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iwoca business loans review 2022

If you run a small business, or are a sole-trader or a partnership, you could borrow £1,000 to £500,000 *start-ups up to £10,000 from iwoca.

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What is iwoca?

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 2011 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.

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Name Product Loan type Loan amounts Loan terms Turnover/trading criteria Key benefit
iwoca Flexi-Loan
Variable rate unsecured loan
£1,000 to £500,000
1 to 24 months
£25,000 per annum minimum turnover,
minimum 6 months 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.

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How do iwoca business loans work?

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. iwoca loans can be used to cover cashflow, investment, expansion and other purposes.

iwoca also provides loans for all types of businesses, including retailers, manufacturers and service providers and can offer loans to new startups, as well as established companies.

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 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

iwoca customer reviews

iwoca has received positive reviews from its customers, according to customer review site TrustPilot.

It currently has a TrustPilot rating of 4.7 out of 5, based on 4,968 reviews (updated May 2022). Customers have applauded the friendliness and helpfulness of the iwoca team, as well as the speediness of the service.

Those reviewing customers who rated the direct lender 1 out of 5 seem to all have different issues to complain about e.g. one customer was commenting about the amount of “spam” marketing emails they received and another “about high interest rates.”

The bottom line

If you’re a small business that has struggled to receive a loan from a traditional bank in the past or perhaps you are researching business loans and are drawn in to technology induced services, iwoca offers loans based on your real-time trading data, not just through a credit score.

Using award winning technology to decide your creditworthiness is definitely more out of the box than running your typical credit checks. But if you are looking for longer loan times than 12 months, there might be other options available to you.

Alternative sources of funding

There are several types of business loans 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.

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