Based in London, iwoca is a direct lender (rather than a broker) offering fast and flexible credit to small businesses across Europe. From placing larger stock orders to bridging cash flow gaps, businesses use iwoca’s loans to power growth.
iwoca, which is a contraction of “instant working capital”, was founded in 2012 by Christoph Rieche and James Dear. The lender uses award-winning technology to eliminate the cost and complexity associated with traditional business finance. It uses this tech to understand a small business instantly based on its trading data, not just through a credit score. It looks at thousands of data points to consider each business individually.
Whether you’re starting a business or need a cash boost to get it to the next level, iwoca could help with a fast and flexible business loan. Repay your loan early or top up (up to your credit limit) all from your online account. It’s quick and straightforward to apply online at the iwoca website.
iwoca – Fast, flexible business finance
Flexible credit line from £1,000 to £200,000
Decisions in 24 hours, in some cases instantly
No set-up fees or early repayment penalties
Representative example: Borrow £10,000 over 12 months at a rate of 40% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 49% and total payable £12,165.
iwoca will offer you a business loan individually tailored to your business. The limit and interest rate you are offered will depend on your business’s performance and credit rating.
Key features of an iwoca business loan at a glance
Repay over 12 months. Pay off your loan in equal weekly or monthly instalments.
Borrow £1,000 to £150,000. Your loan amount is typically equal to one month’s revenue. As your business grows, so will your credit limit.
Security. iwoca offers unsecured loans. For limited companies it does ask for a personal guarantee, typically from a director or shareholder.
Fixed monthly repayments. Your business will pay the same amount each month, helping you to keep track of how much the loan is going to cost you overall.
Quick decision and fast funding. Apply in minutes and, if you’re approved, you could have the money within a few hours.
Repay your loan early at any time. iwoca will not charge you for settling early – you will just pay interest for each day you have had the loan.
No hidden fees. iwoca does not charge arrangement fees, or any other one-off fees.
Interest rates are fixed for the duration of your repayment period. However, the rate you’re offered will depend on factors like the amount you apply for, the term of the loan, the performance of your business and its credit rating. This may differ from the advertised “representative APR”.
What is APR?
If you’re comparing any credit-based products, it won’t be long before you’ll come across the annual percentage rate (APR). This figure is designed to provide an annual summary of the cost of a loan. It takes into account both interest and any mandatory charges to be paid (for example an arrangement fee) over the duration of a loan.
All lenders must calculate the APR of their products in the same way, and must tell you the APR before you sign an agreement, so for consumers it can be a handy tool for comparison.
Bear in mind, however, that lenders are only obliged to award this rate to 51% of those who take out the loan – the other 49% could pay more. That’s why it’s often referred to as the representative APR.
Am I eligible for an iwoca business loan?
You should only apply for an iwoca business loan if you’re certain you can meet the repayment terms. You must also:
Be a UK-based business
Be a sole-trader, partnership or limited company
You must be aged between 18 and 74 and be under 75 at the end of the loan term
Be aged over 18
Have a good credit rating without a history of county court judgments or bankruptcy
How do I apply?
If you’ve decided that an iwoca business loan is the best option for you, there are six steps to the application process:
It’s free to sign up and there are no commitments until you sign your loan agreement. iwoca just needs some basic details in order to verify your business.
Get approved. Credit limits are based on your business performance – iwoca can typically lend up to one month’s revenue, or up to £10,000 for a startup business.
Take the funds. Withdraw as much as you need, when you’re ready. Most businesses use iwoca to manage cash flow gaps, buy stock or make investments.
Repay or top-up. Keep the funds for 12 months or repay early to save on interest. You can also top-up, up to your credit limit (subject to approval).
How can we help?
Compare loan rates
Get live, personalised quotes from a large panel of lenders through our partner Funding Options.
There are several types of business loan out there. The right one for your business will depend on how much you need and how long you want to borrow for:
Government startup loans. If you have a new business, you could borrow up to £25,000 at a low interest rate. You may also be eligible for a government grant.
Bank loans. Banks and building societies can lend you up to £250,000 over a term of 1 to 15 years. These loans are usually unsecured.
Short-term loans. These are offered over a few weeks or months and typically come with a higher interest rate than other types of borrowing. You could get a loan of up to £200,000.
Peer-to-peer loans. This is when your business borrows money from investors instead of from a financial institution. You could get a loan of up to £1 million.
Cash-advance loans. This option allows you to borrow money against your company’s future debit or credit card sales. You will pay a set fee rather than an interest rate.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, iwoca will run credit and identity checks when you apply. However, initially it will run a “quotation” search which will have no impact on your credit score. A full credit search will only be done if you choose to take a loan.
You can either link your online accounts to iwoca (it integrates with eBay, Amazon, PayPal, Sage Pay and more), or upload bank statements, VAT returns or company accounts. This data allows the lender to get a good understanding of your business with no complex paperwork required.
iwoca is generally happy to offer top-ups, provided your business performance continues to be strong and you have paid off at least one third of your original loan. You may need to provide updated bank statements or other documents before you top up your loan – you can contact your account manager at iwoca to advise you on this.
Yes. iwoca can renew your offer once your loan has ended, assuming your circumstances have not changed. If your business has grown you may even be offered an increased credit limit or reduced interest rate. You can then log into your account to withdraw the funds.By linking your online accounts or uploading bank statements, VAT returns or company accounts, you give iwoca a fast and detailed understanding of your business. This means that it can offer instant funding without the complex paperwork associated with a traditional business loan. It also offers more flexibility than many business loans from a bank.
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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