Small business owners often find themselves needing short-term business financing to cover various expenses or provide cash flow. To fund a business expansion, long-term loans help business owners realize their goals.
Loans for small businesses are challenging to qualify for when you have a new small business or have a low credit score. Credibly offers small business loans through its online platform. With its alternative lending qualifications, it offers a solution to small businesses that may not qualify for financing otherwise.
In this Credibly review, we’ll go over this service’s business loans to help you understand whether your business might benefit from its offering.
What is Credibly?
Credibly is an online lender based in Michigan. Founded in 2010, the company offers affordable funding using a simple and transparent process. Most traditional financing options don’t work with borrowers who own small and medium-sized businesses.
This group of borrowers is who Credibly is geared toward. Credibly business loans include term loans and merchant cash advances. The application process is straight forward and money is funded quickly.
The fees and terms offered by Credibly are similar to that of traditional lenders. Where Credibly is different is that it offers prepayment incentives and less-rigid eligibility qualifications.
To qualify for a business loan with other lenders, you generally have to have had your business for a long time or have a near-perfect credit score. Credibly will work with applicants that have had their business for less than a year or have credit scores that are as low as 500.
What does Credibly offer?
You can use a Credibly loan without almost no restrictions on the purpose of the loan. Credibly has flexible financing solutions that will fit small and medium-sized businesses. To qualify for a Credibly loan, you must meet the following requirements:
- Valid driver’s license or other government-issued picture ID
- Have a small or medium-sized business that’s been active for a minimum of six months (3 years for business expansion loans)
- A minimum credit score of 500 (650 for business expansion loans)
- Minimum of $15,000 in average monthly bank deposits
- Signed business loan agreement with Credibly
- Allow Credibly to do a credit pull
- Not had a personal bankruptcy in the past two years
- Provide your business’s most recent tax return (required for loans over $100,000)
- Provide your last three bank statements
Credibly is a direct lender for financing working capital loans, business expansion loans, and merchant cash advances. It also has a network of external funding partners to provide loan offerings like invoice factoring, lines of credit, and equipment financing. Let’s dive deeper into Credibly’s loan offerings.
Business Expansion Loans
Borrowers that wish to achieve large-scale growth plans and spread the cost over the term could benefit from Credibly’s business expansion loans. The business expansion loan is used to purchase new equipment, open a new location, launch new products, or expand into new markets.
Borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000. Repayment periods range from 18 to 24 months. The origination fee is 2.5% and funding takes between 24 to 48 hours.
Working Capital Loans
Working capital loans offer immediate financial assistance to small businesses that need to cover costs like hiring and payroll or help stabilize cash flow. It’s a good choice for borrowers that need fast and flexible short-term funding.
Borrowing amounts range from $5,000 to $400,000. The repayment terms are between 6 and 18 months. The origination fee is 2.5%. Funding occurs in 24 to 48 hours.
Merchant Cash Advance
A merchant cash advance is also known as a business cash advance. The forms that this funding option comes in are various. The most common way it works is that you receive a lump-sum loan. This comes in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future revenues.
The cash advances come in amounts between $5,000 to $400,000. The repayment terms are between 3 to 18 months. There’s a 2.5% origination fee and funding takes 24 to 48 hours.
Other Business Loans
Business Lines of Credit
A line of credit can be used by a small business to draw money from a set amount of credit. Borrowers pay back only the amount that they borrow.
Small Business Administration loans are partially backed by the government. These loans enable businesses that qualify to receive a loan with a longer term and lower interest rates than what they’d typically receive.
These types of loans are intended to be used to finance business equipment. This includes equipment like heavy machinery and technology. The equipment serves as the collateral to secure the loan. There is no minimum credit score or business revenue requirement as a result.
Business owners sell their outstanding invoices to a factoring company at a discounted rate to receive a lump sum for the invoices. The factoring company then assumes the responsibility of collecting the invoices.
Who is Credibly Best for?
Business owners that need fast funding are the ideal candidates for Credibly. Funds typically take between 24 to 48 hours to receive.
Small businesses that work in the following industries aren’t eligible to work with Credibly:
- Adult entertainment
- Annual memberships
- Casinos or gambling
- Consumer credit
- Dating services
- Escort services
- Financial institutions
- Oil drilling
- Payday loan companies
- Used auto dealers
- Warranty companies
- Weapons dealers (Class 3)
Credibly Costs and Fee Structure
Working capital loans and merchant cash advances on Credibly will bear rates called factors. These loans don’t accrue interest over the period. Instead, it charges a flat fee at the front end.
That fee is called the factor rate. To understand what the true cost of the loan is you’ll need to multiply that rate by the loan amount.
To understand how this works, let’s consider this example: Let’s say you want to borrow $10,000 at a factor of 1.1. That equates to $10,000 * 1.1 = $11,000. You’ll pay $1,000 to borrow that money.
Merchant cash advances and working capital loans have daily or weekly repayment plans. In most cases, these payments are automatically withdrawn from your checking account.
Expansion loans with Credibly have a more conventional way of assessing fees. Credibly assigns a fixed rate on the loan that’s expressed as an Annual Percentage Rate (APR).
These loans are fully amortized and the APR could be anywhere between 7.4% to 34%. The rate is based on the borrower’s creditworthiness.
All Credibly loans charge an origination fee of 2.5%. This fee is subtracted from the proceeds of the first disbursement. The origination fee is that lenders similar to Credibly charges are determined by the borrower’s merits. Some lenders don’t charge an origination fee at all.
