Small Business Loans in Australia: A Guide
Stick around to learn all you need to know about small business financing solutions.
Step 1*: Calculate Your Chances of Being Approved for Business Finance
* If you are unfamiliar with the major Australian lenders, and genuinely indifferent to which specific provider is supplying you with the business loan (as long as you are approved and it matches your criteria) you can opt to use Become.co’s Smart Calculator which will find suitable options instantly through its proprietary LendingScore™ algorithm.
Step 2: Discover The Best Small Business Loans 2020
The following are the best Australian SME lenders by our editorial rating. They all provide unsecured finance and small business loans with high approval rate, quick application processing, while providing clarity about the interest and repayment schedules.
Compare Unsecured Business Loans in Australia
Learn about a swift and easy to use online platform
Before you rush to read our extensive small business lending reviews you should consider using Become SME Loans. Test your eligibility in under 60 seconds, receive only the most relevant loan options from providers who are likely to accept your application and get money in the bank in as little as 24 hours. They deal with requests of $5,000 to $500,000 across Australia.
Read Our Lend.com.au Review
Compare Additional Business Financing
While the lenders we recommend are quite flexible, and the business loan marketplaces we recommend provide access to dozens of different options, some businesses require more advanced ways of financing.
If you are looking for diversified means of financing and want to weigh-in all the options you have at hand, consider using Valiant. Valiant is a platform gathering more than 70 financing options, including lenders for secured and unsecured lending, lines of credit, overdraft, business cash advance, debtor financing, invoice finance or even business credit cards. One simple questionnaire will help you what’s the best small business loan route for your needs.
Lender Reviews: How to do an effective business loan comparison?
We have set ourselves a target of comparing and reviewing some of the top non-bank business lenders in the Australian online lending industry. Our goal is for prospective clients to be able to understand the types of lending solutions and services that are provided to them by each online business loan provider in Australia and the lending criteria that makes a small business eligible to get funded.
When you compare small business loans, you have to remember this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The same way business credit cards are different so too are the types of SME loans offered by online lenders. Different businesses have different needs and requirements ,so in this sense we are only able to provide the most basic considerations. However, through our relationship with Become and the online lenders we do gain a unique insight of the loan providers that are most relevant to certain industries and the providers that are better suited to good or bad credit businesses.
- They are approved as a credit provider in Australia. That is the first thing anyone should consider before engaging in business with a lender.
- We prefer big and diverse companies that are able to offer business loans to various types of small and medium enterprises. That means there is a higher likeliness they would be able to offer you something that meets your own requirements.
- There is a quick and easy application process. If you have come to this website, you must have been searching for a fast business loan. The first part of being quick is being able to receive all the information required online in a simple and intuitive application.
- There is a quick response to each application, followed by quick financing (i.e. money in the bank). That is the second part of providing fast business financing.
- There is easy tracking of your loan and a clear repayment schedule with no hidden fees and no fines on early repayments.
- A loan can be taken for any business use . For example, you can borrow funds from the lenders featured on this website to buy machinery, fix machinery, recruit staff, buy vehicles, buy stock, buy inventory, or even acquire another company.
- A flexible loan amount is offered that can suit a business that needs money to buy stock the next day for $5,000, right through to a more established firm that uses a $500,000 loan to acquire a smaller competitor.
Read More about those Unsecured Business Lenders
Based on the considerations above, we have made our selection with regards to the lenders we feature and review on this website. View our top selections here.
Step 4: Read Reviews
Australian Small Business Lender Reviews
Capify is a dinosaur in the small business lending industry. The firm was established 17 years ago and has lent more than $650M so far in working capital financing. It is partially funded by global giants like Alibaba, who have injected $40M in cash to be used for lending.
This is the company that actually pioneered unsecured business loans in Australia back in 2008, and established itself as one of the industry leaders.
The firm’s strong point, beyond its spotless reputation, is how quickly it responds to applications (often as quickly as 60 minutes!) and the wide range of businesses it deals with. The firm will deal with large merchants or importers but also smaller businesses, such as family-owned stores and entrepreneurs.
The feedback from clients appears to be strong. On Google Reviews, at the time of writing this, Capify small business loans in Australia boasts a 4.5 / 5 rating with more than 120 reviews. On the Australian TrustPilot, it is one of the front runners in the Australian online lending industry with a whopping 4.8 / 5 score with more than 260 reviews.
Capify is an established brand with serious capabilities in this industry who we certainly recommend at least making a free enquiry. It costs nothing and the application is simple and easy.
Prospa, located in Darlinghurst, New South Wales, is the most respected alternative business lender in Australia. With awards such as Winner – FinTech Lender of the Year, MFAA Excellence Awards 2019, #5 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia 2018, #1 Financial Times 1000 High Growth Company 2018 and Lending Innovator of the Year 2017, the firm is definitely recognised as such. Due to its tremendous growth Prospa is the first Australian lender to have registered on the ASX. As a result Prospa is completely transparent with its performance and lending metrics and even goes one step above by being the most transparent online lender with regards to its pricing. Unique to Prospa, their interest rate ranges for each product are clearly detailed on their website. Since inception, Prospa has funded over $1.2 billion to over 20,000 small businesses in Australia!
Aside from being one of the most trusted brands in the industry, the firm also offers a great deal of flexibility and has positioned itself to be one of the quickest business lenders in Australia and even globally. You’re likely to get a response to your application within hours.
Prospa is in a league of its own when it comes to customer reviews. With a 4.7 / 5 score on Google and a truly astonishing 4.9 / 5 on TrustPilot (based on over 4,250 reviews!), there is no doubt that Prospa, in the eyes of the customer, is the best at what it does. When we searched online specifically for complaints, we could only locate two verified customers in total through all channels. This is extremely unique in the financial services industry.
Prospa is a great choice for anyone requiring an unsecured or secured business loan of $5,000 to $300,000. Prospa offers unsecured business loans for businesses with at least six months in operation.
Ondeck is a global juggernaut offering small business financing in America, Canada and Australia (as of 2015). From the start, you get a sense of dealing with a sensible and fair company as the repayment rates are completely transparent. This enables prospective customers to get a sense of the interest they will be paying based on their individual circumstances. Ondeck also encourage customers to utilise loan comparison tools and get their free credit score so business owners can make an informed decision at the onset of receiving a small business loan.
The firm was established in 2007 and by 2014 had lent US $1billion to small businesses. Across all jurisdictions it operates, Ondeck has now funded over US $12 billion to small firms. Easily the largest in the online lending industry and shows the staggering pace it has grown in the last few years and since launching in Australia. It comes as no surprise as Ondeck is committed to serving customers with the smartest financing solutions and a world class service.
In Australia the firm is also proud to partner with MYOB business software to offer customers various benefits and incentives through working with OnDeck Australia.
Now with over 500 OnDeck Australia reviews on Trustpilot and a 4.8 / 5 Trust rating, Ondeck is cementing its place as one of the leading alternative business lenders in Australia.
GetCapital is another of the leading online lenders in Australia, which has received numerous awards including the Financial Review Fast 100 2018, and the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 2018.. With its straightforward approach, understandable website, and ultra-quick turnaround, Get Capital is considered “the friendliest lender”. GetCapital is known to be ultra flexible with the type of loans offered and in fact offers by far the greatest variety in working capital solutions of all of the best rated Australian online lenders.
Boasting over 300 Trustpilot reviews of which 99% are positive, there is an overwhelming majority of customers praising their experience with GetCapital.
In essence, small businesses in Australia with at least $100,000 annual turnover can borrow money quickly and efficiently for any purpose. It may be a vehicle loan, equipment, line of credit, expansion-related or for any other purpose and needs. The guys at GetCapital will make sure it is apt for your business.
Lumi rounds up our Top 5 most recommended providers. It is a newcomer to the industry, but considering its young age, is showing remarkable signs of becoming a niche leader in the near future. The Lumi group prides itself on a unique smart algorithm that is able to identify the ‘real risk’ profile better than its peers can. Another thing that Lumi excels at is transparency. Lumi small business loans are very easy to understand, and the only payment required up front is a 2.5% establishment fee of the amount funded
Lumi’s loans range from $5,000 to $200,000 (unsecured up to $100,00), for a minimum of three months and a maximum of eighteen months. It caters best to businesses that are interested in short-term loans and is also one of the best rated for bad credit businesses.
