LiftFund business loans review
Alternative funding with competitive rates for small businesses and startups in 13 states.
finder.com’s rating: 4 / 5.0
- Best for small businesses and startups in the south.
- Pick something else if you need a large loan or outside of LiftFund’s serviced area.
|Product Name||LiftFund business loans|
|Loan Term||From 60 months|
|APR||Up to 18%|
|Requirements||Live and operate your business in an eligible state, meet income standards, no bankruptcy filings in 2+ years|
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.
LiftFund is a nonprofit lender that specializes in providing funding to small business that are either too new or don’t make enough revenue to get a bank loan. Its loans start at a low $500, and it also works with the SBA to offer two common government-backed loans.
But its service area is highly localized, so you might not find a loan if you aren’t based in a small selection of southern states. It also isn’t clear about its APR, and when you apply, it may do a hard pull of your credit — which could lower your score. Startup owners will also have to provide proof of outside income to qualify.
For lenders that service businesses across the US — or offer larger loans — compare more business loan options.
LiftFund has paused its normal loan program to focus on the coronavirus
LiftFund is currently only working with businesses that need funding because of issues from the coronavirus. Businesses located in New Mexico or the Texas counties of Corpus Christi, Nueces and San Patricio may qualify for local disaster relief loans. It is also working with Goldman Sachs to provide PPP loans to select businesses within its serviced area.
LiftFund also has its own disaster relief loan: Businesses can borrow up to $50,000 with a 120-day payment deferment. Your business may qualify if it has had a decrease in revenue of at least 15% because of the COVID-19 crisis.
How much will this loan cost me?
LiftFund offers loans of $500 to $1 million — with terms of up to five years. However, it doesn’t list any specific rates on its website, so you won’t know exactly how much you might pay until after you apply.
When you do, be sure to use the calculator below to estimate your monthly repayments.
Monthly repayments calculatorCalculate how much you could expect to pay each month
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
When considering your application, LiftFund looks at your ability to repay your loan, your character, your commitment to improve your business and your credit score. It also considers your history of payment to past lenders, landlords and suppliers.
Your current financial situation is important as well. LiftFund wants to see strong revenue or proof of outside income, especially if you’re a startup. The rates you’re offered — and the amount you can borrow — will depend on these factors. The better your business is doing financially, the more likely you are to qualify for a low APR.
What do I need to qualify?
LiftFund requires you to meet a few basic qualifications you’ll need to meet in order to be considered for a business loan.
- Lived in serviced area for at least six months
- Operating in service area for more than six months
- Proof of outside income — for startups
- At least 21 years old
And like many lenders, you’ll be disqualified if you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past two years, filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in the past year or are in the adult entertainment industry.
LiftFund offers loans to southern businesses
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
What information do I need to apply?
LiftFund requires you to provide some basic documents when you apply, including:
- Employer identification number
- Social Security or individual tax identification number
- Copy of your driver’s license
- Copy of your recent credit report
- Proof of revenue or outside income, if a startups
- Two references
What industries does LiftFund work with?
The only industry LiftFund expressly will not work with is adult entertainment. However, it may not fund your loan if you are in other high-risk or nontraditional industries like cannabis.
What other types of financing does LiftFund offer?
LiftFund has two more loans you can apply for:
- SBA 7(a) and 504 loans. Two common government-backed loan options to fund normal business expenses, working capital and commercial real estate.
- Goldman Sachs Houston and Dallas loans. A program that offers loans that range from $50,000 to $400,000 to cover a variety of business needs. It’s best for larger, more established businesses that can prove they create jobs in economically disadvantaged areas.
- Startups and restaurants accepted
- Lower credit scores OK
- Larger loans available for established businesses
- Only available in 13 states
- Turnaround may take up to four weeks
- Limited information online
- May require collateral
See other top business loan options
Is LiftFund legit?
Does LiftFund get good customer reviews?
LiftFund isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but does have an A+ rating as of June 2020 — in part because it doesn’t have any reviews or complaints. Nobody has reviewed it on Trustpilot, either, meaning you’ll have a hard time finding out how other borrowers fared with its services.
A lack of online reviews could be a result of LiftFund’s nonprofit status. Borrowing from a nonprofit isn’t without its problems, but they’re generally designed to help business communities rather than profit from them.
How do I apply?
Its application is two steps: An application to apply for a loan and an application for its lending program. The lending program includes many specific requirements, but you won’t be approved to move on if LiftFund believes you aren’t able to meet them.
- Go to LiftFund’s website and click Apply now.
- Answer basic eligibility questions and click Let’s get started.
- Follow the steps to complete the four-part application form.
- Scan or upload any necessary documents.
What happens after I apply?
LiftFund will review your application and documents over the next two business days, during which it pulls a hard check on your credit. If you qualify, you will receive a call from a LiftFund representative to go over loan programs you could be eligible for. Once you decide on a program, the rep provides a list of further documents required.
After you submit your documents, an underwriter reviews them and notifies you of acceptance within a few days — or longer, if you apply for an SBA loan. If LiftFund approves your loan, you can sign your closing documents. LiftFund may take a few days to transfer your loan funds to your business bank account.
The entire application process takes three to four weeks for regular loans and six to eight weeks for SBA loans.
How do repayments work with LiftFund?
LiftFund requires you to set up autopay when you sign your loan closing documents, so you won’t have to do much of anything when it comes to paying back your loan. But that doesn’t mean you can sit back. Keep an eye on your bank account to make sure it always has enough funds to make a monthly repayment. Otherwise, you might wind up paying stiff nonsufficient funds fees and late fees.
If you have any questions or know you won’t be able to make a repayment, contact LiftFund as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Small businesses and startups could benefit from LiftFund’s microloan program. But if you need more funding, you may want to compare more business loans before making a final decision.
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.