on 2,683 reviews)

How Fundbox Works


To apply for Fundbox term loan and LOC credit, you:

  1. Must have a business checking account
  2. Must be based in any of the 50 U.S states
  3. Should have three months or more of transactions
  4. Should have a Credit score – 600
  5. Should have at least $100,000 annual revenue (still applicable if you a little less)
  6. Should be 6+ months in business

How to Apply

Applying for a loan on Fundbox is simple and quick.

  1. Apply in two Steps

Provide basic information about your business and connect your checking account. Fundbox will check the health of your business without affecting your credit score.

  1. Choose Terms

When your application is approved you will choose an amount to borrow, a repayment plan, and review the fees. You can take your time and get back after some time/days as the Fundbox offer is valid for 30 days.

  1. Get Funds

Fundbox will transfer the approved amount of the loan to your bank account the next business day.

  1. Repayment

Repayment with Fundbox is easy and follows equal installments over your chosen 24 or 52-week plan. There is no prepayment penalty if you pay the loan earlier.

Fundbox Loan Products

  1. Term Loan

A term loan is a lump sum amount you get to make larger purchases.


  • One-time amount
  • Take an additional term loan without reapplying
  • 24 or 52-week repayment plan
  • No origination fee
  • No prepayment penalty

Loan Uses

Term loans are generally used to buy vehicles, machinery, or real estate. You can also use term loans for business ventures or purchasing inventory in bulk.

  1. Line of Credit (LOC)

It is a revolving loan accessible when needed to meet short-term business needs.


  • Get funds again and again without reapplying
  • Credit replenishes on repay
  • 12 or 24-week repayment plan
  • No origination fee
  • No prepayment penalty

Loan Uses

A line of credit is best for you if you want to fund current expenses. You can use a business line of credit when you need some extra cash to bridge the gaps where cash flow is uncertain.

Fundbox Pricing

  1. Term Loan

24-Week Plan for an Average Loan Term of $20,000 (8.33%)

52-Week Plan for an Average Loan Term of $20,000 (18%)

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  1. Line of Credit

12-Week Plan for LOC of $10,000 (4.66%)

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24-Week Plan for LOC of $10,000 (8.99%)

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Fundbox Pros and ConsPositive

  • PosSimple and fee-less application processitive
  • PosiNext business day fundingive
  • Low credit score requirement
  • No origination fee
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Easy payments


  • Rates can be higher
  • Frequent repayments
  • Six-month billing record for accounting software

Bottom Line

In today’s world, startup business owners have plenty of options to discover financial solutions and prove beneficial for themselves and others as there are reputable lenders to work with your business. Now, you can easily put aside intensive paperwork and traditional financial institutions and welcome the fintech companies to change your fate. But before going with any online lender don’t forget to consider your financial condition, recent and future goals, interest rates, and repayment time frame.

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