Small Business Loans

Learn about financing options for your business.

Find the right small business loan with OnDeck.

Small business loans provide financing to help business owners launch, run and grow their businesses. OnDeck offers two loan options — a term loan and a line of credit — to meet your unique business needs.

A small business loan from OnDeck provides rapid funding with one-on-one support from our team of loan advisors. Our quick and easy application process takes only minutes to complete, and you could receive an approval decision just as fast. With billions funded and a top rating from the Better Business Bureau, it’s no wonder so many small business owners trust OnDeck as their lender of choice.

application process and fast funding

$15 Billion
delivered to U.S. businesses

A+ Rating
with the Better Business Bureau

How to get a small business loan.

Researching your funding options and applying for a business loan can feel overwhelming. You might find it helpful to break down the process into a series of straightforward steps.

  • Step 1

    Determine your funding needs.

    The first step in getting a small business loan is determining how much financing you require. To do this, calculate your expenses and produce a firm number. Since you’ll owe interest on what you borrow, you can keep costs low by financing only what you need and no more.

  • Step 2

    Research loan types.

    Do you need financing for a big purchase? Do you need it for cash flow gaps? Different expenses call for different types of financing. A term loan provides funding in a lump sum and is best for large, one-time costs. A line of credit lets you borrow as needed from available funds and is best for recurring expenses.

  • Step 3

    Compare lenders.

    Research lenders who provide financing for borrowers with your credit profile. Cost is important, but consider other factors too. How is their customer service? How quickly do they provide funding? What rating do they have with the Better Business Bureau? Do they have positive customer reviews?

  • Step 4


    Before you apply, check to see what documents the lender requires. This varies, but it typically includes your business license, business bank account, financial statements and personal financial information.

  • Step 5

    Review your offer.

    Before you accept a financing offer, carefully review the rates and terms of the loan. Ensure that the repayment schedule fits your budget — now and in the future.

Uses and benefits of small business loans.

  • Launching your business. It’s no secret: Opening a business can be expensive. A small business loan can provide the money you need to get off the ground.

  • Funding growth. Growth requires investment. Expand to a new location, launch a marketing campaign or hire additional staff.

  • Buying equipment. Equipment can come with a hefty price tag. One solution for avoiding significant upfront costs is equipment financing. A small business loan can finance new purchases to grow your business — or fund a replacement when you need it most.

  • Bridging cash flow gaps. A small business loan can provide financing to cover seasonal slowdowns or other gaps in cash flow.

  • Boosting working capital. Surprise opportunity? Don’t miss out just because you don’t have money on hand. Or boost your working capital to manage unexpected setbacks.

Where to find small business loans.

Small business loans are available from a number of sources. In the past, banks and credit unions were the primary option available to business owners. Today, online lenders offer a variety of additional financing options, especially for borrowers unable to secure funds from institutional sources.


A traditional source for small business loans, brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions are a good option for borrowers with excellent credit in need of large amounts of funding. Qualified borrowers can expect low interest rates, but a lengthy loan application process may slow funding.

Online Lenders

With a streamlined application process, online small business lenders typically deliver faster funding than banks and credit unions. Borrowers with less-than-perfect or bad credit may be able to qualify for financing, too — though typically at higher rates.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) partners with lenders to back loans for small businesses. An SBA loan typically comes with competitive rates and terms, and funding amounts range in size from a few hundred dollars to several million. Borrowing requirements are strict, and a rigorous application process can slow funding.

What types of business loans are available to business owners?

Term loan

A term loan provides funding for small businesses in a single lump sum. Maximum loan amounts typically exceed those offered by a line of credit or cash advance. Borrowers repay a term loan through a regular schedule of monthly payments. Some term loans, called secured loans, require collateral. Unsecured term loans do not. OnDeck does not require that loans be secured by specific collateral, relying instead on a general lien on the assets of the business.

Line of credit

A business line of credit provides access to a fixed amount of funding that borrowers can tap as needed. Funds are repaid through a regular schedule of payments, with borrowers replenishing their available credit as they repay. A line of credit is a good financing option for recurring expenses — it allows borrowers to withdraw within their credit limit without reapplying.

Merchant cash advance

A merchant cash advance (MCA) provides businesses with lump-sum financing in exchange for a percentage of future sales. Funding is often quick, but interest rates can be much higher than other forms of small business financing.

