July 22, 2024

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9 Best Banks for Small-Business Loans in 2024

17 min read

Although qualifying can be difficult, banks remain the most common source of credit for small businesses — compared with options such as online lenders, community financial institutions and credit unions

Business bank loans offer low interest rates, long repayment terms and can be used for a variety of purposes. The right bank for you should offer the small-business loan you need, as well as fund enough loans to make financing possible.

Here, we reviewed the best banks for small-business loans based on their commercial and industrial lending volume, product offerings and qualifications, among other features.

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Best banks for business loans

Click on a provider to jump to details about its business loan offerings, or keep reading to learn about how to get business financing from banks, as well as alternative funding options.

Compare the best banks for business loans

Range of products for small businesses.

U.S. states, except Hawaii and Alaska.

AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, MD, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OR, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI and WY, plus D.C.

Friendly to new businesses.

AR, AZ, CA, CO, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, NV, OH, OR, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI and WY.

Six metropolitan areas: Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, NYC, SF.

AL, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, PA, SC,TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, plus D.C.

Online applications for financing under $250,000.

CT, DE, FL, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, plus D.C.

Large lines of credit up to $5 million.

CA, GA, IL, MA, NY, PA TX, VA.

FL, GA, KY, IL, IN, MI, NC, OH, SC, TN, WV.

Best for: Customer relationships and loyalty programs.

Bank of America is the biggest commercial and industrial loan bank lender in the U.S. — according to data released by S&P Global Market Intelligence in June 2023 — surpassing the next closest lender by nearly $130 billion

May be a fit for: Bank of America business loans are a good choice if you value rewards and use other Bank of America or Merrill products. By meeting certain account requirements, you can qualify for interest rate discounts, no fees on wire transfers and other benefits. Bank of America may also make sense for loans for veterans and service members, as it offers them a 25% discount on loan administration or origination fees.

Here’s what Bank of America has to offer:

Best for: Variety of small-business products.

Chase ranks as the largest U.S. bank based on its $3.5 trillion in consolidated assets according to the Federal Reserve. It operates in 48 U.S. states, but doesn’t offer business loans in Hawaii and Alaska.

May be a fit for: Chase business loans are a good option for business owners who want access to a range of business products, including small-business loans, lines of credit and commercial real estate financing, as well as business banking, credit cards and payment solutions from a single provider. With loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $5 million, it offers financing that can grow as your business grows.

Chase business loans include:

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Wells Fargo comes in third when ranked on assets and can trace its history back to 1852. It operates in 36 states plus Washington, D.C. It doesn’t have branches in Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.

May be a fit for: Wells Fargo is a solid option for those interested in SBA financing. It partners with the SBA to offer both SBA 7(a) and 504 loans. And if an SBA loan isn’t the right fit, Wells Fargo can help you explore a number of other types of lines of credit and business loans. However, some term loan programs have been discontinued so you may want to consider other options if a term loan is what you want.

Here are Wells Fargo’s business loan offerings:

U.S. Bank has fewer locations than other brick-and-mortar banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo, but it still offers the variety of products you’d expect from a large lender. You’ll find branches in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

May be a fit for: U.S. Bank may be a good choice for startups, as you may be able to qualify for certain products with less than a year in business. Its Quick Loan can have a minimum time in business requirement of six months, depending on the length of your relationship with the bank and the state you live in.

Here what U.S. Bank has to offer:

Best for: Simple options and in-person service.

Although Citibank is the fifth-largest bank in the U.S. based on assets, it offers fewer business loan products than some other banks. Its branches are concentrated in six metropolitan areas: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

May be a fit for: The in-person, hands-on loan application experience offered by Citi might be the right option for business owners who feel developing a relationship with their banker today will offer benefits down the road. Whereas many banks offer at least some type of online application option, you can only apply for a business loan from Citi by visiting a branch location.

Here are Citi’s loan options:

Best for: Automatic loan payments.

PNC Bank ranks sixth among U.S. banks with regard to assets. It operates branches in 28 states — Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin — as well as Washington, D.C.

