Are Webster Bank Small Business Loans Right for You?
Business owners based in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island might be considering Webster Bank small business loans as they’re searching for business financing. Small business loans from this Waterbury, Connecticut-based bank are designed to meet pretty much all of your potential financial needs, whether it’s regulating cash flow, funding a commercial-related project, or providing capital for your day-to-day expenses. And as a brick-and-mortar bank, Webster Bank can likely offer qualified applicants the lowest interest rates and most generous repayment terms on the market.
But if you can’t yet qualify for Webster Bank small business loans—or if you simply don’t live near one of Webster Bank’s 177 New England-based branches—then you’ll need to set your sights elsewhere. To start your search, we’ll show you just three of your alternative options to this (or any) bank’s small business loans.
An Overview of Webster Bank Small Business Loans
Webster Bank offers six types of small business loans, all of which can service a range of financial needs for businesses in several industries. Regardless of the type of loan you apply for, do know that Webster Bank requires that you open a checking account with them before loan closing. That way, the bank can auto-deduct your loan payments according to your repayment schedule.
With that in mind, let’s get into the details about each of these Webster Bank small business loans.
- Webster Visa Business Platinum Card: This card carries a long 0% intro APR period, so you can take your time paying down your balance without worrying about incurring a hefty interest rate. This card doesn’t offer any additional rewards beyond that introductory grace period, though.
- Webster Visa Business Cash Card: With this tiered cash back card, you’ll earn 3%, 2%, or 1% cash back on your eligible purchases, depending on where you spend. And as a signup bonus, you’ll get a $25 cash-back reward after your very first purchase with this card.
- Webster Visa Business Real Rewards Card: If you’d prefer to be rewarded with points over cash—and you don’t want to think too much about tracking when and how many points you’re earning—opt for Webster Bank’s flat-rate rewards card. With this card, you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar on eligible net purchases per month, with no limit on the amount of points you can earn. You’ll also earn 2,500 bonus points after your first purchase.
- Webster Visa Business Rewards PLUS Card: With Webster Bank’s tiered rewards card, you’ll earn either 3 or 1.5 points per dollar, depending on which categories you’re spending on, with no limit to the amount of points you can earn. Plus, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 within the first three months after account opening.
Business Line of Credit
Other than business credit cards, business lines of credit are probably the most flexible form of financing you’ll find. Your lender will allow you access to a predetermined pool of funds, which you can pull down from in whatever amount and at any time you need. After you’ve repaid what you owe, plus interest, your line of credit will replenish to its original amount so you can keep on borrowing.
Because you can essentially use them whenever, or if ever, you need, business lines of credit are excellent financing tools just to keep in your back pocket. Use them in case of emergency, to jump on new opportunities, cover payroll, purchase inventory, or smooth out cash-flow gaps, among tons of other potential uses.
Webster Bank can provide qualified applicants with business lines of credit ranging from $10,000 to $2 million at variable interest rates. And as a major bonus, if you apply for a Webster Bank line of credit of up to $250,000, you can receive a credit decision by the following day.
Business Term Loan
Term loans are a form of long-term, lump-sum financing, and they’re the best option for funding larger, one-time projects, like purchasing equipment, consolidating debt, or renovating or expanding your office.
Webster Bank’s term loans range between $10,000 and $6 million at fixed interest rates. The bank’s loan specialists will work with you to determine the length of your repayment period, which will depend upon your intended use of your funds and your financials, among other factors. Here, too, applicants seeking smaller term loans (up to $250,000) can receive a loan decision in just one day through the bank’s Fast Track program.
Business Commercial Real Estate Loan
If you need financial assistance for a real estate-related project—like renovating your office, purchasing land for your business, or opening a second location—then consider a commercial real estate loan from Webster Bank.
Real estate loans are designed specifically to meet the demanding financial requirements of these expensive, long-term projects, so the bank will offer you higher loan amounts and longer repayment terms than they would for a typical term loan. You’ll work with Webster Bank’s commercial real estate experts to design a loan program that works for your needs and financial capabilities.
In 2018, Webster Bank was ranked the #1 SBA Lender in New England based on total amount loaned, so business owners seeking this highly coveted federal financing would do well to apply through Webster Bank.
As a reminder, SBA loans are disbursed by intermediary lenders (like Webster Bank) but they’re guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Thanks to that government backing, SBA loans carry even more generous terms than conventional bank loans: Think higher loan amounts, lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, and lower down payment requirements. Plus, the SBA designed their loan programs in part to make funding more accessible to business owners who may have been traditionally overlooked by large banks, so they provide special financing programs for veteran-, minority-, and women-owned businesses.
On the down side, SBA loan applications are notoriously document-heavy and time-consuming, and they require more than a little patience and dedication to get through. You’ll also need to be approved by both the SBA and the intermediary lender that’s actually disbursing your loan funds, which means double the hoops to jump through than your typical bank loan.
