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Reviews, Small Business

StreetShares Small Business Loans 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.

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Today’s small business owner faces a unique problem when trying to obtain financing in the form of a small business loan: the value of an idea is often overlooked by traditional banks.

Historically, small business financing was offered almost solely on the value of an idea, but with the rise of the credit score, income tax returns, and other documentation being used as backing for small business loans, obtaining financing based on a fantastic idea became almost impossible.

However, as crowdfunding rose in popularity, the smartest minds in business are realized there is a need for more flexible, individualized small business loans.

Enter StreetShares

Streetshares isn’t a traditional bank. Instead, it is a marketplace (also known as a peer-to-peer lender), where Streetshare investor members review loan requests and business pitches in the Streetshare Marketplace, and then compete with each other in an auction to fund different parts of each loan.

The investors that offer the lowest interest rates for each small business loan “win” the auction and then fund their portion of your Streetshare loan – up to $50,000.

Plus, you have the opportunity to lower your interest rate by sharing your business plan, as well as your background and the story behind your business.

Pros

  • Instant Pre-Approval with online application
  • Terms from 6 months to 36 months
  • The ability to lower your rate by sharing your story
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Loans are unsecured
  • No application fee
  • No obligation to accept a loan after pre approval

Cons

  • Origination Fee: 3.90% - 4.90%
  • Failed payment fee of $10
  • Late payment fee of $10
  • Weekly, automatic payments
  • Loans on up to $50,000

What Type of Business Will Benefit The Most?

Business that lack the ability to obtain traditional funding are excellent candidates for a StreetShares loan. Many lenders require at least $100,000 in annual revenue to qualify for a loan, as well as several years’ tax returns.

Because there are no minimum revenue requirements, no personal collateral, and the ability to lower your rate by sharing your business plan and story, businesses that have been incorporated for at least a year can get access to the funding they need without as many hoops to jump through.

How To Apply

StreetShare applications must be done online or over the phone by calling (800) 560-1435. It takes less than 10 minutes to obtain pre-approval. Once you are pre-approved, and your loan is being “bid on” in the StreetShares marketplace, you are under no obligation to accept your loan. If you do accept the loan, money is available within a few days.

In order to apply you must:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Have been in business for at least 1 year
  • Be bringing in revenue from your business
  • Be incorporated or a single member LLC
  • Have a business guarantor with at least “reasonable credit”

You will need the following documents:

  • Business Tax ID
  • Social Security number of business owner
  • Most recent personal and business tax returns
  • 2 most recent bank statements
  • Download of your business checking transaction history for the last 6 months
  • Total outstanding debt and monthly debt payments

Fine Print Alerts

Loans through StreetShares are unsecured – meaning you won’t need physical assets like a house or car. You do, however, need a business guarantor with at least reasonable credit. StreetShares does not define what it means by reasonable credit.

Payments are made via automatic, weekly deduction from your business checking account. If an automatic payment fails, a failed payment fee of $10 is charged. If any payment is not received within 7 days of the due date, another $10 fee will be charged.

Origination fees are charged if a business borrower accepts a loan. The origination fee will be pre disclosed, but varies from 3.90% - 4.90%. The origination fee depends on length of term, risk, and the amount of the loan.

Street Shares

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on Street Shares’s secure website

How it Stacks Up

As far as peer-to-peer lenders go, StreetShare is very open about the fact that it is higher risk for investors than other lenders like Lending Club.

Lending Club allows small businesses to borrow up to $300,000 with APRs ranging from 9.77% to 35.98% with terms from 6 to 60 months. It doesn’t require collateral for loans of less than $100,000, and offers alternative payments arrangements if you are having trouble making your monthly payments.

LendingClub

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FundingCircle is another good alternative to StreetShare. It offers loans ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 with repayment terms of 6 to 60 months. Funding Circle’s origination fees vary from 3.49% - 6.99%, and it offers APRs from 4.99% to 22.99%.

FundingCircle

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on FundingCircle’s secure website

If you need small, more frequent repayment terms, then OnDeck is a great alternative with fixed daily payments. It offers loans from $5,000 to $500,000 with terms of 3 to 36 months. Its origination fee is 2.50% - 4.00%, and you must have 1 year in business and $100,000 in annual revenue to qualify for the loan.

OnDeck

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StreetShares is a Great Option for Select Businesses

Street Shares is taking a step towards making funds available to every small business. Right now, it only offers loans up to $50,000[/StreetSharesSBLLoanAmount], which is rather small when compared to other lenders. But with the minimal documentation and revenue requirements, StreetShares is an excellent option for small business that lack access to funding through larger or more traditional lenders.

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.

Gretchen Lindow
Gretchen Lindow |

Gretchen Lindow is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Gretchen at [email protected]

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Reviews, Small Business

Accion 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.

