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Find a Solution Financial Solutions

Best Alternative Small Business Loans 2016

To help you find the right business loan, we researched and analyzed dozens of alternative lenders. Here is a roundup of the lenders we think are best and an explanation of how we chose them.

Want to take a step back and learn more about small business loans? See what experts advise in our guide to choosing the right business loan, and then come back here to see our best picks again.

Fundation offers conventional fixed-rate loans of between $20,000 and $500,000, with annual rates ranging from 7.99 to 29.99 percent. Online applications can be filled out in 10 minutes, with final approval taking place within 24 hours. To qualify, you must have been in business for at least two years and have at least three employees, annual revenue of at least $100,000 and good personal credit. Fundation provides excellent customer service over the phone and via live chat. Go here for our full review of Fundation.

Editor's Note: Looking for information on business loans? Fill in the questionnaire below, and you will be contacted by alternative lenders ready to discuss your loan needs.  

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Kabbage offers small businesses lines of credit of between $2,000 and $100,000. Each time you draw against your line of credit, you have six or 12 months to pay that money off. Instead of paying interest, however, you pay fees of between 1 and 12 percent each month. To apply, fill out an online application and link the system to either your business bank account or an online service you are already using, such as QuickBooks. Kabbage's platform automatically reviews the data on those sites to determine if you meet the company's standards for a loan. The process typically takes just minutes to complete. Once approved, you have instant access to your loan. Go here for our full review of Kabbage.

Accion is a nonprofit microlender that specializes in small business loans. It offers loans specifically for startups that have been open for less than six months. Accion's loan amounts and minimum requirements vary by state. Among the more common requirements are a minimum credit score of 575, sufficient cash flow and proof of income. Maximum loan amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000. Applications can be filled out online, with approval usually taking place within one month. Accion's loans, most of which have annual percentage rates starting at 10.99 percent, are repaid on a monthly basis over the length of the loan. Go here for our full review of Accion.

RapidAdvance offers merchant cash advances of between 50 and 250 percent of your monthly credit card volume. Loans are repaid by giving RapidAdvance a fixed percentage of future card receipts until the loan is paid off. To qualify, you need to have been in business for at least three months, have at least $2,500 in monthly credit card receivables and have a physical location for your business. You can apply for the advance online or over the phone. The approval process can be completed in 24 hours, with funds available within three days. Go here for our full review of RapidAdvance.

OnDeck offers fixed-rate loans of between $5,000 and $250,000. To qualify, you need a minimum credit score of 500 and an annual revenue of at least $100,000, and must have been in business for at least one year. Loans have lengths ranging from three to 24 months and are paid back on a daily or weekly basis. You can apply for a loan online or over the phone. Approval can be completed in just a few minutes, with funds deposited into your account within 24 hours. Go here for our full review of OnDeck.

Crest Capital offers equipment financing of up to $1,000,000. Financial documents aren't needed for financing of less than $250,000. The lender has a wide range of loan and lease terms, including fixed-rate loans, $1 purchase agreements, 10 percent purchase options, fair-market-value leases, guaranteed purchase agreements and operating leases. To qualify, you must have been in business at least two years and have a minimum credit score of 650. The approval process can be completed in as fast as 4 hours. Go here for our full review of Crest Capital.

To determine the best alternative lenders, we started with a pool that included all of the lenders on the comprehensive list below. After some preliminary investigation, including a look at other best-pick lists and initial research into each lender, we interviewed small business owners to discover new lenders to add to our list. We also eliminated peer-to-peer lenders and online sites that match businesses with lenders, because these lenders didn't fit into this year's best-pick categories.

Ultimately, we settled on 28 alternative lenders to research as best picks: Accion, American Business Credit Services, American Capital Group, American Express, Amerifund, Ascentium Capital, Balboa Capital, BFS Capital, CAN Capital, Crest Capital, Dealstruck, Direct Capital, Fora Financial, ForwardLine, Fundation, Kabbage, Kalamata Capital, Keystone Leasing, Merchant Advisors, OCM Financial, OnDeck, PayPal, RapidAdvance, Rapid Capital Funding, Shield Funding, SnapCap and Square. (See below for the full list of alternative lenders.)

Next, we researched each lender by investigating the types of loans it offered, the amount of money that could be borrowed and for how long, the application and approval process, and repayment procedures. We also considered any general term-rates that were listed on these lenders' websites. After narrowing the list to 18 final contenders, we contacted each lender's customer-service department by phone, and live chat if possible, and posed as business owners in order to gauge the type of support each company offered.