Payments returned for non-sufficient funds are charged $25. Since payments are taken out daily or weekly, the borrower must ensure that funds are available to satisfy each payment.
The business loans at Credibly have different terms based on the type. Working capital loans have daily or weekly payments. The repayment of a business expansion loan is weekly. Merchant cash advances are taken out as a fixed remittance from your business bank account or credit card processor.
After you receive funding, your repayments start shortly after. For instance, let’s say you received your fund on Tuesday. Your repayment will begin on Wednesday, the next day.
With the frequency of payments, the majority of borrowers set up automatic repayments. You’ll want to keep a watchful eye on your business bank account and its balance. To check your progress, contact the customer service team at Credibly, go to the lender’s online portal, or review your monthly statements.
Credibly offers a unique prepayment incentive to its borrowers. If you pay off your working capital or business expansion loan in the first half of the term, you’ll receive a discount on the interest that’s left. Additionally, you can apply for more funding once you’ve paid at least half of your Credibly loan.
Repayment activities are reported to the business credit bureaus. That will help improve your business’s credit score.
How to Apply for Credibly
The loan application process is pretty straightforward. The documents you will likely need to complete the application include:
- Government-issued ids such as a driver’s license or passport
- Social Security number
- Mortgage or lease agreement
- Business checking account statements from the last three months
- Federal tax returns for the business (needed for loans over $100,000
You’ll need to provide both personal and business information. Some dates you’ll need to include are the loan amount, your personal credit score, length of time in business, average monthly deposits into your business account, and the average volume of monthly credit.
All of this information is submitted online using Credibly’s website. A representative from Credibly will contact you to talk about your options if your business is eligible for a loan.
They may ask you for more clarification on your application and it’s also your chance to ask questions.
A hard credit pull on your credit history is completed once all your documents are received by Credibly. Keep in mind that this hard pull will affect your credit score.
If your application is approved, Credibly will provide an official loan offer. You must sign the loan agreement to receive funding for your loan.
The origination fee is taken out of the loan amount. The average time it takes to fund a Credibly loan is 3 to 5 days, although it’s possible to borrow money in 48 hours.
Among the online lenders, below are the ones that compete closely with Credibly.
This is an online small business lending company like Credibly. It offers business lines of credit and term loans.
The revolving line of credit is from $6,000 to $100,000. The loan amount on term loans can range from $5,000 to $250,000.
You need a minimum credit score of 600 to apply for a loan with OnDeck. Additionally, you must have a business bank account, have been in business for at least a year, and have an annual revenue of at least $100,000. The interest rates start at 11.89%.
Another competitor of Credibly is the financial technology company, Fundbox. It offers small businesses trade credit and business lines of credit.
You must have a credit score of at least 500. You can get a line of credit for up to $100,000.
Your annual review must be at least $50,000. A unique requirement of Fundbox is that you must connect your business accounting software or business bank account to Fundbox.
Kabbage is another financial technology company that offers business lines of credit and an invoicing service.
The business line of credit can be for between $1,000 to $250,000.
There’s no minimum personal credit score requirement with Kabbage. Their underwriting process mainly focuses on your monthly revenue instead.
To qualify for funding your business must be at least one year old and have an annual revenue of $50,000 (or $4,200 per month in the last three months)
Credibly Pros and Cons
Pro: Application process is easy and fast
Applying for a loan with Credibly is simple and straightforward. As long as you gathered your documents like a recent business tax return and recent bank statements, the process should be fast and relatively painless.
Pro: Low minimum credit score requirements
Even if you have poor credit, there is still a good chance that you may qualify for a loan with Credibly. A traditional loan is practically out of reach for businesses with low credit scores.
Pro: Prepayment incentives
If you pay off certain types of loans in half the time, Credibly will reduce the interest left on your balance. Plus you can apply for another loan once you’ve paid at least half of your current loan off.
Pro: Funding for home-bases businesses
Bank loans for home-based businesses are generally not available. But these types of small businesses can receive funding from Credibly.
Pro: Minimum of six months in business
It’s almost impossible for a small business that’s been around for only six months to receive funding. Credibly will work with businesses that have been around for at least this long.
Pro: No restrictions on working capital loans
Credibly’s working capital loans can be used for any use case. There are no limitations on how these loans are used.
Pro: Reports history to business bureaus
Building your business credit score is another perk of getting funding from Credibly. With a business credit history, you’ll have more options in the future when you needed funding.
Pro: Will work with you even if you’ve declared personal bankruptcy
If you’ve had trouble in the past, you’re not disqualified from a short-term loan with Credibly. Two years must have passed since the discharge to be eligible.
Con: Factor rates are high
Instead of charging interest rates, Credibly multiples a factor rate by your loan amount. Depending on the factor rate, this could get pretty high.
Con: Must repay daily
You pretty much have to sign up for automatic repayments to keep up with Credibly’s frequent repayment period. That also means you’ll need to check your balance frequently. Just checking your monthly bank statements could have negative repercussions.
Con: Revenue requirement is high
Your monthly revenue has to be at least $15,000 to qualify for a loan.
Con: Various fees
Origination fees are 2.5%. If a payment bounces, you’ll pay $25 as a non-sufficient funds fee. On a merchant cash advance, there’s a monthly $50 administrative fee.
Con: Won’t take a second lien position
Credibly loans won’t take a second position to other debts.
Bottom Line: Credibly Review
If you have a lower credit score and need fast short-term financing, Credibly might be the right lender for your business. Keep in mind that the interest rates on these loans are high. However, if your business leverages the money in a way that leads to business growth, it could turn out to be a good trade-off.