Republic Bank Business Loans Review

republic bank business loans

If you’re a business owner based in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, or Florida, then you might be considering Republic Bank business loans, as this Louisville-based institution offers an impressive array of business financing options that can address virtually any commercial need or project. And as one of the SBA’s 100 most active lenders, Republic Bank business loans are especially worth considering if you’re seeking a government-guaranteed loan.

That said, your business needs to come to the table with a pretty stellar loan application to secure Republic Bank business loans. So if you’re not yet eligible for a bank loan—or if you simply aren’t in the vicinity of a Republic Bank branch—then you might consider a business loan from an alternative lender, which generally requires much less stringent qualification standards than banks do.

Here, we’ll give you the details on all seven Republic Bank business loans, as well as your top Republic Bank business loan alternatives.


An Overview of Republic Bank Business Loans

Republic Bank offers a comprehensive array of small business and commercial loans, ranging from conventional and all-purpose (like term loans) to unique and highly industry-specific (like Dealer Floor Plan loans). And as a traditional institution, Republic Bank can likely offer some of the most generous repayment terms, high loan amounts, and low interest rates on the market.

Sound interesting? Here’s what eligible Kentucky-, Indiana-, Tennessee-, and Florida-based business owners need to know about Republic Bank business loans:      

Unsecured Loan

Republic Bank can provide eligible small business owners with an unsecured business loan, which is likely structured as a traditional term loan. In other words, you’ll need to repay both the principal amount as well as interest, according to a predetermined repayment schedule.

As a reminder, unsecured business loans aren’t secured by particular collateral—like real estate, cash, invoices, or any other valuable asset that the lender deems sufficient—which means that you’re not risking the loss of specific assets if you default on your loan. That said, the bank still needs to protect their interests somehow. To do so, lenders typically require the borrower to sign a personal guarantee, file a lien, or charge higher interest rates for unsecured loans—so if you do fail to repay your loan, then you’re not entirely off the hook.

With all that in mind, Republic Bank can offer unsecured loans of up to $25,000, with fixed interests rates and APRs as low as 7.99%. As is always the case, however, your exact interest rate is dependent upon your perceived level of risk, which the bank determines during the underwriting process. You can use your unsecured loan for any business-related purpose, as long as Republic Bank approves of it.   

Unsecured and Commercial Lines of Credit

Just like an unsecured term loan, an unsecured line of credit doesn’t require specific collateral to secure. However, a line of credit isn’t structured the same way as a term loan: where term loans require that you repay the entirety of the loan amount (plus interest), you’re only responsible for paying interest on the line of credit funds you actually use. Just like a credit card, you can pull any amount of your predetermined loan funds at any time; and if the line is revolving, then it’ll replenish to its original amount when you repay what you owe.

Whether secured or unsecured, business lines of credit can be used for almost any business-related purpose you can think of: Use it to purchase inventory, cover payroll, consolidate existing loan or credit card debt, or simply as an emergency fund. Republic Bank’s unsecured lines of credit extend up to $25,000, and APRs may be as low as 5.25%.  

Republic Bank also offers a commercial line of credit product for larger businesses, but this product is likely secured with collateral. You’ll need to contact the bank directly for more information.

republic bank business loans

Equipment Leasing

Republic Bank’s equipment leasing programs help business owners gain access to the equipment and tools they need to run their ventures. Keep in mind, though, that equipment leasing is different from an equipment loan. Equipment leasing is a lot like renting: Your lender owns the title to your equipment, and you’ll pay them for the use of that equipment for as long as your repayment period lasts. Often, equipment leasing programs do offer the borrower the choice to purchase the equipment at the end of their remittance schedule.

Republic Bank doesn’t provide details about the types of equipment leasing programs they offer (and there are several), so you’ll need to contact a representative to find out more. However, the bank does indicate that they offer programs that don’t require a down payment and that offer tax-deductible payments.    

