Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews, Small Business

OnDeck Small Business Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

OnDeck business loans

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 paymentsAs 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.



on OnDeck’s secure website

The pros and cons of an OnDeck small business loan


  • 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.


  • 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


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.



on LendingClub’s secure website


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.



on Kabbage’s secure website

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.

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.

Melissa Wylie
Melissa Wylie |

Melissa Wylie is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Melissa at


Advertiser Disclosure

College Students and Recent Grads, Reviews

Review: SunTrust Custom Choice Loan

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

mortar board cash

SunTrust offers students a good option to finance their education with its Custom Choice Loan. Interest rates are fairly low, students may apply with a cosigner, and it comes with several repayment options. As a bonus, SunTrust offers graduates a 2% principal balance reduction as long as students graduate with at least a Bachelor’s degree.


Details of SunTrust’s Custom Choice Loan

The minimum amount you can borrow is $1,001 and the maximum amount you can borrow is $65,000. The total amount of Federal and private student loan debt you take out per year can’t exceed $150,000. You can choose a 7- or 10-year repayment term, and a 15-year term is available for borrowers taking out $5,000 or more.

Fixed APRs range from 5.35% to 14.05%, and variable APRs range from 4.37% to 13.38%.

You have four choices of repayment plans:

  • Immediate Payment – There’s no grace period as you begin full payments while in school
  • Interest-only Payment – You pay the interest that accrues on your balance while in school
  • Partial Payment – Available on loans $5,000 or more, you can make payments of $25 per month while in school
  • Full Deferment – You get a grace period of six months when you choose this option, and you’re eligible for deferment as long as you’re enrolled in school part-time at an approved school (this option is the closest to how Federal student loans function)

The interest rate you get approved for is based on your credit history, loan term, amount requested, and other information provided on your application.

A 0.25% interest rate reduction applies if you set your loans to autopay, and SunTrust customers benefit from an additional 0.25% reduction if they pay through their SunTrust bank account.

How Does the Custom Choice Loan Compare to Federal Student Loans?

Before applying for the Custom Choice Loan, you should exhaust all of your federal student loan options first. Make sure your family fills out the FAFSA form to see what you might be eligible for. Federal student loans have lower fixed interest rates, and come with more benefits than private student loans do. These benefits will help in case you hit a rough patch with your money.

For the 2018 – 2019 Academic year, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.05%. That makes the 5.35% fixed APR and 4.37% variable APR of the Custom Choice Loan comparable. However, those are the lowest possible APRs available, and if you don’t have excellent credit, you may not be eligible to receive them. Variable rates are also subject to change, which means they can increase over the life of your loan and become more expensive.

SunTrust doesn’t have an origination fee with its loan, but the Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan has a 1.062% disbursement fee from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

SunTrust’s APRs aren’t horrible, though. If you can, apply with a cosigner who has better credit, as you’ll be eligible for lower rates. You want to get as close to Federal interest rates as possible to get the best deal.

[7 Things You Need to Know about Private Student Loans]

Eligibility Requirements

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply. A majority of four-year public or private colleges are eligible – you can check eligibility on the first page of the application.

If your credit history isn’t sufficient enough, you can apply with a cosigner, and there’s a cosigner release option available after 36 consecutive, on-time payments.

You must also be the legal age of majority when completing the application. Applicants residing in Iowa or Wisconsin aren’t eligible for this loan.

[How to Tell if Your Loans are Federal or Private]

Application Process and Documents Needed

You can apply online by yourself or with a cosigner. After your application and credit (a hard credit inquiry is used) are reviewed, you’ll be presented with your loan options. If you choose to move forward with the loan, you’ll be provided with a list of documents you need to upload.

Once you’ve submitted everything, an Approval Disclosure will be sent to you for acceptance. You have 30 days to accept the terms of the loan before they expire.

Upon acceptance, SunTrust will contact your school to request certification of the loan, as you’re only allowed to borrow enough to cover your education expenses. This also ensures you don’t take out more student loan debt than necessary.

Once everything is complete, you (and your cosigner, if you applied with one) have three days to back out of the loan. After that, the loan is finalized, and the funds are sent directly to your school.

