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Reviews, Small Business

Fundation Small Business Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Fundation Small Business Loan Review

Fundation was founded in 2011 and has grown to be one of the more prominent online small business lenders. With its focus on technology, Fundation has an innovative approach to funding and a unique application process that makes getting a loan easier.

Loan sizes vary greatly, so Fundation can help regardless of how much you need. It has decent terms and rates, and is looking to lend to small businesses that have been turned away by banks because they’re considered risky.

Fundation Small Business Loan Details

Fundation offers loans ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 on terms of 12 to 48 months. Interest rates begin at 8.99% and go up to 29.99%. The rates you’re approved for largely depend on your outstanding debt, credit history, past payment history, industry, and profitability.

Loans are essentially offered on two levels: if you’re looking to expand or make long-term investments, you’ll be able to borrow a higher amount on a 2 to 4 year term. If you’re simply looking for help in managing the daily activities of your business, you can borrow up to $150,000 on a 1 or 2 year term.

All loans are on a fixed rate with a “simple interest” calculation so you’re only paying interest on the account balance. You’ll make payments twice a month.

An example payment (using its payment calculator here): if you borrow $165,000 on a 4 year term at 10.65% interest, your semi-monthly payment will be $2,114.

The Pros and Cons of a Fundation Small Business Loan

Pro: The range of $20,000 to $500,000 is quite large and will most likely suit just about any small business. Loans up to $1,000,000 are possible if your business generates more revenue, but these requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Con: Fundation isn’t completely transparent about its fees. While it says there’s an origination fee associated with the loan, we had to call and ask for the amount (0.00% - 5.00%).

Pro: The repayment terms are reasonable for the loan size, especially when compared with the 1 to 2 year repayment terms on loans of up to $200,000 offered by other lenders.

Con: While there’s a live chat function on the website, it’s not always available during regular business hours. If you’d like a quicker response, consider calling first. An email we sent also wasn’t answered.

Pro: With Fundation’s small business loan, you make payments twice a month, which might be more manageable than making one huge payment per month. Twice a month payments could be easier on your cash flow, whereas daily payments might be too inconvenient.

Con: Fundation has some stricter eligibility requirements that may make the loan impractical for select businesses. For example, you need to have 2-3 employees to qualify, so if you’re an entrepreneur working alone, you should look at other options.

What Businesses Are Eligible For a Loan With Fundation?

To be eligible for a small business loan with Fundation, your business must generate at least $250,000 in annual revenue, have 2 to 3+ years of operating history, and have 2-3 employees. The minimum credit score needed is 600+.

Fundation takes credit risk into consideration. This includes the industry you’re in, past payment history, and outstanding debt you have. The following industries are ones it works with: automotive repair, child care, IT services, convenience stores, law firms, manufacturing, medical practices, and wine and craft beer stores. Fundation doesn’t loan to new or used car dealerships, other lending companies, or businesses located outside of the United States.

Application Process and Documents Needed

Fundation’s application process is quick and simple. According to the site, it should only take you 10 minutes to complete. Plus, you don’t need to worry about excess paperwork, as it captures all the necessary data it needs to make a decision to lend to you or not based on the information you provide.

That’s not all – Fundation will show you how your data is being interpreted by the system as it analyzes your application. Depending on the amount of information provided, you may be given an instant decision and possible terms. If you’re approved, a Fundation account manager will reach out to you within 24 hours to discuss your options further. Customers are typically approved within 3 days.

It’s recommended you have 3 months of bank statements and 2 years of business tax returns ready when going through the application process, but you can allow Fundation access to these documents electronically as well. When you fill out the application, your business and personal credit will be pulled.

The Fine Print

There’s no penalty for paying the loan off early. Fundation’s origination fees 0.00% - 5.00% of the loan amount. That means if you borrow $50,000, the origination fee will be between $1,000 and $1,500.

A personal guarantee and UCC-1 on business assets is required.

You can refinance a larger loan after nine months of good payment history, and a smaller loan (less than $150,000) after six months of good payment history.

Fundation’s loans are subordinate to bank loans, so your business can receive additional funding if it already has a bank loan.

