How to Qualify for a Small Business Loan

The answer to “how to quality for a small business loan” depends to who you ask. If you ask a bank, then here is just a brief list of the minimum requirements to even be considered for a small business loan, let alone approved for one.

However, there are alternative ways to apply for small business loans with simplified qualifications, and expedited funding that can equip you with funds in as little as 24 hours.

Read on to compare bank business loan qualifications, to alternative financing options such as those offered through National, and learn which option works best for you and your business.

how to qualify for small business loans

Bank Small Business Loan Qualifications

  • Outstanding personal credit score.
  • Outstanding business credit score (many small business loan applicants don’t even realize that they have a business credit score).
  • At least 24 months of operational history (incubator time doesn’t count).
  • Sufficient collateral (applicants are responsible for up-front collateral evaluation fees).
  • Track record of being cash flow positive.
  • Significant owner financial investment in the business.

What’s more, the application must contain a robust multi-page business plan, details of all key personnel, verified or audited financial statements including two years of tax returns.

Banks must also feel comfortable that the applicant isn’t in a risky industry — which is particularly bad news for restaurant owners — and they must approve of how the funds will be used (e.g. purchase inventory, add locations, etc.).

Obviously, this is not a rapid process. The collateral evaluation process alone typically takes weeks. It’s not uncommon for a small business application to take several months to snake its way through multiple loan officers and managers.

Even if it reaches the finish line, there is no guarantee that it will be approved. Provided that they are not acting in a discriminatory manner, banks reserve the right to reject an application at anytime — including at the very end of the line.  

How to Qualify for Small Business Loans: The Easy Way

However, if you ask us here at National “how to quality for a small business loan,” we have a very different answer — because unlike banks we operate in the real world, just like our clients. For example:

  • We do not require excellent personal and business credit scores. Impaired or bad credit is typically acceptable, including scores below 500.
  • We only require a minimum 3 months of operational history — not 2+ years.
  • For many of our funding solutions, collateral is not required.
  • We do not impose rules or limitations on how funds can be spent.
  • We proudly support clients in more volatile industries, including restaurants.

Plus, unlike banks that take months to assess an application, we take 24 hours. We also approve about 90 percent of applications, which means that — again, unlike banks — we say yes far more often than we say no.  

Apply for Fast Small Business Loans Today

To learn more about how to qualify for a small business loan with National Business Capital & Services, contact us anytime: we’re available to you 24/7/365.

Or if you’d like to get started right now, simply complete our short, 60-second online application. It takes two minutes and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours — probably with some good news!

Learn More About Alternative Small Business Loans

Further, if you’ve tried to qualify for a bank loan in the past, but have found their restrictions too limiting, know that many other business owners are in the same boat!

That’s why we’ve created “How to Get Business Funding When Banks Say ‘No’” – an eBook that details why banks only approve 10-20% of loan applications and how you can get funding despite this.

National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.

Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.

We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!


About the Author, Megan Capobianco

Megan is passionate about helping business owners along their journey - providing them with relevant content they can use in their day-to-day operations.

Disclaimer: The information and insights in this article are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constitute financial, legal, tax, business or personal advise from National Business Capital & Services and the author. Do no rely on this information as advice and please consult with your financial advisor, accountant and/or attorney before making any decisions. If you rely solely in this information it is at your own risk. The information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, but there maybe errors, omissions, or mistakes.