CircleUp line of credit review
Secured financing of up to $3 million for e-commerce businesses.
finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0
CircleUp is designed to give new e-commerce businesses access to funding. Its secured lines of credit make it easy for fledgling enterprises to qualify for funding based on your business assets, including receivables, purchase orders and inventory. While it’s generally less expensive than a credit card, there are other more affordable financing options out there.
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 950 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
CircleUp could offer a good opportunity for early-stage e-commerce businesses to get the flexible funding you need to grow. Its secured lines of credit could be cheaper than using a credit card. And you don’t have to worry about any fees if you decide to cancel your credit line.
But more-established businesses might be able to find more competitive rates with another lender. And it can take a few days to receive access to funds — not ideal if you’re facing an emergency.
Not sure CircleUp is right for? Compare your other business loan options below.
First, do I qualify?
You must meet the following criteria to qualify with CircleUp:
- E-commerce business
- In business at least one year
- $250,000 to $10 million in revenue
- Sell consumer products — either wholesale or directly to consumers
- Based in US with mostly domestic sales
Have revenue outside of this range? Your business still might qualify for funding as long as you can meet the other requirements.
What makes a CircleUp line of credit unique?
CircleUp specializes in meeting the needs of a specific type of business: early-stage companies that sell consumer products. While you can’t be brand new — you’re required to have been in business at least one year— a CircleUp line of credit offers continuous funding meant to help grow your company. Since CircleUp also provides equity capital, you may be able to combine your line of credit with an investment, lowering the amount you have to repay.
What is a CircleUp line of credit?
A CircleUp line of credit is a secured revolving line of credit with APRs that run from 14% to 25%. Depending on your type of business, you can use receivables from consumers or other businesses, purchase orders and inventory as collateral, along with any other assets. You can typically borrow between 60% and 80% of your collateral’s value, usually from $20,000 to $3,000,000.
What are the benefits of a CircleUp line of credit?
A few perks of borrowing from CircleUp include:
- Specializes in early-stage businesses. Many business lenders prefer working with more established companies. But CircleUp specializes in helping young businesses grow.
- Potentially less expensive than a credit card. Credit card APRs typically run higher than the APRs on this line of credit.
- No penalty to leave. You can cancel your line of credit without paying a fee at any time.
What to watch out for
Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out a CircleUp line of credit:
- No startups. Your business must be around for at least a year to qualify.
- Limited industries. If your business doesn’t sell consumer products online, it can’t qualify.
- High cost for a credit line. While it might be cheaper than a credit card, CircleUp’s rates aren’t as low as other similar products.
- Not the fastest turnaround. It can take a few business days for CircleUp to fund your loan after receiving your application. Many online lenders offer funding by the next business day.
Compare other business loan options
How do I apply?
You can apply online through CircleUp’s website. First, check to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. If you do, follow these steps to get started:
- Go to the CircleUp website.
- Click Get Started.
- Provide information about your business and where it sells its products. Click Next.
- Review the initial offer — an estimate of how much you can borrow based on your answers. If you’d like to continue with the application, click Next.
- Enter your contact information. Click Next.
- Provide information about your business’s current debts and click Next.
- Upload any required documents and click Submit application.
What happens after I apply?
Once CircleUp receives your application, it’ll send you a final offer. If you agree to the terms, sign and submit your loan documents. After that, it typically takes a couple of business of days to receive your funds.
What documents do I need to apply?
CircleUp only requires a recent bank statement. But you might want to also upload the following documents to help your application:
- Articles of incorporation
- Past two years of financial statements
- Current year financial statements
How do repayments work with CircleUp?
Similar to a credit card, you’re only required to make a minimum monthly repayment on the amount you withdraw. And you’ll be able to borrow more once you pay it back. However, the faster you repay your balance, the less you’ll pay in interest. Your business might also be able to qualify for a larger credit limit depending on how fast it grows.
If you have any questions or concerns about your account, reach out to customer service by calling 415-529-7404.
You can learn more about how to fund your company by reading our guide to business loans.
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