Which Businesses Benefit the Most from a Loan With Fundation?

Businesses that are already well-established will benefit the most from a loan with Fundation. You need 2 to 3 years of operating history, $250,000 annual revenue, and at least 1 or 2 other employees working with you to qualify. Newer businesses might not be able to meet these requirements.

Popular reasons for small business loans with Fundation include refinancing debt, hiring new employees, expanding to a new location, working capital, renovating facilities, and adding new services to your business.

Fundation

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Other Alternative Small Business Lenders

Fundation is a great bank-alternative, but in case you’re not approved for a loan, or don’t meet its requirements, these alternative lenders provide similar solutions.

FundingCircle offers almost the same loan range of $25,000 to $500,000 on terms of 6 to 60 months, with interest rates ranging from 4.99% to 22.99%. Its origination fees range from 3.49% - 6.99%, and there’s no prepayment penalty.

A minimum credit score of 620 is needed to apply along with $150,000 in annual revenue, 2+ years of operating history, and a reported profit for at least one out of the last two years of tax returns. This is a good alternative for businesses that aren’t making as much in annual revenue but are still profitable.

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Bond Street offers loans from $50,000 to $1,000,000 on terms of 12 to 36 months with APRs ranging from 8.00% to 25.00%. Its origination fee is 3.00% - 5.00%, and there’s no prepayment penalty.

A minimum credit score of 660 is recommended, but not required, and your business must have 2+ years of operating history, as well as $200,000 in annual revenue. While its repayment terms aren’t as lengthy, its 3.00% - 5.00% origination fee may make its loan more affordable than Funding Circle’s.

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Shopping Around is Worth the Time

As a small business owner, your time is valuable, but so is getting a decent deal on a small business loan. You want to get the best rates and terms available to you so you can make payments that are affordable, while still making a profit. It’s worth taking a few hours out of your day to apply for business loans with the various lenders that you qualify with. Applying within a 30 day timeframe also lessens the impact against your credit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

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Reviews

Review of Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Get rewarded for your spending with the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. The account earns unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases, but unlike most cashback programs, this one prevents you from enjoying your earned rewards immediately. The catch: You can only access and redeem your cashback rewards if your account is in good standing a year after registration. In addition, there is a $7.95 monthly fee, although it’s simple to get around the fee.

While you wait for your account registration anniversary, you can use this account’s other features to your advantage. For one, Green Dot Bank can get you your paycheck up to two days in advance through direct deposit. You can also use the 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account to stash and grow your money.

Green Dot doesn’t have any branch locations of its own, so it relies heavily on its app and participating stores to offer its services to customers. This makes it slightly tricky for users who need quick and easy ATM access.

Read on to learn more about the FDIC-insured Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account and its rewards requirements, fees and fine print.

How does the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account work?

 

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account’s biggest draw is the unlimited 3% cash back earned from online or in-app purchases. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, so long as you’re using your card for online and in-app purchases (there’s more on how Green Dot identifies those purchases in a section below)

Getting access to your cash back is a little trickier, however. While you’ll see the cash back earned on each purchase reflected almost immediately, you’ll have to wait for each anniversary of your account registration to redeem the funds. On each anniversary date, you can transfer your cash back rewards into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. Your registration date is the date you actually register your card no matter where you got it, either at a store or online.

On your registration anniversary, your account must be in good standing. This means it must have a positive balance and cannot be blocked or flagged for any reason. If you have a negative balance, you must bring it to a positive balance before you can redeem your rewards.

Depositing cash into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is also a little unorthodox, as Green Dot doesn’t have any of its own branches or ATMs. To deposit cash, you need to visit a Green Dot participating retailer, including CVS pharmacies and Walmart stores. Cash deposits are free when you initiate the deposit on the Green Dot app and complete them at a retail store. You can also initiate a cash deposit by swiping your Green Dot debit card at a participating retailer, who may charge a cash deposit fee of their own.