Have these documents ready to submit when applying:

  • Proof of income – the student or cosigner must show proof of positive income in the form of a recent W2, paystub, or tax return
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of residency may be required if Photo ID isn’t sufficient

The Fine Print

There are no origination, application, or prepayment fees for this loan. If you’re 10 days past due on a payment, you’ll be charged 5% of the unpaid amount as a late fee.

The minimum loan amount is different in certain states: $5,001 in Alaska, $3,001 in Colorado, $2,501 in New Mexico, $5,101 in Oklahoma, $5,001 in Rhode Island, and $3,701 in South Carolina.

[Student Loan Disbursement 101]

Repayment Assistance Options

American Education Services is the loan servicer for SunTrust. If you experience any difficulty repaying your student loans, you’ll have to contact them for repayment assistance options. You may be able to apply for a deferment, forbearance, or interest-only payment for an extended period of time.

Pros and Cons of the Custom Choice Loan

Pro: If the borrower dies, then the balance of the loan may be forgiven as long as SunTrust is contacted and provided with proof of death. (If the cosigner dies, the student remains responsible for the loan.) Students who become permanently disabled can apply for a loan discharge as well.

Con: The loan isn’t available to those living in Iowa or Wisconsin, and minimum loan amounts differ in six states. Make sure that doesn’t apply to you in case you’re not looking to borrow a large amount.

Pro: The Custom Choice Loan fittingly gives you a few choices when it comes to loan repayment options. Choosing partial payments or interest-only payments can help lessen the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan, and are easier to manage than going into immediate repayment.

Pro: SunTrust offers a Graduation Reward where 2% of your principal balance will be reduced, provided you graduate with at least a Bachelor’s degree. The principal balance is based off the net total of all disbursements you receive from SunTrust.

SunTrust Bank


on SunTrust Bank’s secure website

Private Student Loan Alternatives

Not eligible for a loan with SunTrust? There are many other private lenders offering student loans, such as Citizen’s Bank and Sallie Mae.

Citizens Bank: You can borrow up to $90,000 and your combined Federal and private student loan debt can’t exceed $120,000. Fixed APRs range from 6.39% to 11.65%, and variable APRs range from 6.14% to 11.40%. Repayment terms offered are 5, 10, and 15 years.

Citizens Bank (RI)


on Citizens Bank (RI)’s secure website

Sallie Mae: One of the most well-known private student loan lenders, Sallie Mae has a Smart Option Student loan with fixed APRs ranging from 6.25% to 9.16%, and variable APRs ranging from 4.00% to 9.04%. You can borrow up to the cost of attendance, and this loan comes with a Graduated Repayment option.

Sallie Mae Bank


on Sallie Mae Bank’s secure website

It’s also worth checking with your bank or local credit union for their rates. If you or your cosigner have an existing relationship with a bank, that could help you secure lower rates.

Are you afraid of your credit being negatively affected if you apply with too many lenders? As long as you complete applications within a 30-day window, then the credit bureaus will count all inquiries as one inquiry, ensuring your credit doesn’t take a huge hit. Shopping around for the best deal is worth the effort with student loan debt being such a burden. Lower interest rates will make your loan more affordable.

A Solid Option if You Have to Use a Private Lender

The SunTrust Custom Choice Loan is a solid option for students requiring more financial assistance than what the Federal government can provide. SunTrust customers benefit more with the 0.50% interest rate deduction, and no one can complain about receiving a 2% principal reduction on their loans upon graduating.

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


Advertiser Disclosure


Apple Pay Cash Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

With so many peer-to-peer money transfer options on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which is the most functional. If you’re an Apple user, you’ve probably been exposed to their proprietary product: Apple Pay Cash. Is it the best option for you, though, as far as fees and security are concerned?

Let’s dive in to find out.

Apple Pay at a glance

Fees: 3% fee if you use a credit card; free if you use a debit card or balance from Apple Pay Cash

How long it takes to receive funds: Funds are sent immediately to the recipient.

Fraud protection: If you feel you are a victim of fraud or a scam, Apple encourages you to contact the company immediately.

Compatible devices: iPhones (XR, XS, XS Max, X, 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE models), iPads (iPad Pro 3rd generation, iPad 6th generation, iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and iPad mini 4 models), Apple Watches (1st generation, Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4 models), and Mac models introduced after 2012 with an Apple Pay-enabled iPhone or Apple Watch. Mac model must have Touch ID.

