After reviewing several lenders that provide fast business loans, Kabbage was the best and fastest overall. They have a paperless application, can get you funds on the same day, and have a high approval rate.
In this article, we review Kabbage along with two other leading fast business lenders: Funding Circle and SmartBiz. While each of these three lenders is fast, they differ in terms of cost, qualification criteria, and other factors. We explain in detail below and break down the options for you based on how much time you have to obtain funding.
Best Places for Fast Business Loans: Kabbage vs. Funding Circle vs. SmartBiz
|Time to Apply|
|10 minutes||10 minutes||30 minutes|
|Time to get Preapproved|
|Instantly after completing online app||3 days||Instantly after completing online app|
|Time to get funds after preapproval|
|Same day to 3 days||7-10 business days||Less than 1 month typically|
|None (just link up business accounts)||Business bank statements, tax returns, balance sheet, income statement||Business bank statements, tax returns, business ownership and mgmt information|
|20 to 80 %||10 to 20 %||7 to 9 %|
|Minimum needed to qualify|
|550+ credit score, 1 year in business, and $50K+ annual revenues||620+ credit score and 2 years in business,||650+ credit score, 2 years in business, and cash flow positive|
|Amount you can borrow|
|$2K to $100K||$25K to $500K||$30K to $350K|
|For how long?|
|1 - 12 months||1 - 5 years||10 years|
|Lien for loans over $20K||Lien||Lien|
Kabbage: Best for Fast Business Loans if You Can Only Wait 1 Day
A paperless application, instant approval, and same day funding make Kabbage our overall recommended lender for fast business loans. If you need money right away, Kabbage is your best bet. They are by far the fastest of the lenders we researched. They can get you funds on the same day that you apply, and their approval rates are significantly higher than bank approval rates.
Kabbage provides lines of credit between $2K and $100K, and you pay back the funds within 12 months in monthly installments. Small business owners who have a credit score of at least 550 (check your score for free here), a business that’s at least 1 year old, and at least $50K in annual revenues are eligible.
In under 10 minutes, you can complete Kabbage’s online application. No paperwork is required. All you have to do is link your business checking account and other accounts that you use for processing credit card payments (e.g. Square or Stripe), bookkeeping (e.g. Quickbooks), or selling your goods or services (e.g. Amazon or Etsy). Troy Deus, Head of Customer Experience at Kabbage, says that Kabbage’s real-time engine uses this key business information to automatically assign a line of credit, without you having to submit paperwork.
After completing the application, you will receive an instant approval decision including how much money you qualified for. Deus says that the credit line automatically adjusts over time if revenue increases or decreases to provide small business owners with precisely the right amount of capital they need to grow. And since it’s a line of credit, you will only pay for the funds that you actually withdraw from your line.
Once you draw funds from your credit line, they can be available for use within just a few minutes if sent to a PayPal account. If you’d rather receive the funds in your bank account, it takes 1-3 business days.
A drawback of Kabbage is the cost. You pay for the speed and convenience. Most Kabbage borrowers pay an APR of around 20-80 %. While this is high, keep in mind that Kabbage is designed for very short-term funding. Also, these loans are structured as revolving lines of credit. You only pay interest on what you borrow, and as you pay back funds, your available credit increases.
Funding Circle: Best for Fast Business Loans if You Can Wait 1 Week
If you can wait for about one week for funding, Funding Circle is a great option. They are significantly less costly than Kabbage, with APRs ranging from about 5 % to 20 %, and offer up to $500K in capital for 1-5 year terms.
Funding Circle’s online application takes just a few minutes to complete. Unlike Kabbage, there’s no instant approval decision. It takes up to three business days to know whether you’re pre-approved. Also, Funding Circle requires supporting documentation, such as recent business and personal tax returns and bank statements. If everything checks out, the funds will be in your account a few days after you provide supporting paperwork.
Liz Pollock, a spokesperson for Funding Circle, says the company prides itself on its personalized approach. Every applicant is assigned a personal account manager. The account manager will talk with each applicant about final loan terms, including the length, annual interest rate (APR), and fee structure. Kabbage does not disclose APR to borrowers unless they specifically ask about it, but Funding Circle is very upfront about APR, says Pollock, because this allows the applicant to compare the cost of the loan with other offers.
The downside to Funding Circle, other than the fact that is takes longer than Kabbage, is that it’s harder to qualify as well. In order to be eligible for Funding Circle, you need to have a personal credit score of at least 620 (check your score for free here) and be operating for at least 2 years.
SmartBiz: Best for Fast Business Loans if You Can Wait 1 Month
If you can wait for about one month to get funding for your small business, you should consider SmartBiz. SmartBiz provides SBA loans of up to $350K for creditworthy small businesses that have been operating for at least two years. Ordinarily, getting an SBA loan can take months and hours of paperwork, but SmartBiz has simplified the process considerably and brought it down to less than 1 month.
SmartBiz is not a lender. They are an online platform which makes it easy to get an SBA loan. They will package your application for you in a way that increases your odds of getting approved. At Fit Small Business, we successfully obtained a loan from SmartBiz after trying unsuccessfully at 5 other banks.
