OnDeck Small Business Loan Review

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OnDeck is an online lender that has been providing funding to small businesses since 2007 but has recently rolled out partnerships with brick-and-mortar banks, combining OnDeck’s technology with the banks’ deep balance sheets and credit expertise. OnDeck offers term loans and lines of credit to business owners looking to grow their operations. Approval for financing is based on overall business performance, not just credit score. OnDeck has issued more than $8 billion in loans to 80,000 small businesses in more than 700 industries throughout the U.S. OnDeck is based in New York and has been a public company since 2014.

OnDeck small business loan details

Term loans: OnDeck offers up to $500,000 in both short-term and long-term loans.

Short-term loans span three to 12 months and could come with a simple interest rate as low as 9%. OnDeck calculates simple interest as the total amount of interest you would pay as a percentage of your total loan amount. The weighted average rate as of June 30, 2018 was 25.3% simple interest.

Long-term loans have 15- to 36-month terms and could come with an annual interest rate as low as 9.99%. OnDeck determines AIR as the yearly interest percentage you would pay based on your average loan balance, minus fees. To pay back your loan, you would make fixed daily or weekly payments that OnDeck would automatically deduct from your business bank account. The weighted average AIR as of June 30, 2018 was 48.7%.

No matter if you choose a short-term or long-term loan, it’s a good idea to consider the annual percentage rate as well since APR includes the cost of interest plus fees. In 2017, On Deck’s term loan APRs ranged as high as 99.7% with an average APR of 45.2%, according to the company’s annual report.

 Loan amountLoan termAPR rangeFeesTime to funding
Short-term loan$5,000 up to $500,0003 to 12 monthsVaries, with an average rate of 45.2%Origination fee of 2.50% - 4.00%, lower for subsequent loansAs soon as 24 hours
Long-term loan$5,000 up to $500,00015 to 36 monthsVaries, with an average rate of 45.2%Origination fee of 2.50% - 4.00%, lower for subsequent loansAs soon as 24 hours

Lines of credit: Businesses could qualify for a line of credit up to $100,000 with an APR as low as 13.99% though, like term loans, your APR could be higher. The weighted average APR was 32.6% as of June 30, 2018. The credit line amount and your interest rate would be based on your business and personal credit, as well as an assessment of your business as a whole. OnDeck would automatically deduct fixed weekly payments from your business bank account as you pay back the debt.

 Loan amountTermsAPR rangeFeesTime to funding
Line of credit$6,000 to $100,000Fixed weekly payments As low as 13.99% with an average APR of 32.3% $20 monthly maintenance fee, waived if you withdraw $5,000 or more in the first 5 days.As soon as 24 hours

What businesses are eligible for an OnDeck loan?

OnDeck’s minimum qualifications are not as strict as banks’ requirements. OnDeck asks for at least one year in business and at least $100,000 in annual revenue. Business owners must also have a personal credit score of 500 or higher.

In 2017, borrowers had a median annual revenue of about $631,000 with 90% of customers having between $162,106 and $3.8 million in annual revenue.

There are several industries OnDeck does not work with, including the following:

  • Adult entertainment/materials
  • Drug dispensaries
  • Firearms vendors
  • Government and nonprofits
  • Public administration
  • Horoscope or fortune telling
  • Lotteries, casinos, raffles, gaming and gambling
  • Money services businesses
  • Religious or civic organizations
  • Rooming and boarding houses

OnDeck has the ability to change the list of restricted businesses at any time. Additionally, all businesses are individually subject to OnDeck’s approval, regardless of industry.

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The pros and cons of an OnDeck small business loan

Pros

  • Credit score isn’t the deciding factor. OnDeck considers your business’s cash flow in addition to your credit score when reviewing your loan application. You wouldn’t be automatically turned down if you have poor credit.
  • Simple application. You may be able to complete OnDeck’s online application in minutes and you could be approved for financing in as little as 24 hours. OnDeck loan specialists are also available if you need assistance.
  • Potential to improve your business credit score. OnDeck reports your term loan payment information to three business credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Paynet, each month and reports line of credit information to Experian. Making payments on time and maintaining good credit history with OnDeck would improve your overall business credit profile.

Cons

  • Lowest interest rates are uncommon. The lowest advertised interest rates are usually reserved for borrowers with the strongest creditworthiness and cash flow and those that have previous payment history with OnDeck. The average rate for term loans is 25.3% simple interest and 48.7% AIR.
  • A personal guarantee is required. OnDeck places a general lien on the assets of your business and requires a personal guarantee to secure a loan. Signing a personal guarantee puts you on the hook to pay the debt even if your business defaults.

Application process and requirements

You can apply for an OnDeck loan online or by phone and the process could take a little as 10 minutes. There’s no obligation to accept a loan offer, which is valid for 30 days after you’re approved.

In addition to basic information about your business, OnDeck may ask you to submit the following documents with your application:

  • Business tax ID
  • Bank statements from the past 1-3 months
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license and state of issue

If you’re approved, you could receive funding in your business bank account as soon as the next day. OnDeck disperses loans through the Automated Clearing House network or a wire transfer. Customers with a line of credit would receive a debit card connected to the business bank account that OnDeck has on file.

Small business owners could also take advantage of OnDeck’s technology through their existing banks. Chase’s Business Quick Capital allows certain clients to apply for a business loan online and receive funding as soon as the same day. PNC Bank is set to roll out a similar program in 2019 for customers to apply online for loans up to $100,000.

The fine print

Fees. OnDeck charges an origination fee on your first loan that ranges from 2.50% - 4.00%. Each subsequent loan that you get from OnDeck would have a lower origination fee. If you take out a line of credit, you would owe a $20 monthly maintenance fee. That fee can be waived if you withdraw more than $5,000 within one week of opening your line of credit.

No collateral. Although OnDeck puts a general lien on your business assets when you borrow money, you wouldn’t have to offer a specific business asset as collateral. That means you wouldn’t be denied funding solely because you don’t have valuable business assets to use as collateral. Without having to appraise and value particular assets, OnDeck can award funding faster than a traditional bank.

Fixed payments. To collect payments, OnDeck deducts a fixed amount from borrower’s business bank accounts on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the type of loan. These payments could impact your cash flow, but they should be easy to manage because they are predictable and unchanging.

Other alternative small business lenders

LendingClub

Online lender LendingClub offers business loans up to $300,000 and terms of one to five years. Like OnDeck, LendingClub collects fixed monthly payments as you pay back your loan. There are no prepayment penalties and your interest rate could be as low as 5.99%. To qualify for a LendingClub business loan, you would need at least one year in business, at least $50,000 in annual sales and no recent bankruptcies or tax liens. You would also need to own at least 20% of the business and have fair credit or better.

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Kabbage

Kabbage is an online lender that provides both secured and unsecured loans to small business owners. Kabbage offers term loans, lines of credit and working capital loans, among other financing options. Six-month and 12-month term loans are available, and interest rates range from 8.00% to 24.00%. You could be approved for up to $250,000.

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The bottom line

Business owners applying for financing from OnDeck have a chance to secure funding without relying on their credit score or collateral. Compared with a traditional bank, OnDeck’s application process is simple and time to funding is fast. However, your interest rate could be higher than what OnDeck advertises if your credit isn’t in great shape. OnDeck collects fixed payments, which could cut into your daily cash flow. If you’re approved for a loan, make sure it has an interest rate and terms that your business could handle. If you feel comfortable with the offering, an OnDeck loan could be a quick solution to meet your funding needs.

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Melissa Wylie
Melissa Wylie |

Melissa Wylie is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Melissa at [email protected]

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