ACE small business loans are SBA Microloans available to Georgia-based business owners through the certified CDFI ACE Loans. ACE small business loans can be as large a $50,000, with terms no longer than six years and interest rates based on the market prime rate. ACE business loans come with a $50 non-refundable application fee and require a minimum personal credit score of 600.
A certified Community Development Financial Institution (or CDFI, for short), ACE Loans is a nonprofit that provides affordable business funding to business owners in the state of Georgia. ACE—which stands for Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs—provides business loans along with valuable educational resources like their Women’s Business Center.
ACE small business loans are just one of the four types of business loans that ACE provides to Georgia business owners—they also offer commercial loans, energy loans, and short-term working capital loans, which we’ll also cover later in the article.
Let’s start by diving into the details on ACE small business loans. This type of ACE loan is provided through the SBA Microloans program. To see if these ACE business loans are available in your county, check the SBA’s list of counties that this CDFI serves.
If your business operates out of an eligible county, then take a look at the details on ACE small business loans to see if there is a funding opportunity fit to pursue for your business:
ACE small business loans offer loan amounts of up to $50,000. So, if you need to access business funding in larger amounts, then you’ll need to look beyond ACE small business loans—whether for another of the ACE loans or another lender altogether—to find the funding you need.
According to the ACE Loans website, the term lengths for ACE small business loans rarely stretch longer than six years. That said, if you’re able to access a term length of even close to that six-year maximum, then your ACE small business loan will have a longer repayment schedule than most other small business loan options.
The cost of ACE small business loans derives from two main factors. One is a fixed $50 application fee that borrowers will have to pay—and won’t be able to get back—to apply for an ACE small business loan. And, of course, borrowers will need to pay interest on ACE small business loans, as well.
That said, the ACE Loans website doesn’t provide much information on these interest rates—they just state that they’re based on the market, which is true of pretty much any interest rate out there. As a reference, though, keep in mind that the average interest rate attached to an SBA Microloan in 2017 was 7.5%.
To be eligible for ACE small business loans, applicants must come to the table with personal credit scores of at least 600. The ACE loans website also adds that “documentation is required,” though they don’t expound on which documents applicants will need to provide to apply.
Additionally, this might go without saying, but because ACE Loans is a Georgia Community Development Financial Institution, ACE small business loans are only available to Georgia-based small businesses.
If, after learning about the details on ACE small business loans, you’ve decided they’re not the right fit for your business, then be sure to check out the other ACE business loans that this organization offers.
Whether you want a larger loan amount or shorter-term funding, the alternative ACE loans to ACE small business loans might better address your funding preferences. So, take a look at the three other business loans that ACE offers to see if they’re a better fit for your business:
Similar to ACE small business loans, ACE commercial loans offer lump sums of capital to Georgia-based small businesses. Unlike ACE small business loans, however, ACE commercial business loans offer loan amounts larger than $50,000.
Additionally, ACE commercial loans require collateral, don’t have a set term length limit, and require what ACE refers to as “acceptable credit.”
ACE also offers business loans specifically for projects and infrastructure centered around renewable energy efforts. These ACE business loans can be as large as $500,000, but that’s all the information ACE provides on their site—you can call in to learn more about the details on these types of ACE business loans.
Finally, if you’re interested in finding a short-term ACE business loan, then look into their TILT Forward program. ACE TILT Forward loans are working capital business loans that range in size $5,000 to $25,000. These ACE loans provide working capital to businesses for time-sensitive, one-off expenses.
According to the ACE site, applying for this type of ACE business loan requires “very few documents,” and qualified borrowers can get funding in as little as three days. The terms for ACE TILT loans range from six to 18 months, and the interest rate is fixed at 17% for the entirety of the repayment term. Although you’ll still have to pay down an ACE TILT loan with daily payments, with a 17% interest rate, these are some of the most affordable short-term options available to small business owners.
That said, there is a long list of restricted industries for these short-term ACE business loans, so make sure you’re in an eligible industry before you apply.
Not quite convinced that any of the ACE business loans are the right fit for your business? Maybe you’re not even a Georgia business owner but you’re looking for something like ACE small business loans to fund your business’s growth.
Either way, it’s time to start looking into the top alternatives to ACE small business loans—all of which are available beyond the boundaries of the Peach State.
Here are our top four options for alternatives to ACE small business loans:
Kabbage offers short-term lines of credit that you can qualify for and fund with within a matter of hours. This alternative to ACE small business loans offers credit limits of $2,000 to $250,000, and each time you draw from it, you’ll either have six months or a year to repay your debt.
Granted, because Kabbage is a for-profit business, unlike ACE Loans, funding from Kabbage will likely be more expensive than ACE small business loans. Nonetheless, many business owners are more than willing to pay that extra interest for the efficiency and convenience that Kabbage offers.
Another quick funding option that acts as a stellar stand-in for ACE small business loans in Fundbox. This lender offers invoice financing, which allows business owners to access a portion of their outstanding invoice value with the invoice itself acting as collateral for the funding.
Fundbox offers invoice financing from $1,000 to $100,000 and is willing to work with business owners so long as they simply have six months of business history—no personal credit score or annual revenue minimum requirements to speak of.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a longer-term option to consider beyond ACE small business loans, then we suggest you look into Fundation medium-term business loans. Fundation offers small business loans of $20,000 to $350,000 with repayment terms ranging from a year to four years.
Though, again, funding from Fundation will likely be more expensive than ACE small business loans, they’re able to compete with ACE small business loans and even traditional banks because of their efficiency and convenience. Even though Fundation loans are longer term than your typical quick-to-fund business loan, you’ll still be able to fund with Fundation within a day of applying.
Finally, if ACE small business loans don’t work out for you, we suggest you look into SBA 7(a) loans as another low-cost government business funding solution. The SBA 7(a) Loan Program offers working capital loans of up to $5 million to small business nationwide through approved SBA lenders. The SBA provides a partial guarantee for up to 85% of 7(a) loans, making them all the easier to qualify for and to afford.
If you’re one of the few business owners who ACE small business loans are available to, then you should seriously consider applying for funding from them. By nature of being a nonprofit, ACE Loans is able to offer qualifying Georgia small business owners some of the very best rates out there.
Nonetheless, if you’re not one of these qualifying Georgia small business owners, then you’ll need to look beyond ACE small business loans for funding—in which case, you should look to other SBA Microloan providers, SBA 7(a) lenders, or any of the alternative lenders we highlight in this article.
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera.
Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions.