10 Places to Get Business Loans in Alberta

If your booming business requires a fresh infusion of capital, you may want to preserve your ownership stake and avoid issuing equity. As a secondary solution, debt capital helps achieve strategic objectives without the dilution impact.

But, where are the best places to get business loans in Alberta?

What Types of Business Loans Are Available In Alberta?

While financial institutions sometimes customize products to meet companies’ needs, the most popular Alberta business loans are as follows:

Business Term Loans

Business term loans are typically used for growth initiatives, like developing a new product, expanding into new markets, or streamlining your supply chain. Whether you’re in Calgary, Edmonton, or other areas of Alberta, borrowers usually receive a lump sum of cash and repay the loan in fixed installments. Financing is often structured as an amortizing loan, meaning interest and a partial principal repayment occur each period.

For information on where to find the best business loans in Ontario, please see our guide.

Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit is similar to a credit card, where you have a maximum limit and can borrow from the balance whenever you want. You only pay interest on the withdrawn funds, and the charges stop once you repay the amount borrowed. Most often, business lines of credit in Alberta are unsecured, meaning you don’t need to post collateral.

Canada Small Business Financing Loan (CSBFL)

Implemented to help entrepreneurs, a Canada Small Business Financing Loan (CSBFL) lets qualifying companies borrow upwards of $1,000,000, of which $500,000 is allocated for equipment, leasehold improvements, intangible assets, and working capital, and $150,000 can be used solely for intangible assets and working capital. The Government of Canada guarantees 85% of the loan — to help boost approval rates — and you can choose the following repayment terms:

  • Floating-rate principal plus interest
  • Floating-rate principal including interest (blended payments)
  • Fixed-rate principal plus interest rate
  • Fixed-rate principal including interest (blended payments)

Asset-Based Loans

Contrasting business term loans and lines of credit, asset-based loans in Calgary, Edmonton, and the surrounding areas of Alberta require collateral. These are secured loans, which means businesses pledge assets like property, machinery, invoices, accounts receivable, inventory, and real estate to protect the lender in case of default.

To learn more, please see our Asset-Based Financing Guide, and for provincial resources, please view our local guides for Ontario, Alberta, and BC.

Do Alberta Lenders Care About My Credit Score?

Whether it’s a large city like Calgary or Edmonton, or a smaller town like Canmore, your credit score plays a crucial role in the financing terms and your interest rate.

If you have bad credit, taking on expensive business debt may exacerbate the situation. Alternative lenders typically extend financing across Alberta, but the interest costs can be much higher. Consequently, fixing your credit score is the best strategy to boost your personal and business finances.

To begin the process, please see our guide on How to Improve Your Canadian Credit Score. We outline 10 proven strategies to increase your credit score. The Government of Canada notes that “it takes 30 to 90 days for information to be updated in your credit report,” so you can make incremental progress rather quickly. However, please note it’s a long-term commitment if you want to go from 500 to 700.

As another pathway to a better credit score, Canadian fintechs should be on your radar. Our Borrowell Credit Report Review highlights its three main benefits:

  1. Monitor & Track
  2. Understand & improve
  3. Find the Right Product

The first is to track your success, flag errors, and spot fraudulent activity. Next, Molly, Borrowell’s AI-powered Credit Coach, provides personalized tips, articles, and tools to become more credit savvy. Finally, Borrowell Canada provides users with a list of financial products that may be helpful. Best of all, Borrowell Canada is free, and you don’t have to pay anything to enjoy the credit-building benefits.

Continuing the theme, our KOHO Credit Building Review notes how creating a $30 to $500 secured line of credit can uplift your credit score. By borrowing against your own funds, KOHO reports the activity to Equifax and TransUnion, which can enhance your credit score. However, unlike Borrowell, KOHO is not free, so please read the full review to determine the pros and cons.

As a final option, there are no charges for a KOHO secured credit card if you set up direct deposits or load $1,000 into your account each month. It was rated one of the “3 Best Prepaid Credit Cards in Canada for 2024” by Nerdwallet, there is no credit check, and approval is guaranteed. Cash back on purchases is also available, and timely repayments can uplift your credit score. For more information on how it works, please see our KOHO Credit Cards Review.

10 Places to Get Business Loans in Alberta

If your credit score is 700 or higher, traditional banks in Calgary, Edmonton, and the surrounding Alberta areas are the best places to find business loans. The Big 5 — RBC, TD, BMO, CIBC, and Scotiabank — conduct plenty of financing activity in oil-rich Alberta, so it should be easy to find a local contact.