As for withdrawals, you can locate free ATMs through the bank’s app. Otherwise, you’ll face an out-of-network ATM fee, in addition to a potential ATM owner surcharge.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account features

  • Earns unlimited 3% cash back on eligible online or in-app purchases
  • Get your paycheck up to two days earlier with ASAP Direct Deposit™
  • Links to 3%* APY Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account
  • No overdraft fees

Along with its competitive cash back rate, another big perk of banking with Green Dot Bank is that you can get your direct deposit paychecks up to two days in advance. Typically, employers deposit paychecks into employees’ banks two days before actual payday. So instead of letting your paycheck sit in the Automated Clearing House (ACH) limbo, where payments like these are processed, Green Dot deposits your paycheck on the same day the bank receives it. Exact timing and availability of your direct deposit will depend on when your employer submits your payment information and deposit verification.

Also included with the Green Dot app is the Green Dot Bank High-Yield Savings Account. There is no fee, and the account earns 3%* APY on balances up to $10,000. Once you’ve redeemed your cash back rewards and deposited them into your Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account, you can then transfer those funds into your High-Yield Savings Account for better savings.

As you’ll read below, the Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account is rife with fees, depending on how you use your account and manage your money. But a certain perk of the account is its lack of overdraft fees. So when you make a purchase that your balance cannot cover, Green Dot will decline the transaction, but they won’t charge a fee like most other banks do.

Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account fees and fine print

Unlimited Cash Back fees
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — online $0
Unlimited Bank Account purchase — in store$1.95 or less
Monthly fee$7.95, waived when you spend $1,000 or more in the previous monthly period
Deposit cash with Green Dot app & participating locations$0
Direct deposit$0
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal$3 per transaction
Teller cash withdrawal$3 per transaction
Out-of-network ATM balance inquiry$0.50
Foreign transactions3% of total transaction amount
Paper checks (pack of 12 checks)$5.95

There are quite a few fees to keep an eye out for when you have a Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account. For starters, note that there is a fee when you open the account in a store. You can easily avoid this fee by opening the account online instead.

The account charges a $7.95 monthly fee. This can be waived when you spend at least $1,000 in the previous monthly period. This excludes transactions like ACH payments or prepaid card purchases. This may be easier if you do much of your shopping online, since you’re more likely to reach the minimum balance. If you’re betting the cash back you earn will offset this monthly fee, you’d have to spend $3,180 in a year to earn enough to pay off a year’s worth of the monthly fee. Plus, you’d have to wait for each anniversary to take advantage of that cash back bonus.

It also helps to keep your account activity online. You can initiate the deposit through the Green Dot app then depositing cash at a participating retailer at no charge. However, if you want to deposit cash without the app by swiping the debit card at a participating retailer, then the retailer may charge a service fee for cash deposits. Note that direct deposits are free.

As for the fine print, there is some room for error when it comes to determining which purchases are eligible for the 3% cashback. Green Dot identifies online and in-app purchases through unique merchant category codes (MCC) and “other identifying information,” according to the Green Dot website.

However, Green Dot acknowledges that sometimes online or in-app merchants use an MCC that does not properly identify themselves as online or in-app. On Green Dot’s part, the bank states that it “does not determine which MCC a merchant chooses to classify itself as and has no way of changing a merchant’s identifying information.” So if merchant misidentification is the case, your purchase won’t register as online or in-app and won’t earn 3% cash back.

Cash back also does not apply to airline tickets or to products and services that are redeemable for cash, such as gift cards, online funding of accounts, credit card cash advances, P2P funding, prepaid cards, money orders and traveler’s checks.

Opening an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account

You can open an Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account either online or in-store at Green Dot participating retailers. When you open an account online, you’ll need to provide your full name, address, email address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth. If you open an account in store, you’ll need to register your new debit card online or through the Green Dot app. There, you’ll need to provide your personal information.

Who is the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account best for?

The Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to be a better option for those who aren’t chasing a quick reward. Green Dot requires you to wait a year after account registration to redeem your cash back rewards, which may not be much of a reward for some. It’s more of an added perk than a real primetime feature since you have to wait so long.

The Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account may also be better for those who are tech savvy enough to manage their accounts largely online and in the app. Accounts are more easily opened and registered online and even cash deposits work best when done through the app.