How Apple Pay Cash works

Before you can start sending money, you need to link a card or bank account to your Apple Pay account.
First you’ll have to identify if your financial institution participates. If they do, you can then add your account to your device in the ‘Wallet’ section. You will have to add each individual card to each individual device. Keep in mind that while sending money to friends and family is free with a debit card, you will incur a 3% transaction fee if you use a credit card to send those same funds.

Now that you have a funding source, you can send money to family and friends easily. On your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can simply ask Siri. Apple tells consumers you can say something along the lines of “Send $50 to Mom,” to use this functionality.

You can also do a completely manual transfer. On your iPhone or iPad, you’ll be doing it through messaging. Open up a conversation with your recipient and press the Apple Pay button.

It looks like this:

If you don’t see it, click the button that looks like this:

You’ll be prompted to enter a dollar amount.


apple pay apple pay


Then simply type in the amount you’d like to send, add a message for your recipient if you so desire, and press the button that looks like this:

Finally, to send the payment, you will need to verify your Face ID, Touch ID or passcode.

To do the same with your Apple Watch, you will also need to open a conversation in messages and press the Apple Pay button. Turn the digital crown to set your payment amount, then turn it again when you’re ready to submit. Press “Pay,” and then double click the side button.

When someone sends you money via Apple Pay Cash, it will be deposited into your Apple Pay account. The first time you receive money, you will have to formally accept the payment within seven days. From there on out, payments will be automatically accepted unless you change your account settings.

You can leave your money in your Apple Pay Cash account, or you can transfer it to your bank account. Bear in mind that when you send money, it will be drawn from your Apple Pay Cash account first. If you send more than you have in your Apple Pay Cash account or your do not have a balance, it will come from your first payment method. This will preferably be a debit card so you can avoid the 3% fee which is incurred when you use a credit card.

Apple Pay Cash vs. Venmo

Except in rare instances where there is a hiccup in the payment process, both Apple Pay Cash and Venmo transfer money from user to user automatically. It may take one to three days to transfer money into your bank account, but your funds will be available via your Apple Pay Cash or Venmo balance immediately.

These two services also have the same fees as noted in our in-depth comparison: 3% of all transactions paid via credit card.

The biggest difference between Venmo and Apple Cash Pay is that Venmo is available to those who don’t have an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or compatible Mac. If most of your friends and family use Apple products regularly, this accessibility issue could be a moot point. But if you or much of your social circle uses Android or products with other operating systems, Venmo may be the way to go.

Apple Pay Cash vs Zelle

If you don’t feel like waiting a few days to get your money into your bank account, Zelle is a good alternative. Offered by many banks, Zelle is very much like Apple Pay Cash and Venmo except that money is transferred directly from bank account to bank account. You won’t have a “Zelle” balance like you would have a Venmo or Apple Pay Cash balance. Transactions with Zelle are usually completed within minutes.

Zelle itself doesn’t charge consumers any fees to use its service, but your bank or credit union might. The only fee to worry about with Apple Pay Cash is the 3% fee when you use a credit card as your payment method.

Risks of mobile payment apps

Apple Pay Cash is secured on various levels. First, you will have to enter a passcode, Face ID or Touch ID to send any money. This is required each and every time you make a transaction. Secondly, your actual card numbers aren’t stored directly on your mobile device or Apple’s servers, which helps keep you safer from potential hacks.

Because these security measures are already in place, the remaining bulk of staying safe with Apple Pay Cash is placed on your shoulders. Make sure you don’t accept payments from people you don’t know. In fact, Apple encourages you to report these payments as “junk.”

Even with people you do know, you should be careful of imposters. You may get a payment from a “friend” with a dummy phone number or email address and/or Apple Pay Cash account. If you’re not expecting a payment from someone, verify that they sent you money by getting in touch with them before accepting the payment.

If you want to have to opportunity to reject payments, you will have to change your settings. While you will have to formally accept your first payment, after that the default is to accept all payments automatically. Go into your settings to change payment approval to “manual” in order to dodge any shady incoming payments.

Finally, Apple cautions users to be wary if a company requests an Apple Pay Cash payment via messaging. Apple will never ask you to pay your bill this way, and it’s not the safest way to pay your other bills either as you can’t be 100% sure it’s really the entity you owe money to rather than an imposter.

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