For small businesses, alternative lenders are your go-to business loan sources in Alberta. The Big 5 likes big deals, so they focus primarily on larger companies. In turn, alternative lenders fill that void by providing products to businesses with lower revenues.

If bad credit is causing financing difficulties, please improve your credit score before searching for an Alberta business loan. To maintain smooth operations, you want the lowest rates and best terms. And whether it’s Calgary, Edmonton, or other areas of Alberta, lenders are unlikely to provide cheap financing to individuals with poor credit scores.

Below, we curated a list of institutions where you can find business loans in Alberta.

1. Royal Bank of Canada

With a heavy presence in Alberta due to its financing of energy, mining, and resources companies, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) issues several types of loans to businesses of all sizes. By speaking with a local representative, you should find a solution that fits your needs.

2. Toronto-Dominion Bank

Similar to RBC, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is another Big 5 lender with a large loan book in Alberta. Whether it’s operating credit, term loans, lines of credit, small business loans, or asset-based financing, the solutions are endless. Moreover, with branches in Calgary, Edmonton, and other areas of Alberta, you can obtain local advice.

3. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) also has branches in Calgary and Edmonton, and while it’s smaller than RBC and TD, it issues term loans, asset-based loans, small business loans, and business lines of credit.

4. Bank of Montreal

Like its Big 5 rivals, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) provides in-person assistance in Calgary, Edmonton, and areas around Alberta. From floating to fixed rates and CAD and USD lines of credit, companies of most sizes can apply, and financing can be tailored to fit your needs.

5. Scotiabank

Fifth on the list, Scotiabank has roots in Nova Scotia, but you can find local help in Calgary, Edmonton, Beaumont, St. Albert, and other Alberta locations. The firm offers similar products to its counterparts above, so it’s best to speak with a representative to determine how Scotiabank can help you.

6. Canadian Western Bank (CWB)

Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canadian Western Bank (CWB) announced on Jun. 11, 2024, that the National Bank of Canada would acquire the firm in 2025.

Despite that, CWB is a local Alberta lender that caters to small and medium-sized businesses. Whether it’s commercial lending, commercial real estate, equipment financing, or other types of loans, there are several solutions available.

Furthermore, CWB is a member of the Canadian Lenders Association (CLA), which promotes ethical financing across Canada.

7. Equitable Bank

Although it’s an online-only institution, Equitable Bank has an office in Calgary and offers loan solutions ($5 million and up) to small and mid-sized firms. You can obtain:

  • Asset Repositioning Loans
  • Inventory Loans
  • Term Loans
  • Conventional and Secured Construction Loans
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans

Equitable Bank is also a CLA member and works with clients across Canada.

8. Accord Financial

Whether it’s for restructuring or growth initiatives, Accord Financial provides business loan solutions across North America. The firm is a CLA member and has three borrowing options:

  • Asset-Based Loans
  • Accounts Receivable Financing
  • Equipment Financing

Please note that these are secured loans, and accounts receivable financing ranges from $500,000 to $2,000,000.

9. Merchant Growth

Providing business term loans nationwide, Merchant Growth lets you borrow $5,000 to $800,000 and funding is available in as little as 24 hours. You repay the proceeds in six to 24 months and can use the money for cash flow, new equipment, staffing, or other growth initiatives. To qualify, your business must:

  • Be located in Canada
  • Have monthly revenue of at least $10,000
  • Been a legal entity for at least six months

Merchant Growth is also a CLA member, which helps increase the firm’s credibility.

10. Journey Capital

Rounding out our list, Journey Capital finances small businesses in as little as 24 hours and there are three products to choose from:

  • Business Term Loans of $5,000 to $300,000
  • FlexFunds Advance of $5,000 to $300,000
  • Business Line of Credit up to $300,000

Moreover, submitting an application won’t hurt your credit score, and Journey Capital is a CLA member.

Conclusion

Alberta businesses can access credit from several reputable lenders, and the CLA stamp is a good indicator of firms promoting the right practices.

To obtain the best terms and cheapest rates, we recommend inquiring at several loan companies to see which ones go above and beyond to win your business. Likewise, taking a patient approach may end up saving you thousands in financing costs.

 

 

Alex Demolitor

Alex Demolitor is a Canadian financial writer hailing from Halifax, NS. Alex has a Bachelors Degree from King's College and passed the CFA Exam Level III. He specializes in fundamental analysis of the stock, bond, commodity, and FX markets. He also covers US & Canadian economic indicators.