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As a startup or small business, financial assistance is an essential component for your business growth. But how do you know which are the right business loan interest rates for you?

Continue reading this article as I take you through various business loan types, components, and top tips on getting the loan at the lowest interest.

Importance of Understanding Business Loan Interest Rates

  • With a deep understanding of business loan interest, you will be able to estimate the cash flow of your business.
  • It informs you of the cost of borrowing so that you can make financial decisions.
  • This understanding also helps you compare different loans more effectively, along with compliance with laws and regulations.
  • It assists you in risk assessment and offers you a better position to negotiate with lenders.
  • Staying informed about interest rate changes and fluctuations allows you to make long-term financial plans.

Business Loan Interest Rate

In simple words, a business loan interest rate is the fee a business has to pay for borrowing money from a lender. It is the percentage of the loan amount that has to be paid in addition to the principal amount borrowed as compensation. In common terms, it is called annual percentage rate (APR).

Some high-risk but quickly approved business loans, like merchant cash advances, come with a factor rate instead of a nominal interest rate and loan issuing fees. These business borrowings could prove costlier later. So, you must convert factor rates to APR before signing the loan documents.

Factor Rate to Interest Rate Conversion Formula

=[{(Factor Rate-1)X365}/(days in repayment term)]X100

Components of a Business Loan Interest

A business loan interest involves several important components. 

  1. Principal: This is the original money businesses borrow from the lender.
  2. Loan Term: It indicates the time businesses have to repay the loan.
  3. Interest Rate: The interest rate is the rate at which the borrowed money increases. It is usually called the annual percentage rate (APR).
  4. Loan Payments: It refers to the amount borrowers have to pay monthly to satisfy the loan terms. 

Apart from these, origination fees, servicing fees, or late payment fees are also included in the business loan interest.

Are Small Business Loan Interest Rates Variable or Fixed?

Secured, bank-financed, and long-term business loans usually come with both variable and fixed-rate financing options. If you go for the fixed-rate products, you can get a complete schedule of repayment which is more stable than variable-rate loans.

However, if you choose a variable rate product, you can enjoy the benefit of interest rate reduction on Fed reduces the base rate from quarter to quarter. 

You must choose it wisely by analyzing the current economic condition and historical movement of base rates by the Federal Reserve Bank. 

High-risk lending products like merchant cash advances, business lines of credit, small business credit cards, etc., are mostly variable-rate financing options.  

Interest Rate on a Business Loan

The interest rate on a business varies from lender to lender. The lender also considers your business’s creditworthiness, your credit history, the business’s revenue, the number of years in operation, collaterals offered, etc., to offer you a personalized rate. 

To know the best business loan interest rates, you can visit the following lender websites:

Lending InstitutionGetting in Touch
American Express Business Line of Credit          🚀
Small Business Loans & Financing by Bank of America          🚀
US Bank Business Loans          🚀
Business Loans by          🚀
OnDeck Line of Credit and Term Loans          🚀
National Funding Small Business Lending Solutions          🚀
PayPal Small Business Loans          🚀
Small Business Loans by PNC          🚀
Popular Bank Business Loans and Lines of Credit          🚀
First Bank Business Loans          🚀
Amazon Lending          🚀

Before you sign up for a business loan with any lenders in the US, check out if you qualify for the SBA loan by the Federal Gov. Find below a business loan rate chart of SBA so you can compare other financing products before finalizing:

Borrowing AmountsMaximum Business Loan Interest Rates
$50,000 or lowerBase rate by Fed + 6.5%
$50,001 to $250,000Base rate by Fed + 6.0%
$250,001 to $350,000Base rate by Fed + 4.5%
Morte than $350,000Base rate by Fed + 3.0%

Types of Business Loan Interest Rates

When it comes to applying for a business loan, you must choose the product wisely. For example, you could go for SBA loans guaranteed by the Federal Government at a competitive rate than most banks, online lenders, and alternative lenders.

Find below various types of business loans you can access in the USA: 

#1. Term Loans

Through a bank term loan, you borrow a lump sum amount and repay it over a fixed term, typically with regular monthly payments. You can use the funds provided under term loans for various purposes, such as expanding your business, purchasing equipment, or covering operational expenses. It comes with a pre-planned repayment schedule and a fixed interest rate.

#2. Bank Small-Business Loan

Bank small-business loans are offered by traditional banks. These loans often come with competitive interest rates and terms. Good business operations and credit record is mandatory for such loans. To qualify for a bank small-business loan, you may need to provide collateral and demonstrate your business’s financial stability.

#3. Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit is mostly a revolving credit account. It provides you with access to a predetermined credit limit, and you can borrow and repay funds as needed. The financing institute charges an interest on the amount you borrow. Business lines of credit are flexible and you can use them for various purposes, including managing cash flow and covering unexpected expenses.

#4. SBA Loans

Federal Govt., through its funding partners, offers SBA loans to small business owners. SBA loans come in various forms, such as the 7(a) loan program, which provides general-purpose funding. On the contrary, the CDC/504 loan program, which you can use for purchasing fixed assets like real estate and equipment. SBA loans often offer favorable terms and lower rates, making them attractive to small business owners.

#5. Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance is a form of financing where you receive a lump sum payment in exchange for a percentage of your daily credit card sales. 

Repayments are made daily as a percentage of your sales. While merchant cash advances can provide quick access to capital, they tend to have higher costs than traditional loans due to the associated fees and factor rates ranging from 1.2 to 1.5.  

