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ccording to a Skynova study, 44% of startups closed down in 2022 due to running out of cash. It’s a sad reality that many ambitious startup founders are forced to shutter their new businesses when their operating capital dries up. But with business lines of credit for startups, you can access money on a revolving basis to keep your new business afloat until you're turning a profit.

What is a line of credit?

A line of credit is a type of funding that offers businesses capital to service their short-term and recurring financial obligations. These operating business expenses can include:

  • Payroll costs
  • Inventory and equipment costs
  • Rent
  • Marketing costs
  • Insurance costs

With a line of credit for new businesses, you access revolving credit according to your business needs. You borrow up to a certain fixed amount and pay interest only on the capital you borrow. Once you start repaying the funds you’ve borrowed, the amount you pay (minus the interest) becomes available for you to borrow again throughout the draw period, usually 12 to 24 months.

Can I get a line of credit for my startup?

Yes. Business lines of credit for startups are readily available if you meet a lender’s eligibility requirements. Some common qualifying factors most lenders demand include:

  • Personal credit score: The sweet spot for most lenders is a 680 credit score. However, some lenders may accept 560-625 credit scores.{}
  • Business operation time: Some lenders require your startup to have been operational for at least six months, and others between one to two years.
  • Proof of business revenue: Lenders require monthly or annual revenue proof. Revenue amounts vary between lenders, but the typical minimum requirement is at least $100,000 in yearly income. {}
  • Personal guarantee: For unsecured business lines of credit, lenders may require business owners to sign a personal guarantee that makes them liable for the amount borrowed if the startup defaults.
  • Blanket lien or physical collateral: For secured business lines of credit, lenders require you to sign lien agreements that give them the legal right to seize your assets if your business defaults. Other lenders require physical collateral or even a certificate of deposit.

Is a line of credit a good idea for my small business?

While an instant business line of credit provides quick cash to get your business out of a financial rabbit hole and help keep the lights on, you must consider if it’s the best move for your startup.

Overall, business lines of credit for startups are the best option under the following circumstances:

  • You don’t qualify for other loan products like business loans
  • You need instant cash you can repay in the short term
  • You’ve exhausted your operating capital
  • You need off-season working capital when experiencing business lulls
  • You have no collateral to offer lenders
  • You want to build your business credit rating

However, a line of credit may not be the best option when:

  • You need access to large cash amounts for long-term projects like business expansion capital
  • You can get better interest rates and higher amount limits from other funding options
  • You have a poor credit rating, as lenders will charge you higher interest rates

4 top business lines of credit for startups

Here are four great options for business lines of credit for startups:


OnDeck is a popular online small-business lender that offers instant business lines of credit with 24/7 access to funds. Once you draw from your business line of credit, OnDeck avails the money to your business checking account within seconds. To qualify for OnDeck’s business line of credit, you must:

  • Have a personal FICO score of 625
  • Be in business for at least one year
  • Make $100k in annual business revenue
  • Have a business checking account

You can complete OnDeck’s application process within minutes. OnDeck’s line of credit limit range is $6,000 to $100,000 with flexible repayment terms of 12,18 or 24 months.


Bluevine is a fintech company that offers custom-made banking solutions to startups. Bluevine’s line of credit for new businesses is issued by Celtic Bank. Bluevine’s maximum credit line limit is $250k with a six or 12-month repayment period. You get the funds within five minutes and pay zero monthly fees. To access Bluevine’s  revolving line of credit, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a 625+ FICO score
  • Have no bankruptcies within the past twelve months
  • Have your business organized as a corporation or LLC. General partnerships and sole proprietorships don’t qualify
  • Be operational for 24 months or more
  • Be making $40,000 monthly revenue

Bluevine also requires you to connect your bank account or upload bank statements for the latest quarter and your business must be in good books with your Secretary of State.

American Express® Business Line of Credit

The American Express National Bank issues American Express® Business Line of Credit loans ranging from $2,000 to $250,000. The eligibility requirements forAmerican Express® Business Line of Credit  include:

  • You must link your business checking account and provide business data
  • Your business must have been operational for the last 12 months
  • You must be 18 or older
  • You must meet the bank’s creditworthiness criteria, such as providing a personal guarantee or your business assets as security and having a good credit score

Your personal and business financial profile determines the terms and conditions of American Express® Business Line of Credit. While the terms are extensive, you get your funds within minutes as long the bank automatically verifies your bank account and business data.


Fundbox provides working capital solutions to small businesses. You can access Fundbox’s line of credit for up to $150k, though the amount varies depending on your creditworthiness. Fundbox leverages A.I. to process applications in three minutes and wire funds to your account by the next business day.

The eligibility requirements for Fundbox’s business credit line are:

  • Have a personal FICO score of 600+
  • Generate $100,000+ in annual revenue
  • Have an active business checking account
  • Your business has been operational for 6+ months

Fundbox’s fee rates vary depending on your creditworthiness, but you can use their line of credit calculator to estimate how much you'll pay.

What are some alternatives to a business line of credit?

These are popular alternatives to business lines of credit for startups:

Merchant cash advances

This type of business funding is similar to lines of credit, except that lenders deposit a lump sum into your business checking account and let you use the money as you need it. Novo Funding is one of the leading merchant cash advance providers. With Novo Funding, you can access up to $75,000 in cash advance with a friendly monthly rate of 1.5%.

Business credit cards

You can have a business credit card like a personal credit card. Mainstream lenders like American Express and Chase Bank offer small business credit cards.

Personal loans

You can take out a personal loan from your lender and use it to fund your business. If you have good credit or you can provide substantial collateral, you can take out a personal loan big enough to finance your startup’s operating capital.

Angel investors

Angel investors are seed investors who risk their money to fund startups, hoping to get returns from their investment once the business starts profiting. You can find angel investors online, pitch them, and get funding if you strike a deal.


These four business lines of credit for startups can be a lifesaver when you need access to quick cash for operating capital. However, they often come with higher interest rates than traditional business loans and you may not qualify if your business is brand new. Fortunately, Novo also offers startup working capital options through Novo funding.  Apply for our small business financing today and get your startup up and going.

Novo is a fintech and not a bank. Novo acts as a service provider to Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A., and the deposit and banking products obtained through the Novo platform are provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A.

Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.

The Merchant Cash Advance is provided by Novo Funding LLC, PO Box 311092, Miami, FL 33231. Novo is the marketing name for Novo Platform Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. Novo Funding LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Novo Platform Inc. Credit and Merchant Cash Advance products and services are offered by Novo Funding LLC. The information and materials contained on this website - and the terms and conditions of the access to and use of such information and materials - are subject to change without notice. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to final Novo determination and acceptance.

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