Many lenders offer loans specifically for minority-owned businesses. These lenders usually have programs that offer lower interest rates, more flexible terms, or more accessible qualification requirements.
Online lenders often have less stringent requirements than traditional banks and can provide funding faster. Additionally, minority-owned businesses often experience higher approval rates from online lenders than from traditional banks. Loan amounts can range from $1,000 to $500,000, with interest rates typically up to 99%.
Loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help minority-owned businesses get the financing they need through the agency’s network of approved lenders. For example, the SBA’s Community Advantage loan program is suitable for businesses in underserved markets. Loans are available up to $350,000, with rates 4.5% to 6.5% above prime.
Community Development Financial Institutions
Community Development Financial Institutions – or CDFIs – are private financial institutions that provide banking and investment services to traditionally underserved communities. Loans may be available for minority-owned businesses through a Community Development Loan Fund (CDLF) or a Community Development Venture Capital Fund (CVDC). Find a local CDFI by searching the searchable database of CDFI Fund awards.
Local banks and credit unions
Minority-owned businesses often find it increasingly difficult to obtain loan approvals from traditional banks. However, business owners who have an existing relationship with a local bank or credit union may be able to access competitive rates and flexible loan terms for their business borrowing needs.
Eligible small businesses can obtain loans of up to $50,000 under the SBA Microloan program. Not only are microloans limited to smaller amounts, but they also have shorter repayment terms than traditional loans, up to six years. Interest rates ultimately vary by SBA-approved lender, but range from 8% to 13%.
Microloans are available through a network of intermediary lenders, but the SBA provides a list of lenders so potential borrowers can search by state. A number of non-profit organizations aimed at helping minority-owned businesses succeed also offer this type of business financing.
Peer-to-peer lending, also known as P2P lending, involves borrowing money from individuals rather than banks or other financial institutions. This type of business loan generally has less stringent loan requirements and a simpler, more accessible application process.
Loan amounts and interest rates can be more competitive than those available from a bank or credit union, but some private lenders charge substantial fees in exchange for this convenience.