Equipment loan

Equipment loans are designed for machinery purchases and are offered by many banks and online lenders. Typically, the purchased equipment serves as collateral to secure the loan, which may allow the lenders to offer competitive interest rates. If the borrower defaults, however, the lender can repossess the purchased equipment.

SBA loans

The Small Business Administration offers a limited number of business loans directly, typically through government-backed emergency loan programs. More often, the SBA works with traditional lenders, like banks and credit unions, to offer certain business loans that are then backed by a government guarantee. The guarantee is designed to make it easier for the bank to approve loans to business owners whose creditworthiness might fall just below the normal qualifying criteria at the bank.

What business loans does OnDeck offer?

OnDeck Line of Credit

A revolving credit line you can draw from 24/7 to receive funds within seconds.*

  • Credit limits from $6K - $100K
  • Flexible repayment terms of 12, 18 or 24 months
  • Only pay for what you borrow

OnDeck Term Loan

A one-time lump sum of cash with an eventual option to apply for more.

  • Loan amounts from $5K - $250K
  • Repayment terms up to 24 months
  • Option to apply for more after halfway paid down

Minimum requirements and qualifications.**

1 Year
in business

personal FICO® score

business annual revenue

checking account

Applying for a small business loan.

  • Step 1

    Complete the application.

    All of your information is kept safe and we only ask for basic information about your business and three months of your most recent bank statements.

  • Step 2

    Get a decision.

    Your dedicated loan advisor will review small business loan options with you to find the one that best suits your needs.

  • Step 3

    Receive your funds.

    Once you complete the online checkout, you can receive your funds as soon as the same day.

Small Business Loan Resources

Short-term business loans. Learn more about ways to fund your business without a lengthy repayment period.

Business lines of credit. A business line of credit gives you the cash you need, when you need it. Only pay for what you borrow, and tap available funds for future borrowing without reapplying.

Working capital loans. A working capital loan can help finance cash flow gaps, unexpected expenses, start-up costs and more.

Small Business Administration. The SBA offers a wealth of resources to support small business owners. It also partners with lenders to back SBA loans for everything from start-up costs to natural disaster recovery.

Small Business Loans FAQs

To qualify for a small business loan, you’ll need to meet the approval requirements of the lender. These vary, but they typically include factors such as your credit score, revenue and time in business. Many lenders list their minimum requirements online — though meeting them doesn’t guarantee you’ll qualify for the loan. Research your financing options to see which might be the best fit.

At OnDeck, our minimum requirements include but are not limited to the following:

  • In business for at least one year
  • Personal FICO score of at least 600
  • Annual gross revenue of $100K or more
  • Business checking account

Whether a small business loan is secured or unsecured depends on the lender and the loan itself. Most traditional banks and credit unions specialize in secured loans — though some may offer unsecured loans, too. Online lenders are better known for unsecured business loans, though many offer both.

With a secured loan, the borrower pledges collateral, such as property or liquid assets, in exchange for the loan. If the borrower defaults, the lender can take possession of the collateral to recoup losses on the loan. Unsecured loans don’t require collateral. This increases the risk to the lender, so interest rates for unsecured loans are typically higher than those for secured loans.

To provide flexibility, OnDeck’s term loan is secured with a general lien on business assets. This can help healthy businesses secure a small business loan, even if they don’t have specific collateral to offer. Our line of credit is unsecured.

A small business loan can be either installment or revolving — it depends on the type of loan. A term loan, for example, is an installment small business loan. A line of credit is an example of a small business loan that provides revolving credit.

OnDeck offers both installment and revolving loans. Our term loan provides lump-sum funding paid back through regular installments. Our line of credit provides revolving credit that allows you to tap available funds as you need them.

A small business loan can have either a fixed or variable interest rate. A fixed rate means that the loan’s interest rate is locked for the life of the loan. A variable rate changes to reflect interest rate changes in the broader market.

When researching financing options, consider whether a fixed or variable rate better meets your needs. A fixed rate loan protects you against potential increases in interest rates and ensures predictable payments. A variable rate loan offers the possibility of a lower interest rate, but there’s a chance your rate could increase, too. Because of the risk, variable rate loans typically have lower interest rates than fixed rate loans.