In all, we analyzed each lender based on the following factors:

  • Application and approval process
  • What it takes to qualify
  • How long it takes to get a loan
  • Loan amounts
  • Loan terms
  • Repayment process
  • Customer service
  • Better Business Bureau ratings and complaints
  • Online user reviews

It's important to note that our best picks were not selected based on the lender most likely to approve your business for a loan. Each lender evaluates businesses differently, and each business has a different financial makeup. Considering these factors, it would be impossible for us to try to determine any business's likelihood of securing a loan with any of these lenders. In addition, our review process did not fully examine specific loan interest rates. These are determined individually for each business based on the amount of money being borrowed, the loan terms and the business's financial makeup. We did, however, consider any average rates that were provided.

Here is a full list of alternative lenders and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

*Accion: Accion is a small business microloan lender. The company provides two types of loans: one for established businesses and the other for startups. Loan types, amounts and requirements vary by state. Each loan type is secured and features fixed interest rates. us.accion.org. Read our full review here.

Accountable Capital: Accountable Capital specializes in loans for small and midsize business throughout the United States. The company offers merchant cash advances, business loans, lines of credit and working-capital loans. In addition, it has funding programs specifically for liquor stores and the medical and restaurant industries. There are no application fees, but the company offers 24-hour approvals, and bad credit is not an automatic disqualification. accountablecapital.com

Advance Funds Network: Advance Funds Network (AFN) offers a number of flexible business-financing options for small and medium-size businesses, including bad credit business loans, cash advances, invoice and purchase-order factoring, and equipment leasing. AFN's products are available to all businesses, regardless of credit score. advancefundsnetwork.com

Advantage+: Advantage+ is a direct-lender equipment-leasing company that serves businesses throughout the country. Most new loans, which range from $2,000 to $200,000, come through equipment manufacturers, distributors, and dealers that use the lender's financing to help their customers buy equipment. About 40 percent of its loans come from existing or previous borrowers, with a growing number of requests coming directly from borrowers, through the Advantage+ website and word of mouth. advantageleasing.com

Advantage Lease: Advantage Lease is a nationwide provider of commercial financing products and services focused on small and midsize businesses. Advantage finances commercial equipment in most major market segments. The lender has expertise in certain markets, including office technology, industrial equipment, food services, office furniture, security and surveillance, health care, information technology, and software. advantagelease.com

American Express: American Express offers merchant financing to small businesses that accept American Express cards. The financing is a commercial loan, not a purchase of receivables or a cash advance. A business must repay the loan in full, together with the loan fee, regardless of its future credit- and debit-card charge volume. americanexpress.com

American Finance Solutions: American Finance Solutions purchases businesses' future credit-card transactions, and advances that money to the businesses. After a business receives the advance, this lender deducts a fixed percentage of the business's daily credit card sales until the advance is paid in full. To qualify, businesses must have been in operation for more than a year and must process at least $5,000 in credit card sales each month. americanfinancesolutions.com

Amerifund: Amerifund has been providing equipment financing of between $5,0000 and $5,000,000 to companies across the United States for new or used equipment since 1995. The lender tailors specific leasing or finance programs to best assist companies in meeting their financial goals. Amerifund's lease, finance and working-capital programs provide flexibility, including structured terms that cater to the seasonality of your business, or programs that allow you to use the equipment for three to six months without any out-of-pocket payments. amerifund.cc

Apple Capital Group: Apple Capital Group, Inc., is an asset-based lender that specializes in equipment leasing and financing ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 for up to 60 months. They also offer small business, bridge and hard-money loans on short-term projects of under 12 months. Loan requests can be evaluated in less than 2 hours, with funding available in three days. applecapitalgroup.com

ARF Financial: ARF Financial offers a diverse range of loan products, including working-capital loans, lines of credit, bridge loans and mezzanine credits. ARF Financial offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $1,000,000. Approvals are granted quickly; funds are available in seven to 10 days, and collateral is not required on loans up to $750,000. arffinancial.com

Ascentium Capital: Ascentium Capital is a provider of equipment- and technology-financing solutions. Its finance platform paves the way for fast, flexible financing for virtually any business need. The lender provides financing and leasing for manufacturers, distributors, re-sellers and franchise organizations, as well as direct financing options for small, midsize and Fortune 500 companies. ascentiumcapital.com

Bad Credit Business Loans: Bad Credit Business Loans offers lending solutions for a range of companies that need quick financing in order to grow. Bad Credit Business Loans offers a variety of loan products, including alternative business loans, equipment financing, loans for women, bad credit loans, secured loans, SBA loans, trucking business financing, unsecured loans and minority-owned business loans. badcreditbusinessloans.com

Balboa Capital: Balboa Capital offers several small business loan products, including working-capital loans, franchise loans, equipment leasing, and flexible small business loans. The company makes quick credit decisions, offers loans of up to $250,000 and has no restrictions on how businesses can use the money. balboacapital.com