But here’s the good news: As a Preferred Lender, Webster Bank can process SBA loans in-house, rather than sending them out to the agency. That way, they can return to you with a credit decision much more quickly. They also have a team of SBA experts you can consult to help guide you through the entire application process.
In addition to their standard suite of small business loans, Webster Bank also provides specialized loan programs for particular industries. Healthcare businesses, housing associations, nonprofits, accountants, and lawyers can all contact Webster Bank to receive a customized lending solution tailored to your industry’s unique financial requirements.
Business Credit Cards
Finally, Webster Bank offers four types of business credit cards:
Top Alternatives to Webster Bank Business Loans
Although Webster Bank doesn’t disclose specific eligibility requirements, as a traditional lending institution it’s likely that they’ll only approve the businesses that present the strongest credentials—like the healthiest credit scores, the most experience running their businesses, and the strongest cash flow.
If your business can’t yet fulfill those requirements, consider working with an alternative lender. While they can’t always offer the same generous terms as a brick-and-mortar bank can, these online platforms require laxer eligibility standards, which makes financing much more accessible to the businesses that have been turned down by traditional lenders. And because they’re powered by technology, online lenders can process your applications extremely quickly—in some cases, that means you’ll receive a loan decision in a single day, and have access to your approved funds immediately.
Here are just three of your alternative options to consider:
Kabbage Business Line of Credit
Small business owners seeking flexible, accessible financing should consider a line of credit from Kabbage. This online lender provides short-term lines of credit between $1,000 and $250,000, which carry either six- or 12-month repayment periods. For the first few months of your loan, your interest rate will be between 1.25% and 10%, but your rate will drop to 1% for the remainder of your repayment period.
Qualifying for a Kabbage line of credit is much easier than qualifying for a line of credit from a bank, too. To be eligible for a Kabbage line of credit under $100,000, at a minimum you’ll need to generate $50,000 in annual revenue, have been in business for at least a year, and have a 550 credit score. And although Kabbage does consider your credit score during the underwriting process, they won’t weigh this metric as heavily as other lenders (especially banks) do if your other credentials are strong.
Lending Club Term Loan
If you’re seeking traditional lump-sum financing, take a look at Lending Club’s business term loans. Lending Club can offer qualified business owners loans between $5,000 and $300,000 with repayment terms lasting between one and five years, but if you’re able, you can pay off your loan early without incurring a prepayment penalty. Typically, Lending Club’s total annualized interest rates land between 5.9% and 25.9%.
To qualify for a term loan from Lending Club, you’ll need to make at least $50,000 in annual revenue, have a 620 credit score or higher, and have been in business for at least a year.
American Express Blue Business Plus
American Express isn’t an alternative lender, but applying for an American Express Blue Business Plus credit card online is quick and painless—the whole process takes only takes a matter of minutes, and your approval decision even less than that. Plus, we think that the perks and rewards you’ll get with the Blue Business Plus card far outweigh those you’d receive with any of Webster Bank’s small business credit cards.
Firstly, this card carries the longest 0% intro APR period on the market: For the first 15 months of card ownership, you can carry a balance without paying an additional interest. After your 15 interest-free months are up, however, a variable APR sets in at a rate depending on your creditworthiness. This rate will also vary with the market, so be sure to check the issuer’s terms and conditions for the latest APR information.
Most 0% intro APR cards from banks don’t offer any additional perks or rewards beyond that grace period, but the Amex actually doubles as a points card. You’ll earn 2x for every dollar you spend for your first $50,000 annually, and after that, you’ll continue to earn 1x point per dollar spent on this card.
The Bottom Line on Webster Bank Small Business Loans
If you’re a business owner based in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island, then you should certainly consider Webster Bank as your lending partner, as they can offer you some of the most generous terms and customized lending solutions you’re likely to find.
When applying for a Webster Bank small business loan, you’ll be asked for the following information. Gather these credentials ahead of time, so you can lob in your application as efficiently as possible:
- Your business’s tax identification number
- Your business’s most recent tax return
- The number of years your business has been operating
- Banking and loan information, if your accounts are not held with Webster Bank
- Each owner’s name and contact information
- Each owner’s SSN and date of birth
- Each owner’s percentage of ownership
- Each owner’s personal income and financial information
If you’re applying for a loan under $250,000, you can apply for your Webster Bank Business loan online, but those seeking larger loans will need to call a Webster Bank representative, or visit their local branch to apply.
And if you can’t yet fulfill the necessary credit score, time in business, cash flow, or other loan requirements that Webster Bank needs to approve your loan, consider working with an alternative lender instead. These loans are designed to make financing more available to the businesses that brick-and-mortar banks like Webster Bank usually turn down; and by growing your business through a smaller or more accessible loan (and paying it off responsibly), you’ll actually help position yourself to secure a loan with even more generous terms down the line.