From small businesses owners to start-up entrepreneurs, many Cincinnati residents find themselves in need of a business loan at some point in their careers. Local and nationwide lenders have many loan options to choose from, but finding the right lender to grow your company can be difficult. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best business loans in Cincinnati to help narrow your search.
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There are many reasons Cincinnati entrepreneurs may be in need of a business loan. Some companies need to purchase new business equipment, while others are investing in expansion opportunities. Businesses often use short-term business loans to fund day-to-day operations, hire employees or purchase inventory.
Depending on the kind of loan, you may have the option to take out a short-term or long-term loan. Short-term loans usually have less rigorous application requirements, but they typically have higher interest rates. Long-term loans are generally used by established companies with a history of positive revenue. The table below lists common standards for the two types of loans.
Short-term vs. long-term business loans
Type of loan
Company receives upfront funding and makes regular payments over time
U.S. Small business Administration (SBA) loan
Government-backed loans with lower interest rates
Loan used to purchase equipment; equipment serves as collateral
Businesses requiring expensive equipment or vehicles
Company receives upfront funding; unpaid invoices are used to secure loan
Businesses with unpaid invoices that need a quick infusion of cash
Business line of credit
Line of credit that can be drawn from at any time
Businesses with unexpected expenses or short-term funding needs
Smaller loans of less than $50,000
Startups, businesses with small financing needs
Loan terms range from short-term options of as little as three months or long-term loans paid off over up to 25 years. Business owners generally make monthly or semi-monthly payments on their loans.
Applying for a loan in Cincinnati
The qualification process for all loans is similar. First, business owners must apply with their chosen lender. Many offer online applications. Once the loan goes through underwriting and is approved, you’ll receive funding and begin making payments as determined by your loan terms.
Before applying for a loan in Cincinnati, make sure your business meets the necessary qualifications. Microloans might have eligibility requirements, while more traditional loans generally require very good business credit. Those with bad credit can still find business loans through alternative lenders but may pay higher interest rates.
Some loans, such as equipment loans, may require collateral, and businesses may need to pay a downpayment depending on the type and amount of the loan. SBA-backed loans have their own requirements. Check with your lender for specific requirements on other loans.
When comparing loans, be sure to check for fees that may affect your funding. Some of the most common fees include:
Loan origination fees
Service fees and closing costs
SBA guarantee fee
Many lenders in Cincinnati have advisors who can answer questions or help you create a business plan. You can also contact your local branch of the SBA for mentorship and counseling programs for Cincinnati business owners.
Seek Business Capital provides same-day underwriting to get funding to start-ups and small businesses quickly. The company offers additional services, including business consulting and planning, viability assessments and business insurance. Cincinnati reviewers often mention helpful service and quick response times.
Imperial Advance gives financing decisions in minutes if you use the company’s online application. Imperial Advance works with a network of lenders to help customers find the best rates and offers in-house funding that can be disbursed within 24 hours. Many of Imperial Advance’s clients in Cincinnati rave about the company’s responsive customer service team.
National Business Capital provides approvals in as few as 24 hours and has a fast and easy application process. Their funding options include equipment financing, business lines of credit, accounts receivable financing and small business loans. Cincinnati clients love their knowledgeable staff and pain-free funding process.
Kemba Credit Union
This not-for-profit credit union provides low-interest business loans and other financing options to Cincinnati customers. Business owners can apply online or at one of their local branches and enjoy customized repayment terms and attentive customer service. Kemba finances a variety of business expenses, including equipment and working capital.
Huntington Bank offers a variety of loan options for local businesses. The bank has flexible loan terms, variable interest rates and customizable payment options. Huntington Bank uses relationship managers to help decide which loan would work best for your company. Business customers in Cincinnati report satisfaction with the bank’s lending services.
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