Welcome to our comprehensive guide on small business loan interest rates! Interest rates can greatly impact small business owners seeking financial support for their ventures. Understanding them is crucial for your business’s success.

Understanding loan interest rates can help you save a lot of money over time. This is especially important if you want to grow your business, buy new equipment, or pay for daily costs.

In this article, we’ll explore small business loan interest rates and give you important information to help you make smart choices. We will examine the factors that influence interest rates. Additionally, we will learn how to calculate interest on a business loan. Lastly, we will discover the strategies for obtaining the most favorable deals in 2023.

Let’s explore how you can understand business loan interest rates, improve your borrowing plan, and help your small business succeed!

What Is a Business Loan Interest Rate?

A business loan interest rate is the percentage charged by lenders on the principal amount borrowed by a small business. This rate is important because it decides how much it costs to borrow money and directly impacts the total repayment amount. For small business owners, knowing interest rates well is crucial to avoid errors when seeking a loan.

How Do Typical Business Loan Interest Rates Work?

Typical business loan interest rates are determined based on several factors, including the borrower’s creditworthiness, the loan amount, loan term, industry risk, and prevailing market conditions. Here’s how it generally works:


Your personal and business credit scores play a significant role in determining the interest rate you qualify for. Higher credit scores typically result in lower interest rates.

Loan Amount and Term:

Larger loan amounts or longer loan terms may come with lower interest rates as they provide more security to the lender.

Industry Risk:

Some industries are considered riskier than others, and lenders may adjust interest rates accordingly to reflect the perceived risk.

Market Conditions:

Economic conditions, inflation rates, and the central bank’s monetary policy can influence interest rates across the economy.

Lender’s Policies:

Each lender has its own underwriting guidelines and risk assessment methods that impact the interest rates they offer.

Remember that interest rates can fluctuate over time, especially for variable-rate loans. It’s crucial to carefully review loan offers, compare rates from different lenders, and consider the overall cost of the loan, including any additional fees, before making a decision. Always ensure that the loan terms align with your business’s financial goals and capabilities.

Is a Small-Business Loan a Fixed or Variable Interest Rate?

Small-business loans can come with either fixed or variable interest rates. The type of interest rate you receive will depend on the loan agreement and the lender’s terms. Here’s a brief explanation of fixed and variable interest rates for small-business loans:

Fixed Interest Rate:

  • With a fixed interest rate, the rate remains constant throughout the loan term. This means that your monthly payments will stay the same, making it easier to budget and plan for repayments.
  • Fixed interest rates offer stability and predictability, which can be advantageous during times of economic uncertainty or rising interest rates.
  • However, it’s essential to consider that fixed interest rates may initially be slightly higher than variable rates, as they provide the borrower with protection against potential rate hikes.

Variable Interest Rate:

  • A variable interest rate fluctuates over time based on changes in a specified benchmark, such as the prime rate or LIBOR.
  • When the benchmark rate changes, the interest rate on your loan will also change, resulting in varying monthly payments.
  • Variable interest rates can offer lower initial rates compared to fixed rates, but they also come with more uncertainty and the risk of higher payments if interest rates rise.

It’s crucial to carefully review the loan terms and understand whether you are getting a fixed or variable interest rate. Consider your business’s financial situation, risk tolerance, and the prevailing economic conditions when choosing between the two options.

Interest Rates by Loan Type

Interest rates on small-business loans can vary depending on the type of loan you are seeking. Different loan types have distinct features and risk profiles, which can influence the interest rates offered. Here are some common small-business loan types and their typical interest rates:

Traditional Bank Loans:

  • Traditional bank loans generally have lower interest rates compared to other types of loans.Interest rates may vary based on factors such as credit score, business history, and the loan amount.Rates for well-qualified borrowers can be competitive, especially if the business has a strong credit profile and financial stability.

SBA (Small Business Administration) Loans:

  • SBA loans are government-backed loans designed to support small businesses with favorable terms and lower interest rates.SBA 7(a) loans, for example, typically have interest rates ranging from prime rate + a certain percentage to prime rate + a higher percentage, depending on the loan amount.

Online Business Loans:

  • Online lenders may offer more accessible and faster loan options, but interest rates can be higher than traditional banks or SBA loans.Interest rates on online business loans can vary widely based on the lender’s risk assessment and the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Invoice Financing and Factoring:

  • These financing options involve borrowing against outstanding invoices or selling them to a third-party company.Interest rates may be higher than traditional bank loans due to the specialized nature of the financing and the associated risks.

