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Securing a Loan With Less-Than-Perfect Business Credit

Bad Credit? No problem!

The small-business lending landscape has been steadily improving for more than a year, but challenges still remain for business owners with less-than-stellar credit. The financial collapse of 2008 created shockwaves that are still disrupting the small-business lending landscape.

Financial institutions acclimating to new regulations and government-enforced guidelines are not willing to provide capital to small-business owners with below-average credit scores. The new regulations have increased the costs and risks facing banks that take a chance on business owners with problematic credit records.

However, even the most reticent bank or lender knows that there are many valid reasons why a company might have a poor credit history. During the Great Recession, many small businesses fell behind on payments to vendors, or simply failed to correct unforeseen cash flow irregularities quickly enough. And the black marks on a company’s credit history can take months or years to erase.

Lending Options for Struggling Small-Business Owners

Fortunately, there are plenty of lenders and financial service providers who have stepped up to fill the vacancy created by retreating banks. Typically, these lenders are not brand names or known quantities in the business lending game, but if your company is in need of cash, then one of these financing options might turn out to be your saving grace.

Merchant Cash Advance

An MCA is a short-term loan paid in a lump sum to a business owner in exchange for a portion of the companies future credit card sales. A number of cash advance companies are able to approve applications for funding, and forward money in as little as 48 hours. They may charge higher interest rates, but they do not require an excellent business credit record or collateral.


Microloans are often awarded by non-profit granting institutions, although a number of person-to-person and business-to-business lending platforms have sprung up online in the past 3 years. The Small Business Administration oversees a Microloan Program that helps business owners connect with non-profit community-based intermediary lenders.


Marshall Walker Lee graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Michigan's Honors College with degrees in Writing and Philosophy. As a freelance writer and designer he has developed branding strategies and programming for J. Walter Thompson, Nike, the Kellogg Foundation, Spike TV, Sony Films, and General Motors. He is the co-founder and director of Poor Claudia, a 501(c)3 non-profit publishing enterprise based in Portland, Oregon.