Small Business Loans for Veterans

Faster, easier small business financing with one simple application—no bank needed.

Applying is free and won’t impact your credit.

Reviews from veteran business owners.


SEPTEMBER 28, 2022

First Line of Credit easier than I thought

Hi, I am Bradley, a Disabled Veteran. I own and operate a General Contracting company in Florida and Louisiana specializing in Hurricane Restoration. Frank Tomasula was patient and understanding during the process of getting me my first line of credit! Frank’s experience and speed on getting me a line of credit was truly incredible and exceeded my expectations. I will be a repeat customer for any of my financial needs with Frank moving forward. I trust his experience when answering any and all questions I had. I will be recommending Frank to all of the Veterans I know at Bunker Labs, a non-profit that supports Veterans, Disabled Veterans and their spouses when starting new or expanding existing businesses. Frank keeps his word. That’s the highest compliment I can give anyone. Thank you Frank truly for your assistance in expanding my company.


MAY 9, 2022

My wife and I would like to thank you…

Lendio’s representatives were with me every step of the way and maintained immediate contact with me to assist me by telling via email what else I needed; even correcting me on a wrong entry I had made while answering a wrong question on the application that could have cost me the loan.

As a retired Navy veteran I would like to give you all a BRAVO ZULU! for all your help and I would gladly recommend your company to any one that may need your services.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Equal opportunity marketplace.

You’ve helped our country’s cause, and now it’s time to work in service of your own. We’re dedicated to helping U.S. service members access the capital they need to fuel their own American dreams.

Closing the lending gap

Too often, veterans applying for business financing must submit more applications than the average business owner, and 60% of them still report obtaining less financing than requested (compared to 52% of non-veteran-owned businesses). Fortunately, Lendio is different. With an online application that connects you to a marketplace of lenders, we’ll connect you with the right lender based on your desired loan amount and credit history.

Veteran-owned businesses make up about 5.9% of all businesses, with an estimated $947.7 billion in receipts, approximately 3.9 million employees, and about $177.7 billion in annual payroll.

Why Lendio?

Quick & easy

We make it easy to find small business loans for veterans with just a 15-minute online application. Once you’re approved and have signed your financing agreement, your vet loan could arrive in the bank in as little as 24 hours.

Your partner in business financing

With Lendio, navigating the decision-making process need not be a solo mission. You’ll be paired with a funding manager to help you compare your options and choose the best one for your company.

Offers tailored to your business

Compare loan offers from multiple lenders. With over 75 lenders in our network, our funding managers will work with you to ensure you get the best rates and terms for your business.

How our loan matching process works.


Fill out our simple application.

Answer just a few questions about your business to see which lending products you qualify for. We’ve partnered with over 75 lenders, allowing us to find the best option or your business.


We’ll connect you with a funding specialist.

One of our funding specialists will reach out to you to get to know your business better. Since every business is unique, we want to make sure we find the loan type that’s perfect for your needs.


Compare loan offers.

Compare different offers curated for your business. Select the capital amount and rate that will help take your business to the next level.


Get funded.

We work with lenders that can fund you fast. Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to access your capital in as little as 24 hours.

Does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer small business loans?

While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) itself does not offer small business loans, it is important to note that it does offer support to veterans looking to start or expand small businesses. Instead of offering small business loans, the VA acts as a guarantor, making it easier for veterans to secure loans from financial institutions.

If you are a veteran-owned business, there are plenty of funding options for you. One of the most common routes is through banks and credit unions, especially those that partner with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Another sources is online lenders who offer speed and flexibility, albeit often at higher interest rates. Certain state and local programs also specifically cater to veterans and may offer additional benefits as well.

Find out more about specific types of business loans for veterans below.

Types of business loans for veterans.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL)

If a key member of your staff is a military reservist called to active duty, and their military service will have a negative financial impact on your business that you can not recover from in other ways, the SBA offers the MREIDL from the date the employee receives notice to one year after the employee is released from active duty. The first payment on the loan is deferred for 12 months with no interest accrual during that time. The interest rate after the first 12 months is 4%.


Up to 30 years

Up to $2,000,000

SBA Express Loan

An SBA Express Loan is a loan guaranteed by the U.S. government and administered through a lender. The SBA guarantees up to 50% of the loan. The SBA waives guaranty fees for veterans or a spouse of a veteran applying for Express loans as part of the CARES Act. See full qualification and documentation criteria.