#6. Bad Credit Business Loans

If you have a less-than-ideal credit history, you can still access business financing through bad credit business loans. Businesses with a lower credit score often opt for such loans. They may have higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms compared to other loans, but they let you get funds quickly to keep your business afloat.

#7. Invoice Factoring or Financing

Invoice factoring and financing allow you to convert outstanding invoices into immediate cash. 

In invoice factoring, a factor (a financial institution) purchases your unpaid invoices at a discount and takes responsibility for collecting the payments from your customers. 

Contrarily, with invoice financing, you use your invoices as collateral to secure a loan. 

Both options can help improve your cash flow by providing quick access to funds tied up in accounts receivable.

Factors Affecting Business Loan Interest Rates

The following financial and economic components greatly impact the actual APR that you can get on your small, medium, or startup business loans:

Credit Score

Your credit score is a crucial factor in determining your business loan interest rate. Lenders look at your personal and business credit scores to assess your creditworthiness. If you have a high credit score, you’re likely to get a lower business loan interest rate. On the other hand, if your credit score is lower, you may face higher rates.

Loan Amount

The loan amount you’re seeking can also increase or decrease APR. In general, larger loan amounts may come with lower interest rates because lenders can spread their risk across a larger loan. Smaller loans, however, may have slightly higher rates.

Loan Term

The loan term, or the length of time you have to repay the loan, often affects the interest rate. Long-term loans have a lower interest rate, while short-term loans have a higher interest rate. This is because lenders may consider short-term loans riskier, and they want to offset that risk with higher interest.

Business Financial Health

The financing institution also assesses your business’s financial health, including revenue, profitability, and cash flow. A financially stable business with a strong track record is more likely to qualify for lower interest rates.


Offering collateral, such as business assets, equity, bonds, or real estate, can positively influence your interest rate. Loan security provides protection for the lender, lowering their risk. Consequently, they may offer you a lower interest rate in exchange for this added security.

Federal Funds Rate

The Federal Funds Rate set by the Federal Reserve can indirectly impact business loan interest rates. When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, it becomes more expensive for banks to borrow money, and they may pass these higher costs onto borrowers in the form of higher loan interest rates. When the Fed reduces the interest rates, banks also pass on the benefits to their customers to become competitive in the financing market.

The Lender Type

The type of lender you choose can affect the interest rate. Traditional banks often offer competitive rates, while online lenders may have slightly higher rates but provide faster approvals. Online business loans also come with fewer restrictions, flexible monthly payment terms, less paperwork, etc. Your choice of lender should align with your business’s needs and credit profile.

The Financing Type

Different types of financing options, such as term loans, lines of credit, or equipment financing, can come with varying interest rates. The specific financing type you choose should match your business’s requirements and financial situation.

Time in Business

The length of time your business has been in operation can influence your interest rate. More established businesses with a proven track record are generally seen as less risky, making them eligible for lower interest rates.

The Owner’s Credit and Finances

Your personal credit and financial history can also affect the interest rate on a business loan. The financing agency may consider your personal financial stability when assessing your creditworthiness. A strong personal credit history can positively impact your business loan terms.

How To Lower Your Business Loan Interest Rate

Improve Your Personal Credit

As a small business or startup, you can lower your business loan interest through your personal credit. If you can improve your personal credit score before applying for loans, you may get it on favorable terms.

Opt for Secure Loans from Trusted Sources

When choosing a business loan, always go for traditional bank loans and SBA loans for the lowest interest rate. To get such secure loans, you can offer business assets as your loan collateral.

Compare Lenders and Fees

You can apply with several lenders to find out the types of financing they offer. Besides interest loans, check out the additional fees the lenders may charge to find out the overall cost.

Choose a Shorter Term

Selecting a shorter period to repay a loan usually lowers your interest rate. Hence, do not go for a longer loan repayment period if you can avoid it.

Prioritize Variable-Rate Loan

You may want to go for a variable interest rate for your loan, which means that the rate may start at a lower point compared to a loan with a fixed rate.

Business Loan Interest Rates Comparison

So far, you have understood that your business loan can come in different structures with interest rates and additional fees or just one cost of borrowing, popularly known as APR.

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate in the financing industry. Mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, business loans, small business credit cards, etc., come with an APR.

APR includes the interest rate on the principal amount you must pay as well as other fees and administrative costs to issue the loan. Hence, APR includes the SBA guarantee fee, Origination fee, Servicing fee, Underwriting fee, etc.

When comparing two or more business loan products, visualize their APR side by side to find which is the best business loan interest rate. If one or more loan offers only give you the nominal interest rate per annum or month, then there’s a risk of hidden fees that’ll elevate the final monthly payments. 

So, request an APR from all the banks or financing agencies and then compare the rates.    


Now that you know how the business loan interest rates work, you should be able to opt for the most suitable loan scheme for your business. With the approaches mentioned here, you can understand how the rates function and utilize the knowledge for your benefit. You can also read about working capital providers to fund your business growth.

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  • Tamal Das
    Tamal is a freelance writer at Geekflare. He has an MS in Science and has worked at reputable IT consultancy companies to gain hands-on experience with IT technologies and business management. Now, he writes content on popular B2B and B2C IT…
  • Narendra Mohan Mittal

    Narendra Mohan Mittal is a versatile and experienced digital branding strategist and content editor with over 12 years of experience. He is a Gold Medalist in M-Tech and B-Tech in Computer Science & Engineering.


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