Revolving lines of credit up to $150,000 with this startup-friendly provider.
|Product Name||Guidant Financial Business Loans|
|Requirements||690+ credit score, less than 50% credit utilization ratio, few credit inquires, no recent negative lines on credit report|
- Have a credit score of at least 690.
- Have a credit utilization ratio under 50%.
- Have few to no credit inquiries.
- Have no derogatory marks on your credit report.
First, do I qualify?
To be eligible for an unsecured business loan from Guidant Financial, your business must have:
- A credit score of at least 690
- A credit utilization ratio under 50%
- Few credit inquiries
- No derogatory marks on your credit report
What is Guidant Financial?
Guidant Financial connects entrepreneurs and small businesses with one of the 3,600 lenders and banks in its network. Its unsecured business loans are revolving lines of credit that work a lot like a credit card. This means that they don’t require collateral, you have access to your funds as long as you need it and you repay your balance in monthly repayments.
Credit limits start at $10,000 and go as high as $150,000. If your business qualifies for a 0% introductory rate, you won’t have to pay interest on the balance during the first 12 to 18 months of the loan. After that, interest rates range from 10% to 18%.
While you can start to fill out the form to get connected with a lender on its website, the majority of it takes place over email and the phone, which can be less secure. After you complete its online form, your business can get an offer within 48 hours. After that, it can take between three and four weeks to get your funds.
What makes Guidant Financial’s unsecured business loans unique?
These unsecured business loans are much closer to a credit card than your typical line of credit. Instead of having your funds turn into a term loan each time you make a withdrawal, the amount is added to your business’s balance. Like with a credit card, your business won’t have fixed installment repayments but minimum monthly repayments — making it more flexible in emergencies.
Aside from the fact that you won’t have plastic on hand, the main difference between this loan and a credit card are the interest rates. Even Guidant’s highest rate is lower than what a lot of business credit card companies offer. It’s also a fixed rate, so it stays the same during the life of your loan.
What are the benefits of a Guidant Financial business loan?
- Startup-friendly. Your business can still be in the planning stages to qualify for funding from Guidant Financial.
- Competitive rates. You could qualify for a 0% intro APR for the first 12 to 18 months of your loan. Even after the promotional period is over, Guidant Financial’s rates are competitive compared to other business lines of credit and credit cards.
- No fees. Guidant Financial doesn’t charge any fees to connect you with a potential lender. Though, it charges $1 to check your credit.
- Revolving credit. There’s no set end date to your account so your business can have access to funds as long as it needs.
What to watch out for
- Long turnaround time. It can take as long as three or four weeks to get your funds.
- Minimum monthly repayments. While it’s more flexible, only making the minimum monthly repayment can make your loan a lot more expensive since interest is added to your balance each month.
- Send information via email. With phishing scams and other security breaches, your email sometimes isn’t the safest way to send your information to a lender.
- Good credit required. Guidant’s cut-off FICO rating of 690 is generally considered good credit — and you’ll likely need a higher score to get the most competitive rates and highest limits. If you want to compare bad credit business loans, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Compare more business loan providers
What do customers say about Guidant Financial?
Guidant Financial has mixed online reviews. As of August 2018, it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which it’s been accredited with since 2004 — one year after it opened its doors. BBB ratings don’t reflect customer reviews and instead take factors like advertising and transparency of business practices into consideration. There are only four customer reviews on Guidant’s BBB page — three negative, one positive. Eight customers have filed complaints against the company.
Its Trustpilot page is empty, though it has several reviews on Yelp, where it gets 3 stars. Reviews were mostly split between borrowers who had an excellent experience with its customer service line and those who did not. Several customers had trouble closing accounts with Guidant because it was unresponsive. Its customer service team regularly responds to its Yelp reviews, though it’s only responded to formal complaints on its BBB page.
Am I eligible?
You must meet these guidelines to qualify for a Guidant Financial unsecured business loan:
- Have a credit score of at least 690. This falls into the good credit range. Don’t know your credit score? You can get an estimate online for free based on a soft credit pull, which doesn’t affect your rating.