Biz2Credit: Biz2Credit is an online marketplace for small business funding. The company connects small businesses in need of funding with lenders. Biz2Credit can help small businesses obtain a variety of loans, including SBA loans, equipment financing, business-acquisition loans, commercial loans, lines of credit, franchise loans, real estate financing, disaster loans and merchant cash advances. biz2credit.com

Bizfi: Bizfi provides real-time pre-approvals and multiple funding options to businesses from a wide variety of funding partners. Bizfi's funding options include short-term financing, franchise funding, equipment financing, invoice financing, medium-term loans and long-term loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. bizfi.com

BizLender: BizLender is a provider of alternative funding solutions for businesses throughout United States. This lender offers business cash advances, merchant cash advances, and both secured and unsecured business loans. Funding of between $5,000 and $500,000 is available through BizLender. bizlender.com

BlueVine: BlueVine helps businesses free up cash trapped in their invoices by providing an advance on the amount due. There are no hidden fees, paperwork or obligations. The application is completely online, and there are no long-term contracts or termination fees. Once a business is approved, a credit line is set to be used as needed. bluevine.com

BoeFly: BoeFly is an online marketplace for small business loans. The site is a loan exchange that connects small business owners with more than 4,000 business lenders. BoeFly is a subscription service that does not charge any transaction fees. boefly.com

The Business Backer: The Business Backer specializes in small business financing. This lender offers a variety of loan types, including factoring, purchase financing, specialty financing, equipment leasing, traditional loans and lines of credit. To qualify, businesses must have been operating for at least a year, and must have annual revenue of at least $150,000 and a personal credit score of 550 or higher. businessbacker.com

Business Credit & Capital: Business Credit & Capital specializes in offering merchant cash advances to retailers, restaurants and service businesses. The lender purchases a percentage of future revenue and advances those funds to businesses. There are no restrictions on how the money can be used. For businesses to repay the loan, the lender collects a daily percentage of sales. businesscreditandcapital.com

Business Loans Direct: Business Loans Direct offers a wide range of loans, including business cash advances, merchant cash advances, small business loans, merchant loans, restaurant financing, bar and nightclub financing, and medical practice financing. The application process is free, and upon approval, businesses receive their funds in as little as 72 hours. businessloansdirect.com

BFS Capital: BFS Capital offers both small business loans and merchant cash advances. The company provides loans of between $4,000 and $2 million to small businesses in a wide range of industries, including restaurants, retail stores, service providers, manufacturers and wholesalers. bfscapital.com

CAN Capital: CAN Capital offers small business loans and merchant cash advances. Loans through CAN Capital range from $2,500 to $150,000, and mature in four to 24 months. No personal collateral is needed, and funds can be transferred in as little as two business days. cancapital.com

CapFusion: CapFusion offers competitive, flexible loans based on data for businesses that need cash to quickly and efficiently fund their growth. To qualify, businesses must have been in operation for at least one year, and must have annual revenue above $100,000 and a personal credit score of at least 500. capfusion.com

Capify: Capify is an alternative finance provider that leverages a proprietary underwriting platform to provide working-capital solutions to small and medium-size businesses. These loans include merchant cash advances, business loans and inventory purchase programs. Business owners can apply online and will receive decisions in 60 seconds or less. capify.com

CapitalFront: CapitalFront offers a wide array of financial products — including merchant cash advances, receivable financing, factoring, SBA lending and fixed-rate term solutions — to independent business owners nationwide. Funding amounts and terms vary by loan. capitalfront.com

Capital for Merchants: Capital for Merchants is a business cash-advance lender. It pays for a business's future sales up front and gets paid back with a fixed percentage of daily credit card receipts, or via automatic debits from a checking account on a set schedule. Upon approval, funding is available within 72 hours. capitalformerchants.com

Corporate Business Lending: Corporate Business Lending specializes in working with business owners who have less-than-perfect credit. The lender, which has a quick application process, works with both startup and established businesses. corporatebusinesslending.com

Credibility Capital: Credibility Capital is a marketplace lender focused on prime-credit small business borrowers. Its platform matches businesses with institutional investors to fund loans ranging from $10,000 to $150,000. The Credibility Capital Risk Score incorporates a range of data to arrive at a recommendation for a particular interest rate. The lender's borrowers are small businesses seeking capital primarily for business expansion and inventory financing. credibilitycapital.com

Credibly: Credibly offers working-capital and expansion loans of between $5,000 and $250,000 to small and medium-size businesses. Working-capital loans have repayment periods of between six and 17 months, while expansion loans have 18- to 24-month terms. Both include one-time 2.5 percent fees. There are no application fees, and if your application is approved, you can typically expect funds within 48 hours. credibly.com

Credit Card Processing Specialists: Credit Card Processing Specialists offers merchant cash advances to small businesses. Its services for merchant cash advance work by providing funds up front while taking repayment back when businesses process credit card payments. creditcardprocessingspecialists.com

*Crest Capital: Crest Capital is a national lender specializing in providing small and mid-size businesses with no-hassle equipment financing and leasing. Crest offers a broad array of equipment, vehicle, furniture, and software lease and loan agreements at fixed rates that won't go up with inflation. Crest also provides real quotes instantly with its free monthly payment calculator. crestcapital.com. Read our full review here.