May be a fit for: PNC Bank is a good choice for business owners who prefer automatic loan payments as well as mobile banking and cash flow tools. Whether you have a business term loan, line of credit or specialized financing for a vehicle, payments can automatically be deducted from your PNC business checking account.

PNC business loans include:

Best for: Applying online (for loans under $250,000).

TD is another large bank with significant assets that operates in 11 East Coast states including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia as well as Washington, DC.

May be a fit for: TD Bank is a good choice for business borrowers who want the convenience of applying for funding at a time and place of their choosing. They’ll find an online application available for both term loans and lines of credit under $250,000. However, if you want a loan for more than that amount, you’ll have to download an application and apply in person at a bank branch.

Here are TD Bank’s business loan offerings:

Best for: Lines of credit up to $5 million.

Capital One, which has made a name for itself in the credit card industry, also offers business financing with locations in eight states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

May be a fit for: Capital One is a good option for business owners who want the ability to access a large amount of funding, but on their own timetable. Business lines of credit that top out at $5 million are offered. Also, discounted rates are available to businesses that have existing business deposit relationships with Capital One.

Capital One loan options include:

Best for: Fast approval with minimum documentation.

Fifth Third Bank bills itself as a community bank and currently has branches in 11 states including Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

May be a fit for: For business entrepreneurs who want fast loan funding, Fifth Third Bank says it can approve and fund business term loans and lines of credit as quickly as 48 hours. And with any business loan or line of credit, the standard monthly service charge on your business checking account will be waived.

Here are loan options offered by Fifth Third Bank:

How to get a business loan from a bank

Although recent market conditions have led banks to tighten their lending standards, it’s still possible to access this type of business financing. Here’s what you need to get business loan from a bank:

An existing relationship

Most banks require you to have at least a business checking account at their institution. While you can simply open an account at some banks to meet this qualification, you can often benefit from a longer-term relationship. For example, you need an account with Wells Fargo for at least one year to apply for financing online.

Good credit

You’ll likely need a personal credit score in the 700s — although some lenders may be a little more flexible than others. Wells Fargo, for instance, accepts a minimum credit score of 680 for its unsecured line of credit.

Potential deal-breakers in your personal credit history could include too much debt, too many open accounts or negative marks — like late payments, loan defaults and bankruptcies. The bank will check your business credit score for similar red flags.

Strong revenue

When you apply for a small-business loan, the bank will look to see whether your business is in good shape and has enough revenue to support how much you want to borrow. For example, Bank of America’s unsecured business loans require at least $100,000 in annual revenue; its secured options increase that number to $250,000.

Enough time in business

Two years under the same ownership is the standard time in business requirement. But there are exceptions. For example, some U.S. Bank lending products are available if you’ve been in business for just six months.

Collateral

You don’t necessarily need to put up business collateral like commercial property or equipment to get a bank loan. Some banks offer both unsecured and secured business loans. But the bank may fund larger amounts for secured loans, while also providing longer terms and lower interest rates to make payments more affordable.

Alternatives to bank business loans

If you can’t get a business loan from a big bank, consider these alternatives:

  • Small banks and credit unions: Business loan applicants report higher approval rates from smaller banks than big-name financial institutions, as well as greater overall satisfaction, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2023 Report on Employer Firms

  • Online lenders: Online business loans come with faster funding and higher approval rates than bank loans. Some online lenders even specialize in small-business loans. For example, for fiscal year 2023, Live Oak Bank, a digital bank, was the most-active SBA 7(a) lender by loan approval amount. These lenders are also less likely to require traditional collateral and may provide funding for newer businesses. But the trade-off will likely be higher costs than a traditional bank offers.

  • Microlenders: Nonprofit organizations offer microloans, and these can be a good choice for startups or small businesses that need working capital but can’t qualify for a bank business loan. Microloans are typically less than $50,000 and can come with short repayment terms. Their costs may also be higher than a bank business loan.

Frequently asked questions

NerdWallet assigning editor Ryan Lane contributed to this article.

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