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Understanding Types of Lenders

The options available today to a small business owner in need of cash can be overwhelming. Funding can come from almost anywhere: Traditional banks. Credit Unions. SBA. Online lenders. Crowdsourcing. And the list goes on ... To make it easier for you to decide what makes the most sense for your small business, we’ve identified the major lenders frequented by other small business owners, as well as some things to keep in mind about their loan products.

Some information on this page is adapted from content that originally appeared on Nav.com, a Venturize supporter.

Banks

  • US Treasury Certified US Treasury Certified

Banks are the largest small business lender and probably the first place you think about when getting a loan. They offer some of the lowest cost loans available, but it can be difficult to quality. About 72% of small business owners who apply get rejected. Banks usually require strong personal and/or business credit scores, a personal guarantee, collateral, and healthy financials.

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Credit Unions

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Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that range in size from small, volunteer-only operations to large entities with thousands of members. The basic business model is that members pool their money in the bank in order to be able to loan money to each other and achieve these financial benefits.

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Mission-Driven Lenders

  • Competitive Rates Competitive Rates

Mission-driven lenders – sometimes called community development financial institutions or CDFIs – are located throughout the US.

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Small Business Administration (SBA)

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  • Competitive Rates Competitive Rates

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that helps entrepreneurs manage their businesses and gain access to capital. SBA loans have some of the lowest interest rates available, and some loans are available exclusivel to small business owners.

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Online-Only Marketplace Lenders

Marketplace lenders, one of the newest types of lenders, use online platforms to connect consumers or businesses seeking to borrow money with investors willing to buy or invest in the loan. Generally, these platforms handle all underwriting and customer service interactions with the borrower.

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Crowdfunding

Instead of borrowing money from financial institutions, you can give a slice of your company to investors in exchange for capital.

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Friends and Family

One viable funding option is to get your friends and family to invest in your business. Before requesting assistance, decide if you are requesting a loan from friends and family, or offering a share of your business. A loan requires repayment over time, while a direct investor takes an active role in your business decisions.

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