David Allen Capital: David Allen Capital offers business term loans of between $10,000 and $500,000. Approvals are made within one day, with funds available as soon as two business days later. To qualify, you must have been in business for at least a year, have a personal credit score over 500 and annual revenue of more than $100,000. Repayment is made on a daily or weekly basis, with funds automatically withdrawn from your business bank account. davidallencapital.com

Dealstruck: Dealstruck provides a variety of small business funding options, including business term loans, revenue-secured term loans and asset-based lines of credit. The company offers loans of between $50,000 and $250,000. In order to get a loan, businesses must be profitable, with annual sales of at least $250,000, and must have more than one year of operating history. dealstruck.com

Direct Capital: Direct Capital is a financial technology company that delivers financial solutions for small and medium-size businesses, franchisors, and equipment and technology sellers. The company specializes in equipment financing, working-capital loans and franchise financing. Direct Capital offers equipment financing and working-capital loans of up to $150,000, and franchise financing of up to $250,000. Term lengths range between 30 days and 84 months. directcapital.com

Everest Merchant Services: Everest Merchant Services provides small businesses with merchant cash advances. Its four-dimensional underwriting and approval process focuses on future credit-card transactions and receivables revenue as a repayment method. This system allows the lender to quickly estimate and assess its return probability using all the dimensions of a business and not just a credit score. Repayment is based upon future swiped Visa and MasterCard credit-card transactions. ems-merchants.com

Excelsior Growth Fund: Excelsior Growth Fund is a nonprofit alternative lender offering an affordable online loan product. Loans of up to $100,000 can be approved in as few as two business days and fully funded in as few as five business days. Larger loans up to $500,000 can be funded in approximately two weeks. Businesses can also opt-in to free advisory services and one-on-one support from our team of business advisors. excelsiorgrowthfund.org

Fastpoint: Fastpoint is a merchant cash advance provider. Fastpoint buys a portion of a business's future credit and debit card transactions at a discounted rate. The advance is repaid with a fixed percentage of the business's daily transactions. Only businesses with a credit card processing account may apply for a cash advance through Fastpoint. fastpoint.com

FastUpFront: FastUpFront provides completely unsecured business cash advances of up to $250,000. All businesses that accept credit cards are eligible for a cash advance from FastUpFront. The cash advances are based on future sales, not credit scores. fastupfront.com

First American Merchant: First American Merchant offers merchant cash advances, cash advances for businesses that don't have a merchant account and consumer financing that can be repaid in three, six or 12 months. The lender approves advances to businesses that have credit scores below 500 and makes funds available to borrowers within 72 hours. firstamericanmerchant.com

First Working Capital Group: First Working Capital Group specializes in small business funding. The lender offers a variety of loan types, including ongoing lines of credit, merchant cash advances, equipment leasing and franchise financing. First Working Capital Group provides loans regardless of credit history. Instead of looking at credit history, this lender gives considerable weight to how long businesses have been open when determining the amount of funds that can be provided. firstworkingcapital.com

Fora Financial: Fora Financial provides flexible working-capital solutions to small businesses in need of financing. The lender offers both small business loans and merchant cash advances. Fora Financial serves a variety of industries, including manufacturing, medical, retail, wholesale, transportation, restaurants, construction and auto. The lender makes funds available within 24 hours of approval. forafinancial.com

ForwardLine: A nationwide supplier of financing to small businesses, ForwardLine uses technology and nontraditional credit algorithms to finance 98 percent of the U.S. businesses that banks consider too small and too risky for a business loan. ForwardLine offers both small business loans and merchant cash advances. forwardline.com

Fountainhead Commercial Capital: Fountainhead Commercial Capital is a lender of Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans. The loans offer long-term, below-market, fixed interest rates for owners of small and mid-sized businesses to purchase and/or construct their owner-occupied commercial real estate. To qualify, you must be a for profit, non-publically traded company, have a net-worth of under $15 million, net business income of less than $5 million over the previous two years, and ownership must be comprised of 51 percent U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. fountainhead504.com

*Fundation: Fundation is a direct lender that delivers small-balance commercial loans. Loans are available with one- to four-year repayment periods. Long-term loans are designed for borrowers looking to make large investments in their business, and shorter-term loans are designed to help business owners with everyday operating costs. Both types of loans have fixed interest rates starting as low as 7.99 percent. fundation.com. Read our full review here.