SBA Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration is a federal agency that aids in the creation and growth of American small businesses. While they spearhead several initiatives dedicated toward that core mission, they’re perhaps best known for their SBA loan programs. Intermediary lenders, like banks, disburse SBA loan funds, but the government guarantees the majority of the amount if the borrower defaults.

Because their risk is mitigated, banks can offer larger loan amounts, lower interest rates, and longer repayment terms on SBA loans than they would for a conventional loan. They’re also more inclined to offer SBA loans to the businesses that may not have been approved for non-SBA loans, like younger businesses or business owners with challenged credit. And by leveraging your pre-existing relationship with Republic Bank, you may have a better shot at approval for these highly coveted loans than you otherwise would.

Republic Bank offers SBA loans through three SBA loan programs:    

SBA 7(a) Loans

SBA 7(a) loans are the SBA’s most popular loan program, as funds can be used for almost any business purpose, including acquiring a business, purchasing real estate, renovating or building a property, or as general working capital.

SBA 7(a) loan amounts vary depending on your intended use of funds, but they can extend up to $5,000,000. Repayment terms also vary according to use: they can last up to seven years for working capital, 10 years for purchasing equipment or a business, and 25 years for real estate-related projects.

And as is the case with any SBA loan, through any of their myriad loan programs, interest rates are among the lowest you’ll encounter. Although SBA 7(a) interest rates shift according to the U.S. Prime Rate (which is currently at 5.50%), the lender cannot exceed the SBA’s set maximum, so you’re always guaranteed a low rate.

SBA 504 Loans

SBA 504 loans are designed especially for businesses that need to purchase major fixed assets, like heavy machinery, or for real estate-related projects. Loan amounts can extend greater than $5,000,000, depending on your project, and repayment terms last up to 10 years for equipment or 20 years for real estate. Although SBA 504 interest rates are determined slightly differently than SBA 7(a) loan rates are, here again, lenders can’t exceed the SBA’s set maximum interest rate.

SBA Express

This SBA loan program is actually a subsidiary of the SBA 7(a) loan program. But, true to its name, this program is designed for businesses that need faster access to capital: While the application and underwriting process for other SBA loans can take up to a couple of months, turnaround time for SBA Express loans may be as fast as 36 hours.

SBA Express loans can be structured as either a term loan or a line of credit, with loan amounts extending up to $350,000. Terms can last up to 10 years for equipment, or 25 years for real estate.

Commercial Term Loan

First Republic offers a conventional term loan for commercial projects. Business term loans are the best option if you need to finance a specific project with predictable costs, as opposed to a line of credit or business credit card, which you can use even for unforeseen expenses. As Republic Bank notes, a couple of the most common uses for their term loans are purchasing inventory or financing equipment.    

Commercial Real Estate Financing

If you need to finance a commercial real estate-related project—such as purchasing a new property, refinancing your existing business property, or investing in a property—then an owner-occupied real estate loan from Republic Bank might be your best option. With this 10-year fixed-rate loan, Republic Bank can offer qualified business owners up to $3,000,000, or 85% of the value of the property, as well as title insurance.

Dealer Floor Plan Lending

One of this institution’s most unique loan products, Republic Bank’s Dealer Floor Plan Loan is designed specifically to meet the needs of both independent and franchised car dealerships. Like a general commercial real estate loan, a Dealer Floor Plan Loan can be used to purchase or build a commercial property—but in this scenario, that property must be an automotive dealership. You’ll work with a dedicated relationship manager on Republic Bank’s team of Floor Plan Loan specialists to agree upon your loan’s amount, interest rate, and repayment period.   

Top Alternatives to Republic Bank Business Loans

Republic Bank offers a robust suite of business loans that could suit virtually any business-related project; but in order to secure a Republic Bank business loan, of course, you need to qualify for one.

Although like most banks Republic Bank does not provide specific information regarding eligibility or qualification standards, generally banks are extremely risk averse—so to qualify, you’ll need to come to the table with a strong credit history, years of experience in your industry, and demonstrate an ability to handle additional debt. (You’ll probably need a thorough business plan in hand, too.)

