ForwardLine business loans review
Short-term funding with discounts for repeat borrowers — but it’s not transparent about costs.
- Best for established businesses that often take out short-term loans.
- Pick something else if you want to compare costs before preapproval.
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 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.
ForwardLine is an online lender that specializes in short-term business loans to businesses that have been around for a few years. It could be a good deal for businesses that often rely on short-term financing. It offers lower rates to returning customers — and $250 cash back for those that refer another business.
It claims to have a high approval rate and the ability to find ways to work with businesses during an economic downturn. But it’s not transparent about the costs. If you want to know what you’re getting into before preapproval, consider another lender that’s more upfront about rates and fees.
ForwardLine is connecting borrowers with PPP funding
FowradLine has partnered with several PPP lenders to help connect you with a loan through this government-backed emergency loan program. If your business is struggling, you might also want to check out our guide to business financing during the COVID-19.
How much will this loan cost me?
ForwardLine isn’t upfront about the rates that it charges on its loans — often a sign that a lender’s rates are not competitive. To find out how much the loan might cost your business, you’ll need to prequalify by filling out a quick online form.
You can borrow up to $150,000 through ForwardLine — or more if you choose to get connected with a partner lender. And terms run from 6 months to 1.25 years. Use the calculator below to get an estimate of your monthly cost based on different rates, terms and loan amounts.
Business loan calculator
See how much you'll pay
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
Typically, small businesses can qualify for 10% of their annual revenue, up to $150,000. But if you borrow through a partner lender for a loan over $150,000, your loan amount might be based on other factors.
Your rate can vary depending on your industry and time in business. Generally, this means that riskier industries and newer businesses qualify for rates on the higher end.
What do I need to qualify?
Your business must meet the following criteria to qualify for a ForwardLine business loan.
- At least two years in business
- At least $50,000 in total annual sales
If you don’t meet ForwardLine’s requirements, you still might be able to find funding through its partner lenders.
What information do I need to apply?
Typically you need to provide basic information about yourself, your business and upload three months of business bank statements.
What industries does ForwardLine work with?
ForwardLine doesn’t disclose whether any industries are ineligible. But its high approval rate might indicate that some high-risk industries have an easier time qualifying.
Pros and cons
ForwardLine isn’t right for every small business. Weigh the benefits and drawbacks before you apply.
- Lower rates for returning borrowers
- Finding in as little as one business day
- Earn $250 for referring a friend
- Not transparent about costs
- Only directly funds loans up to $150,000
- Only offers short-term funding
See other top business loan options
Is ForwardLine legit?
However, it appears to take advantage of some loopholes to get around lending laws — another sign that its rates could be high. While it funds its loans directly in some states, in others they’re issued by Wise Bank, a Utah-chartered bank. Sometimes lenders use this tactic to get around regulations like maximum interest rates.
ForwardLine reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.8 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||7 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||4.3 out of 5 stars, based on 197 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||12 June 2020|
ForwardLine gets mostly positive online reviews from customers. Many highlight its customer service, often calling out the person they worked with by name. And many were also pleased with how fast and easy the process of applying for a loan and getting funds was. The few complaints generally involve the loan’s cost — some customers felt they weren’t properly informed until after they got the loan. However, there are many negative reviews on how ForwardLine handled loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how borrowers felt misled about payment relief options offered by ForwardLine’s customer service team.
Am I eligible?
To qualify for a ForwardLine short-term loan, your business must:
- Be at least one year old. You’ll also need to be the business owner for a year as well.
- Generate at least $100,000 in annual sales. The higher your annual revenue, the more funds you can qualify for.
ForwardLine doesn’t have a minimum credit score to qualify for a loan, but it does consider your score when determining your fee.
How do I apply?
You can start your application online or over the phone — it only takes a few minutes either way. Call 866-729-5766 to get started on an application by phone. Or, follow these steps to apply online:
- Go to ForwardLine’s website and click Apply now in the top right-hand corner.
- Enter your time in business, amount you want to borrow, estimated revenue and industry before hitting continue.
- Follow the directions to enter information about your business and your company, hitting Continue to move on to the next step and Get my results to submit your application.
- Review the loan options you’re qualified for and select the one that works best for your business.
What happens after I apply?
ForwardLine might reach out to you and have you provide more information if necessary, and submit documents before signing your promissory note. You should receive your funds in as little as one business day after everything is complete.
How do repayments work?
Once you have your funds, repayments start relatively quickly — remember, they’re daily or weekly repayments, not monthly. ForwardLine requires your business to enroll in automatic repayments, so you don’t need to worry about manually paying every time.
Take note of your business bank account and your loan balance. Reach out to customer service if you have any cashflow problems that could get in the way of making a repayment or have any questions about your loan.
A ForwardLine short-term loan can be a quick solution to a financing emergency, but it’s not designed to cover long-term costs. Its best price guarantee and early repayment discount make it a worthy contender when it comes to this kind of loan. And you don’t need good credit to qualify — though you’ll end up paying more.
Interested in seeing how ForwardLine stacks up? Read our business loans guide to compare more lenders and learn the ins and outs of how the whole process works.