Fundbox: Fundbox offers business owners a way to fix their cash flow by advancing payments for their outstanding invoices. There are no approval processes, forms to fill out, phone calls to make or obligations. Businesses connect their accounting app to add their unpaid invoices, and pick the unpaid invoices they want to clear. An advance for the amount is automatically transferred to the business's bank account. fundbox.com

Fundera: Fundera gives small businesses access to multiple loan offers through one application. Fundera does not loan money directly to small businesses, but rather connects small businesses with different financing options. The types of loans the company helps set up for small businesses include small business loans of up to $1 million, merchant cash advances, equipment loans, factoring, 401(k) rollover funding and lines of credit. fundera.com

Funding Circle: Funding Circle uses its technology to match accredited and institutional investors with small businesses looking for financing. You can apply for a loan online in just 10 minutes, and get the money in your bank account within 14 days. All of the loans are secured and require a lien on your business assets and a personal guaranty from the primary business owners. fundingcircle.com

Fundivo: Fundivo is not a direct lender. It uses its algorithm to find and match a borrower with the best provider for a small business loan. Fundivo then negotiates with lenders to get borrowers the best deal available. fundivo.com

GoKapital: GoKapital helps entrepreneurs obtain business loans nationwide. With GoKapital, you can apply for a number of business lending options, including SBA loans, short-term loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, equipment financing, franchise loans, business-acquisitions loans, and loans for minorities and women. Businesses can instantly pre-qualify for a loan by filling out an online application. gokapital.com

Grameen America: Grameen America is a not-for-profit microfinance organization that provides small loans to women. Since being founded in 2008, Grameen America has expanded to 18 branches in 11 cities and has disbursed nearly $340 million to more than 58,000 women. Grameen America is able to invest in women who have no credit scores, no business plans and can provide no collateral. Loans sizes range from $1,500 to $10,000. grameenamerica.org

Gud Capital: Gud Capital is not a direct lender. It works with small businesses to find the best loan options among its network of 4,000 lenders, which include traditional banks, SBA lenders, community banks and institutional investors, along with a full range of alternative business and commercial lenders. Types of loans include asset-based financing, lines of credit, alternative loans, equipment financing, bridge loans, factoring, term loans, merchant cash advances, SBA loans, working capital, commercial real estate loans, and debt refinance and consolidation. gudcapital.com

Headway Capital: Headway Capital offers small businesses lines of credit ranging from $5,000 to $30,000. Once approved, businesses can borrow as much money as needed, whenever it's needed, up to the available credit limit. With each draw, a business can select the repayment schedule that best suits the company's needs. To be eligible to apply, your business must have been in operation for at least one year, and be located in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington or Wisconsin. headwaycapital.com

Horizon Business Funding: Horizon Business Funding is a direct funder specializing in alternatives to small business loans, regardless of bad credit. This lender offers bad-credit business-loan alternatives to businesses in any industry, provided the business has been operating for at least two to three months and has a monthly cash flow of $15,000. Horizon Business Funding provides loans of between $1,000 and $1,000,000. horizonbusinessfunding.com

IOU Financial: IOU Financial provides loans of up to $150,000 to small businesses. The automated application and approval system assesses applicants' financial realities, with an emphasis on day-to-day cash flow. To qualify, businesses must have been in operation for at least a year, make at least 10 deposits into a business bank account each month, have annual revenue of at least $100,000 and an average ending balance of $3,000 per day in their business bank accounts. ioufinancial.com

Jet Capital: Jet Capital offers merchant advances of up to $100,000 to businesses that have been operating more than one year and have at least $125,000 in annual sales. The online application process allows for initial decisions in just minutes. Businesses approved for loans can have access to the funds as soon as the next business day. Jet Capital bases lending decisions on a business's overall track record, not just the owner's credit score. jetcapital.com

*Kabbage: Kabbage is a provider of lines of credit to small businesses. The lender uses data generated by dozens of business operations to understand performance and deliver fast, flexible funding in real time. Kabbage can support any small business by analyzing various data sources that you use every day to run your business. kabbage.com. Read our full review here.

