Funding Circle business loans review
You only need fair credit to qualify, but it's not open to startups.
- Best for peer-to-peer loans with quality customer service.
- Look somewhere else if you need startup funding.
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.
Funding Circle is a peer-to-peer lender that offers competitive rates and has a reputation for strong customer service. It’s available to business owners with fair credit and doesn’t have any revenue requirements.
But its high starting amount and two-year business history requirement could make it a better option for more established businesses. It also charges a relatively high origination fee compared to other online lenders.
How much will this loan cost me?
Funding Circle offers loans from $25,000 and $500,000 with rates starting at 4.99%. The rate includes an origination fee between 3.49% to 6.99%, which it deducts from your loan before you receive your funds.
You have between 6 months and 5 years to repay the loan. Use the calculator below to find out how much this loan might cost each month and in total interest at different rates and terms.
Business loan calculator
See how much you'll pay
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
While you can qualify for this loan with a 620 credit score, you’ll need to be a well established business with strong revenue and personal credit to qualify for a 4.99% APR. Just meeting the minimum requirements usually isn’t enough to get a good deal. You’ll also need to show your business has enough consistent cash flow to afford the monthly payments on your loan, even if there’s no minimum revenue cutoff.
What do I need to qualify?
You’re eligible to apply for a business loan with Funding Circle if you meet the following criteria:
- Personal credit score of at least 620
- Business is at least two years old
- No personal bankruptcies among business owners in the past seven years
- For-profit business in an approved industry
- Not located in Nevada
What information do I need to apply?
Funding Circle asks all applicants to provide:
- Business tax returns for the past two years. If you don’t have them on hand, request copies from the IRS.
- Personal tax returns for the past year. Required for everyone who owns at least 20% of your business.
- Business bank statements for the past six months. You’ll need official copies from your bank — not home printouts.
- Signed guarantor form. Required for everyone who owns at least 20% of your business.
What industries does Funding Circle work with?
Funding Circle works with businesses in most industries, except for the following:
- Adult entertainment
- Speculative real estate
- Weapons manufacturing
What other types of financing does Funding Circle offer?
Funding Circle isn’t offering its standard business loans during the coronavirus outbreak. It offered PPP loans until the program closed on June 30, 2020. And currently it’s still only offering SBA 7(a) loans. Here’s how they work through Funding Circle.
SBA 7(a) loans
- Loan amounts: $20,000 to $5 million
- Rates: 6%
- Fees: SBA guarantee fee of 1.7% for loans up to $150,000 and 2.25% for loans over that amount. Broker and closing fees may also apply.
- Terms: 10 years
- Requirements: Over 3 years in business, at least a 680 credit score, at least $400,000 in annual revenue, no federal tax lines, more business assets than liabilities, meet SBA size standards for your industry
This government-backed loan program offers more flexibility to established businesses with loan amounts based on your business’s ability to repay. You can use the funds for any business purpose, from working capital to growing your business.
Pros and cons
Here are the benefits of choosing Funding Circle as your lender — and drawbacks that might make you want to look elsewhere.
- No minimum revenue requirements
- Accepts fair credit
- No prepayment penalties
- Strong reputation for customer service
- Relatively high origination fee
- Loans start at $25,000
- At least two years in business required
Compare more business loan providers
Is Funding Circle legit?
Yes, Funding Circle is a legitimate lender. It’s been vetted and approved by the SBA to offer 7(a) loans — and was one of the first online lenders to get approval.
Funding Circle reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||4.02 out of 5 stars, based on 42 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||15 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||4.4 out of 5 stars, based on 8,748 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||15 October 2020|
Funding Circle generally gets positive customer reviews. Many borrowers were happy with the fast and simple application process and helpful customer service representatives. Most negative reviews are from investors who had difficulty withdrawing their money from Funding Circle or lost profits due to loan defaults. However, you may notice some of the reviews on its Trustpilot page are from British borrowers — which likely won't indicate the quality of its American team.
How do I apply?
Before you apply, make sure you meet Funding Circle’s eligibility requirements. If you do, you can begin the application process online by following these steps:
- Click the Go to site button on this page to be redirected to Funding Circle’s website.
- Click Apply now.
- Enter your loan amount, loan term and the type of business you run. Click Continue.
- Follow the directions to complete your application, carefully reading the terms and conditions before submitting it. This process should take about 10 minutes.
What happens after I apply?
A Funding Circle loan specialist will contact you within the hour to collect any required documents. Once you’ve submitted your documents, an underwriter reviews your application and gets back to you with a final decision in 24 hours. If you’re accepted, your funds are disbursed in as little as five business days.
How do repayments work with Funding Circle?
Funding Circle loans come with monthly repayments, which it automatically withdraws from your bank account or a debit or credit card. If you’re late on a payment, it charges a fee of 5% of the missed payment amount.
Since Funding Circle doesn’t charge any prepayment penalties, you can save on interest by making extra repayments or paying back your entire loan early. If you have any questions, reach out to a representative as soon as possible.
Frequently asked questions
Business loan ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We rate business loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.
Read the full methodology of how we rate business loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.