Loans for Veterans You Can Trust


When you return from serving your country, it can be difficult to imagine what your future career might hold. Many veterans dream of opening their own stores or starting their own small business, using their passions or their military-trained talents to find success. The first step in pursuing their entrepreneurial spirit is often to find small business loans for veterans.

By opening up the door to increased finances through veteran business loans, your professional dreams can begin to take shape.  Fortunately, there are a number of companies that specialize in offering small business loans for veterans.

Award Emblem: Top 6 Lenders for Veterans

Many veterans prefer the discounted interest and special rates that companies are willing to offer those who have served their country.

By finding a company that offers this specific type of VA small business loan, they can put themselves on a path to increased financial freedom significantly faster than using regular financing. Why pay more than necessary when you could find better rates and more favorable terms from loans for veterans?



AdvisoryHQ's List of the Top VA Loan Lenders Providing Small Business Loans for Veterans

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names above to go directly to the detailed review section for that company):


Top Lenders for VA Business Loans

Lenders

Website

Bank of America

https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/business-financing/learning/sba-financing.go

Fundia

https://fundiacapital.com/

Kabbage

https://www.kabbage.com/blog/funding-veteran-owned-businesses-patriot-express-loan-v-sba-veterans-advantage-loan-program

Military Loans

https://www.military-loans.com/veteran-military-credit/

Navy Federal Credit Union

https://www.navyfederal.org/products-services/loans/mortgage/va-loans.php

OnDeck

https://www.ondeck.com/

(List is sorted alphabetically)



Grants Versus Loans for Veterans

If you’ve been planning a new venture into opening your own business, you should know how veteran business loans can assist you. The premise of receiving a VA small business loan is to increase the amount of capital you have for other expenses. After all, opening your own business can be costly.

With loans for veterans lined up to help you in the beginning (or maybe even later on down the road), you are freeing up your finances to help you preserve your working capital. You can purchase your equipment, renovate a storefront, buy a work vehicle, or refinance old debt.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to support veterans within their own communities. You will find a number of VA loan lenders and programs available, including for homes, job leads, or small business loans for veterans. The VA loan lenders typically note that they intend to be repaid, separate from any veteran small business grants you might come across.

If you are interested in veteran small business grants, it must be noted that these are usually reserved for non-profit type work. If you are interested in opening a for-profit business of your own, you will be looking for a VA small business loan and not veteran small business grants.

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Business Loans for Veterans

While the Department of Veterans Affairs may occasionally issue a VA business loan, there are plenty of other banks and lenders that are willing to issue a small business loan for veterans. Often, these programs will offer a combination of:

  • Personal loans
  • Small Business Administration loans
  • Secured or unsecured business loans

The Small Business Administration typically partners with other financial institutions (such as Bank of America or Navy Federal Credit Union) to offer a wide selection of different loan types. They offer several with various levels of financing, terms, and repayment options.

Image Source: Pixabay

Likewise, a personal loan or a secured business loan will give you a variety of choices. However, be sure you understand exactly what each of these types of loans will allow you to purchase. Some can only be used for very specific things (purchasing real estate or building inventory, for example).

Some of the more popular online lending platforms, such as Fundia and Kabbage, will give you the choice to open what is essentially a business line of credit. Instead of needing to repay veteran business loans, you only pay back what you end up using from the loan. This method typically works best for short-term needs that can be repaid quickly, but it also gives you the most flexibility in terms of what you can and cannot do with the funding you receive.


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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Small Business Loans for Veterans

For an in-depth review and examination of the various programs that offer small business loans for veterans, see below. We have done the research for you to highlight some of the factors that contributed to the placement of these lenders on our list of the best business loans for veterans.



Bank of America Review


Bank of America does not necessarily offer a VA business loan, but they do offer a number of other types of small business loans that would be great for veterans. Bank of America is a larger lender, nationally recognized for its options and lending ability. It sets its own criteria for granting the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans of several different types.

Key Factors That Enabled This Institution to Rank as One of the Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

Below are a few of the deciding factors that allowed us to list Bank of America as one of the best programs to find a veteran small business loan.

