Esme Loans business loans review April 2020

Esme Loans offers unsecured business loans to help give your business a boost.

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What is Esme?

Esme offers business loans to small and medium-sized businesses. NatWest launched Esme in 2016 to offer businesses a faster platform from which to borrow. Esme is a digital lending platform and has no physical branches, offering a straightforward online application process for business loans. Esme claims to deliver a secure loan in the time it takes to make a cup of tea.

Esme’s loan options

Business loan. Esme pride itself on offering competitive and fair rates, whilst boasting no early repayment or hidden fees. Its business loans are unsecured, meaning the lending decision will be based on factors such as your credit rating, and assets will not need to be used as collateral.

Key features of Esme business loans at a glance

Esme offers one type of business loan and it’s worth familiarising yourself with its features to decide if this loan is right for you and your business.

Loan typeFixed rate unsecured loan
Loan amounts£10,000 to £250,000
Loan terms1 year to 5 years
Loan rate typeFixed
Funding speedIf approved, funds could be in your account within an hour
Personal guaranteeA personal guarantee may be required
Multiple loans allowed at the same time
Arrangement fee
Early repayment fee
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More Info

You may receive personalised rates if you already bank with NatWest.

With Esme business loans, interest rates are fixed for the duration of your repayment. The interest rates will depend on factors such as how much you borrow and for how long, as well as your credit rating and your income. It may differ from the advertised representative APR.

Compare with other lenders

Table: sorted by representative APR.
Name Product Loan type Loan amounts Loan terms Turnover/trading criteria
Esme Business Loan
Fixed rate unsecured loan
£10,000 to £250,000
1 year to 5 years
£15,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 18 months trading
Representative example: Borrow £50,000 over 24 months at a rate of 8.40% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 8.73% and total payable £54,491.93 in monthly repayments of £2,270.5.
Fleximize Unsecured Business Loan
Fixed rate unsecured loan
£5,000 to £250,000
1 month to 2 years
£60,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 6 months trading
Representative example for loans of £25,000 or below: Borrow £12,500 over 15 months with an interest rate of 36.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 43.1% and total payable £15,740.33 in monthly repayments of £1,049.36.
Funding Circle Unsecured Business Loan
Fixed rate unsecured peer-to-peer loan
£10,000 to £250,000
6 months to 5 years
No specified minimum turnover,
minimum 2 years trading
MarketFinance Small Business Loan
Fixed rate unsecured peer-to-peer loan
£5,000 to £250,000
6 months to 3 years
£50,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 2 years trading
iwoca Small Business Loan
Variable rate unsecured loan
£25,000 to £250,000
3 - 5 years
£150,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 2 years trading
Representative example: Borrow £50,000 over 60 months at a rate of 14.4% p.a. (variable). Representative APR 18.6% and total payable £74,881.80.
Nucleus Cash Flow Finance
Fixed rate unsecured loan
£25,000 to £150,000
3 months to 5 years
No specified minimum turnover,
minimum 3 years trading
iwoca Flexi-Loan
Variable rate unsecured loan
£1,000 to £200,000
1 month to 12 months
No specified minimum turnover or time trading
Representative example: Borrow £10,000 over 12 months at a rate of 40% p.a. (variable). Representative APR 49% and total payable £12,294.
Spotcap Short Term Loan
Fixed rate unsecured loan
£50,000 to £350,000
1 month to 24 months
£500,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 3 years trading
Representative example: Borrow £100,000 over 12 months with an average monthly interest rate of 1.4% and a 2.0% arrangement fee. Representative APR 22.8% and total payable £109,332 in monthly repayments of £9,111.
Ferratum Business Loan
Fixed rate unsecured loan
£2,000 to £50,000
18 months
£75,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 12 months trading
Growth Street GrowthLine
Fixed rate secured peer-to-peer line of credit
£25,000 to £1,000,000
From 1 day and open-ended
£250,000 minimum turnover,
minimum 15 months trading
Capital on Tap Business Loan
Variable rate unsecured line of credit
£1,000 to £50,000
1 month to 12 months
£24,000 minimum turnover,
no specified minimum time trading
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 39.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 39.9% APR (variable).
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Am I eligible for an Esme Loans business loan?

You should only apply for an Esme business loan if you are certain that you can meet the repayment terms. You must also meet the following criteria:

Minimum turnover£15,000
Minimum trading requirement18 months
Business typesLimited Company
Sole Trader
GeographyUK-based
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More Info

How can I apply?

If you have decided that an Esme business loan is right for you, you can use the application form on its website.

To apply, you will need to create a free customer account – all you’ll need for this is your company name or number, your mobile number and a password of your choosing.

After you’ve created your account, you will need to provide some personal and business details, such as what the loan will be used for and where you live.

Lastly, you will need:

  • Your limited company number
  • Your previous 5 VAT returns, or 3 months of bank statements
  • Latest financial accounts/management information

Your application will be reviewed and if you are approved. you will be able to check over the loan offer and e-sign your documents.

Alternative sources of funding

  • Government loan schemes. The government offers startup loans for new businesses, with borrowing amounts ranging from £500 to £25,000. There are criteria that you will have to meet to be eligible for this loan, such as being over the age of 18 and a UK resident, and having a business that has been trading for less than 24 months. For more details about the government loan, visit www.gov.uk/apply-start-up-loan.
  • Crowdfunding. In the current social media age, crowdfunding offers a new, non-traditional way of funding your business. You simply choose a crowdfunding website and explain what you need the money for, and allow individuals or businesses to invest in your business.
  • Peer-to-peer lending. With peer-to-peer lending, individuals can lend their money to businesses for a higher return than they would receive by putting the money in the bank. There is no minimum amount that you must raise, and the interest rate is usually lower than a bank’s.
  • Asking family or friends for a loan. Asking a family or friend for money isn’t the easiest thing to do but you can then return the money to them when your business is doing well – perhaps even with a little profit to say thank you.

Frequently asked questions

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