Business Loans
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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Best Short-Term Business Loans in 2023

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Small business owners who need fast funding to fill a cash flow gap or pay for an emergency expense might consider short-term business loans. Many lenders can be found online, and they may provide a simple application process. Once approved, funds can be accessed quickly — sometimes on the same day — but come with short repayment terms, typically three to 24 months.

Best short-term loans

A short-term loan can help provide funding for small businesses when needed, but you’ll first need to find the best lender for your individual situation. Loan amounts vary from each lender, but usually start at $5,000 but can go up quite high. Our list below provides options for the best short-term small business loans with lenient lender requirements and fast funding.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
LenderBest forMaximum loan amountTermsTime to funding
Fora Financial logoStartup businesses$1,400,000Up to 15 months72 hours
OnDeck logoSmall purchases$250,000Up to 24 monthsSame day
Credibly logoBad credit$400,0003 to 15 monthsSame day upon approval
Fundbox logoLine of credit$150,00012 to 24 weeksNext business day upon approval
High revenue businesses$250,0006 or 12 monthsA few hours (with $15 wire fee) or next business day with ACH transfer, which could take up to three days

Learn more about how we chose our picks.

Best for startup businesses

Term lengthUp to 15 months
Term lengthUp to 15 months
Max. amount$1,400,000
Starting factor rate1.10 to 1.35
Min. credit score500
Min. time in businessAt least 6 months


  Loan amounts up to $1,400,000

  Early payoff discounts


  High minimum revenue required

  No open bankruptcies in order to qualify

Fora Financial offers short repayment terms and large loan amounts to borrow, with only six months in business required to be eligible. But you’ll need consistent revenue to qualify.


Best for small purchases

Term lengthUp to 24 months
Term lengthUp to 24 months
Max. amount$250,000
Starting APR29.90% APR
Min. credit score625
Min. time in business1 year


  Loan amounts can range from $5,000 to $250,000

  Repayment terms are from 3 to 24 months


  At least 1 year in business to qualify

  Minimum annual gross revenue of $100,000 for all businesses

OnDeck offers smaller loan amounts that start at $5,000, which makes it a great choice for small purchases. However, you’ll need to be in business for at least a year to qualify.

Credibly: Best for bad credit

Best for bad credit

Term length6 to 18 months
Term length3 to 15 months
Max. amount$400,000
Starting factor rate1.15
Min. credit score500
Min. time in businessAt least 6 months


 Minimum credit score requirement of 500

 Only six months in business is required


  One-time origination fee of 2.50% of total loan amount

  Average monthly revenue of at least $15,000 is required (or $180,000 or more in annual revenue)

Credibly only requires a credit score of 500 to borrow funds — still, interest rates can be on the higher side, and your business will need to produce high revenue in order to be eligible.


Best for a line of credit

Term length12-24 weeks
Term length12-24 weeks
Max. amount$150,000
Starting APR4.66% for 12 weeks 8.99% for 24 weeks
Min. credit score600
Min. time in business6 months in business


  Flexible terms with no prepayment penalty

  Can borrow up to $150,000


  Requires $100,000 or more in annual revenue

  Comparatively shorter repayment terms than other lenders featured

If you’re looking for a flexible line of credit to draw from instead of a lump sum upfront, Fundbox offers flexible terms without any prepayment penalties if you pay off early.


Best line of credit for high-revenue businesses

Term length6 or 12 months
Max. loan amount$250,000
Starting rate6.20% simple interest
Min. credit score625
Min. time in business24 months


  No monthly maintenance fee

  No prepayment so you can pay off your loan early without penalty


  Need at least $40,000 each month in revenue

  Not eligible for businesses in Nev., N.D. or S.D.

Businesses looking for a Bluevine line of credit need to make at least $40,000 each month, making it a good option if you have high enough revenue. Bluevine can provide funds to borrowers within hours of approval which is ideal for those needing fast cash, but you’ll need to pay a $15 wire fee.

How short-term business loans work

Short-term business loans provide quick access to funds for filling cash flow gaps, working capital or emergency expenses within a business. They typically have repayment periods of three to 18 months, with payments made automatically on a daily or weekly basis. They’re funded quickly by online lenders, and a common time frame for this type of funding is anywhere from one to three business days.

Short-term small business loans are typically more lenient than long-term, traditional bank loans. With more relaxed eligibility requirements — such as lower credit scores, shorter times in business or lower annual revenue — short-term loans may be more accessible for new or small businesses. However, they can also come with higher interest rates.

Long-term business loans offered by traditional banks have longer repayment periods, usually three to 10 years. These loans also may have lower interest rates, but may require payments on a less frequent basis than short-term loans do. Long-term loans can be used for growing a business over time or making a significant investment, like a remodel or a building expansion.

Common uses of short-term business loans

We’ve briefly covered why a business might use a short-term loan — for stop-gap or emergency funding — but let’s take a closer look at some specific reasons they can be used.

