Lendio online business loan marketplace review
This service has a network of over 75 legit business lenders.
finder.com’s rating: 4.79 / 5.0
Bottom line: Lendio has a huge network to help business owners find the most competitive options. While it does have some negative reviews, overall it remains our top pick for best marketplace. Lendio’s quick application makes it easy to apply for a small business loan when you’re pressed for time. Read our full review or get our 30-second take.
- Positive reviews of customer service
- Large network of 75+ lenders
- Wide variety of financing options available
- May receive funding in as little as 24 hours
- Recent warning from the FTC
- Potentially high interest rates
Our take on Lendio
Lendio is a connection service that is free to use — it does not charge a fee to connect you with a lender. And unlike many of the connection services we’ve reviewed, it has a huge network. It works with more than 75 lenders that offer a wide variety of loans.
When you fill out its online form, Lendio uses your credit score, time in business, bank statements and collateral — if applicable — to connect you to a suitable lender. The amount you qualify for, as well as your annual percentage rate (APR), will depend on these factors.
The better your annual revenue and personal finances, the more likely you are to score a rate near the 8% mark. If you don’t have the best credit, or are a newer business, you may not qualify for competitive rates from its lenders.
However, Lendio also has a mixed history. Some customers say it was a great option, but others state that Lendio didn’t provide enough information and failed to respond to multiple emails. A warning from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) during the high of the coronavirus pandemic also puts a black spot on its otherwise positive reputation.
Still, Lendio’s short, easy application make it a standout among similar marketplaces. It slashes the time it takes for busy small business owners to find the right loan by taking on most of the heavy lifting in the form of a vetted network of competitive small business lenders. It also promises quick funding, sometimes in as little as 24 hours.
Types of business financing offered by Lendio
Lendio stands out because of its wide array of loan options to businesses of all sizes and revenues. Its network of lenders cover five main types of financing.
Here's what you can expect — along with more information on how each option works.
Varies by lender
Line of credit
Lendio also offers more options including business credit cards and commercial mortgages, if you want to explore additional financing opportunities.
Business term loans
Business term loans, offered by both banks and online lenders, are the most traditional way to finance business expenses.
Most are fixed-rate loans, which means the interest rate and fees are set for the life of the loan, and are repaid through regular monthly installments. Funds can be used to pay for regular costs like marketing, hiring new employees and working capital.
To qualify, you'll need good to excellent personal credit. Your business will need to be on solid footing, too. A strong monthly revenue, a few years in business and a detailed business plan will help you secure funding.
Many lenders also require a personal guarantee, which means you'll be putting your personal assets on the line if your business is unable to repay the loan.
Business term loan rates, fees and terms
- Loan amount: $5,000–$2 million
- Interest rates: As low as 6%
- Loan term: 1–5 years
- Collateral: May be required for larger loans
- Fees: Varies by lender
The Small Business Administration (SBA) backs business loans — which can help you qualify, even without perfect credit. Lendio is one of the few connection services that actively works with SBA lenders that offer the three biggest programs: SBA 7(a) loans, SBA 504 loans and SBA Express loans.
These three programs are term loans. The only difference is that the SBA guarantees a portion of the loan, so lenders will consider slightly riskier businesses.
This translates to more competitive interest rates and better terms — but it also requires a guarantee fee. One of the only problems is that they're much more difficult to apply for. Fortunately, Lendio makes it easy by allowing you to upload the necessary documentation directly through its online portal. Not only does this speed up processing time, but it also shows the lenders you're connected with that your business has what it takes to succeed.
SBA loan rates, fees and terms
- Loan amount: Up to $5 million
- Interest rates: Varies by lender
- Loan term: 10–30 years
- Collateral: Varies by type of SBA loan
- Fees: SBA fees and fees set by the lender
Business lines of credit
Similar to a credit card, a line of credit allows you to borrow as much as you need when you need it. You'll only pay interest on the funds you use, and because Lendio offers revolving lines of credit, you'll be able to borrow again once you pay your lender back.
Like term loans, lines of credit can be used for most business expenses. They're especially useful when you need to cover sudden expenses or have a gap in cash flow during a slow season.
Business line of credit rates, fees and terms
- Loan amount: $1,000–$500,000
- Interest rates: 8%–24%
- Loan term: 1–2 years
- Collateral: Varies by lender
- Fees: Varies by lender
Equipment loans are a good way to finance almost any big or small equipment your business needs. There's a good chance you'll be able to borrow 80% to 90% of the equipment's cost upfront, then pay it back over time. And, best of all, the lenders in Lendio's network may still consider you if you have a lower credit score — provided your business has decent revenue and cash flow.
Equipment loan rates, fees and terms
- Loan amount: $5,000–$5 million
- Interest rates: As low as 7.5%
- Loan term: 1–5 years
- Collateral: Equipment purchased with financing
- Fees: Varies by lender
While Lendio does have lenders that work with newer businesses, it's important to note that businesses still need to meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify. Lenders usually only consider businesses that have been open at least six months — and you'll need to have strong monthly revenue as well. You'll also need to show that you have a background in the industry or previous business experience to get the lowest rates.