Kalamata Capital: Kalamata Capital is a data-driven, alternative finance company focused on small business. The lender offers a wide range of loan types, including working-capital loans, business expansion/acquisition loans, SBA loans, lines of credit, equipment financing, inventory financing, accounts receivable factoring and merchant cash advances. Utilizing automated data aggregation and electronic payment technology, Kalamata Capital can make credit decisions in as little as 24 hours. kalamatacapital.com

Key Equipment Finance: Through approximately 400 financing professionals nationwide, Key Equipment Finance delivers a wide array of business-to-business equipment-financing solutions to organizations of many sizes and types, focusing on four distinct markets: businesses of all sizes in the U.S.; equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added re-sellers; federal, provincial, state and local governments as well as other public sector organizations; and lease advisory and syndications support for corporations looking to optimize risk and revenue. keyequipmentfinance.com

Keystone Equipment Leasing and Finance: Keystone Equipment Leasing and Finance is an equipment leasing and financing company. It deals with established businesses (two years plus), and its application procedure usually requires no financial statements or tax returns for equipment up to $100,000. Medical practices are encouraged to apply even as startups. keystoneleasing.com

Kiva Zip: Kiva Zip is a program that provides small business owners in the U.S. with access to capital through person-to-person lending. Its loans are crowdfunded by a community of lenders from around the world. As first-time borrowers on Kiva Zip, small businesses have the opportunity to raise up to $5,000 in capital with no interest or fees. Through Kiva Zip, anyone who wants to support small business growth and local job creation can choose to lend $5 or more to a small business of his or her choice. zip.kiva.org

LeaseQ: LeaseQ offers instant quotes on a free, cloud-based SaaS platform for borrowers looking to finance equipment. The company specializes in deals under $250,000, and partners with equipment dealers and leasing companies across a variety of industry segments. With LeaseQ, you can compare and prioritize lease quotes by monthly payment or total amount and see all related fess. leaseq.com

Lending Club: Lending Club offers loans to most types of businesses, including professional and personal services, retailers, contractors, health and wellness providers, automotive companies, wholesalers, manufacturers, and restaurants. Its loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including business expansion, inventory or equipment purchases, working capital, and refinancing. lendingclub.com

LendingTree: LendingTree connects consumers to lenders that compete for their business. LendingTree lenders offer an array of loan types, including business loans. The loan amount approved for a business is based on several key factors, such as how long the company has been in business, its annual revenue and its credit score. lendingtree.com

Lendio: Lendio is an online service that helps small businesses quickly find the right business loan. Lendio makes business loans by matching qualified small business owners with active banks, credit unions and other lending sources. lendio.com

LendVantage: LendVantage offers business term loans of between $5,000 and $25,000, revenue-based financing of up to $250,000, and merchant cash advances of up to $100,000. The lender also offers business lines of credit of between $2,000 and $100,000. LendVantage does not require personal collateral and has funding available within days. lendvantage.com

Lendza: Lendza connects businesses with funding partners for a variety of loan options, including accounts receivable financing, acquisition funding, lines of credit, real estate financing, equipment financing, franchise loans, merchant cash advances, SBA loans and traditional term business funding. Lendza helps businesses find loans of up to $350,000. Once it finds you a partner, Lendza guides you through the process of obtaining financing for your business. lendza.com

Liberty Capital Group: Liberty Capital Group offers a wide variety of business funding programs, including conventional business loans, SBA loans, commercial real estate loans, equipment and machinery financing, lines of credit, asset-based financing, and low-credit financing. Applications can be completed in 2 minutes, with funding available for some loans as quickly as within 24 hours. libertycapitalgroup.com

LiftForward: LiftForward operates a marketplace loan platform that provides loans to small businesses of up to $1 million dollars. Funds can be used for asset purchases, purchase order financing, or working capital with terms ranging from 3 to 36 months. Utilizing technology and a proprietary LiftSCORE, LiftForward is able to quickly underwrite loans and get business the money they need in as little as 48 hours. Using an online calculator, customers can quickly see what their payment might be for their loan amount and term. liftforward.com

LQD Business Finance: LQD Business Finance is a small business lending firm. Unlike traditional banks and other alternative lenders, LQD can approve a loan that is tailored to a client's needs, in just a matter of days. The lender uses custom technology to provide small businesses with quick, convenient and affordable business loans. LQD offers loans for expansion, acquisition and working capital, as well as accounts-receivable financing. lqdfinance.com

Marlin Equipment Finance: Marlin Equipment Finance is a nationwide provider of commercial-financing products and services focused on small and midsize businesses. Marlin is a direct lender providing financing to businesses so they can acquire new equipment and technology while preserving capital. Its customers include equipment dealers, manufacturers, distributors, brokers and small businesses. marlinfinance.com

Mateo Capital Group: Mateo Capital Group is a commercial finance broker offering financing solutions to entrepreneurs seeking to grow or expand their businesses. The lender specializes in business loan financing for small- to middle-market companies that have between $150,000 to $100 million in sales. Loan products include alternative business loans, equipment financing, invoice factoring, commercial mortgages, SBA middle-market loans and insurance-agency loans. mateocapitalgroup.com

Maverick Capital: Maverick Capital is a business funding provider that offers loans of up to $250,000 and merchant cash advances. This lender also offers a Hybrid Program that combines traditional cash advances with microloans. With the Hybrid Program, the cash advance is paid back through a combination of a holdback percentage of your credit card sales and a weekly payment. maverickcapital.biz

