Funding Circle is a direct lender that connects investors with small business owners in need of small business funding. Based on Funding Circle reviews, this lender is an excellent choice for applicants with good personal credit history who run established businesses and need the funds in less than a week.
APR range 12.45% - 45%
- Competitive rates
- High loan amounts
- Quick and easy application process
- Dedicated US-based funding specialist
- Useful Small Business Loan Calculator tool
- Automatic payments
- No prepayment penalties
- Multiple funding solutions available with just one application
- Borrower requirements may be hard to meet
- A business lien and personal guarantee are required
Funding Circle Overview
Funding Circle is an online lending marketplace that offers small business owners fast access to capital. Launched in the UK, this small business loan platform has quickly expanded to offer its services to American borrowers.
If you’re having trouble meeting the eligibility criteria of a bank or credit union, but you’re still hoping for high loan amounts and reasonable rates, we suggest you consider applying for a Funding Circle term loan. This lender’s comprehensive underwriting process includes reviewing the business’s overall financial health, instead of determining loan terms based only on the business owner’s personal credit score.
Providing that you run an established business, Funding Circle may be a solid choice if you are looking to expand your business and need the cash fast. This provider’s rates and fees are relatively low compared to those of other online lenders. Currently, Funding Circle Core Term loan interest rate (7.49%) is even better than SBA Prime rates.
On the bright side, the application process can be completed in less than six minutes and the funding takes only a few business days, if approved, so the loan processing speed makes this lender stand out.
How Funding Circle Compares to Other Lenders
12.45% - 45%
7.99% to 29.99%
4.00% - 30.00%
Types of Financing Available With Funding Circle
As far as financing types go, Funding Circle term loans are a great option. A term loan is a variation of an installment loan and is considered to be one of the most popular funding types provided by online lenders, along with lines of credit.
Upon agreeing to the loan terms with the lender, the borrower receives the full loan amount (minus the origination fee) and then repays it in a series of fixed payments according to a repayment schedule. Each payment consists of a portion that goes towards repaying the principal and a portion that settles the accruing interest.
Additionally, Funding Circle offers business line of credit and an SBA 7(a) loan.
Funding Circle’s Term Loans
If you are looking to borrow between $25,000 and $500,000, and plan to repay the loan in a period of six months to five years, you should explore this lender’s funding options. As one of the best small business loan providers, FundingCircle offers fixed monthly payments, predetermined interest rates, and a predictable repayment schedule.
Before you consider applying for a term loan from this small business lending marketplace, make sure that you can meet Funding Circle’s minimum borrower requirements. These include:
- At least two years in business
- Business owner’s personal credit score of at least 620
- No personal bankruptcies within the last seven years
- The business must be operating in an eligible industry
Find the Best Financial Product for Your Business
Funding Circle Application Process
Funding Circle takes great pride in providing a transparent, quick, and easy application process. Filling out the lender’s online application doesn’t take more than six minutes and the company’s agents can get back to you with a credit decision in as little as one business day after you’ve submitted all the documents required for the application. According to Funding Circle reviews, if approved, most borrowers get the funding within five business days.
To get a term loan from this direct online lender, you’ll need to go through these steps:
- Submit an online application through Funding Circle’s website and upload any required documentation.
- A funding specialist will get in touch with you to review your potential funding solutions.
- If approved, should you decide to accept the offer, the lender will send you a loan agreement.
- Once you’ve signed the loan agreement, the funds will be wired into your business bank account in as little as 2 business days.
What Information Do I Need to Apply?
To start your application for Funding Circle financing, you’ll need to provide some basic information about your business and yourself. After that, the lender may also ask for:
- Additional company details, such as your business tax ID
- Names of shareholders or owners with at least 20% of ownership (if applicable)
- The business owners’ Social Security numbers
- A valid photo ID for the applicant and any business owners with at least 20% ownership
As far as additional financial information goes, you may be required to submit:
- Business tax returns for the two most recent years
- Personal tax returns for each shareholder or business owner with at least 20% of ownership for one (most recent) year
- Six most recent monthly bank statements
Note that Funding Circle will do a soft credit check of your personal credit once you’ve submitted your initial application. If your business is organized as a general partnership, a hard credit inquiry will be performed and your credit score may be impacted. After that, a dedicated funding specialist will work closely with you to help you review your loan options.
Funding Circle business loans can be used in a variety of ways. Popular loan purposes include covering costs of hiring a new staff member, expanding your business to a new location, marketing and advertising, purchasing inventory or equipment, or acquiring new contracts.
However, it’s important to mention that using a business loan from Funding Circle to refinance a personal loan isn’t an option.
Funding Circle Loan Features
Funding Circle offers term loans ranging between $25,000 and $500,000 with repayment periods from six months to seven years. We recommend Funding Circle as one of the best financing companies for small business owners for its transparency, flexible loan terms, fast loan processing, and no prepayment penalties, which allow you to pay off your loan early and save on the cost of interest.
However, there are a few points where this lender falls short. Funding Circle requires a minimum of two years of business history with revenue, ruling out any startups and small businesses with an unsteady growth trajectory. Funding Circle’s credit score requirements can also be hard to meet as business owners can’t apply for funding from this provider unless their FICO score is at least 620.