Up to 10 years

Up to $500,000

Asset- or revenue-based financing

Both asset-based financing (invoice factoring) and revenue-based financing rely on expected revenue to secure the loan. With invoice factoring, the funder purchases an invoice from the borrower at a discounted rate, which the business will then pay back to the funder as the business collects on the invoice. Revenue-based financing provides you with a cash advance that you repay with future revenue.


1-15 months

$1 million (revenue-based financing); $50 million (factoring)

Debt financing

Debt financing provides a lump sum of money with a fixed interest rate, which you repay over a set period of time. Opt for either a term loan or an SBA loan backed by the government to fuel your business.


6 months-25 years

$5 million

Line of credit

A line of credit (LOC) lets you draw on your account as you need funds. So if you get a large purchase order, you can borrow the exact amount you need and repay it to replenish the LOC as soon as your customer pays. A line of credit is good for both cash flow management and emergency expenses.


6-24 months

Up to $250,000

Who qualifies for veteran small business loans?

Qualifications for veteran small business loans can vary by lender and by type of loan, but there are often some common requirements. These can include:

  • The business owner must be a veteran, active-duty military member in the Transition Assistance Program, a reservist or National Guard member, a current spouse of any of these, or the widowed spouse of a service member who died while in service or of a service-connected disability.
  • The business itself often needs to meet certain criteria, such as being for-profit and meeting size standards for being considered a small business.
  • Some loans may require the business to be a certain percentage owned by veterans or military members (often 51% or more).

Specific qualifications can depend of factors like the type of loan, the amount, and the lender’s policies. It’s recommended to check with the specific lender or program for exact qualification requirements.

What grants are available to veterans?

Several amazing business grants are earmarked for veterans, while others accept a wider range of applicants. As you might expect, business grants are extremely popular, and it can be difficult to receive one even if you meet the qualifications. But it’s always worth looking into this avenue of funding to see if you can give your business a boost.

Here are 10 small business grants you should check out first:

  1. StreetShares Awards – No veteran stands alone, so this organization strives to provide support for the families of those who serve our country. Multiple grant options are available through StreetShares as well as other resources to aid your entrepreneurial pursuits.
  2. USDA Grants – The United States Department of Agriculture started the 2501 Program as a way to support veterans and other socially disadvantaged farmers. If you work in the farming or ranching industry and qualify for one of the USDA’s grants, you can get money and additional benefits to support your business.
  3. Warrior Rising Grants – The Warrior Rising organization was founded by military veterans dedicated to helping their fellow “vetrepreneurs.” There’s a strong sense of camaraderie among those who participate, and participants benefit mightily from the grants, training, and mentorship provided.
  4. Department of Veterans Affairs Small Business Grants – These grants are offered to veterans who helm nonprofit organizations. If you’re looking to make a positive impact in your community, check out the qualifications and see if one of these VA small business grants could work for you.
  5. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program – The goal of these business development grants is to help small business owners from all backgrounds to reach their goals.
  6. The Tony Burch Foundation’s Fellows Program – This program awards grants to women in small business, which includes veterans. The grants are valued at $5,000.
  7. Open Meadows Foundation – If your small business is doing something to make the world a better place, consider seeking a grant from this popular program.
  8. FedEx Small Business Grant Contest – The competition can be fierce for these grants, but your efforts can pay off in a big way if you’re awarded a $50,000 grant.
  9. Rural Business Development Grants – If your business operates in a rural area, you might be able to secure a lucrative grant from this program.
  10. The Save Small Business Fund – These grants are intended to provide a crucial boost to small businesses with 20 employees or fewer.

Beyond these grants, you should also check out to explore veteran business grants provided by the federal government. 

What other resources are available to veteran business owners?

There are plenty of valuable resources and funding sources tailored to veterans. Here are some options to explore:

  1. The Hivers and Strivers Angel Fund – This fund provides cash for entrepreneurs who graduated from a military academy. If this description matches your experience, you should definitely check out this well-respected angel fund.
  2. VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) – For small business owners who rely on government contracts, it can open some exciting opportunities.
  3. Bank of America Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program – This program is intended to provide a crucial boost to those wanting to launch or expand a small business. It sets aside a total of $20 million that can be accessed through participating community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
  4. Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) – This program offers business assessments and analysis, pre-business plan workshops, entrepreneurial training, and mentorship programs.
  5. Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) – A business and entrepreneurship training program for women veterans and women military spouses. The comprehensive program includes a 15-day online training, a 3-day entrepreneurship conference, and, finally, access to valuable ongoing business resources.
  6. VetFran is an initiative of the International Franchise Association that connects veterans with discounted franchising opportunities and other educational resources.

