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Business Emergency Loans: Your 5 Best Options

By Elise Moores Managing Editor at Fast Capital 360 Reviewed By Mike Lucas

Running a business comes with its fair share of unpredictability. That includes natural disasters, economic downturns and pandemics, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. Not surprisingly, in 2021, 91% of employers sought emergency assistance funding, according to the Federal Reserve Banks’ Small Business Credit Survey

When you find yourself facing an unexpected issue, an emergency business loan might be your best solution. We’ll cover your 5 best options and what you need to apply.

What Is an Emergency Business Loan?

An emergency business loan is fast, accessible funding that can be used to help your business cover unexpected costs in times of crisis.

The most common types of emergency funding for small businesses are short term. Repayment periods rarely exceed 18 months.

Emergency small business loans also are fast to fund. For certain financing products, it’s possible to apply, get approved and funded within a 24-hour window. But this accessibility and speed do come at a cost. Generally, you’ll find emergency business funding has higher APRs than conventional small business loans.

Related: Short-Term Loans: Why APR Is the Wrong Metric

Infographic titled Best Emergency Financing with short-term loan, line of credit, merchant cash advance and accounts receivable financing listed below

5 Ways to Get Emergency Business Cash

1. Take Out a Short-Term Loan

If you need emergency business cash fast, consider a short-term loan. Some lenders can approve up to $500,000 in short-term funding, and capital could be released the same day as approval. These loans are usually repaid over a 3-18-month period.

2. Consider a Merchant Cash Advance

A merchant cash advance (MCA) is another emergency business finance option that provides the borrower with a lump sum of cash in exchange for a portion of the business’s future sales, which the borrower repays in daily or weekly installments over several months. Thanks to looser lender requirements, it can be easier to qualify for an MCA than other types of financing.

3. Open a Line of Credit

One of the best quick business loan options is a business line of credit. As with a credit card, a line of credit allows businesses to withdraw money — up to a maximum amount — to cover various expenses. 

Lines of credit can be secured with collateral or unsecured. Interest is paid only on the amount of capital withdrawn, and with revolving credit lines, capital becomes available again after payments are made. (Similarly, a business credit card is another option when you need emergency business cash.)

4. Use Your Unpaid Invoices as Collateral

If you’re in the business-to-business space and you’re waiting on customer payments for goods or services rendered, you can get immediate access to a portion of that money with accounts receivable financing

Often, a lender will fund a qualifying business with up to 80% of the money owed. Once the invoice is paid, the business will receive the balance — minus any lender’s fees. 

This can be a good option for a business with little or poor credit history because lenders are more concerned with the likelihood of customers paying their invoices.

5. Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) can help you obtain an urgent business loan to cover expenses when your doors are closed because of natural disasters, such as wildfires, floods and storms.

With the EIDL, the SBA guarantees a portion of emergency small business funding — up to $2 million — to help you meet expenses such as rent, utility bills and employee salaries until your business can resume normal operations.

You can also access emergency small business loans if a disaster has been declared in your area, interrupting your daily functions.

Do you need a loan for your small business?

Where Can I Get the Best Short-Term Emergency Business Loan?

Emergency small business loans are offered primarily by alternative online lenders.

Alternative lenders typically have lower approval requirements than their conventional counterparts. That means if your business is young or generates a low amount of revenue, you still might have emergency business finance options. That also applies if you’re seeking an emergency business loan with bad credit.

These emergency cash lenders also are known for their streamlined approvals driven by data analytics and online service enhancements. The application process is facilitated entirely online, decisions are made in hours and, in certain circumstances, funds from emergency small business loans can be deposited the same day approval is issued.

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What Are the Top Reasons for an Emergency Loan?

There are several scenarios when you might need emergency business cash to keep operations running.

Here are some instances when unexpected expenses can arise and when you might need a quick small business loan:

Replace or Repair Business Equipment

Every business has a piece of equipment that either makes a worker’s job possible or contributes significantly toward efficiency. Replacing this type of equipment can be expensive but necessary, especially if your business relies on it for its daily operations. An emergency business loan can help get your business the equipment it needs to continue operating normally.

Related: Equipment Financing

Cover a Customer’s Unpaid Balance

If your business manages multiple customer accounts and one or more of those customers are unable to pay your company on time for its services, it may affect how your business functions. A fast-funding business loan can help make ends meet while you wait for outstanding balances to be paid.

Business Disruptions

As a small business owner, you do your best to prepare for busy seasons and lulls as well as keep an eye on the news and trends that will impact your industry or the economy as a whole. However, despite your best efforts, you could still experience business disruptions due to a natural disaster or a national health crisis.

Pursue Time-Sensitive Business Opportunities

Another excellent use for an emergency business loan is to take advantage of a business opportunity. For instance, emergency small business funding can help you act on a limited-time discount on a product you’ve been waiting to add to your inventory.

Gray background with a briefcase and the word Emergency Loan with a dollar sign in the middle

Benefits of an Emergency Business Loan

Here are a few positives when it comes to quick emergency loans:

Short-Term Benefits

  • Overcome a temporary need for funding
  • Avoid stretching your business thin on capital
  • Keep your business operating as normal without making cutbacks

Long-Term Benefits

  • Seize opportunities that optimize your company’s growth
  • Avoid long-term financial commitments
  • Don’t allow a short-term issue to affect the way your business operates long term

Related: Fast Small Business Loans

How Do I Apply for Emergency Business Funding Online?

To apply for emergency business funding online through Fast Capital 360, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself and your company, along with your 4 most recent business bank statements.

Fast Capital 360 uses an online application to keep things quick and straightforward. After all, when you need emergency small business funding, the last thing you need is a lender that will drag its feet throughout the application process.

I Need a Short-Term Emergency Business Loan. Now What?

If you need emergency small business funding and aren’t sure where to turn, we can help.

We know how overwhelming it can be to sift through lenders who all claim to offer the best funding options for your business. Not only can this process be confusing, but it may also take longer than you and your business can afford to wait.

When you apply with Fast Capital 360, we take the information you’ve provided us and bring it to our network of lenders to find you the loan you’re looking for — fast.

The next time you need a business loan to get through an emergency, know that there are financing options available explicitly aimed to help you and your business through difficult times.

3 Reasons Why You Should Apply for Funding Through Fast Capital 360

1. Approval Within Hours

At Fast Capital 360, we are dedicated to helping businesses find the right funding option. Once you complete your online application, we start working for you. You might receive a call from one of our experienced Business Advisors in as few as 30 minutes.

2. Next-Day Funding

Short-term financing is a great emergency solution when you need to get a business loan fast. Your Business Advisor will inform you about the options available for your business. If we find emergency money for your small business, you could receive the money as soon as the following business day.

3. No Pressure

Our Business Advisors are here to help — whether that means getting you funded as soon as possible or pointing you in a direction that might better serve your company. If for any reason, you’re unhappy with the options we provide you, there’s no pressure to sign a contract.

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Who Qualifies for an Emergency Business Loan?

Getting a short-term business loan can help owners more easily navigate unpredictable events and the costs that come with them. Through our funding partners, Fast Capital 360 likely can provide emergency business cash to companies meeting these minimum requirements:

  • At least 1 year in business
  • $75,000 in annual revenue
  • A credit score of 540 or better
See If You Qualify

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