Funding

The business loans for veterans that are offered through Bank of America’s lending program are SBA loans. These types of loans (not specifically loans for veterans and not specifically available through just VA loan lenders) are designed to help new business begin and to help established businesses continue a pattern of healthy growth. These business loans for veterans are issued directly from Bank of America, but the risk for the loan is shared by both the bank and the SBA.

Not all banks offer the same SBA loan types. Here are the SBA loans available through Bank of America that would make a great veteran small business loan:

  • SBA 504 – This offers longer maturity (anywhere from 7 to 20 years) for purchasing equipment or real estate with a $350,000 minimum.
  • SBA 7(a) – This veteran small business loan option can be used for working capital, refinancing your debt, purchasing equipment, or purchasing and expanding a business with longer maturity. Borrow anywhere from $350,000 to $3.5 million for up to 25 years.
  • SBA Express – Used primarily for working capital and purchasing equipment, vehicles, or inventory, you get a longer maturity than with conventional loans (seven-year term) for anywhere from $25,000 to $350,000.

Eligibility

Bank of America is qualified as an SBA Preferred Lender, making them more likely to provide you with better terms and a smoother application and closing process than a non-SBA preferred lender. While it isn’t a requirement to be a Preferred Lender for small business loans for veterans, it does seem to have those perks.

Bank of America Loan Application Review-min

Image Source: BigStock

Here are the eligibility requirements for a veteran small business loan through the Small Business Association and Bank of America:

  • Owner-operated
  • For-profit
  • Legally organized (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company)
  • Within size guidelines dictated by the SBA
  • Generally unable to receive conventional credit under reasonable terms

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Fundia Review


Fundia is one of several up and coming online lending platforms designed to make obtaining a small business loan for veterans easier than ever. Their application process takes just minutes to complete on their website with six easy questions to get you started and no obligation to carry it through to completion.

Key Factors that Enabled this Institution to Rank as One of the Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

If you’re wondering what qualified Fundia to make it onto our list of the best small business loans for veterans, then keep reading.

Funding

Fundia does have the potential to issue more money for veteran business loans than some other companies do (including Kabbage). They will consider entrepreneurs for up to $200,000 on their line of credit or loans for veterans.

Unlike some other small business loans for disabled veterans, Fundia is also willing to lend money to startups without necessarily needing a history of profitable returns. You will pay only for the money that you actually withdraw from the account set up for your loan.

Because the money is always available to you, you can use your business loans for veterans any way you choose to: purchasing inventory, marketing, buying equipment, hiring staff, or for working capital.

Eligibility

The eligibility requirements for veteran business loans is quite the opposite of some of the more rigorous or demanding application requirements of other VA loan lenders. In order to apply, you are not required to have any collateral equal to the value of your loan or to demonstrate a specific length of time in profitable tax returns.

Instead, the only requirement on their loans for veterans and other individuals is a credit score of 680 or above. They do prefer this credit score to belong to the CEO of the company at hand, but they will also look at the credit score of partners listed on the loan before issuing a decision.

Fundia Capital is perfect for veterans who may not qualify based off the more stringent standards typically present in smaller local banks. The flexibility that they offer to consumers makes them a great choices for veteran business loans, provided that you have a credit score high enough to qualify for this type of funding.

You are also not required to have a specific type of entity in order to qualify for a loan similar to a VA small business loan. They do, however, recommend having one as it does give VA loan lenders the ability to determine your seriousness about your entrepreneurial efforts.



Kabbage Review


Kabbage was created in 2009 as a fully automated, online lending platform to help issue small business loans. While they do not cater specifically to VA business loans, they do offer funding that is very conducive to veterans. Whether you’re looking for a small business loan for disabled veterans or some other form of loans for veterans, you’re likely to find something that will work from this company.

Key Factors That Enabled This Institution to Rank as One of the Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

Here are a few of the reasons that Kabbage made our list of the best small business loans for veterans or the best small business loans for disabled veterans.

