If you need additional funds to grow your business, a small business loan can be incredibly helpful. The thing is, you have multiple options to consider, which can make finding the right lender more difficult. Here are a few tips to help you find the best loans for your needs.

Know Where to Look

One of the most well-known places to get a small business loan is through a conventional bank. They’re one of the best options, with excellent terms and low rates. The problem, however, is that banks often have strict requirements and a lengthy application process. It can also take a while after approval to receive your funds.

Banks aren’t your only option for finding loans, though. You can find financing through:

  • Credit unions. Like traditional banks, credit unions offer competitive rates and terms. They often have a higher approval rate as well. You may have to be a member of the credit union to apply, though.
  • The SBA loan program. While the Small Business Administration isn’t a direct lender, it does provide government backing. Businesses that don’t qualify for a traditional loan may find it easier to apply for this type of loan. SBA loans such as 7(a) loans do have strict requirements, but the rates and terms are favorable.
  • Online lenders. An alternative to banks and credit unions is online lenders. Some are direct lenders, while others offer peer-to-peer lending. Loans are easier to qualify for, and you can get funding more quickly.

Tips for Applying

Getting a loan for your business is a more involved process than applying for a personal loan. Getting yourself organized and having everything in order can help make it easier.

  • Have a solid business plan.
  • Know exactly why you need the money, and be ready to share your reasons with the lender.
  • Have your documents in order, including your tax returns, bank statements, and general business information.
  • Look for ways to improve your credit history if your score is low.

How to Choose the Right Lender

Traditional banks tend to offer better terms and rates. Online lenders have fewer restrictions, making it easier to qualify for funding. No matter what type of lender you choose, it’s best to get quotes from several companies so that you can compare your options. Factors to keep in mind when choosing a lender include:

  • The lender’s reputation.
  • The lender responds quickly to questions.
  • The website is transparent and provides clear eligibility requirements.
  • The lender offers competitive rates and terms

You can find small business loans, including SBA loans, through a variety of lenders. By performing careful research and comparing your options, you can find the best loan to reach your goals.