That said, this account could be a potential hassle who want the ease and speed of ATM access. Green Dot requires you to visit a participating store to deposit cash, whether you use the app or not. For many, navigating a physical store just isn’t as convenient. When it comes to withdrawals, it may be difficult to find a free ATM nearby in order to avoid the out-of-network ATM fee.

In all, the Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account seems to hold a lot of promise. But there’s a few hoops to jump through to earn rewards and use the account efficiently that detract from the eye-catching 3% cash back.

*Rate accurate as of August 21, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here

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Reviews

Fitness Bank Savings Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Fitness Bank’s savings account option

Fitness Savings Account

This unconventional savings product offers customers the chance to earn an outstanding APY when they are physically active. The daily average number of steps you took in the previous month determines the APY you earn on your account balance. The table below outlines the five earning tiers that this bank currently offers:
APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
0.50%$1000-4,999
1.25%$1005,000-7,499
1.75%$1007,500-9,999
2.50%$10010,000-12,499
3.00%$10012,500+

If you are a US citizen age 65 or older, you qualify for a different rate schedule:

APY Tiers*Minimum Balance to Earn APYSteps Required
1.25%$1000-4,999
1.75%$1005,000-7,499
2.50%$1007,500-9,999
3.00%$10010,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum daily balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, waived by maintaining the minimum daily balance.
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $40

These rates truly are outstanding if you live an active lifestyle. The first month, everyone gets highest APY regardless of number of steps they take. After that, your APY will be assigned based on your daily average number of steps over the course of the prior month. Needless to say, if you don’t live a very active lifestyle, or if you have a health condition that would prevent you from meeting the step requirements, this may not be the best account for you.

This bank charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t maintain a minimum average daily balance of $100. If you’re not confident you can maintain this minimum, you may want to look at a checking account rather than a savings account — keep in mind, however, that Fitness Bank only offers a savings account. If you meet the minimum balance requirement, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived.

This savings account does not come with an ATM card or checks. You are limited to six certain withdrawals and/or transactions per month, per Regulation D, which is enforced by the federal government, although banks do have some flexibility in allowing more than six per month in certain cases. At Fitness Bank, if you make more than six withdrawals per month you will be charged a $10 fee for each additional withdrawal.

If you want to go above and beyond achieving the highest APY available from this account, you can join one of Fitness Bank’s challenges. Every month, there is a step challenge where you can compete with all other participating Fitness Bank members to get the highest number of average daily steps. Top competitors will be awarded with prizes at the end of the month. You can also set up challenges just for your family or friend group, or for a group of employees participating in a workplace challenge.

How to get Fitness Bank’s savings account

Opening a savings account at Fitness Bank is a straightforward process. The bank boasts account setup will take you less than two minutes.

You’ll fill out a quick online application, supplying basic information like your name, address and Social Security number, along with documentation of your driver’s license or passport. Then you’ll need to provide funding information, namely your bank account number, credit card or debit card.

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How Fitness Bank’s savings account compares

This bank offers phenomenal rates. At the time of writing, they offer the highest savings account rate in the market — if you can rack up the steps needed to earn it. In addition, you will have to be comfortable doing your banking 100% online with this savings account. You will not receive a checkbook or ATM card – all of your withdrawals and deposits will be completed via electronic transfer. If you’d prefer ATM access or the ability to visit a physical branch, Fitness Bank is not the right match for you.

The minimum deposit required to open and maintain an account without incurring a monthly maintenance fee isn’t outrageous. But you can find savings accounts offering somewhat competitive rates without these requirements. And to repeat, you’ll have to meet the step requirements; if that challenge goes unfulfilled, the advantages of saving with Fitness Bank wane. Its rates get progressively less competitive the fewer steps you take.

Overall review of Fitness Bank’s banking products

This bank offers a unique financial product aimed at promoting wellness. Its minimum balance and deposit requirements are fairly average for the industry, as are its fees. While its offerings are fair and get more generous as you take more steps, you will likely find better rates elsewhere if you cannot realistically meet these specific fitness standards. If you can, though, you’re in for some of the best rates on the market.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here