Funding

If you need your loan to be processed quickly, Kabbage is a great resource for a fast veteran small business loan. After completing your application, you could have access to capital in minutes (though it can take up to several days in some cases). The amount of cash that Kabbage will grant you — up to $100,000 — access to is dependent upon a number of factors:

  • Monthly revenue
  • Seller rating
  • Time in business
  • Transaction volume

The small business loans for veterans offered through Kabbage (also available to other individuals) do not charge interest. However, their loan fees are assessed from 1.5 to 12 percent and you can expect to pay either 1/6 or 1/12 of the total loan amount each month for your six month or twelve month loan.

Because the loan terms are always going to be one year or less, this works best for very short-term planning such as building inventory.

Repayment

The Kabbage program works more like a credit line than a VA small business loan. The money you request for your loan is transferred into a PayPal account. You are only responsible for the amount of money that you actually take. You can save any portion of your qualified funds until you need them with no set-up fees, monthly fees, or annual costs.

Determining Factors

As is common among VA loan lenders, very new businesses or startups tend to base their initial lending decisions on the personal credit of the owner. If you’re looking for business loans for veterans, the issue of personal credit may be holding you back, particularly if you served overseas and weren’t focused on building credit stateside.

Kabbage acknowledges this and offers loans that have no credit requirements.

The downside to what could be a wonderful caveat for some is that you do have to have at least one full year in business and $50,000 or more in annual revenue.

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OnDeck Review


OnDeck does not offer loans for veterans specifically as several of the other companies on our ranking for loans for veterans do. However, they do offer a great loan program, whether you’re looking for veteran business loans or civilian ones.

Key Factors That Enabled This Institution to Rank as One of the Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

Below are a few of the key reasons why OnDeck has been included in our ranking of the best loans for veterans.

Funding

You can receive pretty large loans for veterans through OnDeck’s funding, especially in comparison to some programs. When ranked against Military Loans and some of the SBA loans for veterans available through Bank of America and Navy Federal Credit Union, OnDeck’s maximum loan amount of $500,000 is quite a significant increase in funding.

With this online lending platform, applying and receiving your veteran business loans is quick and easy. You can apply over the course of just a few minutes and receive an answer in just as short of a time. Funding could come as soon as the very next business day, great if you were looking for a VA business loan in a hurry.

There is some flexibility in terms of repayment with your funding. Their loans for veterans have terms ranging in length from three months to three years.

Eligibility

Need to know how you can qualify for their small business loans for veterans? Their requirements and minimum qualifications are pretty clear-cut:

  • You must be in business for at least a year.
  • You must have a gross annual revenue of at least $100,000.
  • You must have a business that does not fall into one of the industries that they cannot provide veteran business loans for.
  • Your business must be within the United States.
  • Your credit score must be 500 or above.

Additional Costs

Keep in mind that you will also owe a one-time origination fee on any small business loans for veterans. The fee will decrease with subsequent loans for veterans:

  • First loan – 2.5 to 4 percent of the loan amount
  • Second loan – 1.25 to 3 percent of the loan amount
  • Third loan (or more) – 0 to 3 percent of the loan amount

You can expect the repayment of your loans for veterans to come with an interest rate. For those who have great credit, your interest rates could be as low as 9% (total interest). It would not be calculated annually as some veteran business loans are but would be based off the total loan amount.



Military Loans Review


Military Loans features a niche business that offers funding only to active or retired service members. Specializing only in lending, this company features personal loans, home loans, and, of course, VA small business loans for veterans who are looking to start their entrepreneurial journey.

Key Factors That Enabled This Institution to Rank as One of the Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

Here are a few of the reasons why Military Loans made it onto our list of the best VA small business loans.

Funding

Military Loans offers personal loans and business loans to active duty and veteran service members, not specifically a VA small business loan. If you’re looking for small business loans for disabled veterans, they also have a fast and painless paperless process for this type of individual.

Unfortunately, you cannot receive as much money on veteran business loans through Military Loans as you can through some other institutions. You can only expect to receive a maximum of $40,000 through their personal loans and up to $250,000 for their VA small business loan. However, funding is fast and easy. Within days of your approval, all of the funds from your veteran small business loan are deposited directly into your bank account for your usage.

