Compare business loans

Comparing business loans means you find the best deal out there. See what you’re eligible for with our free business loan comparison tool in seconds.

  • Compare a wide range of lenders and rates
  • Check your eligibility in minutes
  • Find out how much you could borrow
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Written by Simon Moorcroft | January 05, 2024

Why compare business loans?

Going directly to a lender without comparing other business loan providers means you could miss out on a better loan offer. Think better interest rates, longer repayment periods, or larger loan amounts.

It’s also pretty draining to search and compare loans manually. Visiting individual lender sites wastes time that, as a business owner, you just don’t have spare. You should focus on running your business, so that means offloading the loan comparison to a quick and simple tool that can give you that time back.

What to compare when choosing a business loan

The world of business loans can quickly become a minefield. Here are five questions to ask yourself when comparing loans.

1. How quickly can you get the loan?

Some loans take longer to process than others. For example, an unsecured loan is quicker to obtain than a secured loan. There’s more paperwork involved and more boxes to check. Some of our business products mean cash is in your bank account just hours after application approval. So if you need the loan quickly, you should consider comparing loans to find the quickest option for you.

2. How much does it cost?

Interest rates bump up the overall cost of the loan, so you should always compare business loan interest rates. Other fees to be aware of when applying for a business loan include setup fees, early repayment charges, administrative fees and more. Always compare the total cost of the loan instead of fixating on a particular fee.

Note that you can usually access more favourable interest rates with a good credit history.

3. How long do you have to repay?

Shorter-term loans are usually repayable within three and 24 months, and longer-term loans can be repaid over a 10-year period. The lender might consider certain factors to determine loan repayment terms, including credit score, trading history, loan amount and loan type. When comparing loan terms, always ensure you can comfortably afford to repay the total cost of the loan within the timeframe.

Use our free business loan calculator to see example monthly repayments over different repayment periods.

4. Is the lender flexible?

finance products. They take every application on a case-by-case basis, which means there’s a good chance we can find you a business loan even if you have a bad credit history or are a brand-new business.

We help all kinds of SMEs find and secure the working capital they need to grow.

5. Should I put up security?

Business loans fall into two main categories: secured and unsecured. If you apply for a secured loan, the lender will require a high-value asset as collateral should you default on your loan repayments. Deciding whether or not to apply for a secured or unsecured loan can be difficult, as there are many pros and cons to both types.

It’s best to compare both types of loans to help you make an informed decision.

Business owner comparing business loans online with Capalona

How to compare business loans

Comparing business loans is quick and easy with our free, self-serve comparison tool. Simply fill in a few basic details, including how much you want to borrow, the reason for the loan and the desired repayment period. And watch as our lender table populates with eligible loan products.

  • If you’re unhappy with your results, you can edit the criteria as often as you want to see a new selection of available options.
  • Expand each loan section to learn more about the product, including the repayment period, example interest rates, total cost repayable, etc.
  • If you find a loan offer you like, click on our lender listing to continue with your application.
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Types of business loans to compare

We have plenty of business finance options for you to choose from; here are just a few to consider.

Compare Secured Loans

A secured loan is secured with an asset such as commercial property or a vehicle. This means the lender can seize your asset if you default on loan repayment. So, a secured business loan can be risky for business owners.

Ideal use cases: Purchase inventory, expand your business or consolidate your debt with this loan.
Repayment terms: Up to 10 years.
Eligibility criteria: Must be a limited company, limited liability partnership (LLP) or sole trader registered in the UK, trading for 3 months minimum, and have a high-value asset.
Pros: Don’t need a perfect credit score, lower interest rates, longer repayment terms.
Cons: You’re putting an asset at risk, longer application process.

Compare Unsecured Loans

After applying for an unsecured business loan, you could have funds in your bank account in less than 48 hours after approval. You’ll need a good credit score to access the best unsecured loan offers.

Ideal use cases: Purchase inventory or new equipment, refurbish your premises or hire new staff.
Repayment terms: Between one month and five years.
Eligibility criteria: Annual turnover of £10k minimum, good credit history, trading for four months, limited company, limited liability partnership (LLP) or sole trader registered in the UK.
Pros: Quick to access, don’t need security, use the money however you please.
Cons: Higher interest rates, smaller loan amounts.

Compare Small Business Loans

If you’ve just started your small business or you’re looking to expand, a small business loan can give you the working capital you need to start investing in your growth.

Ideal use cases: Fund day-to-day business operations and keep cash flow healthy.
Repayment terms: Up to five years.
Eligibility criteria: Trading for at least three months and are a limited company, limited liability partnership (LLP) or sole trader registered in the UK.
Pros: Designed specifically for small businesses, fast and flexible (see funds in hours), fixed interest rates.
Cons: Might need collateral depending on the loan type or might be required to sign a personal guarantee.

Compare Business Loans for Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, you might find fewer lenders are willing to lend to you, which makes it harder for you to find a suitable business loan. Bad credit business loans are specifically designed for borrowers with poor credit.

Ideal use cases: Help fund your startup that has no trading history or invest in your business if you have bad credit.
Repayment terms: Up to five years.
Eligibility criteria: Minimum credit scores accepted is lender dependent, easier to secure if you’ve been trading between three and five years.
Pros: Repaying the loan on time can help improve your credit score, grow your business even if you have bad credit history.
Cons: Might need to sign a personal guarantee, lower loan amounts, higher interest rates.

Compare Merchant Cash Advance

If you have a merchant account and you accept credit and debit card payments, a merchant cash advance is a flexible way to inject working capital into your business.

Ideal use cases: Purchase stock, hire new staff, train existing staff — spend it how you like.
Repayment terms: Repay a pre-agreed percentage of your monthly card sales until debt is repaid.
Eligibility criteria: A card turnover of £2,500 per month, more than three month’s worth of card sales, you’re a limited company, partnership or sole trader based in the UK.
Pros: No fixed monthly payments, borrow against future credit and debit card sales, flexible business funding, no interest charged on cash borrowed.
Cons: If you don’t take card payments it’s not suitable, not suitable for businesses turning over less than £2,500 per month, might have to transfer to an alternative merchant processor.

Compare business loans online with Capalona

Our free business loan comparison tool let’s you instantly compare eligible loan offers from our panel of lenders. There’s no obligation to accept any quote. Compare total cost repayable, repayment terms, loan amounts and more.

About the author

Simon Moorcroft
Written by Simon Moorcroft

Money Writer, Director and Co-Founder

Simon has over twelve years of experience in consumer and business finance. Simon is a Co-Founder and Director at Capalona and heads up the technology team, who utilises the latest technology to assist our customers in finding fast finance.

Updated: January 05, 2024
Published: October 09, 2023
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