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Accion is a global non-profit with a mission to create opportunities for everyone in the world. It’s also the largest nonprofit microfinance network in the United States.

It boasts some impressive statistics on its homepage, having “provided over $7.9 million in loans to entrepreneurs in Arizona” since 2008, “over 2,400 loans totaling more than $14 million in Florida” since 2003, and “over 10,500 loans totaling more than $88 million in New York and New Jersey” since 1991.

Accion is a reputable lender with a philanthropic vision. It’s dedicated to helping small businesses owned by minorities and lower-income individuals. As a micro-lender, it works to bridge the gap for smaller businesses that can’t afford larger loans and are too risky for banks to take on.

If this type of loan sounds like it would be a good fit for your business, read on.

Accion Small Business Loan Details

Accion offers a selection of loans – business loans, loans for food and beverage small businesses, daycare business loans, and start-up business loans. In this review, we’ll be focusing on its business loan, but wanted to make you aware of the other options in case they suit your business better.

You can borrow $500 to $50,000 with a business loan, with interest rates ranging from 8.99% to 15.99%, and terms from 6 to 60 months.

An example payment would be: if you borrow $7,000 on a 12-month term with a 10.99% interest rate, your monthly payment will be $618.64. However, you need to factor in a processing fee of $135, and your origination fee, which can range from 3.00% - 5.00%.

Accion doesn’t have APRs listed on the site, but your APR will be presented to you if you’re approved for a loan.

The Pros and Cons of a Accion Small Business Loan

Pro: As Accion is a non-profit, it’s dedicated to helping small business with more than just financing. It says it can “help you connect with peers, local organizations, banks and more to provide as many opportunities for growth as possible.” Accion is committed to providing tips and advice to businesses to help them experience more growth as well, and has a library of business resources on its website.

Con: Since Accion is a micro-lender, $50,000 might not be enough for your business. There are other lenders out there willing to loan up to $300,000.

Pro: Accion offers flexible repayment terms to make loans more affordable – 6 to 60 months is a large range not seen by many other lenders.

Con: Unfortunately, there are closing costs and a processing fee associated with loans that are closed. We dislike customers being hit twice with fees and not many small business lenders have both. Accion admits its loans can be more expensive than a bank loan, but most of the small businesses it lends to can’t secure financing from a bank.

What Businesses Are Eligible For a Loan With Accion?

Accion suggests applying only for the exact amount you need. Underwriters place a lot of emphasis on what you’re going to do with the funds, as they want to make sure your business is going to profit from the loan.

Accion says it will work with you to create a cash flow plan to make sure the payments are manageable for your business. Your business expenses and income will be taken into consideration to ensure you can make payments. Cash flow is very important to Accion.

If your business has less than six months of sales, there are extra eligibility requirements, which can be found here.

Accion works with a number of industries, including restaurants, salons, home services, childcare, and more.

You need a minimum credit score of 575 to apply for a loan with Accion, though underwriters look at more than just your score. If your credit is damaged or thin, they’ll take a look at the strengths of your business and financials to see if a loan can be worked out.

If you’ve declared bankruptcy in the last 12 months, or have had any late rent or mortgage payments in the last 12 months, you won’t qualify for a loan. You also can’t have experienced a foreclosure in the last 24 months.

Application Process and Documents Needed

Filling out an application takes about 15 minutes. From there, it takes two business days to hear back from Accion. If you qualify for a loan, you’ll then work with a loan officer to submit any additional documentation needed.

If you don’t qualify, Accion will explain why, and you can reapply for a loan in three to six months.

Accion provides this document checklist you should go through before proceeding with the application:

  • Last 3 months of business and personal bank statements
  • Business lease
  • Last 1-2 years tax returns
  • Driver’s License
  • Documentation of loan purpose (quotes, estimates, etc.)
  • Most recent home and business utility bills
  • Verification of any non-business income you’ve earned
  • Most recent mortgage note (if you own your workspace)
  • Business certificate, any required licenses, and corporate resolution
  • Balance sheet, Profit and Loss statements, and cash flow statements

As you can tell, the documentation needed is quite involved. If you need to, get in touch with your accountant or bookkeeper to see if they can provide you with some of these. It’s a good idea to have everything ready before applying to make the process go smoother.

The Fine Print

There’s no prepayment penalty with Accion, but there are closing costs of 3.00% - 5.00% to be aware of, as well as a flat $135 processing fee for any loans that are closed. This has the potential to make your loan very costly, but Accion is upfront with the fees you’ll incur when it provides you with your terms. Make sure the numbers work out in your favor.

A personal guarantee by the business owner is also required.

Which Businesses Benefit the Most from a Loan With Accion?

Accion aims to help small businesses that otherwise wouldn’t have access to financing. It also loans to businesses typically looking for a small amount of capital – its average loan size is between $7,000 and $10,000.