But they're extremely useful for the initial costs of starting a business. Most startup loans are regular term loans, which means you can use them for hiring employees, marketing and other expenses.
Have a strong business plan and documented success before you apply. Otherwise, it may be worth it to consider an alternate option to get funds for your startup.
Startup loan rates, fees and terms
- Loan amount: $500–$750,00
- Interest rates: As low as 0%–17%
- Loan term: Up to 25 years
- Collateral: Varies by lender
- Fees: Varies by lender
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6 more financing options
Lendio's network also covers more business loans and financing — which makes it a great service if you're really looking to explore all the avenues of funding available.
For smaller businesses, or businesses that rely on seasonal sales, Lendio has lenders in its network that offer short-term loans, merchant cash advances and invoice factoring. These are typically easier to qualify for. But they're also more expensive, so be sure to weigh the costs before you borrow.
Business credit cards are also available from its lenders. There are tons of business credit cards to choose from. To make sure you make an informed decision, compare costs and card benefits.
Finally, Lendio also has business acquisition loans and commercial mortgages for more established business owners. These can be difficult to qualify for — but they have good interest rates. If you're interested in them, reach out to Lendio to determine if you or your business qualify.
How Lendio compares to other providers
If you're interested in a connection service, SmartBiz and Biz2Credit are two of the top alternatives to Lendio.
SmartBiz mainly connects businesses to SBA lenders, but it does have some other options. It's a great option if you know you want to shoot for an SBA loan. However, you'll pay for the convenience. Unlike many other connection services, you'll pay a packaging fee if you get connected with a lender.
Biz2Credit works with bank and nonbank lenders — even if you're in a high-risk industry. Like Lendio, its network of providers offers a variety of loans. But you'll pay an origination fee if you're connected to the lender. Plus its loans are much smaller: Your business may only qualify for loans up to $250,000.
$30,000 to $5,000,000
4.75% to 7%
120 to 300 months
650+ personal credit score, US citizen or permanent resident, 2+ years in business, $50,000+ annual revenue, no outstanding tax liens, no bankruptcies or foreclosures in past 3 years
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Lendio reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||3.76 out of 5 stars, based on 45 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||37 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 8,353 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||13 October 2020|
Lendio receives high marks on its Trustpilot page. Multiple customers praise its customer service team for quick, helpful action during the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, customers on its BBB page report that they struggled to contact Lendio and had issue learning more about their loan options — including potential lenders — after filling out Lendio’s online form. Others also had problems contacting their lenders in general, and state Lendio didn’t do enough to help them during the PPP loan application process.
Received a warning from the FTC
In May 2020, Lendio received a warning letter from the FTC that states its marketing created a misleading affiliation between the SBA and Lendio. In addition, an affiliated lead generator charged a fee for its service — despite the SBA expressly prohibiting any lender or connection service from charging a fee. However the FTC letter has since been responded to and resolved.
How to qualify
The exact eligibility criteria you and your business need to meet will depend on the lender you’re connected with. But you’ll typically need to meet these basic requirements:
- Based in the US or Canada
- Valid business bank account
- 560 or higher personal credit score
When you’re ready to get started, have this information on hand:
- Six months of business bank statements
- Social Security number
- Business Tax ID number
- Date of birth
- Ownership percentage
- Personal credit score range
- Personal income
- Estimated monthly revenue
- Estimated annual profit
- Existing business debt and monthly repayments
Lendio requires more information than other connection services, but this helps it narrow down your options to find the right lender for your business’s needs.
How the online form works
Because Lendio isn't a direct lender, the application process is slightly different than if you applied through a bank. You need to provide some basic information about your business — including its industry, age and revenue over the last three months. You then have the opportunity to see what lenders your business qualifies for.
Lendio also allows you to upload bank statements and other documentation through your account, making it easier to complete a full application with a lender. Many of the lenders in Lendio’s network are quick, so you may be able to complete your application and have your loan funded as soon as the next business day, although it may take longer depending on your lender and your business.
What industries does Lendio work with?
Lendio doesn’t state what types of businesses its network of lenders work with. However, you may struggle to find financing if you’re in a nontraditional or high-risk industry like cannabis or adult entertainment.
Reach out to Lendio to ensure that your business will qualify — and double-check with the lender you’re connected with to confirm your business is eligible for financing.
What sets it apart?
Lendio's most unique feature is its network. With such a wide array of options, you won't need to go far to compare lenders that offer the exact type of financing you need.
It's also upfront about potential costs, terms and fees. Most connection services leave you in the dark about how much your business will be able to borrow — and how much that loan will cost. And since it also highlights some of the top lenders it uses, including Kabbage, Bank of America, OnDeck and Amex, you won't have to worry about being connected with a disreputable provider.
Is Lendio legit?
Business loan ratings
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.