Equipment Financing:

  • Equipment loans often have competitive interest rates as the equipment itself serves as collateral, reducing the lender’s risk.

Merchant Cash Advances:

  • Merchant cash advances provide quick access to cash, but they usually come with high-interest rates and fees.

Factors That Can Affect Interest Rate

Several factors can influence the interest rate offered to your business:

Credit Score and History

Your credit score plays a significant role in determining the interest rate. Lenders use it as an indicator of your creditworthiness. If you have a high credit score, you are likely to receive more favorable interest rates. On the other hand, a lower credit score might lead to higher interest rates or even loan rejection.

Loan Amount and Term

The loan amount and the term also affect the interest rate. Generally, smaller loans or shorter terms might come with higher interest rates compared to larger loans with longer terms. This is because lenders perceive smaller loans as riskier.

Economic Conditions

Economic conditions, both on a national and global scale, can impact interest rates. During economic downturns, interest rates may be higher as lenders aim to mitigate potential risks. Conversely, during periods of economic growth, interest rates might be more competitive.


The presence of collateral can lower the risk for lenders, leading to more favorable interest rates. Offering valuable assets as collateral can improve your chances of securing a loan with lower interest. However, this can be a problem for smaller or newer businesses.

Industry and Business Performance

The industry your business operates in and its performance can also play a role in determining the interest rate. Lenders assess the risk associated with your business based on industry trends and your company’s financial stability.

How To Calculate Interest on a Business Loan

Understanding how interest is calculated is essential for small business owners. The formula to calculate interest on a business loan is straightforward:

Interest = Principal Amount x Interest Rate x Time

The “Principal Amount” is the money borrowed, the “Interest Rate” is the lender’s charge, and “Time” is the loan term.

For example, imagine a small business borrowing $50,000 at an 8% interest rate for 3 years.

Interest = $50,000 x 0.08 x 3

Interest = $12,000

In this case, the total interest paid over the loan term would amount to $12,000.

How And Where to Get the Best Business Loan Interest Rate In 2023

To obtain the best loan rate, you must put in effort. However, this can ultimately save your business a significant amount of money in the future. Here are some tips to help you secure a favorable rate:

Improve Your Credit Score

Before applying for a loan, take steps to improve your credit score. Paying bills on time, reducing credit card balances, and correcting any errors in your credit report can positively impact your score.

Shop Around

Don’t settle for the first loan offer you receive. Shop around and compare interest rates from different lenders. Online lenders, credit unions, and traditional banks are all potential sources for business loans.

Build Strong Relationships

Establishing strong relationships with lenders can be beneficial. If you have a good track record with a particular lender, they may be more willing to negotiate better terms, including lower interest rates.

Consider Collateral

If possible, offer collateral to secure the loan. As mentioned earlier, collateral can lower the risk for lenders, potentially leading to lower interest rates.

Shorten the Loan Term

While longer loan terms may seem attractive due to lower monthly payments, they often come with higher interest rates. Opting for a shorter loan term can lead to substantial interest savings.

Fees That Affect Loan Rates

Apart from interest rates, various fees can impact the overall cost of a business loan. Some common fees include:

Origination Fee

This fee covers the cost of processing the loan and is usually charged as a percentage of the loan amount. It’s essential to factor in origination fees when comparing loan options.

Application Fee

Lenders may charge an application fee to cover the cost of reviewing your loan application. Before applying, inquire about any potential application fees.

Prepayment Penalty

Some loans come with prepayment penalties, meaning you’ll be charged extra if you pay off the loan early. Understanding prepayment terms is crucial if you plan to repay the loan ahead of schedule.

Late Payment Fee

Missing loan payments can lead to late payment fees, adding to the overall cost of the loan. Always make timely payments to avoid unnecessary charges.


To recap, understanding small business loan interest rates is crucial. By considering factors that influence rates, comparing options, and being aware of potential fees, you can make informed decisions.

However, it’s important to conduct your own research and seek guidance from experienced professionals. Here at ROK Financial, we can provide personalized assistance tailored to your unique needs. Click the button below to get started.

Take the next step towards securing the best loan rates and supporting your small business’s growth and success. Contact our financial advisors at ROK Financial today!

About the Author, Madison Taylor

Madison Taylor is the Brand Ambassador at ROK Financial. She is responsible for raising brand awareness and business relationships with business owners across the country. Madison loves that she plays a small role in getting Business Back To Business Through Simple Business Financing and looks forward to hearing what you think about the blogs she creates! Madison has been working in the financial space for six years, and loves it! When she is not at work, you will find her at home learning a new recipe to test out on her family or going on new adventures with her friends.