Business Expense Loans

Can I get a small business loan to cover business expenses? What type of loan should I get? Explore your business expense loan options in this guide.

Compare business expense loans

Many businesses go through short-term periods when money is scarce and some extra funds are needed to cover expenses. A business loan can often be a way to cover such expenses, and nowadays can be surprisingly simple to secure. Find out about small loans to cover business expenses, and whether they’re right for your business, here.

Can I get a loan to help me cover business expenses?

Yes. In Australia, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to loan options, with a wide variety of lenders able to provide finance for different business expenses. These range from traditional big banks to smaller financial institutions and online lenders, right through to advanced digital FinTechs (short for financial technology).

If you’re looking for a small loan to cover short term expenses for your business, your best option is probably an unsecured business loan. These are one of the easiest and most versatile options on the Australian loans market, and are available from most lenders. They’re built for short term expenses – a few months to a few years – and are one of the easiest business loans to get approved.

Comparing your business loan options closely is important, which is why it’s always useful to do this through Savvy. Our comparison service and rate tables allow you to contrast the best options on the market for dealing with business loans to give you an idea of what you can apply for now.

What kind of expenses can I use a business loan for?

In Australia, one of the great advantages of an unsecured loan is its flexibility. There are very few restrictions on how you can use the funds or what you can use them on, so they give your business a lot of options.

Some of the expenses you could use a business loan for can include:

  • Purchasing specialised tools or equipment – Your business might be expanding into a new area – or facing new challenges – that require new tools. Alternatively, you might simply be looking to improve how you do business.
  • Renovating a business property – Sometimes a small investment in your facilities can make a big impact on your business.
  • Upgrading existing equipment – If your equipment is worn or outdated, replacing or updating it can make a big difference.
  • Paying wages – While it’s not always a good long-term solution, in an unusual short-term period of shortfall, a loan can be handy solution to making sure staff get their pay checks.
  • Running an event or conference – A special event or conference might eventually pay for itself, but that doesn’t stop you needing the funds to get it up and running in the first place.
  • New uniforms or branded stationary – Sometimes if you’ve changed your corporate branding or logo, you might need to invest a little on making sure your staff uniforms and business stationary match the logo on the front of the building.
  • Short-term, high-impact marketing campaigns – A short term campaign on TV or radio might give your business a much-needed boost, but they’re not cheap.
  • IT Infrastructure – Sometimes aging IT infrastructure can actually hamper business, as your staff battle with the technology. A loan improve your IT setup can potentially make a big difference.


The funds do need to be used for business purposes (business loans and personal finance have very different licencing agreements) and you do need to specify what the funds are for in your loan application. But other than that, the choice is up to you.

Pros & cons of an unsecured business loan for business expenses

PROS

No security or deposit required

Unsecured loans are built in such a way that they’re a little more risk resistant for the lender – meaning they don’t need an asset for security or a deposit on the loan. This makes them very accessible, even without assets or plenty of existing funds.

Simple to apply for

Unsecured loans are also generally very easy to apply for, as there’s less information and supporting documentation needed. With an online lender, the initial application can often take only a few minutes from the comfort of your home or office.

Fast turnaround 

Unsecured loans are also much quicker to turn around than many other types of loan, especially with online lenders, who tend to use fast internet services to access credit and banking information within moments – generally within 60 seconds of an application being submitted.

Easy to get approved

The in-built risk resistance also means unsecured loans are relatively simple to get approved, particularly with a smaller financial institution or online lender (who are normally far more open-minded about loan applications that large banks are).

CONS

Relatively high interest rates

The reason unsecured loans are more risk resistant is tied to the fact that their interest rates are normally higher than the rates for other loans, like those of secured loans. The extra interest acts a little like an insurance policy for the lender, but it does make unsecured loans a little more expensive.

Limited money available

Unsecured loans don’t offer the largest amounts on the market. A lender might still offer $200,000 to $300,000 to the qualified customer for an unsecured loan, but this means they’re not suitable for expansive developments and spending.

Short loan term

If you’re looking for a loan you can pay off slowly over decade or more, unsecured loans probably aren’t the best choice – they’re normally geared to be paid off within a few years.

Set amount

As with many loan products, unsecured loans are a set lump sum that you pay off in regular intervals over a length of time. If you need money sporadically and only for short intervals, they’re not ideal – you might be better off with something like a line of credit.

Frequently asked questions about business expense loans

Will a good credit rating improve my interest rate on a business expense loan?

Yes – your business’ credit rating will have an impact on the interest rate you’re offered on a loan and how much money you can borrow. An excellent credit rating will generally mean much better terms.

How quickly can I get a loan to cover a business expense?

An unsecured loan with an online lender is very fast to process and you can generally be signing your final loan contract and receiving the money within a few days of applying. In comparison, big banks can sometimes take many weeks to assess a large secured loan application.

Is a secured loan a good option for covering business expenses?

Secured business loans can certainly offer much better rates than an unsecured loan, but the work involved in of setting them up – and the effort involved with the lender assessing the security – is generally far more significant. Many of them also have large minimum loan amounts ($10,000 – $20,000 or more) making them unwieldy for covering smaller expenses.

Does it matter which lender I get a business expense loan from?

Most business lenders will offer unsecured loans, which means the choice often comes down to which lenders have the best rates, or sometimes to factors like convenience. Online lenders are a particularly good option for businesses that operate in remote areas, for example, as all transactions are conducted online without the need to visit a branch. They also tend to be very quick, with easy application processes. If you prefer dealing with a lender face-to-face, however, a larger lender with branch access might suit you better.

What's the smallest loan I can get for business expenses?

Most lenders will offer loans as small as a few thousand dollars. A loan that small is generally relatively easy to get approved, and can normally be paid off quickly to keep the overall interest low.

Can I have multiple business loans for different expenses at the same time?

It’s not a good idea. Each loan application you make impacts your credit rating slightly. Additionally, if a lender is reviewing your credit information and sees a number of outstanding debts, they’re less likely to approve a loan. It’s always better to consolidate debts and limit loan applications where you can.