As with all of the other options listed in this guide, the individual requirements for these funds and resources vary dramatically. Be sure to review the qualifications carefully before applying.


In order to qualify for a waived guaranty fee for an SBA Express loan, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

51% or more of the business is owned by a veteran (excluding those with a dishonorable discharge), service-disabled veteran, Active Duty Military service member in the Transition Assistance Program, reservist, National Guard Member, the current spouse of any of the groups mentioned above, or a widowed spouse of a service member who died while in service or due to a service-related disability.

Documentation requirements include:

  • For veterans: Copy of Form DD214
  • For Transitioning Active-Duty, Reservists and National Guard: DD Form 2 and DD Form 2648
  • Current spouse of veteran: Veteran’s Form DD 214 and evidence of marital status.
  • Widow of Active Duty Service Member or Widowed Spouse of Veteran: Documentation from DOD or from DVA.

The Vets First Verification Program gives veteran-owned businesses exclusive access to bid on eligible federal government contracts. Up to 3% of government contracts must be reserved for vet-owned businesses, so registering for this program gives you greater opportunities to grow your company with federal contracts.


You might have heard of VA Loans. Rather than focusing on businesses, they are a type of mortgage offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The program allows veterans, service members, and surviving spouses to purchase homes with very little down payment, and sometimes no down payment at all. VA loans also don’t require borrowers to purchase private mortgage insurance and approved applicants can typically expect low interest rates compared to other mortgage lenders.

The SBA does not loan money directly to veteran-owned small businesses, nor is there an SBA loan type specifically for veterans. Generally, most SBA loan programs utilize another lender to actually service SBA loans. 

The SBA used to run a lending program for veterans called Veterans Advantage 7(a) loan program, but that program no longer exists. These VA small business loans were set aside specifically to help veterans succeed as entrepreneurs, and they were a prime example of special benefits not available to the general public.

However, vets can benefit from some perks. For instance, the SBA waives guaranty fees for veterans applying for Express loans. This relief for veteran small business owners was passed as part of the 2020 CARES Act, aimed at mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on small businesses.

There are also Military Economic Injury Loans designed to help military reservists who run small businesses to overcome any negative impacts that may have occurred during the time they were on active duty.

The agency also provides assistance to those who have been disabled during the time of their service with the 8(a) Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Contracting Program. This program helps qualifying veterans apply for lucrative government contracts that aren’t available to the general public.

SBA loans and most other forms of business financing can be used for nearly all facets of running your business. This includes:

  •       Buying land or property, or paying rent for an office
  •       Payroll
  •       Buying an existing business
  •       Refinancing your existing debt
  •       Buying inventory or equipment
  •       Buying any other needed furniture or supplies

With any financing or grant, check the terms closely to ensure you can use the funds on what your business needs.

Five mistakes have sunk more than a few applications:

  1. Not meeting the credit requirements – Every loan has specific requirements for your financial history—and your application won’t even get a glimpse if you don’t have a qualifying credit score. Nip this problem in the bud by monitoring your score with Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, and then only apply for loans that you qualify for.
  2. Choosing a loan that doesn’t match up with your needs – Beyond the credit requirements, numerous factors make certain loans optimal for various business scenarios. For example, some lenders refuse to work with businesses in high-risk industries. Make sure you align with a lender’s specifications before you click submit on any application.
  3. Failing to complete the application – This mistake sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many well-meaning entrepreneurs submit applications without filling out all of the pages. Following the lender’s instructions dutifully is the best way to get them to return the favor by reviewing your application.
  4. Not including all the necessary documents – If a lender requests a certain document from applicants, they expect to see it—so it’s a red flag when you fail to follow directions from the get-go. Make sure you’ve gathered all the required documents, and then double-check that you’ve included them before sending in your application.
  5. Not hitting deadlines – Lenders typically run a tight ship. Carefully make a note of all deadlines associated with a loan application, then stay at least one day ahead of them. That way, if something unpredictable arises, you’ll have time to find a solution.

8 out of 10 Lendio employees* or their families own a small business

*based on 136 Lendio employees who responded to an internal poll

Quickly compare financing options from multiple funders.

Applying is free and won’t impact your credit

Talk to a rep at (855) 853-6346
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