  • Short-term loans can be used for covering upfront expenses. Businesses that do work for clients or customers before getting paid might need short-term funding to get started on a project. Short-term loans can offer the money to get started and can be repaid as a client begins to pay for the work.
  • Unexpected or emergency expenses can be covered with short-term loans. Part of what makes short-term loans so appealing is that they’re usually funded quickly. This makes them ideal for small businesses looking for funding to cover unexpected emergency expenses.
  • Using short-term loans to cover seasonal income gaps. For those businesses that have seasonal income, short-term loans can be used to help offset the off-season.

Short-term loan interest rates

One thing to always consider when deciding whether to take a short-term loan is its interest rate. Rates for short-term business loans are sometimes higher than they might be for longer-term loans. The interest rates for short-term business loans generally range from around 7% to 50% or higher, depending on where the loan comes from.

In addition, some short-term lenders may charge a factor rate instead of an interest rate. While interest is a percentage of the remaining balance of the loan, a factor rate is expressed as a decimal figure. To calculate the full cost of your loan with the factor rate included, multiply your loan amount by the factor rate.

How to get a short-term loan

Follow these steps to get a short-term business loan:

1. Determine your borrowing needs.

Even before you apply for a short-term loan, ask yourself why you need the funds. What do you plan to use them for? Once you have a better idea of your needs you can then decide if a short-term loan is the best option for you. Short-term business loans usually need to be repaid in 24 months or less, so this option is best for day-to-day expenses or plugging temporary cash flow gaps.

2. Decide what capacity you have to take on debt.

Short-term business loans have various repayment terms, including daily, weekly or monthly, with different costs of borrowing. It’s important to determine what your business can afford by doing a cash flow analysis to understand how the money is moving within  your business. Your cash flow statement will showcase your business income and expenses and can help determine how much more money you need to meet all of your financial obligations.

3. Evaluate your qualifications.

Once you decide what you can afford, you will also need to consider what you can qualify for. Typically, lenders look at how long you’ve been in business (ranging from six months to a year if not more) and the annual revenue. Lenders will also look at the personal credit score of the business owner and business credit score when determining eligibility which can affect the rates offered to you. If you have lower credit scores, you still may be able to get a short-term business loan – just be prepared to pay higher interest rates.

4. Compare lenders.

It’s always a good idea to compare lenders to help find the best rate and the least amount of fees for your small business short-term loans. Comparing lenders is easy and can be done simply by reading LendingTree reviews, visiting lenders’ websites or consulting with peers in your network or industry.

5. Submit an application.

Once you have found the lender you’d like to work with, you’ll need to apply for a business loan. Applications are usually done online, and lenders may ask for specific documents, such as a business plan that illustrates your product or service, along with your personal and business tax returns and a balance sheet that depicts all assets as part of the application process.

Short-term business loans: Pros and cons


  Funding for short-term business loans are typically quick, meaning you could have the cash within a few business days after applying. 

  Online lenders offering short-term loans tend to have an easy application process. 

  Repaying your loan on time or ahead of schedule could help boost your credit, but be sure to check that there are no prepayment penalty fees.

  Online lenders offering short-term business loans tend to have higher interest rates and fees.

  Short-term loans require quick repayment timelines with either daily or weekly payments. You’ll likely have to start making payments within the following day or week after taking on the loan.

How we chose our picks

To appear on our list of best short-term business loans, lenders had to meet the following criteria:

  • Loan amounts as low as $6,000
  • Minimum credit score requirement of 700 or below
  • Maximum repayment terms of 24 months or less
  • Funds available within 3 business days or less

Frequently asked questions

Small businesses that are looking for short-term funding to cover an emergency expense or to help expand their business, as well as potentially repay on a daily or weekly basis, might consider a short-term loan. Short-term business loans can also be more lenient in qualification requirements, which could be good for those with bad credit.

Short-term business loans usually provide fast funding. The exact time frame to receive your funds will depend on the lender. Some will provide funding the same day you’re approved, while others send the funds within 72 hours upon approval.

You might be able to get a loan even if you have bad credit. Some lenders don’t weigh credit that heavily and instead prefer to see strong cash flow. However, those with low credit scores are likely to receive higher interest rates than those with excellent credit. In addition, keep in mind that taking on more debt you can’t afford can negatively impact your credit score further.

Short-term business loans do indeed come with short repayment loans. The exact repayment term will ultimately depend on the lender, with some of the shorter terms seen set for three months with lenders like Balboa Capital or ​​12 or 24 weeks as seen with Fundbox.

Generally, short-term lenders consider time in business, but that doesn’t mean brand new businesses won’t qualify for short-term loans. There are some lenders that offer short-term loans to startup businesses that have been operating for only a year or less. However, high-interest rates are likely to come with these loans, and the repayment terms aren’t always flexible.


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