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Credibly vs. SMB Compass: Which Small Business Lender is Right for You?

Credibly vs. SMB Compass: Which Small Business Lender is Right for You?

Key takeaways

  • Credibly and SMB Compass both offer a range of small business loans with high funding amounts
  • Credibly business loans tend to offer short terms and accept lower credit scores
  • SMB Compass offers low starting interest rates to small business owners with a strong credit history

Credibly and SMB Compass are unusual in the online small business loan space because they both provide a full range of loan options. They also offer loan amounts that can cover small-dollar expenses or purchases or expansions costing millions of dollars. Many online lenders zone in on a few loans like business lines of credit or short-term loans, and most stick with low loan sizes.

But Credibly accepts business owners with a lower personal credit score than SMB Compass. SMB Compass stands out with low interest rates mirroring traditional banks, but many of its loans require at least fair credit.

To help you compare the best small business lenders, here’s an in-depth look at Credibly compared to SMB Compass.

Both Credibly and SMB Compass have the capability of supporting a wide range of loan amounts from a few thousand dollars to $10 million. Both accept newcomers to the business world with just six months of time generating revenue.

Credibly business loans are more accepting of bad credit, though your business will need higher annual revenue. But you can get the longest repayment terms and lowest-interest loans by choosing SMB Compass versus Credibly.

Credibly SMB Compass
Bankrate Score 4.6 4.4
Best for Bad credit Long-term loans
Number of loan products 7 9
Loan amounts $5,000 to $10 million $10,000 to $10 million
Interest rates From 1.09 factor rates From 5.25%
Term lengths 3 months to 24 months 6 months to 25 years
Personal credit score 550 600
Minimum time in business 6 months 6 months
Minimum annual business revenue $180,000* $100,000

*Credibly lists $180,000 in annual revenue on its website, but a spokesperson stated the minimum as $300,000.

Credibly offers an array of business loan choices, either as a direct online loan or through lending partners. You can choose from working capital loans, merchant cash advances, business lines of credit, term loans, equipment financing, invoice factoring or SBA loans.

Both Credibly’s working capital loan and merchant cash advance can finance up to $400,000 for as long as 15 months. It also offers a prepayment discount of 20 percent off its remaining fees if you pay off the loan early. Credibly business loans do charge a factor rate, a fee applied to the entire loan amount that’s known for creating high borrowing costs.

But unlike traditional lenders, this fintech lender may accept small business owners with bad credit and minimal time in business. Credibly’s working capital loan and merchant cash advance both keep the credit standard down to a 550 personal credit score.

As a caveat, you’re most likely to get approved through Credibly with a personal credit score of 675, three years business experience and a steep $540,000 in annual revenue. It also has a list of preferred industries: restaurants, contractors, electrical work, repair shops and offices or clinics of health practitioners.


  • May accept bad credit
  • Prepayment discount
  • Same-day funding available


  • High revenue required
  • Charges factor rates
  • Mixed loan details

SMB Compass business loans include business lines of credit, equipment financing, term loans, invoice financing, inventory financing and SBA loans. Having this many options is unusual for an online lender, especially one that keeps its lending in-house.

If you need startup business financing, you could qualify for term loans or equipment financing, provided you have six months to one year in business. But other lending criteria for term loans are strict — you need a 680 personal credit score and at least $500,000 in annual revenue.

Another strength of SMB Compass is its low interest rates, starting as low as 5.25 percent for its bridge loan. These rates are on par with what you’d find from traditional bank lenders, but you’ll likely need strong credit to qualify for SMB Compass’s most favorable rates.


  • Low starting rates
  • Startup loan options
  • Long repayment terms


  • Requirements vary by loan
  • Doesn’t approve sole proprietors
  • Not available in 8 states

Credibly and SMB Compass both offer small business loans that startup businesses or subprime borrowers may be able to qualify for, though most need high revenue. For other business owners, both lenders provide a variety of small business loans that can serve different financing purposes.

But when choosing the best lender, Credibly business loans work well if you need fast cash with the chance of getting approved within a few hours. SMB Compass works best for strong credit borrowers looking for the lowest interest rates or long repayment terms.

Choose Credibly if you have bad credit

Of the two lenders, Credibly accepts the lowest minimum credit scores, as low as 550 for its working capital loan and merchant cash advance. Both loans are offered directly through Credibly, so you can receive financing within 24 hours if your loan application and documents are in order.

