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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.
Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.
Online lender StreetShares helps fill a financing void for businesses that are starting to find their footing.
StreetShares is a good option for borrowers who:
Have strong cash flow: Though StreetShares uses a combination of traditional and alternative underwriting practices, the lender focuses primarily on cash flow as an indicator of your business’s ability to repay the loan.
Are looking for financing options: StreetShares offers multiple loan products, including term loans, invoice factoring and lines of credit.
Need to borrow less than $200,000: For term loans, you can borrow as much as 20% of your annual revenue, up to $200,000 (or $250,000, if you’re a returning customer). The same is true for a standard line of credit, which also has a $250,000 allowance for returning customers.
Are veterans: CEO Mark Rockefeller, a veteran himself, says he recalls seeing payday lenders lining the streets around military bases, preying on young service members. When starting his company, Rockefeller aimed to help veterans finance their small businesses and avoid similar lending traps, partnering with organizations including the Defense Credit Union Council, Association of Military Banks of America, Armed Forces Financial Network, and the National Veteran-Owned Business Association.
StreetShares term loan
Loan amount: $2,000 to $250,000.
APR: 8% to 39.9%.
Loan term: 3 to 36 months.
How to qualify:
StreetShares line of credit
Loan amount: $5,000 to $250,000.
APR: 8% to 39.99%.
Loan term: 3 to 36 months.
How to qualify:
Reasons to use StreetShares
Community-based lending: StreetShares takes a different spin on the peer-to-peer lending model, which connects borrowers with investors. The company uses its “affinity-based lending” strategy to match borrowers with investors who share similar characteristics, such as military veterans.
Connecting the borrower to investors who have similar passions or interests is a selling point for StreetShares, because the borrower feels a responsibility to those who put up the funds, Rockefeller says.
Access to capital for newer businesses: Finding loans for businesses with low revenue can be tricky, but StreetShares offers loans to companies that have been in business for just one year and pull in $75,000 in annual revenue.
No prepayment fee: Borrowers can pay back their loans early, with no prepayment penalties. If your company is young, there’s a good chance you’ll alter your financing plan as your business changes, says Mel Levey, director of investor relations for StreetShares.
“We’ve talked to business owners who are being choked to death by prepayment fees,” he says. Regardless of the length of your loan, StreetShares offers the flexibility of paying it back immediately.
Where StreetShares falls short
Funding limitations: Though StreetShares offers term loans and standard lines of credit up to $250,000, the maximum amount you can qualify for is 20% of your annual revenue. If you make $200,000 a year, that limits you to a maximum loan of $40,000. You may need to look elsewhere to get financing for big projects, such as a major expansion.
Limited reach: In response to market demand, StreetShares applies for permission to lend on a state-by-state basis. At the moment, it does not provide loans to businesses in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or South Dakota. If you operate a sole proprietorship, you can’t use StreetShares if you live in Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, or New York.
There are also a few industry limitations. StreetShares does not lend to non-commercial construction contractors and those who will use the loan to flip homes or other real estate (although real estate management is OK). It doesn’t lend to law firms or tax preparation or accounting firms — unless the business belongs to a certified public accountant.
Weekly payments: Most of StreetShares products are paid back with automatic weekly deductions from your bank account. Although some borrowers may find that convenient, others looking for semimonthly or monthly payments may struggle with the lack of flexibility. If you have uneven cash flow, you may also find this repayment option inconvenient.
Compare business loans
If you’d like to compare loan options, NerdWallet has a list of small-business loans that are best for business owners. All of our recommendations are based on the lender’s market scope and track record and on the needs of business owners, as well as rates and other factors, so you can make the right financing decision.