Med One Capital: Med One Capital offers flexible financing solutions to small and middle market companies looking to acquire the equipment they need to operate their business. The company offers customized leasing programs for both medical and commercial equipment. Med One partners with manufacturers, distributors and product resellers across a range of industries. Some of its unique lease options include deferred payments, step up payments, operating leases and capital leases. medonecapital.com

Merchant Advisors: Merchant Advisors offers an assortment of loan types, including small business loans, working-capital loans, restaurant loans, bad-credit loans, cash advances, SBA loans, restaurant equipment leasing, lines of credit, franchise financing, 401(k) business funding and home-based business loans. onlinecheck.com

National Funding: National Funding offers small businesses a range of financial services and products, including working-capital loans and merchant cash advances. The company's small business working-capital loans require no pledge of personal assets. nationalfunding.com

Newtek: Newtek offers full-service solutions with full end-to-end financing, including term loans, merchant cash advances and accounts-receivable financing. The lender provides financing from $50,000 to $10 million. The money can be used for a variety of purposes, including to open a new location, acquire an existing business, launch a new product, launch a new marketing initiative, increase working capital, increase cash flow, refinance debt and upgrade a website. thesba.com/small-business-financing

OCM Financial Group: OCM Financial Group provides capital equipment leasing to a wide range of businesses. OCM helps businesses finance or lease new equipment, as well as refinance existing equipment. This includes any type of capital equipment your business might use in manufacturing and retail applications. ocmlc.com

*OnDeck: OnDeck offers loans to small and medium-size businesses. The company uses data aggregation and electronic payment technology to evaluate the financial health of businesses when determining whether to approve a loan request. The company's proprietary credit models look deeper into the health of a business, focusing on overall business performance rather than the owner's personal credit history. ondeck.com. Read our full review here.

PayPal: PayPal offers working-capital loans to small businesses that already process payments through PayPal. In most cases, the maximum loan amount is 8 percent of the sales a business has processed through PayPal in the past 12 months. The loan balance is repaid automatically as businesses make sales through PayPal. paypal.com

P2Binvestor: P2Binvestor (P2Bi) provides crowdsourced, asset-secured working capital of up to $5 million per borrower to U.S.-based growth companies. P2Bi's revolving lines of credit are secured by accounts-receivable, inventory or monthly recurring revenue. Accredited investors participate in funding each line of credit and earn a return through P2Bi's proprietary investment platform. P2Bi.com

Prompt Advance Lending: Prompt Advance Lending offers business cash advances that are based on a business's average gross monthly revenue. The amount you qualify for depends on your average monthly credit card processing receipts, or your average monthly check and cash deposits. Prompt Advance requires no collateral or personal guarantee and has no prepayment penalty. promptadvance.com

Prosper: Prosper loans are not traditional small business loans; they are personal loans based on applicants' credit scores and are issued to individuals, not businesses. These loans are desirable in a variety of cases, such as when a business doesn't yet have a proven track record. Prosper loans are unsecured and don't require any collateral. prosper.com

QuarterSpot: QuarterSpot can deliver working capital into your account in as little as one business day. Applying is free and won't affect your credit score. In addition, this lender does not require personal guarantees and doesn't file a lien on collateral. To qualify you must have been in business for one year, make at least $8,000 a month in sales and have a minimum personal credit score of 580. quarterspot.com

*RapidAdvance: RapidAdvance offers small businesses a variety of financing options, including loans, merchant cash advances, lines of credit and SBA bridge loans. Businesses can be approved for loans in 24 hours and receive funds within three days. RapidAdvance has provided more than $700 million in financing to thousands of small businesses. rapidadvance.com. Read our full review here.

Rapid Capital Funding: Rapid Capital Funding specializes in merchant cash advances for small and medium-size businesses. Rapid Capital Funding qualifies businesses for advances of between $5,000 and $500,000. The exact amount depends on each business' sales and history. Unlike other financing options, Rapid Capital Funding does not require a plan for the money and doesn't require it to be used for any specific purpose. rapidcapitalfunding.com

RedFynn: RedFynn offers a variety of credit card processing solutions, including business cash advances. Eligibility for cash advances is not determined by credit score alone; a business's current sales and length of time in operation are also considered. redfynn.com

Santander: Santander offers a complete suite of borrowing solutions to help small businesses manage and expand their companies, including lines of credit, term loans, equipment leasing and commercial mortgage loans. Santander has an easy application process, makes decisions in a timely manner, and offers competitive terms and rates. santanderbank.com/us/business/borrowing/small-business-borrowing

