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Find the Best Business Loan Companies in Baltimore, MD

Whether you’re opening a bakery in Belvedere Square or operating a business venture in downtown Baltimore, business loans are one of the easiest ways to gain the capital needed for your company. The Baltimore Sun has partnered with ConsumerAffairs to create this guide by comparing the customer reviews and loan terms of 26 businesses and choosing eight favorites from the best commercial lending companies in Baltimore.

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Types of business loans in Baltimore

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When looking for a business loan, it’s important to remember that not all lenders and not all types of loans are equal. Lenders set their own rates and terms, depending on factors like your credit history, credit score, collateral and desired term length. Compare lenders to find the one that offers the flexibility and stability you want out of your business loan.

There are also different types of loans to choose from, each designed to benefit certain businesses or industries. Choosing the right loan can help you gain better control over your finances without taking on debt that you don’t need.

  • SBA loans: SBA loans are designed for small businesses who may struggle to gain financing through traditional measures. These government loans are a sort of partnership between your small business and the Small Business Administration. The SBA agrees to pay back a portion of the loan, typically between 75% and 85%, in order to help you gain the financing small businesses need.
  • Equipment financing loan: Equipment financing loans are a great option for Baltimore businesses that rely on equipment, like vehicles or restaurant gear, to operate. Rates are low, but the equipment or vehicle itself acts as collateral in case you default on the loan.
  • Merchant cash advance: A merchant cash advance is a type of funding offered to small businesses that you must pay back. MCA providers look at a company’s credit card sales to see what a normal day or week looks like in terms of revenue and offer cash payments based on what they think the business is able to pay back in a timely manner, plus interest. These usually come with very high interest rates, but they are faster and easier to obtain than traditional loans.
  • Business credit cards: Business credit cards are a very common financial solution for commercial needs. While they don’t offer a loan or cash advance, they usually come with perks like rewards or cash back that can be appealing, especially if you buy a lot of office products or frequently pay for client dinners. Similarly, a business line of credit offers a revolving amount of credit that you can use to pay for necessary expenses.
  • Business term loans: Business term loans are a type of lump-sum funding defined by how and when you pay it back. There are two types of business term loans: short term and long term. Depending on what you need the financing for, one may be a better option than the other. For example, repayment terms for short-term business loans are for a maximum of three years, whereas long-term loans can take as long as 30 years to pay back. Long-term loans are best for large investments, while short-term loans are used more for one-off expenses.
  • Commercial mortgage loans: If you’re looking to buy commercial real estate, a commercial mortgage loan is right for you. These loans act as a business real estate financing option to help companies buy or develop buildings or land to fit their needs.

There are other, less common, types of business loans available too, like balloon loans, accounts receivable loans, business acquisition loans, business invoice financing and business microloans. Compare all of your options before settling on one.

Many companies and lenders can help you find the right type of loan by analyzing your assets and credit to find one that makes sense for your budget. Just make sure you compare offerings from different reputable lenders in Baltimore, so you know what’s really available.

Before you settle on a loan, look over the entire contract to figure out how much you will pay through the lifetime of the loan, based on monthly payments, interest and fees.

How to get a business loan in Baltimore

After you figure out what type of loan you’re interested in, gather all of your information so you can apply. Lenders have their own required documents, but most want to see financial statements like:

  • Balance sheets
  • Income statements
  • Financial projections
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Any licenses or leases

These financial statements, in addition to a written plan for how you expect to use the money, are what the lenders use to make a determination on your request. It can take up to a few months to get financing, so having everything prepared beforehand, including all the research on types of loans and the business you want to work with, helps expedite the process.

If you’re putting up collateral to help get better terms, you need to assess the value of your offering as well. This is usually only necessary for large loans or when you don’t have the necessary cash for a down payment.

Baltimore business loan FAQ

Are small business loans hard to get?

