PayPal Working Capital business loans review
PayPal promises a fast loan with minimal requirements — but inconsistent sales could get you denied.
Bottom line: PayPal working capital could be a good option for emergency financing if you’re already a PayPal customer. But it’s become a lot less transparent about costs since 2020 and abnormal sales could get you turned down. Read our full review. or get get our 30-second take.
- Receive funds within minutes after approval
- No minimum credit score
- No paperwork in most cases
- Potentially cheaper than a merchant cash advance
- No longer displays important information about cost
- Minimum payment required every 90 days
- APRs compare to personal loans for good credit
- Repeat borrowers complain they were declined
Our take on PayPal Working Capital
PayPal Working Capital could be a good option for PayPal users who need emergency financing for their small business that they can pay off quickly. Many small business owners can get approved and funded in less than an hour with little or no paperwork and no credit check. And businesses that chose the highest repayments have received fees equivalent to around to 1% APR in the past.
But PayPal has become a lot less transparent about what it offers since 2020 — when most business lenders changed their products due to the coronavirus outbreak. When I first wrote this PayPal Working Capital review, PayPal provided a calculator to let potential borrowers see an estimate of their fees. But as of June 2021, it doesn’t even disclose the minimum and maximum loan amounts available.
If you need fast funding and meet the minimum requirements, it’s worth checking your rate. But there are likely less-expensive options out there — even through PayPal.
How PayPal Working Capital works
PayPal Working Capital loans work a lot like a merchant cash advance on PayPal sales. It's essentially an advance on your business's future revenue, based on your annual PayPal sales history. You pay back the loan plus a fixed fee, rather than interest, with a percentage of each sale you make using PayPal.
The difference between PayPal Working Capital and a merchant cash advance is that PayPal requires you to make a payment every 90 days, regardless of your PayPal sales volume. Many merchant cash advance companies don't have this minimum. Its lowest fees are also much lower than what you'd find at a merchant cash advance company, which typically start at 10 cents per dollar borrowed.
How much can I borrow with PayPal Working Capital?
Your PayPal Working Capital loan amount is based on your PayPal sales volume, though how much you can borrow is unclear. Previously, you could borrow up to 35% of your annual PayPal sales — as long as it fell into the range of $1,000 to $300,000. And first-time borrowers could only qualify for up to $125,000 in funding. I haven't been able to confirm this as still being the case as of June 2021.
It's also unclear which sales it considers when calculating your loan amount. Officially, your loan amount should be based on annual sales. But some business owners report being told that while eligibility was based on annual sales, PayPal used the last three months of sales to determine how much they could borrow.
PayPal Working Capital fees and payments
PayPal charges a fixed fee instead of interest. And once you receive the loan, PayPal deducts a percentage of each PayPal sale to pay off the loan plus the fee.
It currently doesn't disclose much information about the cost of its working capital loans, or repayments. Previously, you could use a calculator on its website to get an estimate of your fee, based on loan size and repayment. But that calculator is no longer available.
When it comes to repayments, PayPal deducts a minimum of 5% of each sale for loans that it estimates will take at least 12 months to repay. On loans with a shorter term, it deducts at least 10% of your payments through PayPal.
Previously, PayPal deducted as much as 30% of each sales — which may still be the case. That's higher than many merchant cash advances I've reviewed. But the highest payments also came with the lowest fees.
PayPal working capital loan examples
While PayPal no longer displays fees, here are two examples of what it used to charge on a Working Capital loan, based on your loan amount and repayment percentage. It's likely fees have changed, but the repayment structure is similar.
Example 1: High revenue, low advance amount
Say you had $1 million in annual PayPal revenue and wanted to borrow $10,000.
Here’s how much your loan would cost, depending on the repayment percentage you choose:
This loan costs the equivalent of about a low 0.84% APR if you paid it back at the 30% rate over a year.
Example 2: Low revenue, high advance amount
But say you brought in just $15,000 in annual PayPal sales and needed to borrow $5,200.
Here’s how much your loan would cost:
This loan can cost as much as the equivalent of a 226.4% APR if you paid it back at the 10% repayment rate over a year — or higher if you pay it back in a shorter amount of time.
How PayPal Working Capital compares to other products
Here's how PayPal Working Capital stands up to two other fast, paperwork-free financing providers.
OnDeck is an online lender that offers short-term business loans and lines of credit with funding available as soon as the same day in some cases. While its rates are higher than average, it may be cheaper than a PayPal Working Capital loan. But it could be more difficult for some businesses to qualify.
Fora Financial is an online lender that offers merchant cash advances and short-term loans. Its pricing starts a little higher than PayPal Working Capital, but ends lower. It also could take a little more time to receive your funds.
