3 Times a Personal Loan Makes More Sense Than a Business Loan

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

asian women getting financial advice, personal and business loans, two women talking in office

If you’re planning on starting or expanding a business, finding funding can be difficult. In fact, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that 58% of new companies had challenges getting credit or money to help them grow.

If you’re in need of financing, you likely are considering a personal or business loan. But they work very differently. Find out what you need to know about personal loans versus business loans and how to decide which is right for you.

Personal loans vs. business loans

When it comes to paying for your company’s needs, it’s important to understand how each type of loan works so that you can select the right option for your business. Here’s what you need to know.

How personal loans work

With a personal loan, you work with a bank, credit union, or online lender to take out a loan. When deciding whether to approve your application, the lender looks at your credit history and income. Your business’ performance isn’t a factor.

Because personal loan lenders just consider your information, it’s often easier to get a personal loan than a business loan. You can quickly borrow as much as $100,000, and you have up to seven years to pay it back.

But if your credit isn’t stellar, you might not qualify for a low-interest personal loan. Instead, you could face high interest rates that cause your loan balance to balloon over time.

How business loans work

Business loans are very different than personal loans. To qualify for a business loan, you typically need to provide the lender with extensive documentation, including:

  • A business plan
  • A concrete spending plan for the borrowed money
  • Individual and business tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • An annual report or statement of finances

The extra work can be worth it because business loans usually have high maximums. For example, you can borrow up to $5.5 million through a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. Plus, you can have as long as 20 years to repay the loan.

Most business loan lenders require you to put up some form of collateral, such as your business’ assets. If you default on the loan, you can end up losing your business or other collateral.

3 times a personal loan is better than a business loan

Although a business loan allows you to borrow more and pay it back over a longer term, there are times when a personal loan makes more financial sense. Here are three occasions when a personal loan can be a better choice than a business loan.

1. Your business is brand new

If your business is relatively new or just starting, you might have problems finding a lender willing to work with you. Most business loan lenders only offer loans to companies that have been in operation for at least a few years — and even these lenders could have higher interest rates.

For example, lenders like Kabbage charge much higher interest rates and fees and have shorter repayment terms than if you qualified for an SBA loan or other traditional loans. For example, if you took out a 12-month loan for $30,000 from Kabbage and qualified for a fee rate of 5.00%, you’d repay a total of $40,800.

Those fees and charges can be steep. A personal loan can be a smart alternative. If you have good credit, you can get the money you need with a personal loan at a much lower rate.

2. You need money right away

Business loans can take weeks or even months to process since lenders have to review your business’ documentation, which takes time. If you need the money quickly, a business loan might not meet your needs.

If you need to act quickly to take advantage of an opportunity, to boost your inventory, or to hire new staff, you’ll likely need to find funding elsewhere. That’s when a personal loan can make more sense.

With many personal loans, you can receive your funds in just a few days, giving you the cash you need right away.

3. You don’t want to risk your collateral

Because most business loans require you to put up assets as collateral, there’s a good deal of risk associated with them.

If you don’t want to risk losing your collateral, a personal loan might be a better option. If you default on your payments, your credit can be damaged, and the lender can send you to collections, but you won’t lose your business or other valuables.

Applying for a personal loan

When thinking about personal loans versus business loans, it’s important to keep your business finances and goals in mind.

How quickly you need the money and how comfortable you are with risk will determine which option is best for you. In some cases, a low-interest personal loan can be exactly what you need to build a thriving business.

Get quotes from multiple personal loan lenders to ensure you get the best rate.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.199% APR to 15.365% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.145% APR to 14.685% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.145% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.97% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply:SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.15% – 15.37%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.