Esme offers business loans to small and medium-sized businesses. NatWest launched Esme in 2017 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.
Whether you’re hoping to improve and expand your current business, or just starting out, find out if Esme has the right business loan to help you on your journey.
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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 duration. You can borrow for up to 5 years.
Loan amounts. You can borrow between £10,000 and £150,000.
Security. Esme Loans offers unsecured business loans that rely on your credit rating and financial background rather than requiring security in the form of your assets and property against your repayments.
Fixed monthly repayments. Your business will pay the same amount every month, which will help with budgeting.
Option to take a repayment holiday. Whilst this may sound like a good idea, repayment holidays can cost you more as your interest still grows.
Quick access to funds. Funds can be in your account within an hour once you’re approved.
No set-up fees. There are no arrangement fees.
Preferential rates for existing customers. You may receive personalised rates if you already bank with NatWest.
Repay your loan early at any time. There are no early repayment charges.
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.
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:
Over the age of 18
A director of a UK limited company
Been actively trading for at least 18 months
Turning over more than £15,000 per year
Able to provide a personal guarantee
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
No, because Esme carries out a soft credit search rather than full credit checks. This will not affect your credit rating, and cannot be seen by other lenders.
Esme Loans is owned by NatWest.
Once you have accepted your loan offer, you are unable to cancel your loan. However, you can repay your loan in full at any time with no early repayment fees.
You usually have 14 days to accept your offer.
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
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