SBL Group: SBL Group offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $1 million. Funds are typically available within 24 hours, with repayment terms ranging between three and 24 months. To qualify, businesses must have been in operation for more than three months, have income of more than $100,000 over the past 12 months and have a credit score higher than 500. smallbusinessloansgroup.com

Shield Funding: Shield Funding is an alternative lender specializing in bad-credit business loans. To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least four months, and must have bank receipts or accept credit cards as a form of payment. A minimum of $5,000 per month in gross revenues is required for companies that accept credit cards, and approximately $20,000 a month in gross revenue is required for those that do not. Shield Funding provides business cash advances and unsecured business loans of up to $500,000 for a variety of purposes. shieldfunding.com

Silver Rock Funding: Silver Rock Funding is not a lender, but rather serves as a broker to help businesses get the funding they need. After businesses submit a completed application, a dedicated funding manager works with each business to identify a product that suits that company best. Silver Rock Funding then finds a lender in its network, usually within 24 hours of submitting a full application. The process is free, and there is no obligation to accept a loan. After a loan is accepted, funds are made available within 72 hours. silverrockfunding.com

Small Business Loans Depot: Small Business Loans Depot offers an assortment of loan types, including bank-statement loans, small business loans, working-capital loans, equipment loans and equipment refinance loans. Loans are available for from $5,000 to $150,000. The amount for which a business can qualify depends on business and personal credit, time in business, the amount of equipment owned, and gross sales. smallbusinessloansdepot.com

SmartBiz: SmartBiz offers SBA loans of up to $350,000 with interest rates between 6 and 8 percent. After completing the application, businesses can receive funds in as little as seven days. SmartBiz is a joint effort of Golden Pacific Bancorp and Better Finance. Golden Pacific is a member of the SBA's Preferred Lenders Program, and Better Finance is a financial technology company that provides leasing and credit solutions. smartbizloans.com

SnapCap: SnapCap is an alternative lender that specializes in unsecured business loans of between $5,000 and $600,000 for general purposes, expansion, inventory or equipment. The lender offers a paperless application process and a 48-hour turnaround. There are no collateral or annual-revenue requirements, and SnapCap places little emphasis on personal credit when determining whether to grant a loan. snapcap.com

Square: Square offers small business funding to its customers that have an active credit card processing account with Square. Square capital can be used to increase inventory, buy equipment or open a new location. Businesses make loan repayments to Square automatically as a fixed percentage of their daily card sales. Businesses pay more when sales are strong and less if things slow down. squareup.com

StreetShares: StreetShares is exclusively focused on short-term loans of $5,000 to $75,000. StreetShares connects small business owners with qualified retail and institutional investors, who then compete to fund portions of the requested loan. Business owners can apply in a few minutes and have their funds available within a week. To qualify, you should have at least one year in business and $25,000 in revenue. streetshares.com

Sure Funding Solutions: Sure Funding Solutions is a small business financing company that offers loans of up to $500,000, business cash advances and accounts-receivable financing. Sure Funding Solutions offers flexible payment options, no early or late payment penalties, no application fees, and 24-hour approvals. surefundingsolutions.com

Swift Capital: Swift Capital provides fast business funding, with amounts ranging from $5,000 to $300,000 and interest rates starting as low as 9.9 percent. Swift Capital streamlines the approval process and eliminates the paperwork, and amounts of $10,000 or less can be wired to your account within 1 hour of approval. Repayment is typically made through daily automatic deductions from each business's checking account. swiftcapital.com

Taycor Financial: Taycor Financial is a fiscally sound and economically responsible nationwide provider of equipment leasing and financing to the business community. The company offers commercial and technology financing, business financing, and vendor partnerships. taycor.com

TimePayment: TimePayment is an equipment leasing company that specializes in transactions with selling prices between $500 and $100,000. Through its network of more than 10,000 independent vendors, and utilizing its multilevel credit-scoring model, TimePayment is able to approve a wide range of customers, from large corporations to small businesses, including new entities. timepayment.com

United Capital Source: United Capital Source offers a variety of loan types, with amounts of between $5,000 and $2 million. Businesses with bad credit are not automatically eliminated from loan consideration. Approvals can be granted in as little as 24 hours. United Capital Source's loans are unsecured and don't require a personal guarantee or collateral. unitedcapitalsource.com

VEDC: VEDC is a nonprofit alternative lender providing SBA Community Advantage loans as well as several small business direct-loan programs. The organization provides loans and microfinancing options to small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities, that don't qualify for traditional bank financing. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution, VEDC's mission is to help create jobs and promote economic development in underserved communities. vedc.org

Are you an alternative lender that would like to be added to this list and possibly considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Jeanette Mulvey at jmulvey@purch.com

Editor's Note: Looking for information on business loans? Fill in the questionnaire below, and you will be contacted by alternative lenders ready to discuss your loan needs.  

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.