Funding Circle Review: Small-Business Loans
What is Funding Circle? Funding Circle is based in San Francisco and in London. They started in the U.K. back in 2010 and expanded into the U.S. in 2013. It’s a growing player in the market for online small-business loans. They provide business loans of up to $500,000. They have lent roughly $1 billion to small businesses since they opened up shop.
Funding Circle isn’t the fastest. It doesn’t have the lowest interest rates. It isn’t for those with really low credit either. It also isn’t the slowest. It doesn’t have the highest interest rates, and it isn’t for those with really high credit either. Though they are certainly welcome with Funding Circle as well.
So is the Funding Circle right for you??
Who Should Use Funding Circle?
- Business owners with decent to good credit.
- Businesses that need capital soon but aren’t in a crunch.
- Franchise business owners.
- Already established and financially stable firms.
- Businesses looking to expand. These are the most common types of customers Funding Circle deals with.
Would You Qualify?
- You need a personal credit score of at least 620, though the average score of funded borrowers is closer to 700
- At least two years in business
- Minimum $150,000 in annual revenue
- Profitable at least one of the last two years
- No bankruptcy on record
- Personal guarantee required
Why Should Somebody Use Funding Circle?
While it’s tough to compete with the low interest rates of SBA loans, Funding Circle can offer low rates in comparison to other online lenders. An advantage Funding Circle has over SBA loans as well as banks is that it is substantially faster to apply and get funded with Funding Circle. As opposed to the months it takes to apply for a Small Business Administration loan, which has a review process that many small-business owners find agonizingly slow and intimidating.
Another benefit of using Funding Circle is that there is no prepayment penalty. You can repay your loan back as early as you’d like. Also, Funding Circle is franchise friendly. The lender is already partnered with franchises such as Fatburger, Robeks, Papa John’s Pizza, and Domino’s. So for anybody looking to open a franchise, Funding Circle is definitely a good option.
Why Funding Circle Might Not Be for You:
Well first and foremost, Funding Circle is not for startups or recently launched businesses with little revenue. You must have a pretty good record as a small business owner to get a Funding Circle loan. Founder Sam Hodges is quoted sayin “We only lend to established businesses that have the cash flow needed to support loan repayment, and a legitimate plan for growth.”
Funding Circle also has more stringent requirements. Therefore, they aren’t for everyone. While Funding Circle may not have as extensive of a process as an SBA loan, other lender’s qualifying requirements are a bit more lenient. You’ll need at least a 620 personal credit score to qualify for a Funding Circle loan, while other lenders require closer to 500. They also aren’t quite as FAST as other lenders may be, so if you need immediate cash, Funding Circle isn’t for you. Consider other online lenders or a marketplace if you need immediate cash.
What is a Marketplace?
If you are starting to think Funding Circle won’t be able to help you, or isn’t for you one way or another, you have other options. By choosing to go to a marketplace instead, you will be presented with variety and more than likely given options to choose from. A marketplace is a sort of intermediary where specialists very much like brokers will take a look at your financial situation and determine which direct lenders are more likely to approve you. They can help you determine which products are best for your specific type of business and need, and they will help you structure your payout structure and length of term. Marketplaces such as www.SproutLending.com allow you to fill out one easy application and then get responses from all direct and specialized lenders rather than just a specific one. That way, we can choose the best deal for you while helping you avoid any application denials, crippling interest rates, or hits to your credit.
Working With Sprout
Sprout is an online marketplace where businesses come to compare and save on small business loans. You go to www.SproutLending.com and simply fill out a profile or call us at 800-865-6057. Based on that information you provided, Sprout suggests the best matches depending on the amount and purpose of the business loan you are seeking. Last year, Sprout and it’s staff was responsible for over $100 million in loan approvals.