Affordable small business loans can be difficult to get. This is because most small businesses have a hard time proving their ability to repay a loan over the course of its terms. However, if you have clear financial data or collateral, you should be able to get a low-cost business loan.

How can I get a first-time business loan?

To get a first-time business loan, you need to gather your financial information, write a business plan and possibly put up collateral. The more prepared you are, the more likely approval is.

What is a 504 loan program?

The 504 loan program is a program through the Small Business Administration that provides certain small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing that can be used to purchase or finance commercial real estate or equipment.

What business development resources exist in Baltimore?

These companies can be a great resource for business owners and entrepreneurs:

  • Small Business Resource Center: The SBRC is an initiative to help develop small businesses and entrepreneurs in Baltimore with training, assistance and workshops.
  • Baltimore SourceLink: Baltimore SourceLink connects small businesses in the Baltimore area to a network of nonprofits with services dedicated to building a business.
  • Greater Baltimore SCORE: The Greater Baltimore SCORE program offers low-cost workshops and free counseling for new and existing businesses.

Baltimore business loan company information

Authorized Partner

SmartBiz Loans

SmartBiz Loans offers SBA loans, bank term loans and customized financing options. Its SBA loans have estimated APRs between 5.04% and 10.29%, and its bank term loans are between 13.02% and 28.14%. According to the company, your funding can be available in less than a week after approval. SmartBiz Loan amounts are available for $30,000 - $350,000 for SBA and bank term loans and up to $5 million for commercial real estate loans.

SmartBiz Loans (866) 283-8726

National Business Capital & Services

National Business Capital & Services’ financial portfolio includes equipment financing, business lines of credit and term loans between six months and 10 years long. Through its simple application process, each customer is matched with a Business Financing Advisor. National Business Capital & Services partners with 75+ possible lenders, providing customers with loans up to $5 million.

National Business Capital & Services

Currency

Currency is a financial technology company offering hassle-free equipment financing options for businesses. Certain businesses are eligible for 0% interest programs, and all its loans offer the flexibility of no prepayment penalties or down payments. Customers can apply online and get approved in as little as 3 minutes. Currency offers loans up to $500,000, with flexible terms up to 72 months.

Currency

PSG Lending

PSG Lending is a commercial real estate lender specializing in fast, efficient transactions. The company offers loans of $150,000 to $10 million, with the ability to close in as little as six days. It offers ground-up lending and balancing sheet lending from its 100% in-house services. PSG Lending’s headquarters are located at 400 W. Franklin St., Ste. 300, Baltimore, MD 21201.

PSG Lending

The Harbor Bank of Maryland

The Harbor Bank of Maryland is a local bank offering business loan services. Commercial services include lines of credit and real estate, equipment, vehicle and SBA loans. With seven branch locations, customers can visit a location in person to figure out their options with ease. The Harbor Bank of Maryland is headquartered at 25 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, MD 21201.

The Harbor Bank of Maryland

PeoplesBank

PeoplesBank provides financial solutions for Baltimore businesses, backed by over 150 years of experience. Business loan options include lines of credit, term loans, commercial mortgages and letters of credit. Customers can work directly with a loan officer in Northern Maryland to find the right solution for them. Visit PeoplesBank’s local office at 5415 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD 21206.

PeoplesBank

WesBanco

WesBanco offers long- and short-term business loans, starting at $10,000. The company also offers business credit cards, commercial real estate loans and business lines of credit. For added support, its business services help entrepreneurs streamline their finances. WesBanco has four locations in Baltimore, including one at 1726 Reisterstown Road, Ste. 101, Baltimore, MD 21208.

WesBanco

TD Bank

TD Bank’s small business banking products include credit cards, lines of credit between $25,000 and $500,000, and fixed-rate commercial mortgages up to $1 million. Customers can apply online or in person at any of its 10 Baltimore-area locations. TD Bank’s central Baltimore branch is at 3603 Boston St., Baltimore, MD 21224.

TD Bank