- Funding Circle is known for offering quick, affordable loans with fixed-rate terms to businesses with an established history.
- For small businesses who want to avoid the slow and inconvenient aspects of traditional bank loans, Funding Circle offers an attractive alternative.
- Funding Circle loans may also be a good alternative to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan due to higher maximum loan amounts, quicker funding time, and a shorter, less complicated application process.
What Is Funding Circle?
Funding Circle is an online lending platform that provides small business loans using peer-to-peer lending, connecting investors to small businesses in the U.S., United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany. They are the largest provider of online small business loans and have specialized in small business lending since 2010.
As an online lender, Funding Circle does not have physical locations or bank branches, and they don’t offer other financial services like checking accounts. But like other online lenders, they tend to provide quicker approvals, quicker funding, and less stringent application procedures.
With a fully online application, small business owners can see their loan options quickly and may be able to get funding in as little as two business days upon approval. In terms of small business financing, Funding Circle offers a lot to small businesses that qualify.
Funding Circle Competitors
There are a lot of lenders — both online and otherwise — who focus on small business lending. A few of Funding Circle’s main competitors in the U.S. include:
Outside of the U.S., Funding Circle also competes with lenders like iwoca, Zopa, and Assetz Capital.
Who Is Funding Circle Best For?
While they do focus on small businesses, Funding Circle is not good for startups or business owners whose creditworthiness isn’t established. It’s a good idea to learn how to establish business credit and improve it if you’re looking to improve your loan options.
Funding Circle is best for established businesses with at least two years of business history and a personal credit FICO score of at least 720 or higher for the majority owners. They won’t lend to businesses in Nevada, or those who work in the following industries:
- Firearms or weapons manufacturers
- Gambling businesses
- Cannabis or marijuana dispensaries or developers
- Nonprofit organizations
- Speculative real estate
What Does Funding Circle Offer?
Funding Circle offers business term loans with long repayment terms and low monthly payments. They’re known for having a free, easy application process that won’t affect your credit score. They also offer a faster application process and funding time, especially compared to traditional banks or SBA loans. Compared with short-term lenders, they offer lower interest rates, usually in the single digits. Funding Circle doesn’t use prepayment penalties, either, so you can pay off your loan early without a fee.
The lender will assign you an account manager once you’ve filled out your application, and they’ll guide you through the application process, approval, and funding.
You can use your funds for almost any business expense, including equipment purchases, inventory purchases, expanding an existing location or buying real estate for a new location, or hiring and maintaining staff.
Funding Circle Calculator
Wondering what your monthly payment would look like with a Funding Circle loan? You can determine this based on your loan amount, interest rate, and repayment terms.
Nav has created a loan calculator to help you determine how much you’ll pay over time. Check it out:
Funding Circle Rates & Fees
Loan: Long - Term Loan by Funding Circle
Rate: 11.67% - 25.34% APR
Origination fee: 1.99% - 5.99%.
Loan terms: Monthly up to 84 Months
Funding amount: $25,000 - $500,000
Speed: 3 days.
How to Qualify for Funding Circle Business Loans
Eligibility for Funding Circle business loans includes:
- 720+ FICO credit score for the majority owners
- At least two years in business
- No bankruptcy filing in the last seven years
- Personal tax returns for any guarantor with 20%+ stake in the company
- Personal guarantee from at least 60% of the business ownership
How to Apply for Funding Circle Business Loans
Funding Circle’s loan application is completely online. Borrowers can complete the application in as little as six minutes and get their approval notification within 24 hours.
To apply for a Funding Circle business loan, make sure you have the following documents:
- Two most recent business tax returns
- Two most recent personal tax returns (for all guarantors)
- Six months of most recent bank statements from main bank account
- A guarantor form for each additional owner who has more than a 20% stake in the company (at least 50.1% of ownership must be signed on)
Then, visit the Funding Circle website and apply by giving them:
- The loan amount you think you’ll need
- The term of your loan you’d like
- Your legal business name
- The majority business owner’s first and last name
- Your email
- Business phone number
- Mobile phone number
You may also select whether you’d like Funding Circle to offer you loans from their partners.
Customer Reviews on Funding Circle
Based on their Funding Circle reviews, the lender has a good reputation among their customers. They’ve earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.6 star review from Trustpilot.
These ratings are accurate at the time of publication. Please check with each resource directly for the most up-to-date ratings.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Funding Circle
How is Funding Circle different from a bank?
Funding Circle is an online lender that uses peer-to-peer lending to provide loans to small businesses. This means they help accredited, institutional investors find ways to invest in small businesses. They also move faster than most traditional banks, working to get your small business funding as quickly as possible.
How do I apply for a loan with Funding Circle?
To apply for a loan with Funding Circle, gather the documents (listed above) and visit their website. You’ll need to know how much you’d like to borrow and how long you’d like to repay it, and provide contact information and a little bit about your business. Once you submit your application, you’ll be assigned an account manager, and they’ll help you submit the required documentation and guide you through the process.
What are the benefits of borrowing money from Funding Circle?
The number one benefit of working with Funding Circle is efficiency and speed. The underwriting process is completed using technology, and approval decisions are made in as little as one business day. Also, because they report your loans to the major business credit bureaus, your payments can help you build business credit.
Where is Funding Circle located?
Funding Circle has two U.S. offices in San Francisco and Denver.
Nav’s Last Word: Funding Circle
If you’re a small business owner with relatively good credit, an established business, and high annual revenue looking for a simple application process, fast approval times, and quick funding to improve your working capital or cash flow fast, Funding Circle may be a good choice for you.
Nav can help you compare lenders, types of loans, and business financing options — including a line of credit, business credit cards, merchant cash advance, or other options. Find out which financing options you’re most likely to qualify for by signing up for a free Nav account today.
This article was originally written on July 5, 2022 and updated on March 23, 2023.
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