Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Banks won't lend? Use these guys instead

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.

Lending Club

alternative lending club
  • Financing type: Fixed-term loans from peers

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 UK company 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.

  @saraashleyo - Last updated July 18 2014 12:34 PM ET