The online application for SmartBiz is much simpler than the pages of paperwork and fine print you would confront if you went to a bank. It takes just about ½ an hour to complete the online application, and just like Kabbage, SmartBiz will give an instant preapproval decision. After that point, a dedicated SmartBiz rep will work with you to get your loan application packaged for the lender.
To qualify for a SmartBiz SBA loan, you’ll need a credit score above 680 (check your score for free here), to be in business for 2+ years, and to be profitable. Out of all the options covered, SmartBiz is the least costly. The SBA sets maximum interest rates on SBA loans. The APR at SmartBiz, when you consider fees, ranges from about 7 to 9 %. Their loans have 10 year terms.
Other Options For Fast Funding
The three options covered in this article are some of the best places to get fast business loans. But, they are not the only ways. There are several other ways to quickly get capital for your business.
In the same category as Kabbage are other short-term lenders like OnDeck and PayPal Working Capital. OnDeck offers up to $500K in capital within 1 business day, so it’s a good option if Kabbage loans are too small for you. PayPal Working Capital and Square Capital offer business cash advances for PayPal and Square merchants, respectively.
Business credit cards are another fast and convenient source of business capital. Many cards have introductory 0 % interest rates and allow you to earn cashback or rewards on purchases.
If you’re a B2B business, then you can also use invoice factoring to get working capital. Invoice factoring allows you, for a fee, to trade in unpaid invoices for a working capital line of credit. Invoice factoring company BlueVine can get you funding in 2-3 business days.
In-Depth Review: Kabbage vs. Funding Circle vs. SmartBiz
In the in-depth review that follows, we’ll discuss just how fast each of the three lenders are and compare them along other criteria, such as cost and qualification requirements.
The speed of getting a small business loan can be measured in three ways:
- Time to apply
- Time to get pre-approved
- Time to get funds in your account
A truly “fast business loan” should be fast on all three counts.
Kabbage – From start to finish, getting a loan at Kabbage takes anywhere from same day to 3 business days. The online application with Kabbage takes just about 10 minutes. After the online application, you will get instant real-time notification of approval. If you’re approved, as soon as you accept the funds, they can be sent within minutes to a PayPal account or within 2-3 business days to a bank account.
The amount of paperwork that’s required to apply for a loan also factors in heavily in how fast you can get the funding you need.
Minimum Qualification Criteria
No matter how fast a loan is, none of that matters if you can’t qualify. The lenders that work the fastest often require the least documentation and work with borrowers that have lower credit scores. Of course, these lenders are usually also costlier than those that move more slowly.
Kabbage – In order to qualify, at a minimum, you need to be in business for 1 year, have a personal credit score of at least 550 (check your score for free), and have annual revenues of at least $50,000.
There’s typically an inverse relationship between the speed of obtaining a loan and its cost. The easier and faster a loan is to get, the more expensive it generally is. The best way to compare loan cost is Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which is the cost of a loan over one year taking fees into account. However, a high APR loan isn’t necessarily always worse than a low APR loan. If you have a short-term need for cash, for instance to buy inventory, a short-term loan that you pay back quickly is often more economical than a long-term loan which will charge interest for years.
Kabbage – Kabbage is the most expensive of the three lenders reviewed here. The APR for a Kabbage loan ranges from about 20-80 % for most borrowers. You can save some money by paying off the loan early. Kabbage does not charge an origination fee or any other fees. Kabbage is a line of credit, so you only pay for money that you draw from your credit line.
Funding Circle – The APR for a Kabbage loan ranges from 5 % for the most creditworthy borrowers up to 21 % for the least creditworthy borrowers. The average interest rate is around 12 %. Funding Circle charges an origination fee of 3.49 % to 4.99 %, depending on creditworthiness, which is deducted from your loan.
No matter how fast a loan is, you need to make sure you can get a sufficient amount of capital and that the repayment term works for you. For some types of purchases, such as inventory or supplies, a short-term line of credit like Kabbage might work best. However, for larger investments, like equipment or hiring, a long-term loan from some place like Funding Circle or SmartBiz might be a better option.
Also, don’t forget about personal guarantees, liens, and collateral. Some lenders require you to personally guarantee a loan, meaning that the lender can take your personal assets to satisfy the loan if the business can’t afford to pay it back. Lenders may also require specific assets as collateral or place a lien on business assets.
Kabbage – You can borrow between $2K and $100K at Kabbage for a 1 to 12 month term. Kabbage links up with your business accounts, so they will monitor your business revenues, and your credit line will adjust automatically as revenues increase or decrease. Kabbage requires no personal guarantee but places a lien on business assets for loans over $20K.
For fast business loans, any of the above three options are good choices. Kabbage is the fastest overall and great if you need quick, short term funding. Funding Circle offers funding in about 1 week, and SmartBiz takes about 1 month. In addition to speed, keep other factors, such as cost, qualification criteria, and loan terms in mind.