Compare Now With Additional Reviews for Australian Business Financing:
Step 5: Master The Do’s and Don’ts of SME Financing in Australia
There are plenty of cautionary tales for us to tell you about small business lending. If you thought financing was purely about finding the cheapest rate , then it would be wise to think again. Making a mistake in such a critical aspect of your business can make or break you.
- Do not borrow money that you are unsure you can repay. The eventuality of this will become a real burden in your business career and personal life.
- Do not borrow money if you don’t need it. Consider other alternatives before jumping on a small business loan.
- Do extensive research to understand your options. Don’t jump the gun unless you really have to.
- Realise that the industry works like this: The more urgently you need the funds and the worse your position is (for example, bad credit) the higher the interest rate will be.
- The commercial lending industry is not regulated in the same manner as personal loans. The regulatory authorities believe that as a business owner, you’re in a much less vulnerable position than an individual and should, in theory, be more educated about these topics.
- Make a sober decision about whether to use banks or alternative business lenders to fund your business. Read the guide below, which is intended as a starting point for business loan newcomers.
For Business Funding Newcomers
We think the best way is to start off by explaining how this industry works and to lay out the pros and cons of alternative (non-bank) small business loans against a bank business loan. Below are the differences you will experience when dealing with the lenders listed on this website in comparison to Australian banks like Commonwealth, Westpac, ING, ANZ, or Suncorp.
Comparing Australian Alternative Funding to Bank Loans
- With an alternative business lender, the decision on your loan is made within as little as 24 hours of application. Much of the application processing is done online through a sophisticated algorithm.
- With small business alternative funding, the decision on whether to offer you a loan and under what conditions will depend on their independent analysis. They may factor in your credit score, but this is not the only determining factor. You will receive the loan quickly once the decision has been made (even on the same business day).
- With business financing companies, you should receive a clear repayment schedule with no hidden fees in the simplest and most coherent way possible. There are no early repayment fines of any sort.
- With alternative lenders in Australia, you should be able to score an unsecured small business loan if you desire one (and speak to the right lender that offers such financing).
- With business financing companies, you would pay, on average, higher interest than with banks.
- With business funding companies, you can take a loan for a few months or three years maximum.
- With bank business loans, the decision on whether to give you a loan can take weeks. Even before that, it may consume a lot of time and energy (and money!) to create a suitable presentation of the business and fill out the application forms.
- With banks SME loans in Australia, it is highly unlikely you will receive financing if you have a bad credit score. In fact, based on statistics, as many as 60% of loans are rejected due to not meeting the bank’s risk profile requirements or because the business was misrepresented through the application.
- With banks, the repayment schedule is not always clear, and you may experience fines on early repayments.
- With banks, you always need to present securities for the financing you will receive.
- With banks, you are expected to get better interest, on average, than with alternative providers.
- Banks prefer longer-term loans over short-term loans but can offer both.
Summary of Comparison: Banks Vs. Non-Bank Lenders
Use a non-bank funding provider if:
- You require money urgently. Working capital financing or equipment financing qualify as an urgent need.
- You are not able to receive a business loan from the bank.
- You do not want to go through the hurdles of applying to a bank with all the preparation and paperwork involved.
- You need the money for only a short period of time.
- You are looking for unsecured financing.
Use a bank if:
- You are an established business that can get a loan with the bank.
- You are able to complete all the necessary paperwork.
- You are happy to wait weeks or even months for the application process to end.
- You can supply the necessary securities.
Read more about the differences between applying for a bank loan and applying for a loan with an online lender here – online lenders vs bank loans.
Concluding Words on Unsecured Business Financing
We have reviewed more than 25 different Australia-based business loan opportunities, all of which offer unsecured small business loans. They are all credible, effective, and quick. Other similarities between the Australian non-bank funding companies include relatively high interest, strict minimum requirements, and small loan amounts in comparison to revenues (usually up to one month of revenues in financing). It is not an easy, cheap, and effort-free process to get a small business loan, and you should do a comprehensive research to decide which of the SME finance lenders provide the best business loans for your needs.