Credibly can also match you with SBA loans through its partners, though the lending standards are higher. Its website states that generally lenders accept credit scores of at least 620, $100,000 in annual revenue and two years in business. Lending requirements can differ from lender to lender.

On the other side, SMB Compass offers two loans with minimum credit scores of 600: its business line of credit and equipment financing. It also offers asset-based lending and invoice financing that rely more on the assets and invoices used to get the loan approved.

Bankrate insight

If you have bad credit, check out our guide on the best business loans for a 500 credit score to see if there are any lenders offering business loans that fit your needs

Choose SMB Compass if you have good-to-excellent credit

SMB Compass extends loans with competitive terms and interest rates. You will need strong credit to qualify for most loans, and its lending requirements vary by the type of loan you get.

For example, its term loans offer beginning interest rates from 6.99 percent, and SBA loan rates start at 6.25 percent. But you need a personal credit score of at least 680 for term loans, while SBA loans and bridge loans require a credit score of 650.

You should also bring strong financials and credit to the table if you’re eyeing a low-interest business loan. SMB Compass’s lowest starting rates are likely reserved for strong credit borrowers. Credibly accepts credit scores lower than what SMB Compass requires, but its ideal borrower will have a personal credit score of 675 and up.

Choose SMB Compass for long-term loans

SMB Compass also helps small businesses keep loan payments down to a manageable level, made possible by unusually long repayment terms. You can get business term and SBA loans with terms up to 25 years or equipment loans up to 10 years.

A 25-year term is the standard for SBA loans, but terms this long are rare to find for term and equipment loans, especially in the online business loan space. Plus, its business line of credit, inventory financing and invoice financing are revolving loans. This means you can get approved for financing and then tap the available credit as needed or on a regular basis.

Let’s say you’ve pored over Credibly and SMB Compass’s business loan options and decided they don’t meet your business financing needs. As a traditional bank lender, Bank of America provides a variety of business loans. Its loan options include term loans, equipment financing and multiple business lines of credit serving startups to well-established businesses.

If you need a lender with more relaxed lending requirements, Fundible is known to offer bad credit business loans for credit scores in the 500s. Many of its loans can support millions of dollars worth of financing.

Otherwise, a business credit card can work well to cover small, short-term or emergency expenses. Not only can you build business credit and earn rewards for the purchases you make most. But you also bypass any revenue and business experience standards that most small business loans set. Most business credit cards simply look at your creditworthiness to approve you.

SBA loans

While you can get SBA loans through Credibly and SMB Compass, you need to meet fairly high standards to secure this government-backed financing. SBA loans are partially secured by the Small Business Administration and offer competitive payment terms and interest rates.

But businesses unqualified for standard SBA loans can look at SBA microloans or Community Advantage loans. Both are designed to serve disadvantaged businesses, such as minority business owners or low-income areas. SBA microloans can provide funding up to $50,000 through specific SBA-approved microlenders. The loans usually keep credit and other criteria low, some not looking at your credit history at all.

Community Advantage loans offer slightly higher loan sizes up to $350,000. Though they’re offered through a variety of community lenders like Community Development Centers (CDCs), these loans may be more difficult to find.

Bottom line

SMB Compass and Credibly offer similar loan options with the ability to fund high loan amounts. You’re more likely to pay less in interest with SMB Compass. But some of SMB Compass’s small business loans have strict minimum standards, such as a 680 personal credit score and $500,000 in annual revenue.

Both lenders also fall in the best-for-fast lending category. You may want to prequalify with these and other lenders to make sure you’re getting the best loan offer before you sign on the dotted line.

  • Business loans that don’t charge interest exist, but they’re rare and are usually provided in the form of crowdfunding. One example is Kiva, a crowdfunding and peer-to-peer platform blend that lets you raise support through individual investors. You then pay them back with no interest required. You could also try to find a business loan with no money upfront required, though you’ll still need to pay it back with interest.
  • The SBA Express loan may be one of the easiest SBA loans to get approved quickly since it expedites the SBA’s side of the approval process to just 36 hours. SBA loans usually take 30 to 90 days to get approved from beginning to end. SBA microloans and Community Advantage loans are also easy to qualify for because they tend to accept startups, low revenue and low credit scores.
  • Short-term loans work best for borrowing low amounts and desiring to pay back the loan quickly. But the typical daily or weekly repayment schedule can feel aggressive. Long-term loans can help you borrow higher amounts at a manageable payment level and lower interest rates. But the total interest you pay will likely cost more.