If you’ve experienced difficulty in getting other lenders to approve you for a loan, you should try working with Accion. Its minimum credit score is fairly low, and there aren’t strict revenue requirements to meet.

If your business is more established, or you can secure financing with a bank or another online lender, Accion might not be right for you.

Accion

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Other Alternative Small Business Lenders

Accion is the largest micro-lender in the United States, so if you need a smaller loan, it may be your best solution. The following lenders offer loans in smaller amounts, though they may be just as expensive.

Kabbage offers loans from $2,000 to $250,000 on 6 to 18 month terms. As we know, fees can add up, so it’s important to make sure your business will be able to profit from this loan. Additionally, your business has to have been operating for at least one year or more, and has generated $4,200 in monthly revenue for the past three months.

Kabbage

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Can Capital offers loans from $2,500 to $250,000 on 6 to 18 month loans. The APR you receive depends on your industry, cash flow, and revenue. You need a minimum of $4,500 in monthly revenue, and must have been operating for the past 4 months. The minimum credit score needed is 550. There is an origination fee associated with the loan, but it can be waived.

Can Capital

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around

If you’ve been having a hard time getting approved for a small business loan, you may be apprehensive about shopping around even more. As long as you apply within a 30-day window, your credit score won’t see an enormous decrease. Credit bureaus know you’re trying to secure the best rates and terms for your business and won’t penalize you for it.

There are many online lenders out there with applications that typically take 15 minutes to complete. Set aside a few hours one day to go through a couple of lenders to see which ones you’ll qualify for a loan with, and apply. You have nothing to lose and you’ll be able to save money on the cost of your loan.

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, Small Business

Edward Jones Business Plus MasterCard 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.

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Edward Jones offers its Edward Jones Business Plus MasterCard® exclusively to existing clients of the investment firm. It’s currently running a 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles plus a 0% introductory fee for balances transferred within 60 days of opening your account*. After the introductory period, standard APR applies, currently a 17.24% - 28.24% Variable.

Although this card is specifically for Edward Jones investors it’s worth examining the terms to weigh the offer. And Edward Jones clients should still compare the Business Plus MasterCard rewards program, rates and conditions with other cards before making a decision.

The Credit Card Offer at a Glance

You can earn cash back with the Edward Jones Business Plus MasterCard® in two ways.

Right off the bat you can earn a $150 Loyalty Invest™ Deposit after you spend $1,000 on your card within 90 days of opening your account! If you qualify for this reward the bonus will be credited to your account in 6 to 8 weeks.

The ongoing rewards program lets you earn 1.5 Loyalty Points® per eligible net $1 spent up to $40,000, 2 Loyalty Points® per eligible net $1 spent over $40,000. The points you earn can be redeemed for statement credits, travel, gift cards or charitable donations. You can also redeem Loyalty Points as cash deposits directly into an Edward Jones account.

MasterCard backs the Edward Jones business card, so it includes benefits like fraud protection and travel accident insurance. Another perk is Scoreboard Online Reporting, which allows you to manage and track your business expenses.

How to Apply for This Offer

Edward Jones clients have to contact a local financial advisor to find out the card eligibility requirements and to put in an application. The Edward Jones firm website has a convenient search tool that can help you locate an advisor in your area.

Fine Print and Fees

This card has no annual fee if you make at least one purchase per year, otherwise it’s $25. It charges a foreign transaction fee of 1% of each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction. Ther’s a cash advance fee of 4% of each advance amount, $10 minimum. The balance transfer fee is 3%, $5 minimum.

When it comes to fine print details on the rewards program you have to speak with an Edward Jones financial advisor. If you decide to apply for the card make sure you have a thorough understanding of the disclosures before signing on the dotted line.

Pros and Cons

The twofer deal (0% intro APR balance transfer and 0% intro fee for balance transfers) is a clear pro of the card. It can save you a good deal of money in interest if you have expenses revolving month-to-month on another credit card. But on the other hand, if you’re not a client this card isn’t an option for you unless you’re interested in first opening an account with Edward Jones.

Edward Jones Business Plus MasterCard®

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on Edward Jones’s secure website

Alternatives to the Edward Jones Business Plus MasterCard®

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business and the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card are two business cards that also offer cash back rewards and introductory APR specials that you should consider.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has no international transaction fee or annual fee. You can earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. You can also earn an extra One-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The card is offering 0% on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% (Variable) APR after that.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

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on Capital One’s website

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card also has a $0 annual fee. It offers a bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The cash back rewards program lets you Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

The information related to the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Who Will Benefit from the Edward Jones Business Plus MasterCard®?

Edward Jones investors who want to transfer a balance and enjoy no interest for a full year will benefit the most from this card. However, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers higher cash back rewards and lower interest if a balance transfer isn’t your main priority. And if you travel The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business is a better bet because you can make international purchases without a fee.

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.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here