Once you receive the money that is allotted to you through the lending process, you can use the money from your veteran business loans anyway you choose to. It can be used for purchasing inventory, hiring staff, investing in equipment, hiring employees, or anything else that may seem pertinent during the startup of your business.

Eligibility

Military Loans tries to make it easy for veterans to secure a loan similar to a VA small business loan. While they do check your credit, they still say that you can receive a VA small business loan without having a perfect score. They do not, however, disclose exactly what score is required in order to be approved.

Military Loans Review-minImage Source: BigStock

Interest rates are dependent upon your credit history, but they could start as low as 5.99% APR.

If you don’t require much financing for your new business and decide to take the personal loan route, you should note that there are no assets or collateral required. The same addendum does not hold true on their veteran business loans.

Keep in mind that Military Loans, like all VA loan lenders, requires your VA business loan to be repaid. They do not offer anything in the way of veteran small business grants.

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Navy Federal Credit Union Review

 

Navy Federal Credit Union is a great resource for active-duty or veteran service members, especially when it comes to hunting for loans for veterans. Similar to Bank of America, the funding they offer for veteran business loans is through the SBA, but they do have additional resources and programs that the other national chain does not.

Key Factors That Enabled This Institution to Rank as One of the Best Small Business Loans for Veterans

Below are a few of the compelling reasons that Navy Federal Credit Union made it onto our list of the best veteran business loans.

Funding

Navy Federal Credit Union offers their small business loans for disabled veterans and veterans through the same Small Business Administration program as Bank of America. While these programs are great because they can offer the financial institution that sponsors them less risk for taking on new small businesses, they don’t necessarily offer much in the way of support to the veterans who apply for them.

However, the veteran business loans offered through Navy Federal Credit Union also feature the SBA Veterans Advantage loan.

Similar to the SBA Express loan offered through Bank of America, you can fund up to $350,000 with a 50 percent guaranty. Use it as a revolving line of credit or a term loan for up to seven years. The maximum interest rates charged are prime plus 6.5% for veteran business loans under $50,000 and prime plus 4.5% for loans over $50,000.

Eligibility

Navy Federal Credit Union does examine your credit before issuing anything close to a VA small business loan. In addition to your credit score and credit report, they also want to make sure that your business has the capacity to repay the money that is issued in their veteran business loans.

You can plan on gathering up some capital, as Navy Federal Credit Union cannot finance 100 percent of your startup costs. A VA small business loan, by law, cannot cover all of the cost of starting or acquiring a new business. You will also need to have collateral to enhance your likelihood of repaying the loan and a solid understanding of the market your business will be in.

In short, the first step to achieving a VA small business loan through Navy Federal Credit Union would be to draft a business plan that helps to account for the items you can use for collateral, your marketing plan, and the market interest for your product or service.

Veteran Business Loan Lender

Maximum Amount

Type of Loan

Bank of America

$3.5 million

SBA loan

Fundia

$200,000

Business loan (similar to business line of credit)

Kabbage

$100,000

Business loan (similar to business line of credit)

OnDeck

$500,000

Business loans

Military Loans

$250,000

Personal loans, business loans

Navy Federal Credit Union

$350,000

SBA loan

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Top Ranking Small Business Loans for Veterans

With 10 percent of all businesses being veteran-owned, it only makes sense that there would be a sharp increase in interest surrounding the possibility of a VA small business loan and small business loans for disabled veterans. According to the Small Business Administration, those businesses generate $1.2 trillion annually, meaning veteran business loans are likely a worthwhile investment.

While not all companies will offer a program that specializes in a VA small business loan program, there are several companies that still have a great selection of business loans for veterans. You will want to keep in mind a number of things before committing to a specific lender:

  • Amount of funding you can receive from their financing program
  • The rates and repayment options
  • The eligibility requirements

There are a number of veteran business loans available if you know where to look. There’s no reason to continue to put your entrepreneurial aspirations on hold when there are so many small business loans for veterans available. With this ranking of the top six best business loans for veterans, you’ll be set to further your career and increase your capital quickly.

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