And if you’re hoping to secure an SBA loan, know that those qualification standards increase, at least in specificity: not only will you need to meet your bank’s qualification standards, but you’ll also need to be deemed eligible for an SBA loan by the SBA itself, as well as complete a hefty amount of documentation to apply.

So if you find that you’re not yet qualified for a Republic Bank business loan, consider a loan from an alternative lender, instead. Alternative, online lenders literally exist to serve business owners who’ve been turned down by banks—and because they’re so tech-forward, these platforms can process, approve, and deliver loans extremely quickly.

Take a look at the following three online lenders, which are among the most reputable in the alternative lending space right now:


If you’re on the hunt for an accessible, flexible business loan, look into a line of credit from Kabbage. This top online lender offers short-term lines of credit between $2,000 and $250,000, with repayment terms of either six or 12 months. To qualify for the six-month option, you’ll need to meet at least the following standards:

  • $50,000 in annual revenue
  • 550 personal credit score
  • A year in business

To qualify for the 12-month option, you’ll need stronger numbers that are perhaps more comparable to what you’d need to qualify for a bank loan: at least $1.5 million in annual revenue, a 680 credit score, and three years in business.

Kabbage boasts super-low interest rates, but they are front-loaded: You’ll need to pay between 1% and 10% for the first few months of your loan. After that initial repayment period, however, the rate will drop to just 1% over the remaining life of your loan.

Kabbage is an especially ideal option for business owners in a rush for funding, as this platform may offer a credit decision and a funded loan (if you’re approved, of course) in as little as a single day, or even a few hours.

republic bank business loans

Lending Club    

Consider Lending Club if you’re seeking a more accessible alternative to a Republic Bank term loan. This online lender can provide qualified business owners with loans between $5,000 and $300,000, at interest rates between 5.9% and 25.9%. Repayment terms can last between one and five years.

You’ll need to meet these minimum standards to be considered for a Lending Club term loan:

  • $50,000 in annual revenue
  • 620 personal credit score
  • One year in business

Plus, if you’re approved for a Lending Club term loan, the platform can deliver your loan funds into your bank account the same day you send in your online application.

SBA Loans Through Fundera

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: SBA loans are highly coveted among small business owners, as their terms and amounts are hard to beat (even by a conventional, non-SBA bank loan)—but the process of applying for one can be labor-intensive and simply intimidating. Plus, because they require approval by both the SBA and your intermediary lender, it can take months to receive a credit decision and your loan funds if you’re approved.

Fundera’s in-house team of SBA experts can help you connect with our network of SBA lenders, then package and manage your loan application from start to finish. We can help you expedite the entire process, too; our qualifying customers are often funded within a month. Better yet, you can fill out an application and work with your loan specialist online and over the phone, so you won’t even need to leave your home or office—no bank visit required.

The Bottom Line on Republic Bank Business Loans

Now that you’re armed with some crucial information about Republic Bank business loans, you’ll need to determine whether you’re a candidate. As you now know, Republic Bank offers an impressive array of business financing—so whether you’re seeking something as general as working capital or as specific as dump truck financing, it’s more likely than not that Republic Bank has a product to suit your needs.

You will need to meet the bank’s eligibility standards to be considered for Republic Bank business loans, however. The only way to know for sure what you’ll need to apply is to visit your local Republic Bank branch—and the only way to know whether you qualify is simply to lob in your application. There’s no way around taking that risk!

But if you’re positive that you’re not yet in a position to secure a bank loan—perhaps your credit score is challenged, or you’re a very young business with no credit history whatsoever—you may be better off saving yourself the time and refocusing your search on alternative loans.

Either way, consider working directly with a loan specialist, like the experts at Fundera. Together, you and your specialist will determine which types of loans your business can qualify for and afford, whether that’s an online loan, a bank loan, an SBA loan, or a myriad other financing products that you may not have even known existed.

Founding Editor and VP at Fundera at Fundera

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a vice president at Fundera. 

Meredith launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending and financial management.

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