- Have a credit utilization ratio under 50%. Got a credit limit of $10,000 on your credit cards or other lines of credit? Your balance can’t be more than $5,000 to qualify for a Guidant Financial unsecured business loan.
- Have few to no credit inquiries. Don’t apply for other loans or credit cards while you’re trying to qualify with Guidant. Credit inquiries on your credit report can temporarily lower your credit score.
- Have no derogatory marks on your credit report. If you have a loan that went into default or other negative marks on your credit report, you won’t be able to qualify for a Guidant Financial loan.
How do I prequalify for financing?
You can get started either online or over the phone by calling 888-472-4455. To prequalify online, fill out a general form for all types of business financing.
- Go to Guidant Financial’s site and click Get Started in the top righthand corner.
- Enter your name, email and phone number before hitting Get Started.
- Select the reason your business needs financing.
- Select the value of your retirement account.
- Select your credit score range.
- Select the value of any non-retirement investments.
- Pick a time frame for when your business needs the funds
- Select the approximate amount of funds you need.
- Pick the value of your checking or savings account.
- Review your offers and either call your dedicated financing contact or click Schedule [name] to make an appointment.
From here, a dedicated financing representative guides you through the rest of the process. Prequalifying for specific rates can take 48 hours. After you sign your loan documents, it can take three or four weeks to get your funds.
What documents do I need?
Typically, Guidant Financial only asks you to submit a copy of your personal credit report. You can get your credit report online for free from the three major credit bureaus. If Guidant requires any other documentation, your dedicated financing contact should let you know.
What other types of business financing does Guidant offer?
Unsecured business loans aren’t Guidant Financial’s only business financing product. Your business can also prequalify for the following types of business and startup funding:
- 401(k) business financing. Also known as rollover for business startups (ROBS), this option lets you use your retirement account to cover the startup costs of a new businesses. It’s a complicated process that you can technically do on your own, but most entrepreneurs choose companies like Guidant for help — for a $4,995 setup fee and $139 per month administration fee.
- SBA 7(a) business loans. This government-backed business program is startup friendly and comes in the form of term loans and lines of credit. Guidant’s partner lenders offer SBA loans from $150,000 to $5 million at variable interest rates of prime plus 2.25% to 2.75%. These loans also come with a $2,500 setup fee and a 3% to 5% loan closing fee, which includes the SBA guarantee. Typically, you have 10 years to pay it back.
- SBA working capital loans. These SBA loans run smaller than what Guidant’s network offers through the 7(a) program and come with a faster turnaround time. You can borrow between $50,000 and $150,000 at prime plus 2.75% to 4.75% with a $2,500 setup fee and a 1% to 3% loan closing fee, which includes the SBA guarantee. Your business typically has between seven and 10 years to pay it back.
- Portfolio loans. Here, you can borrow against the value of your non-retirement investments to start a business or improve cash flow. These work like a revolving line of credit with credit limits up to 80% of your portfolio’s value. It’s one of Guidant’s least-expensive financing options with interest rates ranging from 3% to 4% and a one-time setup fee of 2% of your limit.
- Equipment leasing. While not technically a loan, Guidant’s partners also offer equipment leasing options for small and new businesses. Leases typically come with two- and five-year terms and interest rates from 8.5% to 20% depending on the equipment type, your credit history and your industry.
I got a business loan from Guidant Financial. Now what?
Your business can start drawing from its line of credit whenever it wants to cover startup or ongoing business costs. To save on interest, pay off as much of your balance as possible each month or before the introductory period ends.
Keep close tabs on your account to make sure you’re being charged correctly and your payments are going through — sometimes even machines make mistakes. If you notice an error or have any questions, reach out to your lender.
Guidant Financial’s unsecured business loan could be a good resource for entrepreneurs looking for startup financing. It could also be helpful to small businesses struggling with cashflow gaps. Approval is entirely based on the business owner’s or entrepreneur’s personal finances, so you don’t need to meet monthly revenue requirements or even be in business yet. However, you’ll need good to excellent credit and an otherwise strong credit history to qualify.
Not ready to get connected with a lender just yet? Check out our business loans guide. We explain your different financing options and let you start comparing lenders that your business might qualify with. Entrepreneurs might also want to look at our guide to funding a startup.