Loan Amount and APR details
Funding Circle's term loans come with a fixed interest rate that won’t change over the life of your loan, predetermined monthly payments, and a one-time origination fee. Here’s an overview of loan terms that you should expect from this lending institution:
- Loan amount: $25,000 – $500,000
- Estimated APR: 12.45% – 45%
- Interest range: 7.49% – 27.79%
- Origination fee: 4.49% - 8.49%
- Other fees: 5% late payment fee may apply
- No prepayment penalties
- Loan term: 6 months to 7 years
- Repayment options: Monthly
Funding Circle’s website features a useful small business loan calculator that lets you explore and compare different loan terms. However, your true loan cost will be affected by your creditworthiness, your business’s overall financial strength, and a few additional factors, such as your business’s cash flow trends, business type, maturity, and profitability. Lastly, your APR will be determined by the loan’s term length.
Funding Circle term loans include a one-time origination fee and a fixed interest rate. Aside from a potential late payment, if a payment is missed you don’t need to worry about any unexpected fees. Overall, borrowers with excellent qualifications can expect highly competitive rates, even when compared to traditional lenders’ terms.
With a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 7 years, the repayment periods are standard for short- to long-term financing options. Should you make a decision to pay your loan off early, you’ll be able to do so without having to face prepayment penalties/
Keep in mind that all of the Funding Circle lending options are secured. Apart from the business owner’s personal guarantee, this lending marketplace requires a blanket lien on the business assets. According to the provider’s website, the collateral includes inventory, equipment, vehicles, and accounts receivable.
Eligible and Non-Eligible Businesses
This funding provider’s loans are good for business owners with fair to excellent personal credit scores who are on the hunt for large loan amounts and long terms. An eligible business must be profitable for at least two years with $50,000 minimum in annual revenue.
According to Funding Circle reviews, this lending marketplace is happy to offer a loan to a variety of industries and occupations including pharmaceutical companies, veterinary clinics, and cosmetic brands. However, businesses operating in certain industries are not eligible for a Funding Circle term loan. Restricted industries include:
- Speculative real estate
- Adult entertainment
- Non-profit organizations
- Weapon manufacturers
- Gambling businesses
- Marijuana dispensaries
As a global small business lending marketplace, Funding Circle offers its services to businesses located in several countries. In the US, the lender provides funding to businesses based in all 50 states.
Funding Circle Repayment Terms
As far as repayment goes, the deal is simple. After receiving the funds from Funding Circle, you’ll need to start making monthly payments a month later. The lender can set up automatic payments and deduct the funds directly from your business’s bank account each month.
However, if you don’t feel like automatic payments are suitable for business, the lender also lets you make payments via check. According to Funding Circle borrower reviews, most customers go for automatic payments, but it’s still good to have the options.
As there are no prepayment penalties, you can repay the loan early and save on interest. Also, note that should you fail to make timely payment, it may cost you 5% of the amount due. We suggest you make sure that your business checking account has sufficient funds when monthly payments are due.
It’s also important to mention that Funding Circle reports both on-time and late loan payments to two business credit bureaus – Experian and Dun & Bradstreet. Making timely payments on your Funding Circle loans may help you qualify for better terms on future financing and lower premiums on business insurance.
The Bottom Line
Although Funding Circle’s application process may take a little longer than with other online lenders, it’s still much shorter and simpler than applying for funding from most banks or credit unions. While many traditional lending institutions may be able to offer better loan terms than Funding Circle, if you need funds in less than a week, you’d still be better off with this lender.
The company’s transparency, excellent customer support, and a small number of complaints are also among its strong points.
However, Funding Circle’s requirements for eligible borrowers aren’t the loosest out there. The lender’s competitive rates and terms are only worth looking into if you have a strong credit history and run an established business. New businesses with unstable cash flow will have to explore other options.
Will applying for a business loan from Funding Circle affect my credit?
In most cases, Funding Circle only conducts soft personal credit inquiries to underwrite or to service a loan. Soft pulls will not impact your personal credit score and are only conducted after you’ve agreed to them over the course of the application process. If your business is organized as a general partnership, a hard credit pull may be needed and your credit score may be impacted.
Does Funding Circle report to credit bureaus?
Funding Circle reports both on-time and late payments to business credit bureaus. However, it doesn’t report to consumer credit bureaus. Making timely payments on Funding Circle loans may help you get better deals on future business funding and insurance, however, it won’t affect your personal credit score.
Is Funding Circle legitimate?
According to the Better Business Bureau, Funding Circle is rated with an A+. Since its launch in 2010, this lending marketplace has issued $19.4 billion in small business loans to more than 130,000 businesses. Nowadays, it’s considered to be one of the best small business lenders in the US online lending market.
How can I contact Funding Circle’s customer service?
Should you have a question, a comment, or a complaint, the options to get in touch with Funding Circle’s support team include emailing [email protected] or calling +1 (866) 679-7966. You can also reach out to the lender’s customer service via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. According to reviews on Funding Circle, the company’s customer care department is quick-to-respond and very knowledgeable.
Does Funding Circle offer startup business loans?
Given that it only offers to fund businesses that are at least two years old, newly-founded companies and startups are not eligible for a loan from Funding Circle. In fact, based on Funding Circle reviews, this lender’s average client has been in business for more than ten years.