Diving into small business loans can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Making heads or tails of business loan interest rates is why we’ve compiled this guide. We aim to illuminate small business loan interest rates and what the average interest rate on business loans truly means. 

In addition to understanding the interest rates, it’s essential to understand the benefits of a business loan for your enterprise. A few key advantages include:

  • Cash Flow Management: Business loans can cover operational costs and ensure smooth operations and cash flow.
  • Expansion Opportunities: A loan can help you open a new location or launch a major marketing campaign.
  • Equipment and Inventory Purchases: Loans can be utilized to buy new equipment or inventory.
  • Credit Building: On-time loan payments strengthen your business’s credit history and help you get better loans in the future.
  • Flexibility: Business loans come in several forms, allowing you to choose the optimal funding for your team.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a better grasp of how these rates operate and how they could impact your business’s financial journey.

Current Business Loan Interest Rates

So, let’s talk numbers. In the first few months of 2023, the average interest rate for small business bank loans was bobbing between 5.26% and 11.32%, as per the data from our friends at the Federal Reserve. But remember, these rates aren’t carved in stone. They can swing quite a bit based on many factors, including the kind of loan you’re eyeing. 

Take bank small-business loans, for example. They typically offer rates in the same 5.26% to 11.32% range. But then you have online term loans, where rates can start at 6% and skyrocket to 99%. And let’s remember SBA loans. These loans, which have the backing of the U.S. Small Business Administration, usually come with rates ranging between 10.5% and 13%. Quite a spread, right?

Having explored the landscape of current business loan interest rates, it’s clear they can vary widely based on several factors. Now, let’s delve deeper into the specific elements that influence these rates and how they affect your business loan’s overall cost.


What Influences the Interest Rate on a Business Loan?

Several elements come into play when determining your business loan interest rates. The lender you choose and the type of loan you apply for are two significant factors. While traditional bank small-business loans offer lower rates, they also come with stringent qualifications. On the other hand, online lenders provide more flexibility in terms of eligibility but at a higher cost. This flexibility may come with a broader range of use cases for the capital that a borrower secures.

Your financial situation also plays a crucial role. When determining your interest rate, lenders consider your credit score, time in business, and business income. You might be offered a higher rate if you’re deemed a risky borrower. Additionally, if you secure your loan with business collateral, such as inventory or property, you might be offered a better rate, as this reduces the lender’s risk.


Fixed vs. Variable Interest Rates

Business loan interest rates typically fall into one of two categories: fixed or variable. With a fixed-rate loan, interest rates and monthly payments remain static throughout the life of the loan. This consistency makes budgeting for repayment more predictable, providing a sense of financial stability. Fixed rates are commonly associated with lump-sum term loans, often used for significant, one-time business purchases or long-term financing needs.

Variable-rate loans, conversely, offer a different dynamic. They may start with a lower rate, but this rate can rise or fall in response to market fluctuations. As a result, your payments can vary over time, which can make budgeting more challenging and introduce a degree of uncertainty. However, this flexibility can also be beneficial in certain circumstances. For instance, business lines of credit often come with variable interest rates. These are particularly useful for business owners who need ongoing access to funds rather than a set amount of money upfront. This flexibility can be a lifeline for businesses dealing with variable costs or unexpected expenses.


Understanding Business Loan Fees

Beyond interest rates, it’s crucial to consider the various fees associated with business loans, as they can significantly impact your loan’s total cost. 

The origination fee is an upfront cost for processing a new loan. The underwriting fee covers the lender’s work reviewing and verifying your loan application. Closing costs, which include legal fees and other administrative costs, are associated with finalizing the loan. 

SBA loans typically have a guarantee fee based on the loan size. Understanding these fees is vital as they can influence the overall cost of borrowing and your business’s financial health.

How to Compare Business Loan Rates

The annual percentage rate (APR) is crucial when comparing business loan rates. The APR calculates your loan’s annual cost. It comprises interest and lending costs. It better represents the loan’s overall cost than the interest rate.

However, not all lenders quote APRs. Some lenders offer a simple interest rate without expenses. Others employ a factor rate, which multiplies your loan amount to calculate your payments. These estimates may not give you the complete cost.

If possible, convert these rates to APRs to receive the greatest bargain. This conversion makes loan offers more comparable. Interest rate calculators and APR calculators are available online.

The lowest interest rate or factor rate sometimes means the cheapest loan. Compare business loan options by APR and total repayment. This will clarify the loan’s entire cost and help you decide.


Business Loan Interest Rate Example

Imagine you’re a small business owner with a solid credit history, and you’ve been approved for a $100,000 business loan with a term of seven years and an APR of 12%. With this loan, your monthly payments amount to approximately $1,779; over the course of the loan, you would pay a total of about $49,512 in interest.

Now, let’s say you decide to explore other options and find a lender offering a lower APR of 8%. With this lower rate, your monthly payments would decrease to approximately $1,609. Over the life of the loan, you would pay about $34,232 in interest. 

By doing a bit of homework and snagging a loan offer with a lower APR, you could shave off $170 from your monthly payment. Now, that might not sound like a fortune, but over a seven-year term, you’d stack $15,280 in saved interest costs. This example goes to show how crucial it is to do a deep dive when it comes to small business loan interest rates. After all, you want to make sure you’re getting the absolute best deal for your business.



Getting a handle on business loan interest rates is key when you’re in the market for a small business loan. It’s a big deal and can really shape the financial future and growth of your business. But remember, don’t be dazzled by the lowest interest rate. It might look tempting, but if it’s paired with sky-high fees, it might not be the best deal in the long run. Always keep an eye on the big picture, considering the total cost of the loan, which includes both the interest rate and any extra fees.

Need more insights or expert advice on small business loans? Log onto Small Business Bank. Our team of professionals is standing by to guide you through the process and help you make the smartest financial decisions for your business future.