Banks often have exhaustive approval processes, high minimums, and flawless credit requirements. But there's a wealth of non-bank alternatives for those who need capital fast. Here are some of the leaders.
What it is: Lending Club has offered personal loans since 2007 and launched a small business platform in March 2014. In a peer-to-peer virtual marketplace, entrepreneurs who have been in business for at least two years borrow from investors -- individuals or companies -- for anywhere from one to five years. Lending Club loans have fixed interest rates that vary depending on the business' risk.
Who it's best for: Credit-worthy businesses with many years of experience get better deals than less established companies that look weaker financially. There's also an "origination fee," a onetime fee paid upfront that can range from 1% to 6% of the loan and depends on one's credit worthiness and term length.
Potential pitfalls: Even if interest rates and fees seem clear, it's important to pay attention to the fine print.
"Focus on the default and remedies clauses," advises Weiss. "If you miss a payment, do you have an opportunity to remedy it?"
Financing amounts: Up to $100,000
Interest: 5.9% to 29.99%
Other peer-to-peer options:Funding Circle -- The UKcompany opened a U.S. arm last fall. Loans go up to $500,000 and rates are between 9.9% and 20.9% plus a 2.99% origination fee.