Do small and young firms benefit from an increase in the provision of long-term loans? By combining firm-level data from 62 countries (over the period 2006–2016) with a new database on short-term and long-term credit provided to the private sector, this article shows a higher provision of long-term credit does not stimulate growth of small and young firms. On the contrary, an increase in the availability of short-term credit spurs firm growth. The main explanation of this (counter-intuitive) result is the differential impact of short-term and long-term credit provision on small and young firms' access to credit. Young and small firms are able to take advantage of an increase of short-term loans, which allow them to switch from informal finance to bank loans. However, a higher level of long-term credit does not alleviate credit constraints faced by opaque firms because these funds are allocated towards transparent borrowers.