Lendistry business loans review
This CDFI has paused its normal lending program to focus on COVID-19 relief and a pilot program with Amazon.
finder.com’s rating: 3.77 / 5.0
Bottom line: Under normal circumstances, this nonprofit lender could be a great resource for SBA Community Advantage loans and small business financing. But it paused its lending programs to focus on COVID-19 relief and a pilot program for Amazon sellers. Read our review of Lenistry’s lending program or learn about the grants it administers.
Lendistry's Amazon Community Lending program
Lendistry launched a short-term lending pilot program for Amazon sellers in September 2021. Amazon Community Lending offers short-term loans to e-commerce businesses on an invitation-only basis. Here's how it works.
- Eligible sellers can borrow between $10,000 and $100,000.
- Repayment terms are available up to two years.
- Rates range from 8% to 9.9% APR — low for an online business loan.
- Sellers can use the funds for working capital, growth and other business-related expenses.
You can check to see if your store qualifies for this pilot program by logging into Seller central. If you're eligible, you should receive an invitation to apply from Amazon Lending with instructions on how to apply.
Lendistry COVID-19 relief
Lendistry is also focusing on COVID-19 relief options for small businesses. Here are a few programs that it is involved with:
- The Empire State Development agency selected it to administer the New York State COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Grant program, which is currently accepting applications. You can apply through the Lendistry website.
- The State of California also selected it to administer the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, which is in the process of accepting and administering applications. You can also apply through the Lendistry website.
- Lendistry offered Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans before the program closed on May 31, 2021.
- If you received a PPP loan from Lendistry, you can apply for forgiveness through its online portal, using the login credentials you created when you applied for the loan.
Currently, Lendistry doesn’t appear to have any plans to relaunch its small business lending programs.
Our take on Lendistry
Lendistry combines the resources of a nonprofit lender with the speed of an online business loan provider. It was the first community development financial Institutions (CDFIs) to offer online business loans across the country — most CDFIs I’ve reviewed only serve a small geographic area. Lendistry is also one of the most active Small Business Administration (SBA) Community Advantage loan providers, is a government-backed loan program for businesses that don’t normally qualify for SBA funding.
But like many community lenders, it isn’t always easy to find information about Lendistry online, even when Lendistry’s small business loan programs were up and running. The minimum credit score for its regular lending program is also 680 — higher than other CDFI's I've reviewed. It's possible to find other community lenders with no credit score requirements at all. and It’s unclear when Lendistry will return to offering business loans again — in the meantime,consider another provider.
- CDFI with online applications
- Top SBA Community Advantage lender
- Low APRs from 6.75% to 16%
- Paused lending program due to COVID-19
- Hard to find rates and fees for all loan programs
- Funding can take up to 20 business days
Lendistry has a low maximum APR
Lendistry's standard term loans ran from $250,000 to $3 million. Its terms last up to 10 years, with an APR between 6.75% to 16% — including an origination fee up to 3% of your loan amount.
Rates are fixed for the life of the loan, and you can expect to make regular monthly repayments.
To see how much your business might pay every month, use our business loan calculator.
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How it works
Because Lendistry works with business owners who have good to excellent personal credit, you can expect fairly competitive rates. However, the APR you receive will also be based on your monthly revenue, time in business and other factors. To get the best rate — and largest loan amount — you’ll need to exceed Lendistry’s minimum requirements.
Compare lenders that currently offer business loans
Lendistry currently isn't offering small business loans — but these online providers do. Fill out the form with information about yourself and your business to compare loans you might qualify for.
5 requirements to qualify for a Lendistry business loan
Lendistry required you and your business to meet the following criteria:
- $12,500 or higher monthly revenue
- At least two years in business
- 680 or higher personal FICO credit score
- No bankruptcies in the last three years
- No defaults on any government loans
Lendistry requires relatively few documents
Typically, Lendistry only asked to see these documents when you apply for a small business loan.
- Three months of business bank statements
- Two years of business tax returns
- Two years of personal tax returns
- Social Security number
- Business Tax ID number
- Proof of average monthly sales
However, the documents you need to apply varies depending on your creditworthiness, time in business and revenue.
3 more types of financing available through Lendistry
In addition to its standard business loan, Lendistry also offered the following types of financing:
Commercial real estate loans
$250,000 to $3 million
Express Business line of credit
Up to $250,000
Revolving line of credit
Up to $3 million
Is Lendistry legit?
Lendistry reviews are negative and focus on the PPP
|BBB customer reviews||1.15 out of 5 stars, based on 39 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||50 customer complaints|
|Customer reviews verified as of||27 August 2021|
Lendistry only has a few customer reviews — and most are complaints on the Better Business Bureau and Yelp about its handling of PPP loan applications. Negative reviews are unfortunately typical for most lenders that offered PPP loans. With constant updates to the loan program and a higher volume of applications, most lenders weren't designed to handle an emergency loan program like the PPP. There are no mentions of Lendistry on Trustpilot.
Get started on your Lendistry application online
When lendistry offered loans, you could apply online by following these steps:
- Visit Lendistry’s website and select Apply now under Term loans.
- Enter information about your business and yourself.
- Wait for a member of the Lendistry team to get in touch with you by phone or email.
Once you submit your application, Lendistry typically gave an approval decision within 24 to 48 hours. If approved, your funds will be deposited into your business bank account within 10 to 20 days. To get an SBA loan through Lendistry, it could take between one to three months to receive the funds — sometimes even longer.
For Lendistry grants, you can also find the application links on Lendistry's home page. To apply for PPP loan forgiveness, sign in to your Lendistry portal. If you have any questions about an application call the phone number 888-594-7270.
Lendistry's low rates and online applications set it apart
Lendistry is one of the few nonprofit lenders that operates online and offers rates that stop at 16% APR. Many popular online lenders have interest rates that start much higher — and can often reach 90% or even 100% APR. But it's also more difficult to qualify with than your typical community lender. Consider another provider if you're looking for funds to start a new business or have a credit score below 680.
See how Lendistry compares to other lenders by reading our business loans guide.
Image source: Shutterstock and lendistry.com
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.