Pros & Cons
- Cash can be available within three business days.
- Competitive rates for online term loans.
- No minimum revenue requirement.
- Terms up to seven years.
- Requires a business lien and personal guarantee.
- Minimum credit score is higher than other online lenders.
Funding Circle is an online lender that offers small-business loans of up to $500,000. These term loans can be a good option for established business owners that want competitive rates, but also need fast funding.
Funding Circle is known for its streamlined application process and multiple loan options. In addition to its business term loan, Funding Circle acts as a marketplace, connecting business owners to other lenders for business lines of credit and SBA 7(a) loans.
This review will focus on Funding Circle's term loans.
How Much Do You Need?
Funding Circle is best for borrowers who:
Are looking to expand your business or refinance costly debt: Funding Circle offers loans up to $500,000 at competitive rates. You can use the money to cover the costs of buying equipment, hiring employees or opening a new location.
Have good credit and an established business: Although the company doesn’t have a minimum annual revenue requirement, you do need to have been in business for at least two years. You’ll also need a credit score of at least 660 and no personal bankruptcies among your business owners in the last seven years.
Are looking for fast cash: Funding Circle’s application process is quicker and easier than the process to qualify for a business bank loan, and borrowers receive their money within three days on average.
Funding Circle business loan features
Funding Circle offers business term loans of up to $500,000 with repayment terms ranging from six months to seven years.
$25,000 to $500,000.
Estimated APR range
5.99% to 16.49%.
6 months to 7 years.
As fast as three days. Underwriting can take anywhere from two to seven days. Once you sign the loan agreement, you'll receive your funds the following business day.
Where Funding Circle stands out
Competitive rates compared with other online lenders
Funding Circle’s annual percentage rates range from 5.99% to 16.49%, and the average APR of its funded loans is 15.42%.
Funding Circle doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, and paying off your loan early can save interest costs.
Faster processing than banks and the SBA
It can take just a few minutes to apply for a Funding Circle loan, and you could receive funds within three days. For comparison, it can take months to be approved for an SBA loan.
Where Funding Circle falls short
Not for new businesses
Funding Circle requires at least two years of business history. On average, its borrowers have been in business for 11 years and have annual revenue of $1.4 million.
High qualification standards
You’ll need a personal credit score of at least 660 to qualify for a Funding Circle loan. For comparison, some online lenders accept scores of 600 or lower.
Funding Circle also requires a lien on your business assets, which may include equipment, vehicles or inventory. Like most other business lenders, it also requires a personal guarantee from the primary business owners, which gives the lender the right to pursue your personal assets if your business fails to repay the loan.
Fast, but not the fastest, option
Funding Circle loan requirements
Funding Circle’s minimum borrower eligibility requirements include:
Credit score: 660 or higher.
Time in business: Two years or more.
Annual revenue: No specified minimum.
Business owners cannot have a personal bankruptcy within the last seven years in order to qualify for a Funding Circle loan.
Alternatives to Funding Circle
OnDeck offers business term loans up to $250,000 with repayment terms up to 24 months. Although interest rates will likely be higher with OnDeck than Funding Circle, they have more flexible qualification requirements and faster funding times.
To qualify for a loan with OnDeck, you'll need at least one year in business, $100,000 in annual revenue and a credit score of 625.
These requirements may make OnDeck a better option for newer businesses and those with bad credit.
On the other hand, if you have strong credentials, like you'd need for a Funding Circle loan, and can wait longer for financing — you might consider opting for an SBA loan.
SBA 7(a) loans have long repayment terms, large loan amounts and competitive interest rates. Current rates range from 9.75% to 12.25%.
Compared to Funding Circle and other online lenders, however, SBA loans are much slower to fund and require lengthy applications. Nevertheless, if you're willing to put in the time and patience — and can qualify — an SBA loan may offer some of the best terms on the market.
» MORE: Compare the best SBA lenders
Find the right business loan
The best business loan is generally the one with the lowest rates and most ideal terms. But other factors — like time to fund and your business’s qualifications — can help determine which option you should choose. NerdWallet recommends comparing small-business loans to find the right fit for your business.
Frequently asked questions
Funding Circle says it has connected approximately 130,000 businesses to over $19 billion in financing since its launch in 2010. Since 2013, the lender has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, where it has an A+ rating.
Funding Circle is not a bank. The company issues term loans using funding from accredited investors. For business lines of credit and SBA 7(a) loans, Funding Circle refers borrowers to other lending institutions.
Funding Circle typically conducts soft inquiries on loan applicants, which doesn’t impact your credit score. The lender may perform a hard inquiry on general partnership businesses, however.
The lender may also check your business credit reports; this will not impact your personal credit.