Business Loans

Can You Get a Business Loan with no Credit Check?

Apr 23, 2024 • 10 min read
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      Starting a new business can be an exciting journey, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest hurdles can be securing the right funding to get your startup off the ground. As a small business owner with poor credit, it can be even more difficult to find the financing you need. However, there are still options available to you. In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities of getting a startup business loan with no credit check or poor credit, as well as alternative forms of financing to consider.

      Getting a business loan with no credit.

      Getting a business loan with no credit.

      When you apply for a business loan, many commercial lenders will review your credit history to get a sense of how you’ve handled debt in the past. Reviewing previous credit history and checking your credit scores helps lenders predict risk. The problem for many entrepreneurs is that their new business hasn’t yet had a chance to establish a track record when it comes to managing credit obligations. 

      If a lender’s usual qualification metrics are based on longevity (aka time in business and length of credit history), they need to take a different approach for startups. Rather than look at business credit, a lender may focus on your personal credit score and overall business experience instead. 

      This alternative approach to risk assessment can work because a business owner’s personal credit scores can also provide a lender with valuable predictive analytics. At its core, a credit score (both business and personal) is a formula that lenders use to predict whether you’ll repay the money you borrow as promised. And that key information—the likelihood of repayment—is what a lender really wants to know when you apply for a loan.

      See if your business is eligible for financing.

      How much money are you looking for?
      The best small business loans with no credit check.

      The best small business loans with no credit check.

      There are many loan products available to small business owners. Yet entrepreneurs with low credit scores or those who prefer to avoid a credit check for other reasons often find the most success with invoice factoring, ACH loans, or business lines of credit. 

      The qualification criteria for the three financing options above depend less on your credit scores and more on other factors. This doesn’t mean you will receive an automatic approval even with a very poor credit score. But if you have experience in your industry and some positive credit history, you may have a fighting chance at qualifying.

      Below are some important details to consider regarding these three financing options:

      1. Invoice factoring

      With invoice factoring, the majority of lenders do not have a minimum credit score requirement. As a result, your application for funding from a factoring company may not involve a credit check at all. Here’s an overview of how this financing option works. 

      Invoice factoring involves selling your company’s outstanding B2B invoices to a financing company for cash. In general, a factoring company might advance you 70% to 90% of the value of your invoices. The factoring company then works directly with your client to collect the money owed when the invoice due date arrives. Once it collects the funds, the factoring company will return the remaining balance to you, minus a factoring fee (often 3% to 5%).  

      Lenders don’t typically check your credit when you’re seeking financing through an invoice factoring arrangement. Instead, the credit of your customers could matter. With this type of financing, a factoring company will collect payment from your customers, not you or your business. Therefore, your customer’s creditworthiness could impact your ability to qualify for financing and the fees a lender charges you as well. 

      2. ACH loans

      An ACH loan could be another financing solution to consider if you need business financing for bad credit or no credit. Most lenders that issue ACH loans require a minimum credit score of 500 to 625. (These lenders often perform only a soft credit inquiry that won’t impact your credit score.) However, a handful of ACH loan lenders may not require a credit score review at all. 

      One reason ACH loans are so popular among entrepreneurs is their rapid funding speed. Once a lender approves you for an ACH loan, you can often receive your loan proceeds within a couple of days. This funding agility can present a substantial advantage for a small business in the startup phase.

      Of course, just as with ultra-fast sports cars, you are likely to pay a premium for the speed of ACH loans. On either a daily or weekly basis, the lender will take an agreed-upon amount from your bank account as an ACH deduction. (Hence, the name.) The amount you can borrow tends to be lower than the loan amounts you might receive via other financing options. But many small business owners feel that the trade-off is fair, thanks to the convenience that ACH loans provide. 

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      3. Business lines of credit

      Lenders are likely to review your credit when you apply for a business line of credit (LOC). However, some lenders will only perform a soft credit inquiry to assess your business LOC application. (Remember, soft credit inquiries do not have any impact on your credit score, unlike hard credit inquiries that have the potential to impact your credit score.) Other lenders may perform a soft credit check for the pre-approval process and follow up with a hard credit inquiry at the time of funding. 

      A business line of credit is similar to a business credit card in several ways. An LOC comes with a credit limit, often ranging from $1,000 to $500,000. Depending on the lender, you may have access to the funds within one to two weeks. The financing typically has a one- to two-year maturity.

      Perhaps the best feature of a business LOC is its flexibility. If your restaurant needs a new fryer, buy it. If you need to hire employees, go for it. If you want to bulk up your inventory, do it. Nearly any expense that goes toward starting and sustaining your business is fair game.

      Like credit cards, this type of financing also gives you access to revolving credit. This differs from most loans, which provide you with a lump sum of money upfront. With an LOC, you simply use the credit line whenever necessary. There’s no pressure to spend it, and you’ll pay interest only on the funds your business borrows.

      Work to bolster your credit score.

      Work to bolster your credit score.

      It’s true that invoice factoring, ACH loans, and sometimes even business lines of credit can provide financing even when your credit is unimpressive. But that’s no reason to accept the status quo. You should put effort into improving your credit. 

      Working to earn better credit could open doors to you in the future. Not only can good credit help you qualify for more loan products, but it may also help you receive more favorable interest rates and repayment terms from lenders.

      Paying credit obligations and vendor accounts on time is the best way to improve your business credit scores. (And, of course, you’ll want to make sure those accounts report to the credit reporting agencies.) 

      To maintain a stellar payment history, sign up for automatic payments whenever possible. If you can’t sign up through the payee, consider adding them to your banking system. At the very least, set up a regular calendar reminder so you won’t be forced to rely solely on your memory.

      Alternative financing options

      Alternative financing options

      1. Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding is a way to raise money online by collecting small amounts from numerous people. 

      2. Family and Friends – Small business owners can borrow from family and friends, but there are risks. If the business fails or the loan can’t be repaid, important relationships may suffer. 

      3. Grants – Small businesses and startups may find it appealing to apply for grants as they don’t need to be repaid. Although challenging, winning a grant isn’t impossible.

      4. Angel Investors –An angel investor funds small businesses in exchange for equity. It’s a good option when businesses need more funding than they can get from friends and family, but not enough to attract venture capitalists.

      5. Venture Capitalists – Venture capitalists provide funding to startups and receive a percentage of the company’s equity in return. Venture capitalists are typically looking for businesses with high-growth potential and a solid business plan. 

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      About the author
      Michelle Lambright Black

      Michelle Lambright Black is a nationally recognized credit expert with two decades of experience. Founder of—an online community that helps busy moms take control of their credit and finances—Michelle's work has been published thousands of times by FICO, Experian, Forbes, Bankrate, MarketWatch, Parents, U.S. News & World Report, and many more.

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