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LiftFund business loans review

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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.

$500

Min. Amount

$1,000,000

Max. Amount

Details

Product NameLiftFund business loans
Min. Amount$500
Max. Amount$1,000,000
Loan TermFrom 60 months
APRUp to 18%
RequirementsLive and operate your business in an eligible state, meet income standards, no bankruptcy filings in 2+ years

Expert review

Anna Serio

Review by


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.

Expert review

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.

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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

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

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.

Pros

  • Startups and restaurants accepted
  • Lower credit scores OK
  • Larger loans available for established businesses

Cons

  • Only available in 13 states
  • Turnaround may take up to four weeks
  • Limited information online
  • May require collateral

See other top business loan options

Data indicated here is updated regularly

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
First Down Funding business loans
$5,000 – $300,000
Fee Based
At least 1 year in business, an annual revenue of $100,000+, and a minimum credit score of 400
Alternative financing up to $300K with highly competitive rates.
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
OnDeck small business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
As low as 11.89%
600+ personal credit score, 1 year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue
A leading online business lender offering flexible financing at competitive fixed rates.
Rapid Finance small business loans
$5,000 – $1,000,000
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Steady flow of credit card sales, bad credit OK
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Compare up to 4 providers

Is LiftFund legit?

Yes, LiftFund is a legit nonprofit lender that offers microloans and SBA loans. Its website is encrypted, and it has an industry-standard privacy policy that explains how it uses borrow and donor information.

LiftFund reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating A+
Customer reviews verified as of 12 October 2020

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. However, its lack of reviews means you’ll have a hard time finding out how other borrowers fared with its services.

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.

  1. Go to LiftFund’s website and click Apply now.
  2. Answer basic eligibility questions and click Let’s get started.
  3. Follow the steps to complete the four-part application form.
  4. Review LiftFund’s terms of use before submitting your application.
  5. 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

Picture: Liftfund.com

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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.

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    TM
    September 28, 2018

    Similar to FranFund, does LiftFund charge fees on the loans other than the APR? FranFund charges a flat $2,500, no matter how small the loan amount.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      October 1, 2018

      Hi TM,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Upon checking, the website of LiftFund lacks basic information. While it is easy to apply for a loan from them, their website is not clear about their fees.

      What I can suggest is for you to directly get in touch with LiftFund. Before continuing with your application, you may ask specific information first. This way you can make an informed decision.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

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