Not yet rated
|Find out more|
$1,000 to $300,000
Have a PayPal Premier or Business account for 3+ months and make $15,000 to $20 million in PayPal sales.
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How it compares with traditional lenders
PayPal Working Capital loans are likely more expensive than a traditional business loan from a bank. Bank loans have rates of 4% to 13% APR — which includes both interest and fees paid over a year. They also tend to have longer terms, usually around three to five years, and monthly repayments.
But traditional lenders often have strict requirements. If your business has been around for less than three years, isn't profitable or if you have a low personal credit score, traditional business loans are likely not an option. They can also take weeks or even months to get approved. That's what makes PayPal Working Capital a better option in emergencies.
PayPal Working Capital reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.06 out of 5 stars, based on 2,075 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||13,613 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||1.2 out of 5 stars, based on 13,598 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||17 June 2021|
PayPal has overwhelmingly negative customer reviews, though most are about other PayPal services. The few working capital reviews are also mixed.
Some customers said they hardly notice the deduction from sales. But many complain that they were rejected for a Working Capital loan with little explanation.
How to qualify
You can qualify for a PayPal Working Capital loan if you meet the following requirements.
- PayPal Premier or PayPal Business account owner for at least 90 days
- At least $15,000 in PayPal Business or $20,000 in PayPal Premier annual sales
- No outstanding PayPal Working Capital debt
PayPal doesn't check your credit score on its Working Capital loans, so it won't show up on your credit report if you apply. While PayPal doesn't specify if it reports to credit bureaus, this type of financing usually stays off your business credit report entirely unless you default on the loan.
How do I get a PayPal Working Capital loan?
You can get a PayPal Working Capital loan by going to the PayPal Working Capital website and logging into your account. PayPal will confirm your information and let you know if you're approved.
At that point, you'll have the chance to choose your loan amount and repayment percentage. You'll have a change to you review your offer before accepting. After you've accepted, PayPal will deposit the funds into your PayPal account.
This process can take a matter of minutes for many users — if you're approved. But many users have reported having to apply multiple times before they were approved. And in some cases, it can take as long as seven days to get that initial approval.
Why does PayPal decline Working Capital loan applications?
PayPal rejects Working Capital loan applications for a wide range of reasons. Here are some of the most common error codes applicants receive and what they generally mean, according to PayPal Working Capital users:
- Identification error usually means that PayPal couldn't verify your information. This can happen if your business recently moved or any of your account information is out of date.
- Error code 646 and 650 usually mean that your sales volume has changed enough to throw off PayPal's predictions for your business's annual sales.
- Error code 654 usually means that there are abnormalities on your account, such as chargebacks, a negative balance or suspected fraudulent activity.
- Error code 602 usually means that your business falls into an ineligible category. This might include industries that have trouble getting approved loans, such as firearms or adult entertainment.
- Error code 656 means that your business relies too heavily on payments from eBay — which split with PayPal in 2015 and has since partnered with another payment processor.
These error codes aren't definitive and may not be as helpful as they seem. Several users report getting the same message with different codes. The best way to understand why you were denied is to reach out to a representative.
What to do if you're denied
There are several steps you can take if your PayPal working capital loan was denied.
- Wait three days before reapplying if you just closed a loan. It can take up to 72 hours for PayPal to process your final payment — or up to five business days if you paid off your loan manually using a bank transfer.
- Check your account information to make sure it's up to date. Sometimes identification errors can be caused by something as simple as an out of date phone number.
- Contact customer service if you're unsure why you were denied. Some users report getting a more satisfactory answer through this route — though many have left frustrated.
- Reapply as often as you like. Sometimes it takes a few days or weeks to clear up the error that was keeping you from getting a loan.
Is PayPal Working Capital Worth it?
PayPal Working Capital could be worth it if you rely on PayPal sales and need quick access to funds. And if you need a large loan that your business can repay quickly, it might be one of the cheapest options out there.
But it can be an expensive source of long-term financing — and you aren't guaranteed to get approved even if you've already received multiple working capital loans. If you're eligible for a term loan from a bank — or even another online lender — you can probably find a better deal with another provider.
More PayPal business loans
PayPal also offers two more business loan products that you might want to consider.
- PayPal business loans are short-term loans from PayPal with weekly repayments with funds deposited directly into your PayPal account.
- LoanBuilder is a PayPal lending service that works a lot like the business loan — but with funds sent to your business's bank account.
Is PayPal Working Capital legit?
Yes, PayPal Working Capital is a legitimate lending service. It's part of one of the most widely used payment processors internationally. And it uses SSL encryption to protect your information when you apply or use its website. While it’s had its share of data breaches — standard for a tech company of that size — it typically patches them up within a day.
It issues its loans through WebBank, which is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Check out our guide to business loans for more options.