Santander business loans review

In this article we look at the details of Santander’s business loans to help you assess whether the high street bank is the right option for your business.

10 March 2020

Santander is one of the UK’s largest established challenger banks. It has more than 800 branches across the UK and almost 65 corporate business centres. Santander provides numerous products and services for small-business owners, startups and SMEs, including loans and trade and asset finance for businesses with an annual turnover of more than £6.5m.

Santander business loans at a glance

Here is a brief overview of the different kinds of loans that Santander provides to small businesses, startups and larger established companies.

Key FeaturesSantander Small Business LoanSantander Startup LoanSantander Working Capital LoanCorporate and Commercial Loans
Loan amount range£2,000 to £25,000£1,000 to £25,000Up to £100,000Commercial lending of more than £25,000
Duration range1-5 years1-5 years6 monthsUp to 25 years
Setup feeNone£100NoneNot specified
Fixed or variable ratesFixedFixedNot specifiedBoth
Representative interest rates7.6% p.a7.9-12.9% p.a6-26% p.aDiffers by loan agreement
Secured or unsecuredUnsecuredUnsecuredNot specifiedBoth

Every care has been taken to ensure this information is accurate. All information was correct as of 7 March 2020

TrustPilot Score

1.5 out of 5, 'bad' from 2,108 reviews.

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Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible for a Santander business loan?

You need to have an existing Santander bank account to be eligible for a Santander business loan. Lending criteria differ across the wide range of loans that Santander offers. Generally speaking, you’ll need to have:

  • A good credit score and credit history
  • Be either a sole trader, partnership, limited liability company, or a trust
  • Be above 18 and have your business registered in the UK.

How do I apply for a Santander business loan?

You can contact Santander to apply for business loan online, at a branch, or over the phone.

What documents are needed for a Santander business loan?

You’ll need to provide details of when your business started trading and in some cases three years’ trading history. You’ll need to explain what kind of products or services your business offers, as well as including your business’ financial numbers. That means you will need to give an estimate of your forecast profits and total capital. If your business already has a loan or finance from another source, you’ll be expected to include that in your application too.

For larger commercial loans, you may also need to provide:

  • Your business plan
  • Cash flow forecasts
  • Management accounts
  • Assets

Will Santander perform a credit check?

Yes, so make sure all the information in your paperwork is accurate, so that Santander can perform the proper checks with its credit reporting partners.

How long does it take to be approved?

This depends on the loan you’re looking for. In 2016, Santander launched a partnership with Kabbage to assess and approve its Working Capital Loans in under a day. More complex loans will likely have a longer approval timeline.

Will I need to provide security?

Santander business loans for small businesses are generally unsecured. However, businesses looking to borrow more than £25,000 with a Santander Corporate and Commercial Loan may need to provide some form of collateral.

Can I pay off a Santander loan early?

Yes, many Santander business loans allow early part or even full repayments. Be sure to check the fine print because some Santander business loans will charge up to 30 days of extra interest for full early repayment.

What are the advantages of a Santander business loan?

  • Santander’s small business loan does not have a setup fee
  • You may get approved quickly for a Working Capital Loan
  • Some existing customers may be eligible for preferential rates.

What are the disadvantages of a Santander business loan?

  • You will need to have a Santander current account to borrow
  • Santander has a low rating on Trustpilot
  • Applications may take a long time to review and decide.

What else should I know?

Be sure to do your research if you’re considering taking out a loan, commercial mortgage or business overdraft with Santander. Make sure you understand the terms of any business loan and make sure you’re aware of the alternatives.

For example, with iwoca you can get a quick decision on your application and receive the funds you need within a day. More than 4,200 small business customers have reviewed us on TrustPilot, resulting in a five out of five and ‘excellent’ score.

iwoca Flexi-Loan

If you're considering a Santander business loan, you can also explore iwoca's business loan options. With the iwoca Flexi-Loan, you can:

  • Apply online in five minutes
  • Borrow £1,000 to £200,000 for up to a year
  • Have funds in your account within 24 hours
  • Save interest, if you repay early.

Even though iwoca is fast, we're serious about lending responsibly. We have a 5-star 'excellent' rating on TrustPilot and use award-winning technology to make fair decisions based on your overall business performance – not just your credit score. iwoca aims to provide fast, flexible finance without the rigid criteria or endless paperwork.

An iwoca loan can be used to boost your business’ day-to-day cash flow or fill the gaps in your working capital. Our customers use small business loans to bridge late invoices, invest in stock and cover unexpected expenses.

For more information, visit our small business loans page.

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Luke O’Neill founded Genuine Communications is 2018 – a marketing and advertising business dedicated to providing high quality research-driven content. Based in Sydney, Luke has written on an array of topics in finance, tech and legal sectors.

Article updated on: 12 March 2020

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