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Alternatives to credit cards

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Jan 4, 2023

Fact Checked By:
David Nicholson - Finance Editor

Alternatives to credit cards for your business

A credit card is a great option if your company requires cash to help cash flow. It’s important to remember that there are many options for specialist business loans available to help you fund your business that are better alternatives to credit cards.

Credit cards are a great tool for businesses to have greater flexibility and security in making purchases. Sometimes, however, a speciality business loan may prove to be a better option to fund your company.

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Alternative business financing: It’s not all about credit cards

We will walk you through some alternative funding options for an expanding business. Speak with our specialist business brokers today by applying online below now:

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What’s alternative funding for the business?

Alternative business financing, also known as alternative finance or financing, refers to funding sources such as specialist loans that could be viable alternatives to traditional bank loans or business cards. Funding can help your bank account.

How can I obtain a special business loan?

Compare what credit card alternatives are available

This comparison section includes some of the credit types discussed in this article. You can filter your search by type and then use your available amounts, terms, and turnover to see the different deals.

There are several different options on the market: credit or debit card, bank accounts, secured credit cards, personal loans, secured loans, PayPal accounts, short-term loan, payday loans, unsecured loan, and overdraft facilities and so on.

Apply for a business loan

Online applications can be made or get in touch with your lender by phone. Learn more about how to prepare a business loan application.

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Step-by-step guide on how to get a loan for your business.

Are you looking to grow your business with a quick, affordable loan? These steps will help you prepare your application to increase your chances of getting approved. We will walk you through each step of getting a loan for your business.

How to prepare for a loan application

To ensure you have the best chance of getting approved for a loan, it is important to organize your documents and plans before you start applying.

Your credit score for business is available.

When you apply for business finance, your credit rating will be reviewed. Get a copy of your credit rating and verify that it is accurate. Poor credit history such as credit card debt could fail your credit check making you unable to pass for any form of funding.

Loan applicants with a good credit report are usually eligible for the best terms. It is worth looking into ways to improve your business credit score before applying. We have some tips to improve your bad credit score.

You must ensure that your finances are in order

It is a good idea to settle any outstanding business debts before applying. A healthy cash flow is also a benefit. You might consider calling in any owing payments. This is more information about consolidating business debt before applying for a loan.

Examine your business accounts

We may need to review your financial statements as part of your application depending on your situation. Please ensure that they are correct. We may ask you to file new accounts if it has been more than 2 years since your last business account was filed.

These accounts will require you to present a detailed Profit and Loss statement as well as your balance sheet.

Consider how much and for what amount you will need to borrow.

You should be prepared to explain clearly what the funds will go towards. If the funds are for a general purpose, such as extra working capital or other purposes, be prepared to explain how it will benefit your company. You may also need to borrow money to consolidate your business debts. For more information, see How to Consolidate Business Debt.

You should assess your financial situation and determine how much you can repay. This will show you are trustworthy and will allow you to respond confidently to any offers. You can find our online loan calculator that will give you an idea of what your monthly payments could be for the amount you are borrowing.

Taking into account both time and financial costs

Consider how much time each product will take to manage, as well as the interest rates and fees when comparing business finance options. Variable-rate products, for example, will require more monitoring than fixed rates. Some lenders may also ask for check-ins or annual reports. This will require time that is not needed for other revenue-generating activities.

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We hope for a ‘yes”

Sometimes the decision is made within minutes. The money could be in your account in as little as an hour.

Startup loans

This type of loan is only for embryonic businesses.

There are different criteria and a company might not need to have a minimum turnover in order to be eligible.

These loans are offered by the British Business Bank’s subsidiary, The Start-Up Loans Company. These loans are specifically for small businesses that cannot get financing elsewhere.  Business people including everyone from artists to IT founders have all benefited.

Bridging loans

A bridging loan is a loan that can be used to cover a short-term financial need, such as buying at auctions or during sale periods. Although the coronavirus pandemic reduced demand for bridging loans due to its impact on the market, it is now rebounding.


You can get a business tax loan to help you pay your tax. It is easy – specialist underwriters will review your application and assess the risk factor before lending money to you on fixed borrowing terms.

Cash advances

A merchant cash advance (also known as a business cash loan) is a lump sum that companies receive based on projected card expenditure. If you do not accept debit or credit card payments, you will not be eligible.

Asset financing

Asset financing – This type of finance is specifically for the purchase and use of equipment, such as computers and machinery. A typical example is leasing. A lease will not give you ownership but it allows you to use the most recent technology for a set period. You can purchase the equipment at the end, or hire it out. Some also include maintenance.

Invoice financing

Invoice financing is a loan that is presented to customers as an advance on cash owed rather than waiting for their pay. This method of financing is very popular among banks because the invoices act as collateral.

Lenders don’t need to pay 100% of the invoice amount. Although a good credit score is required, there are some benefits. For example, some lenders will offer this free service if you sign an “invoice financing contract”. The lender will provide invoice financing for a specific term.

Peer to peer finance (P2P),

Peer-to-peer lending (also known as crowdsourcing or crowdlending) is a growing niche in start-up loans.

The borrower has the ability to define what type of finance they require (loan or donation) and can set the terms. However, the lender may be able to offer higher interest rates than banks, although there is more risk. In 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority regulated the peer to peer business loan market.

The FCA also changed the minimum reserve requirement. To avoid financial uncertainty and prevent borrowers from defaulting, P2P platforms must have at least £50,000 in capital.

Other finance

Although technically you fall under the same umbrella as those mentioned above, you might not know that internet giants like Amazon and Paypal are also lenders. If you’re eligible, sellers in the UK will be invited to apply for a loan. However, it is possible to obtain a loan of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many options are available, many of which are similar business credit card alternatives. While some are flexible, which is what makes a business credit card so appealing, others can be used for longer-term investments and higher growth. Here are some of the top business credit card alternatives:

Credit cards for businesses

Although business credit cards can be a good option for small businesses that have regular, small-scale expenses, they are not the best choice for long-term borrowing or larger investments. For smaller businesses or those that haven’t been in business for a while, they can be difficult to obtain.

There are many alternatives on the market.

We can help you choose the right one for your company from more than 120 of the UK’s top lenders, simply contact us here to enquire.

Is alternative funding for business worthwhile?

It’s up to you whether alternative funding for your business is worth it. However, there are many benefits. Applying for alternative finance can be a quicker, simpler process than the traditional credit-card-or-bank-loan route.

Products may offer more flexibility and flexible repayment options, making them more versatile. The sheer number of products on offer means that even if your credit history is not perfect or your business is young, you are more likely to find the right product for you.

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